Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Mystery of Missing Things

by Struggling And Striving BT (See all authors)

When the forum was down, "Commando" continued posting his thoughts on his PC. Once it came back up he shared this with us:

It's been three nights already since the GYE forum has mysteriously vanished. When will it be resurrected? How many people are feeling the loss? It's midnight and my ramblings become weird at this hour. I feel like pondering the mystery of missing things.

Do you know what the first missing thing was in the whole world? The presence of Hashem. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan in his introduction to Kabbalah "Inner-space" discusses the concept of the Challal Hapanui, the "Vacated Space" which Hashem formed before creating the world. The world at first couldn't be created because Hashem's essence filled the world leaving no room for anything else. So Hashem had to "remove" himself from an area of space before creating the world. This area of empty space was called the Challal Hapanui. Most of this empty space was then filled as Hashem created the world. But parts of this space still remain empty. Rabbi Kaplan explains that a person needs to travel through this empty space when they're moving spiritually from level to level. He says that it's a terrifying experience because it appears that Hashem is not there, and it feels like total abandonment.

I think we can all relate to this, as going from one level to the next in sobriety often is achieved by passing through a dark and empty feeling for a while...

Hashem tells Avrohom as an introduction to the Milah, "walk in front of me and be Tamim". Maybe Hashem was saying that there will be times when His (Hashem's) presence will appear to be missing, and in those situations Avrohom should "walk in front of Hashem" with Temimus (like when you're walking in front of someone and you can't see them behind you), even though those are the most difficult times to be shomer the bris.

 

"StrugglingAndStrivingBT" responds:

I read a similar inspirational bit today by Rabbi Dr. Avraham Twerski. It's an old Baal Shem Tov parable:

When a father teaches his son to walk, he first helps the kid stand. Then they begin to take steps and the father is very close to the child. As the child masters standing, the father moves back and the child feels further from the father. The child then starts walking towards him, and as he walks, the father steps further away. While it seems to the child that he is so far from the father, he is actually now mastering the means to get to the father, and simultaneously, the means to walk independently.

Those times that you feel that you feel like you're in an empty space, Hashem is there, but He stepped back a bit farther to show you that you can walk, and He's waiting for you to walk to Him. Hopefully someday soon, you can start jogging, and eventually running towards Him.

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