I have been asked on occasion, before undertaking a new business initiative, if I have obtained the blessing of a Rabbi. Here in the secular, material post-modern western world, this is not question to which most people can relate, especially in
We are religious in the observance of the secular commandments that are essential to our success in business. We go to networking events. We use Facebook and Twitter to help make our websites socially relevant. I’m 57 years old, and suddenly I find myself “tweeting” to an audience, even writing a blog. We must pay homage to the secular god of our day and age, Google, in order that we may land on the sacred first page of web searches for our services. Does it not also make sense to ask the true G-d of the universe to help us comprehend the mystery of Google’s algorithms, and help us achieve our business goals? It doesn’t if we don’t believe in Him. It doesn’t if we believe that after creating the world, He deserted his post. It does, if we believe that He is within each of us, guiding the destiny of the world and of all living things.
In order to seek out the blessing of a Rabbi or spiritual leader of another faith, you have to first believe that obtaining such a blessing would in some way be effectual. In the Jewish faith, some figures of particularly righteous character are believed to be capable of channeling G-d’s good will upon another. Years ago, people would stand on line for hours to obtain the blessing of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the famed Lubavitcher Rebbe. We learn from the Torah that even the blessing of an ordinary man, even a thief and a scoundrel can be beneficial.
Most people that I know believe in G-d, but their ideas about the subject are very fuzzy. Since G-d is an abstraction, most people do not relate to Him/Her in a concrete way, except through formal prayer, in synagogue and in church, and other houses of worship. Most American Jews to not take a proactive role in prayer. They rely on defense. They go to synagogue once a year, (if they go at all), on the ominous Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, to ask forgiveness for their transgressions.
The Jewish religion also affords an individual an opportunity to ask for G-d’s blessing, in the form of ritualized prayer, three times a day. There is an optional prayer that one may insert in each prayer service that relates specifically to livelihood.
I recall a cartoon I once saw in a magazine of a man pleading with G-d to make him a lottery winner. It showed a large dark cloud in the sky above him. A zigzag lightning bolt emanated from the cloud along with a booming heavenly response: “At least buy a ticket.”
That’s the message of this muse. If we want G-d to grant us success in business, perhaps we should consider buying the ticket.
Happy holidays to all.