of sound and noise

It is possible to sit right next to someone you care about, carry on an entire  conversation with them, and never once stop thinking about what you are missing on TV right now.

It's as if you never spoke to them at all, you were never there, they don't even exist.

I'd hazard a guess that a lot of our daily interactions run fairly close to this scenario, whether it be TV we're thinking about, or anything else, even things of great importance.

If we truly love someone, they deserve our full attention, our time. This is such a hard lesson to absorb as a father and a husband. There's so much to do, but it's so much less important than the minutes or hours we spend with those who mean the most to us.

I wouldn't even be able to write this now, if my parents and grandparents hadn't embodied just this throughout my childhood.

The same is true about God.

Prayer is an opporunity to talk to HaShem.

HaShem is above time and space, He's got nowhere to go, He's listening.

We can pray three times a day every day, without our thoughts ever leaving the latest episode of Prison Break.  (Or House, the newest Harry Potter book,  the latest extrapolations of the foremost breakthroughs in modern medicine and cosmology, dinner, deadlines, music, traffic, anything at all other than God.)

Yeah, all this is pretty cliched, it's not new, someone probably pointed it out before---but were you listening then, or thinking about TV?

Either way, it's not the point I intended to make. My point is that this is just the very first step, the beginning of the road.

A Tzaddik isn't someone who invests energy and time in his prayers---that's what everyone is supposed to do!

And what's the next step? When I'm in traffic, cooking, cleaning, working, designing, developing, shopping, eating, building, creating, resting; I'm thinking about God. Everything I'm doing is establishing, growing, my relationship with Him.

It's not about becoming boring and one-dimensional, it's about uncovering deeper dimensions within the mundane. 

Everyone wants God to talk to them. 


But we all think God talks like He's on the telephone, or via SMS. How limited are we when we SMS, email, IM? Don't we sometimes want the closeness and warmth of a physical person looking at us? All those additional channels of stimulus add infinitely to that relationship.

Yet HaShem, who is truly infinite, we expect a phone call. "Yo"

The deepest and most basic teaching of the Baal Shem Tov is that every element of our experience, every stimulus that fires a single neuron, is part of the totality of God's communication with us. 

It's not a phone call, it's an intensely overwhelming experience of the infinite that barely lets us maintain our sanity -- that's why we prefer TV over trying to really connect. That's why we prefer Boing Boing or Wikipedia to trying to visit every page on the web every day.

This is why relationships are so important. This is the secret of relationships. By relating to others, making space for others, being open to others, we create an awareness, a vessel, exactly that which we need to start to relate to and digest the words of God. (which are always being spoken)


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