Stay focused while navigating the distractions

  • ParshaRabbiBacher
They call it “dumbwalking” nowadays. When we space out of our bricks and mortar world and into that new digital world order. Watching the display on those small screens on our phones, our minds and attention are captured by these new phenomena.
by Rabbi Sholem Bacher, Blairgowrie Hebrew Centre | Nov 02, 2017

How powerful is our capacity to multi-task the human and digital worlds? Will this capability allow us to traverse these two worlds simultaneously?

Some of us will manage better than others, but most will falter in some way. It is a colossal challenge to meaningful human interaction, because people crave communication that is focused without distraction.

When the Torah says that “Adam knew Eve”’, the predominant message is the experience of human intimacy. There is also a general lesson about human interaction. The most powerful communication is about focus without any distraction.

Any communication between human beings, no matter how trivial, will ultimately be measured for focus, and level of distraction.

G-d too, expects us to dedicate ourselves entirely to hHim when hHe interacts with us. A Mmitzvah performed, or prayers offered, must be infused with the correct “kKavanah.. That being an inspiration and thought process dedicated exclusively to Hashem and the fulfilment of hHis will.

When G-d revealed himself to Avraham, at the plains of Mamreh, to visit hHim after the fulfilment of the Mmitzvah of Bbris Mmilah, this was a most powerful interaction. The cCreator of the world  communicating directly with Avraham, founder of our Nnation and great leader of the nations of the world.

Who would dare to interrupt such an encounter at all?  Yet, apparently the arrival of three unknown guests, angels in the form of men, causes Avraham to do exactly this.

Surprisingly Avraham (as if it were so) puts G-d on hold. Hashem hHimself is left “listening to the switchboard music” as Avraham goes off to honour his unknown guests. This in today’s language is like Avraham taking out his cell phone to check his messages while G-d waits on standby.

Hachnosas Orchim the Mmitzvah cherished by Avraham of honouring guests, is apparently deemed more important than receiving the Shechinah, the dDivine presence of Hashem as it manifests in the world.

By doing this Avraham is fulfilling Hashems’ will and performing his Mmitzvah. That is not a distraction at all or a loss of focus. Rather a deed that re -enforces and strengthens their bond, not an interruption at all.

Can we (as if it were so) place G-d on hold? Can we say, Hhey G-d please wait a few moments while we take care of the guests? The answer is yes, because it is done so in order to take care of G-ds own children.

As we navigate the virtual distractions in the real world we need to stay focused. To give others, especially our dear ones, the time and attention they deserve and to serve Hashem without distraction. A life interwoven with Torah and Mmitzvahs, is a life completely focused on communication with Hashem.


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