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PLACES I REMEMBER

 

By Rabbi Daniel Lapin
August 24, 2014
NewsWithViews.com

It's sometimes difficult to force yourself to do your work, isn't it? Perhaps you allow the plague of procrastination to infect your soul. Maybe you find unproductive ways to persuade yourself that you're working, even though you're not doing what really needs to be done. How do we know what really needs to be done? One answer is whether the activity produces revenue from someone who is free to accept or decline your goods or services.

There is another way to know if we're doing work, perhaps cooking or taking care of our home. We can ask ourselves, "Who am I benefiting by doing what I am doing?" If the answer is, "Nobody!" or "Myself!" or even a vague, "Humanity!" then you're probably not doing work.

In the Lord's language, Hebrew, the same word, AVoDaH, is used for serving God and for serving His children-in other words, work. One way of serving God is through prayer and, though, of course, we can pray anywhere, there is an advantage to praying in a fixed place.

We learn from ancient Jewish wisdom that Abraham had a regular place to speak with God. There he prayed for Sodom (Genesis 18:23). Amazingly, after God destroyed Sodom despite his prayers, Abraham returned to the same place to continue praying to God.

And Abraham went [to pray] early in the morning to the place [MaKOM] where he stood [in prayer] before the Lord. (Genesis 19:27)

By contrast, less praiseworthy people than Abraham changed their places of prayer when they failed to get the results they desired. Rather than accepting a "no" or searching within themselves, they assumed the fault must lie in the geography and jumped from place to place.

And Balak said to him [Balam] 'please come with me to another place [MaKOM] from where you may see them [Israel]... and curse them for me from there.' (Numbers 23:13)

This word, MaKOM, place, whenever used in Tanach, always refers to a space with some Godly connection. So powerful is this relationship between a special space-MaKOM-and God, that there is a compelling numerical clue.

The holy four letter name of God in Hebrew, known as the Tetragrammaton, comprises the following four letters, Yud, Heh, Vav, and Heh.

The numeric values of those letters are 10, 5, 6, and 5 respectively. If those four letters define God's name linearly as it were, then it follows that squaring them brings us to an awareness of God that is more spatial.

This process is similar to how we'd discover the area of a square field if we know the length of a side to be 10 yards. We square the line of 10 yards and obtain an area of 100 square yards.

What happens when we square these four letters?

Now, add together the four letters making up the Hebrew word MaKOM (place).

So, in a sense, the "area" of God's name gives us the Hebrew word for place,
MaKOM.

Thus, when a special place is chosen, it possesses spiritual significance. Yes, it is true that I can do my AVoDaH, meaning both my worship and my work serving others, almost anywhere. I can pray on the bow of my small boat anchored off an island in British Columbia and thereafter, I can open my laptop and write a Thought Tool intended to bring useful data into your life.

However, both my prayer and my work get an additional boost if I do them in a fixed place. Prayer is best when uttered in a space dedicated for that purpose and work flourishes when done in a place reserved for that purpose.

This is why one of the best ways of coping with the challenge of forcing yourself to focus on your work is to take yourself to the right MaKOM; the correct place for doing that work. Even if you must travel, it is beneficial to recreate the feel of your work or prayer place as much as possible. Sometimes, even just the action of picking yourself up and moving to the right MaKOM brings God's blessing to your efforts.

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When different names for God are used throughout Tanach, it reveals more than literary variation. Like MaKOM, each name has unique implications. If you enjoyed this Thought Tool you will love the deeper meanings of God's names that I reveal in our 2 audio CD set, The Gathering Storm: Decoding the Secrets of Noah. Suddenly, the dimensions given for the ark make sense in an astounding way. This resource will help you protect your family from troublesome times just as Noah was able to provide safety for his wife and children. Take advantage of special pricing right now.

2014 Rabbi Daniel Lapin - All Rights Reserved

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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

 


 

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We learn from ancient Jewish wisdom that Abraham had a regular place to speak with God. There he prayed for Sodom (Genesis 18:23). Amazingly, after God destroyed Sodom despite his prayers, Abraham returned to the same place to continue praying to God.