Denise Levertov

The Ladder

Rabbi Moshe (of Kobryn) taught:
It is written: “And he dreamed,
and behold a ladder set up on the
earth.” That “he” is every man.
Every man must know: I am clay,
I am one of countless shards of clay,
but “the top of it reached to
heaven”—my soul reaches to heav-
en; “and behold the angels of God
ascending and descending on it”—
even the ascent and descent of the
angels depend on my deeds.

Tales of the Hasidim: Later Masters by Martin Buber