August 21, 2022, Israel
Teaching the IKI Krav Maga approach to gun defense, Sardinia, Italy
“On the Third day, and Abraham raised up his eyes and saw the place from a distance.” (Genesis, Bereshith, Chapter 22, verse 4)
ַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי וַיִּשָּׂא אַבְרָהָם אֶת עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא אֶת הַמָּקוֹם מֵרָחֹק" (בראשית כב, ד) "
Our daily prayers contain the story of the Binding of Isaac, the Biblical story about how God asked Abraham to sacrifice his long awaited first born son, Isaac, and then God taught us all a lesson by forever banning human sacrifice. I have already written two blogs on the topic of "The Third Day". (I will include the links below and they are also in the book "Biblical Lesson from Martial Artists"). But we say the Torah/Hebrew Bible contains infinite lesson, "there are 70 faces to the Torah", and we can always learn new lessons. and so this morning in the synagogue as I read the words again, another thought hit me. On the third day, Abraham raised up his eyes and saw the place from a distance. Distance. the question is can we see something from a distance?
A person wants to learn a new language, and naturally he is met with many difficulties. Learning a new language is very challenging and most fail. A person wants to lose weight, they lose a few pounds, or kilos, and then hit an obstacle, and lose hope. When it comes to fitness, weight loss, learning a new language or learning a musical instrument, the vast majority of learners quit before they achieve anything of value. Even when I was in university, doing my graduate program in Business and Economics, I was told that 65% of those who are accepted into the program and begin the program, never complete it. At the same time I was a student in the Oyama Kyokushin dojo in New York City, and I was told the same, of 1,000 who put on the white belt perhaps 4 will someday wear the black belt.
And what distinguishes those who achieve their goals? What separates them from the vast majority of give up?
I know the answer.
I know the answer from two perspectives; one because I have lived it, and the second from this Biblical passage. The Torah is teaching us the word Distance. Abraham saw the place from a distance, on the third day.
It was not the first day, it was not the second day, but only on the third day could he see the place "from a distance", from afar. Imagine all those who dug for oil and gave up just before hitting black goal, Texas tea. Imagine all those who opened a business but gave up before achieving their success. The lesson is we need to stick to our goals and see things from afar. We did not see it on the first day, but we continued. We did not see it on the second day, but we continued. On the third day we still did not see it but, at this point we could see it from afar, at a distance. attach a link to my book at the end of this blog. Can you see your goal from a distance? Can you work towards a goal that does not offer immediate gratification. Can you imagine how great it would be to speak Spanish fluently to the locals in Mexico? Can you imagine your pride at achieving a legitimate black belt? Are you capable of seeing things from a distance? That is what will determine if you are among those who achieve their goals in life or if you will be among those who are always bitter, "a day late and dollar short", "would have, could have, should have", nearly finished my college degree, almost earned my black belt, nearly opened that dream store; the masses of humanity that sit on their rocking chairs and speak of their bad luck in life. As one of our members recently posted; are you a product of your circumstances or of your life decisions? And Abraham saw "The Place", his destination, from afar. Can you see yours?
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