Tuesday, September 27, 2011

“And G-d heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of G-d called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her "What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for G-d has heard the voice of the lad where he is," “baasher hoo sham.” (Genesis 21:17).

What is the meaning of those last three words “where he is?” 

There is a deep message conveyed here. G-d listens to people “where they are.” Often, when a person finds himself in a situation with many distractions and difficulties, he is likely to say: "When my situation improves, then I will be able to do what I really aspire to do, to seek holiness, to study Torah and do mitzvoth, to connect to G-d, but not right now. Now all I can think about are these problems, holiness will have to wait until other things calm down."

But that is not the Jewish approach. Let us recall the words of G-d to Moses at the burning bush, when he tried to approach the burning bush: “Ki hamakom asher atah omed alav admas kodesh hu.” The place upon which you are standing, that is the exact situation in which you find yourself, is a holy place. In whatever distracting and difficult situation you find yourself, there are opportunities for holiness. A relationship with G-d does not depend on you being completely pure and refined. Wherever we are in our life, we can touch the Divine. Wherever you are in life, you can reach out to G-d. You don’t need to move away from your space and be something which you are not. G-d does not want masks; he wants the real you. He wants your truth, your passion, your heart, your struggles, your reality. “Baasher Hoo Sham.” He wants to see what you really look like. Wherever you are and whoever you are, G-d will listen to you.

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