Machon Daniel Torah Weekly
“To Light Up the Shabbos”
Letting Hashem into Your Life
“ובקשתם משם את ה’ אלקיך ומצאת כי תדרשנו בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך” (דברים ד:כט)
“And you shall reach out to Hashem your G-d from there and you shall find (Him) because you searched for Him with all your heart and all your soul” (Devorim 4:29)
There are people who claim that they cannot find G-d in their lives; that belief in Him is foreign to them. Others say that they believe in G-d but feel distant from Him.
The truth is that even a superficial look at our posuk will supply a person with an array of reasons why he may lack a feeling of closeness to Hashem, and as well the tools he may need to get close to Him.
The posuk begins “ובקשתם” / “And you shall reach out”. If you don’t “reach out to Hashem” you won’t find Him. And, if one reaches out to Hashem and still does not find Him, it is because he did not “search for Him” as it’s written “כי תדרשנו“. If he searched for Hashem and still did not find Him, it is because he did not search “בכל לבבך” / “with all your heart”. If he searched with all his heart and still feels estranged, it is because he did not search “בכל נפשך” / “with all your soul”.
If he did all the above and still does feel a closeness to Hashem, it is a sign that he did not reach out to Hashem “משם” / “from there”. That is, either he did not do serious self-evaluation and was not aware of or ignored his lackings and therefore did not do teshuva in order to uproot them in order to purify himself before he attempts to approach Hashem Who is Pure or he ignored his true spiritual level and tried to jump up the rungs of the ladder of closeness to Hashem beyond his level or capabilities. Rather he has to reach to Hashem “משם” / “from there”, from his true level!
If this as well he did correctly and even so still feels distant from Hashem, he should know that his whole approach is wrong. Meaning, he has shown that he is not interested in moving close to Hashem, rather he wants Hashem to move close to him. In other words, his service of G-d is not for G-d’s sake but for his own benefit. And so says Dovid Hamelech (Tehillim 145:18) “קרוב ה’ לכל קוראיו לכל אשר יקראוה באמת” / “Hashem is near to all who call to Him; to all who call to Him in truth”. “באמת” / “in truth”, meaning for Hashem’s sake!
If all his efforts were for G-d’s sake and he still feels distant from Hashem, this is because he considers G-d to be limited by the structure and rules of this world. Against this approach the posuk says ומצאת”” / “and you shall find (Him)”, meaning that it is not possible to find Hakadosh Baruch Hu if you attempt to do so based on earth-bound rules. Rather, one has to first come to the awareness that Hakadosh Baruch Hu is beyond all earthly borders and therefore He can only be “found”! Only then can one contemplate the idea of coming close to Hashem. This is as the posuk states “ויאמר ה’ הנה המקום איתי” / “And Hashem said, behold the place is with me” (Shemos 33:21), and Rashi comments that it does not say “I am in a place”, rather “the place is with me”, for Hakadosh Baruch Hu is the “place” of the world and His world is not His “place”.
We learn from the above that before our eyes sits a clear and detailed map not only of how to “find” Hashem but also how to reach toward Him and to cling to Him. Therefore, if a person finds himself feeling distant from Hashem, he needs only to dwell on the great wisdom found in Hashem’s living words and to find the area in which he needs to strengthen himself. If he does so, he is sure to find Hashem in his life!
Menachem Av 5777