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where is God?

05/26/2022 07:16:44 AM

May26

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

Our Biblical ancestors seemed to have a personal relationship with God. Of greatest prominence was Moses, whom we are told spoke with God face to face. God spoke with the prophets in dreams, as we read of Isaiah’s vision of the cohort of angels reciting “Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh…” when God entered, and as we read of Ezekiel’s vision of God’s heavenly chariot. Both of these visions are the texts of the Haftarot for both days of Shavuot, which begins after Shabbat on June 4. While Shavuot commemorates the receipt of Torah at Mt. Sinai, equally important is God’s revelation to all of Israel. The experience was so awesome for the Israelites that they bade Moses represent them before God, which Moses did. Transparent disclaimer: At our communal Shavuot-athon, which will be in-person this year, I will be teaching about this.

Where is God today? Why don’t we have the miraculous events of the Bible occurring? I believe that God is all around us, ever-present in our lives, but we do not recognize God’s presence.  Whether it might be the rabbit ears of the past, gently turning the knob of the tuner, or checking how many signal bars you have on your cell phone, our devices are not in consonance with God. That disconnection comes solely from our end, so we are the ones who must work to restore the faulty connection.

Every time we love our neighbor as ourselves, God is present. With the birth of every child, God is present. When we turn to God in time of need, God is present. When we help the needy, the orphan, the widow and the stranger, God is present. Because God is not visible, and graven images are forbidden, we turn to faith to provide reassurance that God is present. When faith falters, as it can to any of us, we can feel the absence of God. There are many paths to God, and each of us has to find the path that works best. Do not despair if you are not sure how the Divine GPS works, or what road map you need. The Torah is our road map, and has effectively offered the path for over 3,000 years.

What I find effective in reaching out to God might not work for anyone else, and that is okay. What I can do is confidently state that when I seek God and feel God’s presence, I have experienced a soothing reassurance that God hears my plea and comforts me. But one has to be open to the possibility that this can occur. Openness to God’s presence is a necessary precursor to experiencing God. One who does not believe that this is possible has put up many roadblocks that make a straight path to God impossible. It is only when the barriers are removed, and the potential for a relationship with God is acknowledged, can one find God.

God is omnipresent. The challenge for each of us is:  are we open to the possibility? Are we willing to keep the door to God open 24/7?

Sat, July 2 2022 3 Tammuz 5782