I returned to Van Cortland Park today for the first time since the winter began. A four and half mile walk is, well, a walk in the park compared to an hour on a treadmill. (On My Terms) It’s not simply that I can fool myself into believing that I burned more calories when there is no monitor measuring my progress. I am far more comfortable in the park. There are all sorts of people, not just muscle men and people far thinner than am I. There are old people and young, men and women, fat and thin, fast walkers and slow. The people in the gym are nice. Many refer to me as Miracle Man because they remember how I first arrived in the gym using a walker. Others call me String Man in honor of my Tzitzit. They are helpful and warm, but they are generally in far better physical condition. I fit in better with the other park walkers. |
But the main difference is not the people; it’s the location. I remember a real estate agent telling me that it’s all about “Location, location, location!” She was right. The location makes all the difference in the world. I am outside in middle of nature. I have a sense of freedom that isn’t there in the gym. I think well. I come up with ideas for the blog and lectures, which doesn’t often happen in the gym. I relax and consider the time productive. My time on the treadmill is a burden. Location matters when I walk, as it does when I learn, pray, or eat.
The Children of Israel did not really have a place in Egypt. They did not belong to society. Yet, out they go, into the desert, again without a sense of place. They may have been in a camp, in their own tents, but I imagine they felt displaced all those years in the desert, never knowing when the cloud would rise and they would have to pick up and move yet again. It’s not surprising that the verse does not describe God dancing, or passing over, the people; it says that God danced over their Homes, their place, as if God was nurturing a sense of place for them, even as their bags were placed and they were dressed for travel, knowing that they would soon be traveling. They were creating a place for themselves when they placed the blood on their doorposts and lintels. No wonder they were not allowed to move outside of their homes while eating their Pesach Offering. It’s all about location.
They learned that a person does not need to have something permanent in order to have a sense of a place all their own. This is why the Sages teach that we create a space of four cubits around ourselves when we pray or study Torah. We can create a place for ourselves wherever we go. No wonder we refer to God as Hamakom – The Omnipresent – in the Haggadah! We gained the ability to create our own special locations for ourselves wherever we go as part of gaining freedom. We can move around and make that special “location,” with everything we do.
Author Info: Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.
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