Parashat Vayetze: Heavenly and Earthly

[Tal Chermon p. 69]

The ladder is Yaakov himself (Nefesh Ha-Chaim 1, 10-19), who is simultaneously both heavenly and earthly. He embodies spirituality which is used to improve the physical world, but he also lives a material existence, which is guided by the spirit. These are the two faces of Yaakov.
The vision is not static. There is dynamic movement as "the angels of G-d ascend and descend it [the ladder]" (Bereshit 28:12). They ascend to heaven to obtain nourishment from the Divine source in order to descend to earth and illuminate it. The righteous are not satisfied with a personally, spiritually, elevating experience, but they return to the mundane world and use their spiritual acquisition to improve it (Moreh Nevuchim 1, 15).
During the Akedah, Avraham Avinu reached the most awesome of spiritual heights. Did Avraham remain in his heavenly state, detached from the rest of the world? No! "And Avraham returned to his young man and they arose and went together to Beer Sheva (Bereshit 22:19)." Despite his soul's leap to terrestrial loftiness, Avraham did not separate himself in any way from his material surroundings. He returned to the young men, in their spiritual state, in order to uplift and elevate them (Olat Re'eiyah vol 1, p. 96).