a most important reminder

The Baal Shem Tov shares a scary idea with us: Sometimes God is doubly hidden, so much so that even though we think HaShem is close to us, we are really very far from Him.

At face value I wouldn't share this Torah because it's too painful to hear. But it is an extremely potent weapon against depression and the Yetzer Hara:

If we feel that we're very far from HaShem, immediately we need to tell ourselves that that is a tremendously comforting feeling -- it means God is only singly hidden. It's an irony of existence that when HaShem feels far we can bank on Him being closer to us than perhaps when we mistakenly feel He's close.

On the other hand, when we feel that He is close we can say, "What the heck, I feel like I'm close to HaShem, so I'll rejoice in that feeling, even if it is illusory. From that happiness maybe I'll come to true closeness!"

This is the path of Hassidut, to always move in a positive direction, to always arouse oneself to happiness. [Happiness is the root of all spiritual experience.]


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