Q&A with Rebbetzin Heller
I’ve been told that Hashem has a personal relationship with every Jew. What does this imply and how do we get closer to Him?
A personal relationship means a relationship of response and awareness. A blade of grass receives its energy from Hashem. It cannot exist for even a split second without Hashem’s Will giving it life. Yet the grass does not have a real relationship because it cannot respond. It receives but all it gives back is its existence. There is no difference between one blade of grass and another. Hashem doesn’t respond to each one individually. There is no such thing as a righteous blade of grass who deserves lots of rain and sunshine, or a wicked blade of grass who has made major life mistakes. This is called hashgacha klalit, which means awareness without any involvement.
In contrast, Hashem responds to every human being differently. A non-Jew who does good deeds may be rewarded and vice versa. However, there is no covenant with the non-Jews. Therefore, they can reach a point where, like a tree or a blade of grass, they no longer have a relationship of awareness and response with Hashem. Contrary to this, due to the covenant Hashem made with Yaakov, Af al pi shechata Yisrael hu, although they have sinned, they remain Yisrael. Every Jew has a spark buried deep within him that remains eternally connected to Hashem. This spark can be so covered up with sin and bad choices that the person may be barely aware of it. This is also referred to as galut hashechina, meaning that the divine part of us is in exile.
Getting closer to Hashem means becoming a more divine-like individual, just like getting closer to another person means developing communication and similarity. The way to come closer to Hashem is through keeping the mitzvot, emulating Hashem’s middot, and attaching oneself to people who are already on the path to greatness.
Excerpted from Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller’s Question and Answer series on Naaleh.com
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