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We Are Never Alone
Rabbi David Aaron
Walking and talking with the Divine
And in the wilderness where you have seen how that the LORD your G-d carried you as a man does bear his son in all the way that you went until you came into this place.
Even though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you, G-d, are with me.
The Zohar Vol. 2 pg. 57
In the world at large, if your boss sends you on a mission, he generally stays at the office, while you go off to accomplish the assigned task. But that's not the case when G-d sends you on a mission. G-d comes along.
This is the meaning of the verse in Psalm 127: "If G-d doesn't build your house, your labor is for nothing."
Now you might think that if G-d is going to build your house, why do you have to labor at all? The Psalm is saying that you must labor nonetheless, but if you don't invite G-d into your work, your efforts will be worthless. You will not have the energy to achieve your task. You can choose to build a house; you can haul the bricks and the mortar, but, without G-d Who is the power source, your house will never get built in a meaningful way.
This is what's unusual about our mission from G-d. The One who sends us, joins us in our mission. But if we don't acknowledge His presence in our work and process, then we are powerless to truly succeed.
The daily focus of our life should be all about inviting G-d to join us in the performance of our mission.
A famous story tells about a man who dreamt that he saw his whole life's journey as footsteps in the sand. Sometimes there were two imprints his and G-d's. But, during the parts of the trek that were most difficult he saw only one set of footprints. He complained to G-d, "G-d, you promised me that you would always accompany me in my journey. How is it that during the most difficult times in my life you disappeared?" G-d responded, "I have always been with you. The reason why you only see one set of footprints is because during your most difficult times I carried you. Those footprints our mine."
It is especially helpful to remember this in the most challenging moments.
During times of pain in your life have you ever asked, "Why is G-d doing this to me? Why is G-d hurting me?"
There is no answer to that question because it is the wrong question.
This question is based on a perception that there is a G-d, an invisible Being, floating out there in outer space, and you are down here on earth, separate and removed from Him. However, Kabbalah says that there is no such G-d and there is no such you. The true you is the soul and the soul is none other than a part of G-d.
Therefore the real question is, "Why is G-d doing this to an aspect of Himself?"
Now I admit that this question also has no answer, however, I think there is great comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your pain, that G-d is never out to get you, that whatever you are going through G-d completely shares. Remember, whatever G-d puts you through is also what He puts Himself through because you are a soul, an expression of Him.
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If you embrace this consciousness then you will draw upon Divine strength and find great courage. You will rise to the occasion, overcome the challenge confronting you and experience the triumphant of the spirit.
We Are Not Alone
No tear ever shed in the history of humanity is without Divine participation. We are never alone, although we can choose to forget that truth by kicking G-d out of our awareness, out of our struggles and challenges.
When we pray to G-d, we are not simply saying, "G-d, remove all these problems and make everything easy. Snap your cosmic fingers make it all better." When we pray to G-d, we're actually consciously inviting G-d into our struggle. In this way we empower ourselves to fulfill our mission in the world.
I think this is one of the most important ideas of Torah and Kabbalah we're not alone in our struggle, in our challenges, in our pain. G-d is always with us. G-d is rooting for us all the time.
In Kabbalah the forces of evil are called sitra acher, "the other side." One of the tricks of evil is to try and convince you that G-d is on the other side. You're on one side and G-d is on the other side. He's not on your side. He is against you.
This is a lie. G-d is always on your side. No matter how low you feel you have fallen, G-d is always on your side. To feel this, all you got to do is invite Him in.
A child once asked his father, where is G-d? His father responded, "Where ever you let Him in?"
The teachings of the Torah and Kabbalah focus on letting G-d into your process, inviting G-d into your challenge, and recognizing how much G-d wants to be involved and is involved in your life, because your true inner self is the soul, a ray of Godliness.
We are incredibly important to G-d. And G-d is always with us. If we don't choose to believe that, then although we are important to G-d and He is always with us just the same we won't experience the joy of that truth.
G-d is never out to get you. G-d is not on another side. G-d is always on your side. G-d has a vested interest in you because you are a soul, a aspect of Himself. You are not G-d but you are an expression of G-d. Although G-d is beyond you, an aspect of G-d is manifest within you.
G-d is not some magician who ludicrously snapped his finger and created us with no vested interest in what would happen to us. G-d is not some force transcendent of our process, removed from our pain and struggle, stoically looking down at us while we grapple with life in this world.
When you realize that G-d is part of your life as a loving a parent to a child, you will discover your holiness; you will discover your ultimate meaning and significance. When you serve the ultimate, then you'll feel part of the ultimate. And when you realize that you're part of the ultimate, then you will know G-d in every step of your journey.
For more on this topic, please see: The Secret Life of G-d: Discovering the Divine within You
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Rabbi David Aaron is the founder and dean of Isralight, an international organization with programming in Israel, New York South Florida, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Toronto. He has taught and inspired thousands of Jews who are seeking meaning in their lives and a positive connection to their Jewish roots.
He is the author of the newly released, The Secret Life of G-d, and Endless Light: The Ancient Path of Kabbalah to Love, Spiritual Growth and Personal Power , Seeing G-d and Love is my religion. (Click on links to purchase books. Sales help fund JWR.) He lives in the old City of Jerusalem with his wife and their seven children.
© 2005, Rabbi David Aaron