A person sets out on a journey.
After progressing for a while, he decides to rest for a bit.
Suddenly, he has a vision: He sees a path connecting the upper worlds and the lower worlds passing through him.
This is the path that passed through Jacob, and the path that passes through everyone who travels on the journey of life, no matter who he maybe.
This is the house of God, this is a gate to Heaven – and at the transition point stands Jacob.
This Jacob, no matter who and where he may be, must remember that his obligation reaches to the sky because his image is engraved on high.
It could be that, as far as one is concerned, it suffices that his image appears on his driver’s license or passport.
But the reality is that his image is engraved under the Throne of Glory, and as a result, there is more that is demanded of him; there is a higher standard.
The top of the ladder reaches all the way to God, and because of this, no person can pass himself off as insignificant.
When Jacob understands this, he begins the process that creates Israel.
Jacob does not just represent the Jewish people.
He is also just one man who leaves home and must now find his way in the world.
And this Jacob must recognize the pinnacle of existence, the uppermost limit that he must touch.
Seeing oneself as the center of a whole world is precisely what puts one’s obligation on the highest possible level.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz