Where God Resides

"The only path to remain safe is to return to Monotheism (believing in the Oneness of God) and justice, and this is the greatest hope and opportunity in all ages and generations (Ahmadinejad's speech to the UN General Assembly, 2009).

"Yet in one’s awareness of God’s Unity and through self-nullification before Him, one does come close to God, by this God makes an abode with us and in within us" (Tanya Chapter 33). 

Rabbi Tovia Singer: Did Someone Find the Doctrine of the Trinity In the Name of God? Why is God’s Name “Elohim” Plural? 

 

”Make His will as if it were your own will, so that God will treat your will as if it were His will. Nullify your will before His will, so that God will nullify the will of others before your will” (Pirkei Avot 2:4).

"It is well known that the Patriarchs themselves constitute the "Chariot." For throughout their lives they never for a moment ceased from binding their mind and soul to the Lord of the universe, with the aforementioned absolute surrender to His blessed Unity.

I.e., their constant awareness of G‑d’s unity led them to be continuously in a state of self-nullification before G‑d; and, as explained more fully in ch. 23, this self-nullification is what is meant by the term “chariot”, a vehicle submissive to the will of its pilot.

Likewise were all the Prophets after them, each according to the station of his soul and the degree of his apprehension, The rank of our teacher Moses, peace to him, surpassed them all, for concerning him it was said, "The Shechinah speaks out of Moses' throat."

His was such a total surrender to G‑dliness, that the very words he uttered were Divine speech; the relation of Moses’ throat to Divine speech was that of one’s throat to his own speech.

Something of this [union] the Israelites experienced at Mount Sinai, but they could not endure it, as the Rabbis say, "At each [Divine] utterance their souls took flight,..." which is an indication of the extinction of their existence, of which we spoke above.

Therefore G-d at once commanded that a Sanctuary be made for Him, with the Holy of Holies for the presence of His Shechinah, which is the revelation of His blessed Unity, as will be explained later... The Alter Rebbe points out below that when one specific place is singled out as an abode for G‑d’s presence, despite the fact that “his glory fills the entire earth,” the uniqueness of this site lies in the revelation  of G‑dliness which occurs there.

In contrast to the rest of the world, where G‑d’s unity as the sole existing being stands concealed, in “the abode of G‑d’s presence” it is clearly apparent that

“there is naught besides Him.” We thus see that the revelation of G‑d’s unity which the Jewish people experienced at Mount Sinai, but which they could not endure, was continued by means of the Sanctuary.

Ever since the Temple was destroyed, “the four cubits of the Halachah” — i.e., Torah study — is the only sanctuary and abode which the Holy One, blessed be He, has in His world; i.e., Torah is the only abode for the revelation of His unity (Tanya, Likutei Amarim, Chapter 34).

AUDIO: Temple Talk! Join Rabbi Chaim Richman and Reb Yitzchak Reuven as they deliver another inspiring radio show on the importance of rebuilding the Holy Temple!

 

God’s Unity in the Light of Torah purify my soul
illuminates and brings gladness to my
heart and the world is filled with His glory...

How can we benefit from a candle in daylight?

Of course, the candle is no less shining by day than by night.
But because its light is overwhelmed by the far greater
luminous intensity of daylight, the candle no longer fulfills its function as light... At this point the candle cease to exist as light.

In this way also the rays of the sun, as they are within the sun.
Like this is the very existence of the world –
and everything in it – nullified in relation to its source,
which is in the light of God’s Unity – that He alone exists,
and there is nothing besides Him.

My heart rejoice in this faith which gladdens my soul
this very faith fills my mind and brings me close to God...

That God should have an abode here below…

An earthly dwelling place for God
is the purpose of creation...
Man’s faith in God’s Unity fulfills this goal.

For when God’s Unity is revealed in the mind and in the heart of men, then this world will be an abode for God.

He is revealed there just as one reveals himself completely in his own home...

How great is the joy of a common and humble person when he is brought close to a king of flesh and blood, who furthermore lodges and even greater – still dwells together with him – not in the king’s palace, but in his home.

How much more, infinitely more – my heart rejoices – in the nearness of the King of Kings, the Holy One of Israel, and in His abode together with man in this physical world, man’s home.

“And their prince shall be of themselves, and their ruler shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto Me; for who is he that hath pledged his heart to approach unto Me? saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 30:21, Daniel 7:13-14).

Yet in one’s awareness of God’s unity and through self-nullification before Him, one does come close to God, by this God makes an abode with us and in within us (Tanya Chapter 33).

As explained by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi: This is what man is all about; this is the purpose of his creation and of the creation of all the worlds, higher and lower--that there be made for God a dwelling in the lower realms (in each and everyone of us). 

"As the six-day workweek culminates in Shabbat, so, too, will the six millennia of our workand toil to make the world a home for G-d culminate in the Messianic Era -- "the day that is wholly Shabbat and tranquility, for life everlasting" – Nachmanides (commentary on Gen. 1). 
 

The Redemption from Eretz Tzafonah - a world of darkness? Tzafon means "north" and derives from the Ugaritic for the "hidden or dark region", hence its additional Hebrew meaning of concealed....

He created a world of darkness: Darkness is just the concealment of light, and exists only to challenge us to defeat it, through man's transforming the darkness into light, ie., the evil into goodness.
 

