One of the names of G-d is known as the name 42. In Hebrew, G-d the “blessed” the one who “blesses”, begins with this very same number and name, 42. It’s no wonder that when the Israelites traveled from Egypt their place of slavery and where they were born as an independent people, until they reached the ultimate destination, the land of Israel, there were….. you guessed it, 42 journeys.
Our sages tell us, life is a series of journeys and growths, until we reach the ultimate. All told, everyone must go through all 42 stops and growths. In the number 42 there is the blessings and the path of G-d.
Every day too, is a world unto itself and from the moment we wake up until we conclude the day and make it a productive day where meaningful destinations were reached, there is a series of stops and goes. This all begins with our morning prayers, the booster rockets for the rest of the day.
Prayer done properly, elevates a person from the ground he is on to a much higher rung and perspective in life. Prayer is a “ladder firmly embedded in the ground with its top in the heavens.” In our morning prayers there are many elevations possible that have the power to raise and uplift a person from the “narrow and constricted, to the wide and expansive”. And then again, the next day, we begin from where we left off, to continue moving and transporting ourselves higher and higher.
First, a person both mentally and physically must prepare themselves for this exercise. Before one stands in front of the infinite G-d he must disengage and detach from the thoughts and surroundings of this world. They must purify and cleanse themselves of the dirt and distractions of this world. The code of Jewish law says, we must cleanse our bodies and wash our hands before we can approach the holy.
Internally and externally. The radios, TV, smartphone, news of the day etc. are all impediments and obstructions in the effort to plug in and connect the soul inside, with G-d, to influence the mind and the emotions with stronger and deeper vibrations.
The first expression and the first actual phase in our prayers, designed by the prophets and Rabbis of the great assembly, is to acknowledge and subordinate to G-d. The only true and everlasting existence in the universe is G-d. All that the physical eye sees is an illusion that appears real but is really not. "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Albert Einstein
This first meditation elevates the person from the finite natural constraints he has come to believe are immutable. The person becomes aware of a spiritual element that broadens his perspective and possibilities and becomes an exodus from the plateau he was on not too many minutes before this.
In our daily prayers and exercises connecting with G-d out there and inside ourselves, there are generally four stages until we reach the highest for which we stand and is known as the “eighteen blessings prayer.”
At this point, the person should be so fired up absorbed and fixated on the real deeper reality and meaning to life, so completely freshly excited and yet humbled, he feels he can’t even speak on his own, with his own thoughts, and he prays, “G-d open my lips so my mouth can express its praise for You.”
At this point, a person knows they are never alone. They will feel, G-d is the source and everything makes sense for the good.
And this begins all over again, like taking a shower or eating breakfast every morning, from the experiences of yesterday to the new challenges of the day ahead.
No matter how many days we already prayed and connected, life is a constant journey moving higher and higher. No matter what level a person begins his journey from, the Egypt of today, “the road of a million miles begins with the first step.”