not-knowing - your way to the one who is all-knowing

דעת (da'ath - knowledge) is connection. Connecting to God. There are two kinds of revellation of da'ath. There is shining of knowledge and the hiding of knowledge. Both of these lead to understandings (connections) of (/to) knowledge. This is what the Maor Eynayim is telling me. (end of parshath VaEra) Let's try and understand it.

When someone asks you a question, they are revealing their lack of knowledge or acknowledging a more general lack of knowledge. Such a question can do two things: It can illuminate your own lack of knowledge--you don't have an answer to the question, or it can show off what you know, by eliciting a thorough and appealing answer. Now, when it's turned around, and you ask a rhetorical question, you are both revealing the lack of knowledge of the audience, and revealing your own knowledge of the subject at once. With a similar rhetorical question you can also highlight knowledge common to the speaker and the audience.

It just goes to show that knowledge can be passed on via hiding or showing, just as the Maor Eynayim tells us. (of course)

Let's see how it works a little in relation to God.

God doesn't ask us questions the way we ask eachother questions, instead HaShem simply makes things known or unknown. Since everything in our experience is a reflection of God's will, (Baal Shem Tov) if we don't know something, it's actually because HaShem doesn't want us to know it right now. The lack of knowledge itself is as much a revellation of God as the presence of it. Lack of knowledge is generally considered a revellation of דעת הנעלם. (vanished knowledge)

One more step though, there's two ways to hide things, one way to hide things is enron-style, too much information, absolute overload of sensory input, jamming radar, these are all examples of hiding in noise. (what we classified in an earlier post on puzzles & mysteries as a 'mystery') The other way is to hide the information directly, censorship, firewalls, stealth, etc. This is a more like puzzle-hiding. These two styles of information hiding require very opposite approaches. Hiding/puzzling requires a very sensitive attention to detail. Flooding/jamming/awe-ing requires efficient analytical filtering to remove extraneous noise and focus on meaningful signal.

God, being God, and knowing all the tricks presents us with every combination of both. Sometimes we are overwhelmed with God-experience or God-passion, at which point, if your heart runs, return to one. Other times, we are bathed in the cold lonely darkness of nothing, then we have to kindle the flames in our heart, run with all our might back to God. Ratz (running) and Shav (returning) are the tools available to us to circumvent and receive God's knowledge when he challenges us to see how much we really want to know him.

We want it all. Don't be shy, show HaShem. מי לי בשמים ועמך לא חפצתי בארץ -There's no one for me in the heavens, I've sought you out down here.


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