23. Seeing HASHEM

A number of years ago I was dealing with a fellow who was having some issues. And then he got involved in a 12-step program. I hadn’t spoken to him in a little while and I sort of met up with him and I asked him how things are going. And he said to me, well, religiously pretty badly, but spiritually great. I was rightly curious, what do you mean religiously pretty badly but spiritually great? So I asked him what do you mean? So he said well you know, religiously in terms of davening (praying), in terms of tefillah (prayer), in terms of tefillin, learning, I’m not really doing much, but in terms of seeing Hashem there every day in my life, I’ve never had that clarity.

And I found that to be a very interesting conversation. Because the Ramban tells us that the focal point of every mitzvah (commandment) is to see Hashem. The purpose of all of our avodas Hashem (serving Hashem) is to recognize Hashem more clearly in our lives. And somehow that sometimes gets lost in the translation. At the end of the day all of our emunah (belief), all bitachon (trust) is predicated on this one simple concept. Hashem is present, Hashem is involved. If Hashem isn’t in my life, then the concept of bitachon, the concept of emunah is silly — Hashem isn’t here. The main avodah (work), is to recognize it’s Hashem, see Hashem, to allow me to become more and more cognizant of the fact that Hashem is right here involved in the running of my daily life.