Facetiming with G-d

Thursday, 7 February, 2019 - 11:33 pm

Song of Songs, 8:1 says “O, that you were like my brother.” Our sages explain that this verse laments the loss of the close relationship we enjoyed with Hashem when our Sanctuary (Temple) was extant. This love was symbolized by the Keruvim, which had the likeness of two people lovingly facing each other. As our Parsha states, “the cherubim shall have their wings spread upwards… with their faces toward one another…” This represents the closeness and love that Hashem projected to us, as well as the closeness and love that we projected to Hashem. But alas the sanctuary was destroyed and the Keruvim are no longer visible; so how do we access that feeling of love from and to Hashem?

The Talmud teaches, “ever since the Temple was destroyed G-d can be accessed in the “four cubits of Halacha.” Meaning, that Torah study is the way that one can capture an element of that loving, face to face relationship with Hashem. As Tanya (Ch. 5) explains, “Through Torah study a person can grasp and envelop the Divine Wisdom, whilst simultaneously being enveloped and grasped within It. This is a wonderful union, like which there is none other, and which has no parallel anywhere in the material world, whereby complete oneness and unity, from every side and angle, could be attained.” One can completely hug and envelop Hashem while being hugged and enveloped by Hashem at the same time. To put it in contemporary terms, Torah study is like Facetiming with G-d.

One of the reasons that G-d’s love is expressed through Torah and vice-versa, is because Torah empowers us and gives us the means by which to introduce and reveal G-dliness and a G-dly purpose into our world, which appears to be so disparate from G-dliness. This is G-d’s purpose for all of creation. So He is heavily invested in its achievement, as should we be.

So the next time you are lamenting your inability to experience a closeness to Hashem the way they had it in the olden days… know that it is within your reach. Crack open a volume of Chumash, Talmud, Halacha, Midrash, or Chassidus and start Facetiming with G-d. Put some feeling into the experience, and you may just begin to feel the love.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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