Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “A persons greatest pleasure is that of being alive.”

In order to attain closeness with God, a person need not storm the supernal realms or penetrate more and more deeply into the layers of his soul.

He need only remove the veil of created reality and reveal that God is present.

The question is not whether God is present, but to what degree a person is aware of His presence.

For example, there are many things whose existence a person is unaware of and that do not depend on his awareness.

Every person has a heart, but only a minority (usually those with a heart condition) are sensitive to the fact.

The heart constantly operates; a persons life depends on its continuing activity at every moment, yet he may not be aware of that.

As a rule, the extent to which a person is aware of something bears no correlation whatsoever to how real or close it is to him.

If anything, the correlation may be inverse, in that the closer and more familiar something is, the more effort and practice a person requires to be truly aware of its existence.

As noted in other contexts, a persons greatest
pleasure is that of being alive. Yet one typically takes this for granted, except at a time of crisis, such as after recovering from a serious illness or being granted a reprieve from a death sentence.

The meaning of one’s “closeness to God” is that the Divine is closer to him than anything else, closer than life itself, closer than the beating of his heart – and that is precisely why he does not sense it.

But the moment the veil is lifted, as soon as this notion of God’s unity enters into his awareness, then he needs nothing else in his life. He has everything.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz