My five-year-old grandson stayed overnight with me recently. He woke up in the night wanting his mommy and daddy. I am sure that this summer there were lots of children staying over at grandparents, or in summer camps missing their parents. They got to the point where they couldn’t stop themselves and cried out for their parents.
As a parent, we don’t want our children to hurt, but when they miss us, we feel a special bond, especially when we are reunited and they melt into our arms.
I obviously can’t speak for God, but I bet that He wants that same embrace. I believe that He yearns for us to cry out to Him. Perhaps more importantly, He wants us to feel that special bond. Of course part of what we, as parents, love is the feeling that we are appreciated and loved. In prayer, we often refer to God as Our Father. But, I’m not sure that we are showing Him, or really feeling appreciation and love for Him, like we would a father.
When the Second Temple was destroyed, God’s last home on earth was destroyed. My question is simple: What have we done to try and get God back to us? Sure, many of us pray, but let’s face it, most of the time we are just saying words that others wrote. We usually lack full meaning of what we are saying and our minds are often elsewhere.
Maybe we need to get to a situation similar to when we were slaves in Egypt. At some point we couldn’t take it anymore and we cried out to God. He heard our cry and felt that He couldn’t take it any longer and that is when He brought us out of Egypt. He felt so close to us that He gave us the Torah, on our way home to Israel, and He had us build a special place, the Tabernacle, where we could converse and be together.
We showed our love and devotion by following Him, through Moses, blindly out of Egypt. We don’t have that closeness with God now. I wonder what it would take to get it back!
After I told my grandson that it was too late to call his parents but he could call them the next day, he settled down. But then he asked what if I forgot. I told him that if I forget he could remind me. He then asked what if we both forget? I held in my laughter and didn’t point out that if we both forgot then it didn’t really matter. But was I right? It got me thinking. Have we forgotten to call out for God? Do we feel that it is too late, or doesn’t matter, or irrelevant, or have we just completely forgotten that we can call out for Him?
Abraham Avinu (Abraham from the Bible is known as Abraham our father) not only talked to God, but bargained with Him. Abraham, found out that God was going to kill all the people in Sodom and got God to agree to only destroy the city if there were as few as fifty righteous people, and then bargained God down all the way to ten. And he wasn’t the only one to talk to God and present his perspective.
At one point we had the Tabernacle in the desert and later the Temples in Jerusalem, which were effectively God’s houses. Not that He was confined there, but they were considered His special dwelling places. It was at the holy ark that God was to talk to us directly between the wings of the cherubs on the ark.
I think that God wanted us then, and still wants us today to come talk to Him and even cry out to Him. I believe that He would love that embrace which transmits so much trust and acknowledgement of love and dependency without any words and simply melts anybody’s heart.
I think that God is lonely for us. He wants that melting embrace. But, just like in Egypt, I believe that He is waiting for our cry. We are the ones who have to initiate the close encounter. He is standing by, waiting for our call that we want to come home. He is waiting to hear that we miss Him so much that we can’t take it anymore.
There is no reason we can’t call out for God’s embrace and help. We can and should let Him know that just as my grandson missed his parents, and just like the Jews in Egypt needed help finding their way, we want and need Him.
We don’t have the holy ark. We aren’t on the same level as Abraham or Moses, but I still think that we can raise our voices and call out to God. There are no instructions that will help. We just have to believe and feel a void. Like my grandson, even though he knew that he was safe and well cared for, he couldn’t help wanting his parents. We have to feel that we want our God so badly that we can’t help but call out to Him!
Marcia Goldlist is the author of many books. She has written three series of books. These include four books of the Bible in rhyme (Genesis, Exodus, Esther and Ruth), books to help prepare you for each of the Jewish holidays with your children and books with rhymes to use for greetings and toasts. You can check out her books
Marcia Goldlist is a regular contributor of blog postings on Jewish Values Online. She was the author of one of the blog postings selected for the Second Quarter 5779 Jewish Values Online Best Blogs.
Please note: All opinions expressed in Blog Postings and comments on the Jewish Values Online site and through Jewish Values Online are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views, thoughts, beliefs, or position of Jewish Values Online, or those associated with it.
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