This concealment is an integral component of the intent of Creation, viz.,that (Tanya Ch. 36, citing Midrash Tanchuma, Naso 7:1). "The Holy One, blessed be He, desired to have a dwelling place among the mortals.In order to materialize this intent, God created a world in which the Divine Light is so imperceptible that the world seems to enjoy an existence separate and independent of its Creator. And precisely in the midst of such a seemingly lowly world, He seeks to find a dwelling place.

The task of building this dwelling God entrusted to the Jewish people, 
He created a world of darkness, and commanded His people ("Man's soul is the Lord's lamp" Prov. 20:27), to illuminate it with mitzvot and Torah; "for a commandment is a lamp and the Torah is light" (Prov. 6:23).
 
"Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; though I am fallen, I shall arise; though I sit in darkness, the LORD is a light unto me" (Michah 7:8). "For You are my lamp, O' Lord; And the Lord does light my darkness" (2 Samuel 22:29). "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?.." Psalm 27:1-3). 
 
God's salvation program for mankind is through man's personal decision to turn away from evil and choose good:  In no part of the Bible is this more evident than in the Book of Job. In the first chapter of Job, Satan appears with other angels before God and suggests that Job's steadfast faithfulness would not withstand personal pain and utter destitution. Satan then requests from God the chance to test Job's virtue. The Almighty grants this request, but He meticulously outlines for Satan what he may and may not do when putting Job to the test. Satan obediently follows his Creator's instructions.

Job is immediately put to the test and, by the third chapter, begins to struggle. He questions his Maker as to why he was created and, in a moment of despair, wishes aloud that he had perished in his mother's womb. Still, by the end of this unparalleled biblical narrative,
Job's virtue prevails over Satan's unyielding torment. While in Christian terms Job's personal spiritual triumph is a theological impossibility, in Jewish terms it stands out as the embodiment of God's salvation program for mankind" 
 
"The Hebrew scriptures explicitly declare that the Almighty Himself places both the good and the evil that He created before mankind in order to provide His prime creation with free will. Deuteronomy 30:15 states, "See, I [God] have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil." In Isaiah 45:7, the prophet describes God's creation plan when he reports that, "I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things."

These edifying verses underscore the fundamental biblical teaching that it is the perfect spiritual balance of good and evil in the world that confronts every searching soul. This is the
Almighty's divine sovereign plan for creation: It is through man's personal decision to turn away from evil and choose good that virtue can be attained" (Rabbi Tovia Singer).
 
"When life takes a turn through a dark tunnel, we should remember the light at the end. The darkness is a ploy by the forces of evil to cut us off from our holy Source. The darkness doesn’t necessarily come from forces without - It can also come from within..." (Rabbi Yitzchok Rubin). 
 
Isaiah 58:6-11 "...Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and moaning poor you shall bring home; when you see a naked one, you shall clothe him, and from your flesh you shall not hide.

Then your light shall break forth as the dawn, and your healing shall quickly sprout, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall gather you in. Then you shall call and the Lord shall answer, you shall cry and He shall say, "Here I am," if you remove perverseness from your midst, putting forth the finger and speaking wickedness.

And you draw out your soul to the hungry (with consolations of good words), and an afflicted soul you sate, then your light (soul) shall shine in the darkness, and your darkness shall be like noon.
 
And the Lord shall always lead you, and He shall satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; and you shall be like a well-watered garden and like a spring of water whose water does not fail. And [those coming] from you shall build ancient ruins, foundations of generations you shall erect, and you shall be called the repairer of the breaches, restorer of the paths, to dwell in."
 
Restorer of the wicked to the Torah, which insures the settlement of the world (Rashi). 
 

Proverbs 25:21-22 "If your enemy (or the Evil Inclination) is hungry, feed him bread (of Torah), and if he is thirsty, give him water (of Torah) to drink; for you will be scooping coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you." If you are good to your enemy, he will be ashamed of his behavior toward you, and God will cause him to make peace (Shalom) with you.

”The Lord lives, blessed is my Rock. My soul glories in the Lord For the Lord shall light my candle (of Mitzvah). His light (of the Torah) shining above my head...” (Prov. 6:23). When Job was at the height of his greatness as a most respected sage, elder, leader and protector of his people, he guided them through the darkness with the light of God's Torah (Job 29:3).

 ”The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want By restful waters He shall guide me. He gives bread to all flesh. My daily portion He provides me... May it be Your will, You my  Holy God. To set before me a table anoint my head with oil..."

A Psalm 23:5 of David: You set a table for me in full view of my enemies; You anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows with goodness...”

”They all look to You with hope, to give their food in its time. You give them that they may gather; You open Your hand that they may be sated with goodness...” (Psalms 104:27-28).

 

Where God Resides: Although HaShem is everywhere in the world, He is still hidden behind many veils, be it in nature, history or personal experience, you can find Him only in your heart, when you are ready to search for Him (Midrash Tehillim 90).

For it is in man’s heart that the Shechinah (Divine Presence) chooses to reside, as we learn from Deut. 4:29-31 ”And from there (the Exile) you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul."

R’ Simchah Bunam of P’shis’cha translates בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ with all your heart, more literally, IN all your heart, and interprets homiletically: You will find Him in your own heart. Where is ”there”? In your heart if you but search sincerely (Al HaTorah).

 

”Therefore, say; So said the Lord God: Although I have removed them far off among the nations and although I have scattered them in the lands, I have become for them a minor sanctuary in the lands where they have come” (Ezekiel 11:16). The study of Torah, will cause us to be a sanctuary for God and an abode for Godliness.