Can’t (See or) Touch This! Building A Relationship With An Invisible Being

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The other day, as I was sitting in the kitchen after school with my children, I started thinking about how fortunate I am to have such wonderful kids. (In other words, everyone had slept through the night, and no one was fighting that moment!)

I told my kids, “I can’t believe that Hashem (what we call God, but literally means “the Name”) gave me four such wonderful children. What a lucky mommy I am.”

My older son, who’s four, then asked me, “Mommy, does Hashem have children too?”

“Not exactly,” I explained. “We’re all sort of like Hashem’s children, but Hashem doesn’t have children like mommies and daddies do because Hashem’s not a person.”

“Right,” my son agreed. “Because Hashem is pretend.”

“Hmm,” I thought, “better find out what he’s been learning in that Orthodox pre-school of his!” But I knew that my son was just getting his terms mixed up.

So I asked him, “You don’t really mean that Hashem is pretend. What you really mean is that we can’t see Hashem, right?”

He agreed. (Phew! Major theological crisis with four year old averted.)

So I went on and told him, “Just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Why, this room is full of air, but we can’t see it, can we?”

He shook his head “no.”

“But when I do this,” and as I explained, I blew in his direction, “you can feel it, right?”

“Right,” he answered with a giggle.

“So we can’t see air, but sometimes we can feel it,” I continued. “The same thing goes with Hashem. We can’t see Hashem, but if we work on it, and pay attention, we can sometimes feel Hashem in our lives.”

Building a relationship with an Invisible Being is not always easy, but the Torah is a guide book and its commandments a vehicle which are meant to help us to detect and create a closeness with Almighty. It is said that when we pray we speak to God and when we learn Torah, God speaks to us. With hard work and focus, may we merit to feel Hashem’s presence always.

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Comments

  1. Jendeis says:

    Wonderful explanation of air and Hashem.

  2. wow- I loved that analogy of blowing wind and Hashem. I will def use it when my girls get older and start venturing into those questions (their jewish pre school better do a good job of teaching them as well!)

  3. Elisheva says:

    wow, great analogy! it helped me too, and I’m 24 ;)

  4. I know this is way after the original post, but I had to comment because I had the same conversation with my 4 year old daughter. I too had to explain the difference between pretend and invisible.

    Keep up the good work.

  5. I love this post. The way you described G-d’s presence is wonderful! I’m sharing with my sister-in-law who is also parent to an amazing 4 year old.

  6. So inspiring as always!!!!!!

  7. Great analogy!(Even though I attended an ultra-orthodox school) I wish my teacher would have explained our relationship to G-d in this way.
    G-d willing, I will share it with my children.
    Keep up the great work!

  8. Tim Riches says:

    Hello. I stumbled across this post while searching for answers to the question, “How does someone love an invisible being?” I am an atheist who believes that when people talk about loving God, or Jesus, they are making a category error. It is understandable that someone can love another person, and lust after someone who they have only seen photographs of, but it seems impossible to me that people who say they love a spirit being are being honest with themselves about those feelings. How is loving God different from lusting after God, even granting that God seems real to the person who I see as simulating that being in their minds while praying? Understand that I’m not seeking proof of God, just clarification of what seems to be a misapplied word.

    • Thanks for your question, Tim. Before I was religious (I was raised as a secular Jew with no connection to God) I used to laugh at the bumper stickers that said “God <3′s me” or “I <3 God” because I thought the concept of speaking about God in that way was totally ridiculous. My story is a bit of a long one, but in a nutshell, I spent years searching for the meaning of life after realizing at 8 years old that nothing in my life was adding up to anything more than what I was doing here and now. Then at 16, I had this moment of clarity in a tropical rain forest in Hawaii where I detected a Unity in the world. And in an instant I felt that my life, and everything in it, was connected to Something bigger than me. So the love that I have for God comes from seeing God’s Hand in my life. Those things that could be called “coincidence” I feel like are adding up to something Bigger. And when I look at everything in my life and in the world, I feel an intense appreciation towards God which also contributes to the love I feel for God. Like a kid would feel for his parent if he truly stopped and thought of everything the parent did for him.

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