Rabbi Daniel Lapin
June 16, 2013
It is no fun to be roped into a game whose rules are a bewildering mystery. It’s positively painful to start a new job and discover that nobody’s in charge and lines of communication and authority are as temporary as jet contrails in a windy sky. It’s rough on children to grow up amidst arbitrary rules and capricious consequences. It is downright depressing and alienating to try and function in a system that makes no sense at all.
Before the advent of the Global Positioning System, otherwise known as GPS, roadmaps were ubiquitous. I have heard that (before my time), gas stations used to hand them out for free. To this day when I arrive in a new city for the first time, I feel uneasy until I have acquired a large-scale street map on which I can locate my surroundings. Boating without a chart and a compass is quite unthinkable. Maps help me make sense of otherwise confusing environments that can feel almost unknowable.
The study of physics, chemistry, biology, and other authentic sciences help us feel less alienated from the physical world in which we live. Things happen for a reason and we don’t need to fall back on mythical monsters and vengeful deities to explain why thunder follows lightening, how microbes help our digestion and why certain elements undergo radioactive decay.
While science is clearly a vital tool in trying to understand how the world REALLY works, it cannot provide information about those things not measurable by scientific method. It can tell us little about the role honesty and integrity play in the life of a person and a culture. It provides no reliable data on the sources of profound human happiness and it often provides contradictory information on how to marry successfully and how best to raise the progeny of that marriage. For these and countless other questions vital to human survival, we have to turn to another system every bit as powerful and just as reliable as the scientific system.
I think of this system as the general theory on the totality of all existence, otherwise known as the Torah system of knowledge. It makes our world as comprehensible as a roadmap makes a new city and allows us to anchor ourselves to a unifying integrity.
This truth is reflected by the arrangement of the Days of Creation in Genesis 1, each of which concludes with an ordinal number; third day, fourth day, fifth day, etc. The exception is the first day of Creation. Rather than saying, “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day,” the verse reads:
… there was evening and there was morning day One --Genesis 1:5
In Hebrew, the number one, ECHaD, has no ordinal form. If we need to say first, we use an entirely different word RiSHoN, that literally means, “head of” as in the head of the line. Each of the subsequent Hebrew numbers follows a pattern similar to four/fourth or seven/seventh.
The reason that the Lord’s language doesn’t admit an ordinal form of one is that when we use numbers such as sixth or eighth we imply that there are more of whatever we are counting coming along. However, ancient Jewish wisdom views one as unique by definition. It always references the singleness of God and the unifying integrity of His creation. There is nothing like it coming down the road to make it only the first (of several). Since one is associated with God, it is one and only one.
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Yet, accessing this system of knowledge takes time and perseverance. Perhaps our best resource for sculpting your spiritual roadmap to reality is our Biblical Blueprint Set. This set of five powerful audio CDs provides many hours of Torah teaching unavailable anywhere else. The global grasp is hinted at by topics ranging from verbal vulgarity to Torah tips on time maximization and from spiritual serenity to escaping the strait jackets that sap our energies and prevent us reaching our objectives. I know you’ll be thrilled to access these teachings repeatedly in order to consistently rejuvenate your soul and revitalize your life’s purpose. Order the physical Biblical Blueprint Set or save even more by downloading.
© 2013 Rabbi Daniel Lapin - All Rights Reserved
Rabbi Daniel Lapin, known world-wide as America's Rabbi, is a noted rabbinic scholar, best-selling author and host of the Rabbi Daniel Lapin Show on San Francisco’s KSFO. He is one of America’s most eloquent speakers and his ability to extract life principles from the Bible and transmit them in an entertaining manner has brought countless numbers of Jews and Christians closer to their respective faiths. In 2007 Newsweek magazine included him in its list of America’s fifty most influential rabbis.
You can contact Rabbi Daniel Lapin through his website.
Web Site: www.rabbidaniellapin.com