26 Tishrei 5767, October 18, 2006

Pay attention, open up and allow HaShem to speak His Words of Living Torah directly into your mind and heart...   In honor of Parashat Bereshit, this essay paraphrases a profound teaching of the Holy Zohar. See if you can recognize it...

Seeking G-d
By HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok. Copyright (C) 2006 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.

Seeking to know G-d is a noble endeavor. Yet, how can one find G-d if one does not know where to look? How can one find G-d if one does not know what to look for?

From childhood, we are told many a fable. G-d is portrayed to us in many forms that we human beings can easily recognize. Yet, as we mature and become adults we must learn to let go of childish ways and seek out G-d in truth and not just in fable.

We are taught that G-d is the Creator of all things. G-d is above the universe and at the same time within every part of it. We are taught that G-d is everywhere and in everything, at all times and even above time itself. G-d is the consciousness of existence; G-d is Mind Absolute.

I can understand this with childlike innocence and imagine G-d in my human mind. Yet, although we imagine G-d to be this way or that, our imaginations are nothing more than illusions. Whatever it is we think we know about G-d is by definition limited by the boundaries of human understanding. Our minds can only grasp a small portion of universal reality; therefore, whatever knowledge we have of G-d is by definition severely limited.

We must understand this; we have no pure knowledge, we have only pieces. We do not know ultimate truth; we have only an illusion of it. When we humbly accept our limitations, we begin to see the greater universe with adult eyes.

In order to seek out G-d we must first recognize what G-d is not before we can come to know what G- d is. G-d cannot be comprehended by human intellect; indeed, even the human heart cannot grasp something as vast as the Creator of the universe. In the end, we seek that which cannot be sought. We crave to know a truth that we cannot comprehend or even experience.

With all that we cannot know, we still seek out G-d and we still so often fail to recognize where G-d is to be found. G-d is to be found within His creation. Every movement in time and space reveals the Presence of the Creator. Indeed, one who ponders well the way of the world will come to perceive how the Creator directs the universe.

G-d is not found exclusively within the books of religion. Instead, G-d is found in that which He has created, the universe and life itself. Knowing G-d ultimately and intimately might be beyond our present human boundaries. Yet, there is still much for us to learn, to perceive the invisible Hand and learn the truths of the universe. We call this the Way of Heaven.

Only when a child grows up and begins to think and act like an adult can that one be expected to embrace and handle responsibility. Only a mature adult can come to discover G-d in the proper way as prescribed by Heaven.

Children will continue to bicker about what is written in their books. Adults, on the other hand, experience matters directly. They have no need to bicker over words in books, for they have first hand experience and knowledge. Adults know what the books mean, for the books were not written by children, but rather by like-minded adults. Only children read and do not understand. Only children need stories to help their young minds adjust in their long and arduous path towards adulthood.

Seeking G-d is truly a noble endeavor. This path leads one to become truly and fully human. Learn from creation to recognize the Creator, for His Hand is concealed within His handiwork. His ways are revealed through life itself.

Shalom, Ariel Bar Tzadok

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