- Written by B Rose
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The Klausenberger Rebbe zt"l says this ladder symbolizes the two approaches to self improvement. One way is to decide what you want to improve and map out a plan where you improve step by step until you reach your decided goal. This slow but steady journey has a good chance of success. If you work hard you will ultimately get there. That is what the posuk says "V'Hinei Sulam Mutzav Artza V'Roishoi Magiah Hashamayma"; if the ladder is planted firmly on the ground (you have a good game plan), by climbing it one rung at a time (you achieve your plan one step at a time) you get all the way as far as the heavens.
The second way is to go straight to the top and immediately begin to act according to your loftiest ideals, like the perfect tzaddik. This method usually ends rather quickly in miserable failure. To this the pasuk says "V'Hinei Malachei Elokim"; if you want to be like a malach right away, then "Olim V'Yordim Boi" you will rise very quickly but you will go right back down just as quick.
We are all growing all the time but whats important to remember is that we must all take our time and do things at our pace rather than a pace that we can't keep up with. If we don't take it slowly we could just stagnate and end up hating those mitzvos and thse people who helped us do those mitzvos!.