Sunday, October 14, 2012

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Are You Connected?

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

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     A young man came up to me at the Kotel. It was late Shabbos afternoon. He said that he was not pleased with himself. He wanted to connect to G-d. I told him that he was wasting his time… that he did not have to connect to G-d. He said that he had heard that doing mitzvahs and self-improvement would connect him to G-d.

     I tried to explain, but I do not think that he understood. It seems that this concept is very difficult for most people to understand, and it is even more difficult to take to heart and actually make it part of your life.

     If you express your objective in the wrong terms you may very well waste years of your life. There never needs to be a “connection” to G-d because there never is disconnection from G-d. If you insist that you want to be connected to G-d you are also saying that you are presently disconnected from G-d. This is not true. It is very poor wording, at best.

     G-d is Infinite (and beyond). The Infinite cannot be parted because there is no place to put anything that would separate it from the Infinite. You cannot move anything to a place where it would no longer be within the Infinite. Even though you can disconnect and connect limited objects that are within the Infinite from each other, you cannot disconnect them from the Infinite. The Infinite must always include all. Got it?

     The problem, and its solution, is not “disconnection” and “connection.” When you use such terms to express your dilemma you will strain to plug into, touch, or reach out for something that you are already One with. The One is All. It is everywhere. It is the actual Being of all creation. When you try to reach It you are trying to do something that need not be done because it is already the nature of reality. The One is not made of the parts. The parts are made of, and formed of the One. They are still within the One.

     Instead of saying that a mitzvah connects you to G-d, you are more likely to find the solution to your problem by saying that a mitzvah fulfills G-d’s will for you. A mitzvah makes you holy so you can begin to reveal G-d’s holiness in your life. A mitzvah expresses your service to, and love of G-d. Expressing the objective of your search this way will soon bring you to the goal that you are really seeking; love of, and recognition of G-d in your life.

1 comments:

Devash said...

Thank you for making this distinction. It's so true! The problem is not one of "disconnection," but of distancing. When we sin, we distance ourselves from G-D, which is why the antidote is to bring a korban so we can mekarev - come closer. It's an important point to make, I think. We can go so far away from G-D, that we can feel "disconnected," but anything truly disconnected from G-D would cease to exist.

Also, as I understand from Rav Mendel Kessin, the mitzvot are not the means by which we come closer to G-D. They are the tools G-D gave us to reclaim the sparks of kedushah which our sins caused to be lost to the other side - the tools with which we fulfill our mission in the world. Teshuva is the only way to come close after being distanced from G-D.

It makes sense. Sin is doing the opposite of G-D's will which is in essence our walking away from Him. The longer we go without turning back (teshuva) the farther away we get and the less we feel His Presence. Only by turning around and heading back in His direction can we come close again and the closer we are - the closer we follow His ratzon - the stronger we feel His Presence.

I'll presume to add something else here, if I may. We make a mistake - in any relationship, no less the one we have with HKB"H - when we focus on what we want to get out of it. Some people want to "connect" to a feeling - a spiritual high. When we focus on giving, we end up getting more than we can even imagine.

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