Let My People Know

"Further than any distance and nearer than any nearness"


“God as father, close and intimate, and God as exalted and majestic Being—which seemed to be at opposing poles of religious experience, are united in the world of Judaism. 

Indeed, the combined presence is in itself a fundamental principle in the Jewish worldview. 

As the poet says, ‘Further than any distance and nearer than any nearness,’ or, ‘Where ever I find You, You are concealed in evanescence, and where ever I do not find You, Your glory fills the earth.’ 

This dual conception, known in philosophy as the combination of the transcendental and the imminent view of the Divine, and referred to in the Kabbalah as the tension between the aspects of God as ‘surrounding all worlds’ and ‘permeating all worlds,’ is an essential element of the inner truth of Judaism, and constitutes a central issue in every work of Jewish thought. 

Any examination of Jewish faith relates to this issue either directly or indirectly. 

The kabbalistic appellation of God—‘the Infinite, Blessed be He’—in itself reflects this double aspect of the Divine, combining an abstract, distancing term alongside one of nearness and human concern” 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From A Guide to Jewish Prayer, p. 12, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz