Let My People Know

"Only when an organ hurts us do we feel its existence"


Man is exiled from the Divine Presence. 

If God is concealed and there is a separation, it amounts to a virtual state of banishment, or exile-that which the Kabbala terms galut haShekhina, the exile of the Shekhina

The world is divided from that-which-is, from God, the only reality, and man feels dislocated, lost. 

It may be compared to a state of sickness. 

Only when an organ hurts us do we feel its existence; otherwise our hands or hearts are scarcely discerned. 

Man is unaware of himself in health; when there is an ailment of body or soul, however, he becomes conscious of himself. 

He becomes conscious of a self that is separated from the universal oneness, which separation is the exile of the Shekhina

That is to say, one needs to know bitterness, pain, and sorrow in order to be aware of the Shekhina's absence, and thereby to learn that the Shekhina exists. 

When a finger is squeezed, the pain brings us assurance that it is there-a part of us that we ordinarily pay no attention to. 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From The Candle of God by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz