Jacob left his father Isaac’s house with great wealth and before he got very far, his nephew cleaned him out. Jacob gave him all he had so that the lad could go home to his father, Esau and report that he had carried out his murderous mission. This was true in a metaphorical sense since a man without means cannot perform G-d’s commandments and it’s as if he is dead. However, the morning after he spent the night on Mount Mariah, Jacob was so joyful that he felt the gladness from head to toe. It seems strange, though, because Jacob was embarking on a journey to leave his holy environment and descend into a place of darkness and put himself at the mercy of the great schemer, his uncle, the evil Laban. What’s more, he was destitute and jobless. On the other hand, Jacob had the greatest hope of all; G-d guaranteed that he would succeed in his mission. Jacob’s reality was a world with the Almighty managing every facet of life. He could bring the Holiness of Mount Mariah with him wherever he went because he lived with it in his mind and heart. Even the Angels of the Holy Land could not follow him because they did not have the power to transform any physical environment. G-d entrusted this power to Jacob and his descendants with the three garments of the soul; thought speech and action.
So here we are some 4,000 years later waiting for the Messiah after our Rebbe (Jewish leader) told us that we are the generation that will receive him. Thus, the more time that goes by the more impatient we become and we tell G-d over and over again, “We don’t wanna wait!!!” We demand in our loudest voice, “Mashiach now!!!” But then, I begin to wonder, “Why should we wait?” We have learned from the Rambam (Maimonides) and other sources that under Messiah’s rule, the world will change to the extent that everyone will be able to perceive G-dliness in all parts of the world. Therefore, the question stands, “Why should we wait?”
The difference is in the effort. After our redemption, perception of G-dliness will be automatic; it won’t take any exertion. However, if we are to perceive G-dliness now we have to work at it because it is anything but obvious. Hassidism teaches us that G-d hides Himself. This statement seems confusing at first glance because He told us, “Do I not fill all worlds?” Thus, this seeming paradoxical concept of the Omnipresent concealed begs the question, “If he is everywhere, then where is He hiding?” The answer is, He hides behind our egos. Yes, a puffed-up sense of self that believes only in its own independence is obstructing the natural inclination to perceive G-dliness. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all of the righteous people to this day were able to perceive G-dliness everywhere because they had no ego blocking their view.
On the other hand, for most of us, the idea of perceiving G-dliness without Messiah seems out of reach. Thus we need a practical way; something we can put into practice immediately. It really comes down to accepting that there is one G-d who controls the world. Everything that happens to us is G-d’s business. Nothing is independent of Him. Each time we relinquish our false sense of being in control of anything, realizing that our freedom of choosing one action over another has no bearing on the outcome; we can choose to be in awe of His greatness and trust Him enough to know that this too is for the good, even if we can only perceive the results to be undesirable. Moreover, if we take a moment to search for the good we can perceive Godliness in the mundane.
For example, the bank is a place where people transact business dealing exclusively with money; deposits, withdrawals, loans, payments, etc. How do we find G-dliness in that environment? The answer is that it is part of our job elevate it. I realized a while ago while I was in Citibank in disagreement with the branch manager. Apparently, the cash deposit that I had made the night before was posted to my account but was not reflected in my balance. At first, the manager argued with me saying that the account balance was correct and that I was a bad customer. She was threatening to close my account. Needless to say I was visibly upset, so I took a deep breath and said to myself, God is in control. The manager, then suddenly asked me to have seat and she would check further.
A few minutes later, the bank manager came out of her office apologizing profusely. “I have never seen this type of bank error in my twenty years of working here.”
I immediately saw the opportunity to elevate the whole situation to holiness. “Everything happens by Divine Providence,” I spouted.
The manager then engaged me in a conversation about G-d saying that she could not understand why children suffer. I explained to her that we have to defer to G-d’s infinitely superior mysterious wisdom. I told her that there was even a Divine purpose for what happened to my account; “If not for this mysterious error, we would not have had this conversation about G-d”.
The bank manager smiled and said, “You are right. I have been praying for more understanding and this conversation has helped me to perceive that G-d truly runs the world.”
In conclusion, when we work at perceiving G-dliness in everything that happens and bring that perception into our conversations we elevate that place to holiness. We need to continuously remind ourselves that nothing is as it seems and everything is as it should be, so if everything was as it seemed then nothing would be as it should and then everything would be for nothing; so WHY WORRY?