Rabbi’s Corner

Remembering to seek G-d

One time there was a little boy who was playing the classic game of hide-and-go-seek. At one point in the game, while he was hiding, his peers got busy with something else, and instead of looking for their friend, they left him hiding there, while they went along their way with some new pursuit.

After a while, the little boy realized what had happened. He came out and ran to his father crying. When his father asked what was wrong, he told him how hurt he was. He was hiding only in order to be found, but they forgot about him.

His father, who was the famous Maggid of Mezritch [an itinerant preacher], began to cry as well. Why are you crying, asked his son? Because, answered the father, G-d has the same complaint.

The explanation of the Maggid’s response is based in Hasidic philosophy: G-d Almighty is not only the creator, but even more so, he is present everywhere in his creation. This means that G-d can be found in everything. Even so, there is a big caveat — He hides himself. When we look around we see neighbors, bananas, a desk, or a gym, and not G-dliness. So much so is G-d hidden that, unbelievably, we are able to walk around here and say “What G-d? I don’t believe in G-d.”

In the game hide-and-go-seek, the pleasure is in the discovery of a well hidden player. At times, squeals of excitement can be heard (despite the fact that shortly beforehand the same two individuals were face to face). So too, G-d deliberately conceals Himself so that we shall remember Him, seek Him, discover Him and find Him. He wants to have a meaningful relationship with His children, but realizes that a commodity is rarely treasured when it is not earned. The effort of acquisition is what creates appreciation. And so, He decided to hide Himself.

How much of a shame then, should we forget to seek. Since we wouldn’t want to hurt G-d, let us instead be more mindful of Him, of our relationship with Him, and of performing His desires which He has expressed in His holy Torah.

And finally, as we all know, the game has an ending. G-d will come out of His hiding. One of the 13 principles of Jewish faith (see Maimonides) is that the world will reach its culmination through a leader who arises called the Moshiach (the Messiah). Under his helm, the world arrives at its redemption. And the essence of that era of Moshiach is — “The world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the ocean bed.” (Isaiah 11:9) It’s when G-d reveals Himself, and his truths become plainly obvious to everybody. May it be speedily in our days.