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G-d's Elevator Speech

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Do you have an elevator speech? In case you are not familiar with elevator speeches they are the thirty second pitch that you give to get noticed. It is called an elevator speech or pitch because it is meant to be very short so that if you meet someone in an elevator you can give them your pitch before the person gets off on his/her floor.
 
 
So, what are you to present in this short time? Somehow you are to get across who you are, your background, what you do and what you want – which could be a job, funding for a great project that you would like to initiate, or to snag a client. Of course you have to get your listener’s attention to hook them in. Short doesn’t mean you can be dull. You also have to make sure that your goal is clear. The idea is not just to introduce yourself. You must make a clear case for how you can help the company, organization or person that you want to be involved with in order to get them interested in you, your company and/or your project. It is important to get across the uniqueness of your product, company, project or yourself depending on your aim.
 
 
Even if you are not looking for a job or funding, this can be a useful exercise. And perhaps we should all try to figure out what we would say about our lives. Who are we? What do we believe in? What are we trying to achieve? You may never give your elevator speech, but it would give yourself a clear message/indication/ of what you want out of life.
 
 
Okay, so why am I talking about an elevator pitch? I think that I found God’s elevator pitch. No big surprise that it is said at least twice a day by observant Jews in the Shema. So what do I believe is God’s elevator speech? “I am Hashem, your God, who has removed you from the land of Egypt to be a God to you; I am Hashem your God.” This covers who God is, what He has done for us to make Him significant and what He wants: to be a God to us.
 
 
But, wait, isn’t God taking us out of Egypt a little out of date? How does that relate to us? Well, although our Jewish family began with Abraham, we didn’t become a nation until we left Egypt. And we are all supposed to feel as though we were slaves and were brought out of Egypt. This is a crucial part of our history.
 
 
The “I am Hashem your God” reiterates that this is still valid in the present. So, He has made His pitch. What do we do with it? Did it catch our attention? How do we evaluate it? Do we consider what He can actually do to help us?
 
 
Let’s check that this statement has all the components of an elevator speech. He tells us who He is, “I am Hashem, your God.” He tells us what He has done for us and what makes Him special, “who has removed you from the land of Egypt.” And what He wants to do for us, “to be a God to you.” And He sums up with His hope, dream, wish, statement, fact – that, “I am Hashem your God.”
 
 
It is now up to us to decide if we “hire” God. Has He shown that He can be relevant to us? What if you don’t believe that He took us out of Egypt? What if you don’t even believe that we were slaves in Egypt? Well, if someone comes to you with a pitch and tells you what they have done for another company, I guess that it is up to you to check it out if you have your doubts. God is saying that He cared about us and took us out of slavery. In fact, he states why He took us out: to be a God to us. In His extended version, God would explain how He gave us the Torah and took us to Israel. But not everything is in the past, as God finishes by saying, “I am Hashem your God.” In other words, He is still with us. He is still the same God and still doing things for us.
 
 
Did God get your attention? Will you give Him a try? Will you let Him into your life? Remember this is only God’s elevator pitch. He has a whole manual of ways to let Him into your life. Whether you currently try to follow all of what God wants from us or none at all, perhaps this is a good time to look at His manual again and examine if there isn’t something in there that you can connect with that you haven’t already. Try it out and see if possibly, even in some little way, God can be more present in your life this coming year.
 
May you have a healthy, meaningful, fulfilling year!
 
Marcia Goldlist is a regular contributor of blog postings on Jewish Values Online. She was the author of one of the blog postings selected for the Second Quarter 5779 Jewish Values Online Best Blogs.
 
Please note: All opinions expressed in Blog Postings and comments on the Jewish Values Online site and through Jewish Values Online are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views, thoughts, beliefs, or position of Jewish Values Online, or those associated with it.
 
 
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