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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lonliness and God

The experience of loneliness processes everything in me to the service of God." - Soloveitchik
Perhaps being in a state of loneliness strips away enough of our conceptions, pre-conceptions and presuppositions about our lives and our world, that we are able to hear the still, small voice and sense God's yearning for our recognition. There are moments borne out of lonliness where one becomes acutely aware of an almost palpable urge on God's part -- where one can sense His urgency to such a degree that there are no other aspects of reality competing for one's attention. At such times, there is a communication to and from the ineffable. We bare ourselves to God and we sense an immediate urgency on God's part for me to take action. To act through teshuva, chairty, obedience, to bring myself back to Him (but at the same time not believing that I have turned away). To walk in His ways.

It does not surprise me that I have experienced such moments. Over the past few years I have had many extraordinary moments filled with an acute awareness of something divine that infuses either this world or infuses my time spent in this world. And it is not difficult for me to acknowledge that I have moments where I am present to God's "urgent request."

What I can't understand is how I can choose to ignore such a "divine request" and just walk away. To, in effect, choose to not be responsible.


Blogger Brooklyn Habiru said...

“What I can't understand is how I can choose to ignore such a "divine request" and just walk away. To, in effect, choose to not be responsible.” - Because it is far easier not to ... There is an old saying that “if what you are doing is too easy then it is probably wrong”. Obviously a generalization and not applicable across the board but there is some merit to it. Every moment we are faced with tests - go with our conscience/superego/what HaShem expects of us... or simply choose the easy way out and feed in to the id/yetser hara. We are commanded to fulfill a mission, but nowhere does it say that the mission will be easy - [ein s’char bli nisayon] there is no reward without effort.

PS -Recently there has been an effort to republish Rabbi Yoseph Soloveitchik’s book “The Lonely Man of Faith” because of the popular demand. People were buying old copies on E-bay for heavily inflated prices. The new edition will be available on May 16th.

12:24 PM, March 02, 2006

Blogger Valke said...

I didn't know that book was hard to get. Thanks for the heads up. I'll pick up a few copies for gifts when it is re-issued.

5:49 AM, March 03, 2006

Blogger Jessica said...

I can really relate to the idea that loneliness helps process G-d and spirituality.

I took a solo trip last month - me, the beach, 6 days of solitude. I came back incredibly relaxed (and a bit depressed at having to go back to work) but also rededicated to Judaism and spirituality in a way that I had never felt before. Like it never would have occurred to me before that trip to start saying morning prayers by myself at home but now I do.

Being alone, like you said, helped me better hear or sense G-d.

8:04 AM, March 03, 2006

Blogger Valke said...

Well, I think there is a difference between being alone and loneliness. But I'm glad you came back spiritually recharged. And there is something to be said for self refelection and meditation.

10:37 AM, March 03, 2006


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