Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “The proportions drastically change.”

Our world was created in such a well-balanced and complete way that it appears to possess an independent existence.

As a result, God’s existence is not readily apparent.

In the analogy given earlier of a black-and-white drawing, one may perceive black shapes resting against a white background or vice versa.

That which helps the eye pass from the black shapes to the white shapes are the flaws: a lack of completeness in some point, lines that are unfinished, improper proportions.

These allow the eye to switch perspectives.

In this vein, our world is so well balanced that a person is equally likely either to perceive or not perceive the divine.

Someone who sees only the natural aspect of the world may live all his life without ever discovering that there is another, divine aspect, and it is theoretically possible (although this requires much practice) to perceive this other aspect continuously.

A person’s perspective may also switch from one point to the other.

Suddenly he may discover a new viewpoint so that the proportions drastically change.

That which he had considered central he now considers merely decorative.

That which he had considered reality he now sees as nothing but a backdrop to reality.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz