Dvar Torah - Seeking G-d? ... Connect with others

Where is G-d?

This past week, I watched a video of a woman coming back to her home in a border kibbutz only to find a burned-out shell. She kept asking, ‘God, where are you, where are you?” When unspeakable calamities and horrors occur, one of the first questions that is asked is where is G-d?

The question many ask is, "If G-d is good and all powerful. How can he allow such evil to exist?” Perhaps God just isn’t around?

G-d appears when we look for him.

This week's Torah portion gives us some insights into how to find G-d. G-d appears to Abraham as he is sitting at the door of his tent looking for guests. Abraham calls out to some gentlemen who turn out to be angels, conduits to God, that deepen Abraham’s relationship with the Divine. Why does Abraham see angels and can speak with God when we are left in a world where there is evil and the only people who converse with God are looking at a hospital stay?

An easy answer is that Abraham circumcised himself at 99. Basically, Abraham was on a spiritual level that was so high, that we could only dream of. We can yearn to see G-d but it is not happening. 

Where will we look? 

But, if we look closely, G-d appears to Abraham not when Abraham is searching for G-d, but, when Abraham is searching to help his neighbor. Abraham is sitting at the entrance of his tent looking for guests. If he was not recuperating from the bris, Abraham would have been out actively looking to help others. 

Into the hearts of others. 

There are those who will claim that disasters show that G-d is nowhere to be found. But, the talmud says that G-d created people in need, in order that man should feel a responsibility to his neighbor. Days go by and all one thinks about is work, money, vacations, shuttling children, and streaming Netflix. Comes a disaster and immediately one appreciates those things that matter; friends, family, and health. 


That is where G-d can be found. 

In a disaster we can see G-d clearly. We can see G-d in the first responders who sacrifice their safety to help others. We can see G-d in those who open their homes to those displaced within Israel with hot showers and Cell phone charges. We can see G-d in the amazing unity that has gripped the Jewish people in Israel. Just looking at the photos of all the citizen support and love brings me to tears.

Evil must be dealt with. As God says in Parshat Noach, “כִּי־מָֽלְאָ֥ה הָאָ֛רֶץ חָמָ֖ס מִפְּנֵיהֶ֑ם וְהִנְנִ֥י מַשְׁחִיתָ֖ם אֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ:” The evil will be removed. In the meantime, This enormous challenge, draws us into the lives of others, into a place where we can see G-d.