The Jewish Secret of Success

Judaism makes a very strange statement about God and creation. "God looked in the Torah and created the world." This is a puzzling saying, since the Torah describes life IN the physical world, and even tells us historical events that occurred. How could that pre-date the existence of the world?

Well it doesn't, because the Torah that God looked in is the Torah of the spirit, before it was committed to physical words. What we have is just the This-World translation of spiritual essence that we are not able to fully grasp.

In other words, the Torah is the timeless truths that govern the Universe. If you wish to succeed in this Universe, you must live according to those timeless truths. You must live according to the Torah.

However there are many Torah observant people who are not successes in business and other important areas of life. Keeping the commandments is NOT the secret, and is no guarantee of a six-figure income and daily sunshine. Is there?

I think there may very well be, and it is hidden in the most mundane of sections of the Torah, the beginning of the Book of Numbers. As the name implies, there are a lot of numbers here. We have chapter after chapter of the names of the tribes, their leaders, exactly how many people were in each, where they camped, where they marched in the procession of Israel through the desert on their way to the Holy Land, etc... Very dry stuff and, seemingly, very unimportant except for perhaps a history trivia buff.

Isn't this the Book of the Law? Shouldn't we be focusing on how to live our daily and communal lives? Why should I care how many people were in the tribe of Gad and where they camped relative to the other eleven tribes?

A recent study was made testing the conditions of creativity.Two groups were given a task to come up with a creative idea in the area of communications, for example. One group was given free reign, and the other group had to meet certain criteria relating to cost, specific types of communication, and so forth. You might expect the first group to have an easier time coming up with great ideas, because they weren't so limited as the other group.

And yet, the latter group outdid the first. How? Because of a law of the universe. We may think of rules as limiting, but in truth, anarchy is more limiting. The worst enemy of brilliance is a lack of focus. A framework creates DIRECTION, which focuses energy and enable more intense achievement. In other words, ORDER is the fuel of excellence. Chaos is the fuel of failure. The Universe is orderly, the opposite of random. Live in harmony with that rule, and you harness the core power of the Universe.

There is a story of two sages who were about to depart the Land of Israel. When they came to the first town outside the Land, they saw people planting when they should have been plowing, harventing when they should have been pruning, and such. They cried, and returned to Israel, where people were planting when they should plant, harvest when they should harvest. In other words, the Land of Israel is a land of Order, and order is the fuel of growth and success. It is the frame that gives focus and energy.

Thus, at our nation's birth, we are told exactly who is where, how many, and when they each travel in succession. The details of the Order of the Israelites is not by accident. The Torah is telling us that if we wish to grow as a successful nation, we must be orderly. We must have rules and rituals. We must keep our space clean and our work sequenced. Instead of limiting us, they focus and empower us.

And remember, the ceremony we observe commemorating our nations founding takes place on Passover eve, and it is called a Seder. Seder means Order!

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