Home » Blog » Have You Ever Experienced Holiness?

Have You Ever Experienced Holiness?

I am captivated by our Biblical ancestor Jacob’s sudden connection with holiness. In the middle of nowhere, he experienced the Holy One. At a moment when he least expected it, he touched the Sacred. What was this all about? Where was this place?
My friend, Rabbi Martin S. Lawson, in a Torah commentary, Our Place And God’s Place, wrote:
One of the recurring words in the portion provides a clue to Jacob’s life and to ours. That word is makom, meaning “place,” and it occurs seven times in the first ten verses. On this perilous journey fleeing from his past, Jacob comes bamakom, “upon the place,” and decides to spend the night there. The text itself does not tell us where this was.… It is to this very spot that Jacob flees from his brother Esau’s anger. It is the spot from which Jacob takes a stone to form a pillow and where he lies down. In this place, Jacob dreams of the stairway linking earth and heaven. He awakens, transformed by the night vision. Now he is able to see, to sense Hamakom, a euphemism for the Divine Presence. Just as his grandfather before him came to understand what God asked of him, so now Jacob enters into a relationship with Hamakom–with the ultimate “Place,” with God. Suddenly Jacob is more aware of the task that lies before him. But he still wants to negotiate, to bargain for his way of doing things. Do we bargain like a Jacob? He still is not fully transformed, despite his awareness of the Divine. Are we able to remain in full contact with our highest spiritual self at every moment? Like Jacob, each of us must shake ourselves awake and search for the sense of wonder that he experienced in that lonely place. Jacob cries out, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the abode of God, and that is the gateway to heaven” (Genesis 28:17).
Have you ever had a sudden experience of holiness? Of being connected with something greater than yourself? Have you ever experienced God’s presence in your life? Do tell…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *