knowing where and when

It's an interesting social phenomenon, but when someone is aware of someone else's schedule it marks a level of intimacy and relationship. There is a social value placed on knowing what your friends are up to and where they happen to be. It's not the kind of thing one is normally aware of, but if you pay attention, one feels a little bit of ego when we can share the locale or the status of an important or popular person at a particular time, especially when this knowledge reveals your close relationship with the person in question. (You have to really pay attention to notice this effect, but its very real.)

This explains one of the praises of Bnei Yisrael that Bilam shares: (Balak 23:24)  כָּעֵת, יֵאָמֵר לְיַעֲקֹב וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵל, מַה-פָּעַל, אֵל. Which the Holy Ishbitzer translates [loosely--english paraphrasal is mine] as: At every moment they will come to Israel to ask them what is God's doing right now? He explains that every soul of Bnei Yisrael has the potential to know HaShem's will at every single moment. This is an expression of our unique and exclusive relationship with HaShem.

But, I think there's a very un-esoteric application of this same relationship principle: It is very important for a marital relationship for the husband to make his whereabouts and plans known to his wife. In this way you express your unique and exclusive relationship, she knows where you are and what you are up to. If other people are looking for you, they know they can ask her. There is a special social status that is attached to that knowledge, just as our ability to explain HaShem's will exposes to all the nations our unique status.

(In terms of the marital relationship this goes both ways, I just described it from the angle more familiar to myself. It also happens a lot that one hears spouses annoyed or complaining (if often half joking) that they don't know where their other half went off to. So there is plenty of anecdotal evidence.)


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