Makom Community: An Origin Story


This week we are exploring a text that is near and dear to Makom Community's personal history. We are looking at the story of Yaakov and the dream he had in a very special makom (place). In this dream, Yaakov receives some important information about his future: he is lying on the VERY land that his descendants will inherit, and God will protect them until they all safely return thereYaakov finds his dream awe-inspiring: he learns about his future, finds God standing next to him, and watches angels go up and down a ladder. In this makom, Yaakov becomes who he is meant to be. Our hope is that Makom Community is a place where all of us can become who we are meant to be, too. 

What do you already know about what a makom is? 

  • It's not ordinary! 
  • We learn stories of Avraham's son Yitzhak and his kids Yaakov & Esav when we're here. 
  • NO work like school! And definitely no grades. 
  • We say brachot (blessings) before we eat! Ya know, to say thank you. 

What are places where you especially connect with God or something bigger than yourself? 

  • Here, because of what we learn! 
  • When I was standing next to an impressively big tree that went all the way up to the sky, and I realized God is even bigger.  
  • In a store with lots of toys. I was connected to all the ways someone could be happy! 
  • At the movies. 
  • Florida because there are beautiful iguanas. 
  • My room makes me feel safe and happy because it’s all mine. 
  • My beanbag with a blanket and a candle makes me feel *does a bwahhh sound with a relaxed exhale*. 
  • In my dad’s arms, I feel all the feelings. 
  • In the morning when I wake up. 

What would a place where you can connect with God or something bigger than yourself look like? How do you know? 

  • It would be me alone on a sidewalk with God in the sky. I know God is there because it's private. There are no interruptions or distractions. 
  • It would look like the ladder we're learning about in the story. It's a place where something makes a connection between the ground and the sky for God to come to us. 
  • think  the rain forest because it's quiet there. 
  • It would be me dancing with everyone else on the world. The dancing is our conversation with God. 
  • It would be the world because God is everywhere. 

How was Yaakov able to notice God in the makom? 

  • He felt it in his own heart. 
  • He dreamed. 
  • God was in his dream. 
  • When you dream you think of stuff you haven’t thought of before and then it occurs to you when you wake up. 
  • He felt a powerful connection when he was right there, and he felt that the powerful connection was God. 
  • It was scary and holy at the same time, scoly. 

 What can we do to notice God in ordinary places? 

  • Dream and notice our dreams! 
  • Feel God. 
  • You have to sleep so you can have dreams with God in them. 
  • Close my eyes when I'm awake to be more like a dream. 

When asked how Makom Community got its name, one wise 4th grader had this to say: “It’s a special place where maybe Gods presence is, because Yaakov’s makom had God’s presence in it. And also Makom Community is a place where we can be ourselves and where we can help other people be themselves.”  We feel lucky every day that we get to learn and play together in such a special and loving makom.