Thursday, April 22, 2010

How do I get closer to G - d ?


"How do I get closer to G - d ?" is one of the major question in life.
How should I do that ? Actually I don't know Him (G – d) at all. At least not the side of G – d one can see, smell, touch, understand or build a relationship you usually do with other people.

Officially it says that we should keep the Mitzvot (Gentile the Seven Noachide Laws and Jews the Torah laws) as well as pray. Then we would have a relationship with our creator.

And how does this work ?

Do I love G – d or do I fear Him ?
In case I don't do what He wants from me, I may be punished by Him.
What kind of a relationship is this supposed to be ?

If you look around for an appropriate way to find yourself getting closer to G – d, you may notice a vast amount of literature on the subject. Each author is giving you his recipe in order to succeed. To tell you the truth: When I read those books, they didn't help me at all. Eventually you will come to the conclusion that every individual has his or her own way approaching G – d. "Finding the way" can turn into a lifetime task. Who, after all, is able to confirm to me that my way is the right way ? How am I supposed to know all that ?

Where actually lays the root of our fear of G – d ?
Within our human intellect because deep inside of us we know what is right and what is wrong. Do we act against G – d, our intellect is pushing the alarm button and it is up to us whether we listen to it or not.

Chassidic literature teaches us that G – d punished His creations because of love. First of all He wants to put a person back onto the right path. On the other hand, G – d punishes people in order to prevent from them even a worse punishment in Olam Habah (or before getting there). G – d just doesn't find any pleasure in punishment but acts like a parent towards a child.

The Chabad founder Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (Tanya, Likkutei Amarim 43) said that there is no wisdom without fear of G – d. If someone is starting to fear G – d due to His powers and uniqueness then the person will find the best conditions for keeping the Torah Mitzvot. This level of fear would be a higher level, as the person is becoming aware of G – d surrounding and sustaining all of His creation.

And how does that help me now ?

The Baal Shem Tov suggested the following:
Someone needs to be constantly aware of G – d being close to him. He (G – d) surrounds me every second. Without any break. Thus, G – d is turning into the focus of my life and He is always there. If I want Him or not.

Our soul has an unconditional love for G – d and this is one of the best conditions for getting closer to Him. However, there are so many other things in our environment that many times we forget about Him. We start telling ourselves that we don't really need Him. We live, so what !
But how about when I seriously start searching for G – d but always fail ? Then counseling literature may not be of any help.

One thing you should avoid is sitting down and forcing yourself to find a closeness NOW. You simply cannot force it.
On the other hand it can happen that we are on the right track but don't even notice it. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov constantly repeated the concept of "Hitbodedut". Once a day, a Jew should withdraw himself from society and go into a room or a forest in order to talk to G - d. Alone and tell G – d your feelings or whatever you like.

And if I don't know what to tell G – d ?
So, tell G – d that you don't know what to say.
Pray that He enables you to pray !

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