Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “The point of nothingness.”

In order to truly sense God’s closeness and the resulting joy one experiences, a person must have, on the one hand, a sense of trepidation in the face of awesome, infinite distance, such that “who is it whose heart dared to approach Me?” and he must perceive, on the other hand, the unrivaled closeness of the Divine.

When a person experiences these two feelings, a sense of gratitude and tremendous joy bursts into being, as he considers that God, who is immeasurably great and awesome,
chooses to be the guest in his home, meaning, in his awareness and his feelings. In and of himself, a person is a small, lowly creature.

No matter how much he grows, he can never come close to God, the infinite Ein Sof. All human beings, from the simplest and lowest, to Moses, the preeminent human being, stand before Ein Sof at the same point: the point of nothingness. But although a person cannot reach the infinite Ein Sof, the infinite Ein Sof can reach him.

Accordingly, it is only when God so desires that a person can be close to him.

That is the reason for one’s sense of gratitude, which results in a feeling of joy: that as infinitely great as God is, He reaches down infinitely below.

“It is true that God is the King of kings, and before whom no one dares to approach, yet here He is! The King of kings visits me. He is always with me.”

This is the essence of a person’s most simple and all-encompassing gratitude for being able to experience God’s closeness to him.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz