Friday, December 19, 2008

"Whether a microbe or a galaxy, all are of the same proportion to Him"

“On one hand, we feel God to be very near; on the other, as we see, He is very distant.

We call Him Father.

We also call Him ‘Ein Sof’ (Infinite).

Actually, I need both of these, especially when I am concerned with the question of Divine Providence.

For whenever I move something -- even to the slightest degree -- it has a reason and a result.

As the Tzadik said, lifting up a handful of sand and letting it run out through his fingers:

‘He who does not believe that every one of these particles returns exactly to the place that God wishes, is a heretic.’

Another image, attributed to the Baal Shem Tov, says that sometimes a great storm comes, hurls everything about, and causes the trees to shake violently so that the leaves fall.

One such leaf may drop close to a worm, and it was for this the whole world was in a furor -- that a worm may eat of a certain leaf.

This then, is the aspect of personal Providence.

God's word activates and changes the world all the time.

At every moment there is a totally new state of affairs.

Whether a microbe or a galaxy, all are equally part of this and are in the same proportion to Him.

This means that God is close to us without ceasing.

Nothing can occur without Him.”

--Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From The Sustaining Utterance, p.28 by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz