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Our Father, Our King

Our Father, Our King

Avinu Malkeinu

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Rosh Hashanah, the Baal Shem Tov taught, is a game of hide and seek. G‑d hides, we seek.

But where can G‑d hide? Wherever you go, there He is. As the Zohar says, “There is no place void of Him.”

So perhaps what the Baal Shem Tov meant is more like peek-a-boo—in which a parent hides behind his or her own fingers. So too, G‑d hides Himself within the guise of an awesome, indifferent king, judging His subjects strictly by the book until the most sublime angels shiver in dread.

And we seek. We seek the father behind the stern voice. We are the small child who climbs into the king’s arms, tears off the mask and exclaims, “Daddy!”

Which is just what He was waiting for.

By Tzvi Freeman
From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. Subscribe and get your dose daily. Or order Rabbi Freeman’s book, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, click here.
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Anonymous Camarillo, CA, USA September 3, 2013

Isn't it time to stop acting like small children? Eventually, small children grow up, and become independent from their parents. They move out, get jobs, start their own families, etc. After thousands of years, isn't time for a people to grow up and stop being like small children to God? Reply

Ben ATX September 3, 2013

Excellent anology! This is an awesome analogy. Even though the image might at first seem stern or hidden, a child delights in uncovering the face of his loving father: Job 5:17, Psalms 94:12. Reply

Ronald A. Nelson September 3, 2013

Besht... the man with a good name Could it be that the Baal Shem Tov was attempting to instruct us in the ways G-d reveals himself... often hidden from our physical ability to decern H-m we must search our hearts and rely upon the spirit of revelation too lead us to H-m... that we may know H-s will for our lives.

It is this revelation knowledge that G-d uses to divide the true believer from those who only profess to know H-m. The Holy Vail that separates the inner sanctum and most Holy Place form the defiled. Let us all remember that G-d is not hiding from us... He is simply waiting for us to open our inward eye so He may reveal Himself to us.

שלום עליכם Reply

Lahnina Morocco September 3, 2013

baruch hashem thank you :) Reply

Anonymous September 1, 2010

like the overall message The analogy of G-d as our Dad works just fine since it is the month of Elul where He is closest to us, like a homecoming of sorts. The words that throw me off are dread and stern. My own father did not engender such negative emotions. I see no value to attaching those words to the context. We laugh with joy when our parents play peek-a-boo. Although dread and sternness may fit well with Tshuva (repentance), i think it is important to feel the joy of the High Holidays, the joy of G-d being 'at home' , at-one-ness with us.
What i am trying to convey in your analogy is a positive message, love and awe, where awe is not fear. Reply

Ann client of Howard Houston, TX September 1, 2010

Bless us, O our Father, all of us together May our beloved Father in Heaven see our distress and hear our cry. Father in Heaven, may You help each and all of us to be healed and helped. May You continue his protecting care over the Land of Israel. May he guard and guide Natanyahu to uphold the truth in spite of the pressure being put upon him by the President of the United States. May it be Thy Will, O our Father, that you sustain and support Israel to overcome these hours of trial so that the Iranian nuclear threat be nullified without cost to life or health. . Reply

Leesa, Missouri Stark City, Mo USA September 14, 2009

Rosh hashanah This is my first year to celebrate this holiday and what a beautiful picture it paints of our Fathers desire for us to draw near to Him while remembering our failures so that He can wash them away. Reply

Sonja Joplin, Mo. September 10, 2009

We must seek Him with a open heart or we may never find Him even while He is all around us.
To hear Him like Abraham did, we have to learn to listen and trust. Starts with our Parents when we are little. Lot could not hear God the way Abraham did because he depended on what he could see with the human eye (green grass around Sodom). Abraham trusted and listened to the Word of God, even when he did not see the outcome. If we don't completely trust (have faith in) then we are just religious and not a friend of God like Abraham and Moses and Noah and Ruth David Esther and and and Reply

Sonja Joplin, Mo. September 10, 2009

We must seek Him with a open heart or we may never find Him even while He is all around us.
To hear Him like Abraham did, we have to learn to listen and trust. Starts with our Parents when we are little. Lot could not hear God the way Abraham did because he depended on what he could see with the human eye (green grass around Sodom). Abraham trusted and listened to the Word of God, even when he did not see the outcome. If we don't completely trust (have faith in) then we are just religious and not a friend of God like Abraham and Moses and Noah and Ruth David Esther and and and Reply

Anonymous September 5, 2009

Broken Toys It seems we also need to find him to fix our broken " toys", like only a Dad could do.. Reply

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman September 4, 2009

Re: necessary grammar critique. Depends. Are we still in the parable or in the actual? Reply

mark alcock Durban, SA September 4, 2009

necessary grammar critique. In the penultimate sentence, possibly due to the intensity of the climax ending the parable, both KING and FATHER are incorrectly printed in lower cases. (3rd Commandment) Otherwise well-written! Reply

Anonymous Tittling, Germany September 20, 2006

Your words take all my fright away How glad I am to hear something like that. in these days everything is frightening me.
Judge, Mercy is hidden, who knows if you will still be alive next Rosh Hashana. Oi va voi lach, when the scales goes to the bad side... I really don't know and I don't mind and if Hashem wants to take me to the world of souls, it is allright. But I very much dislike to be frightened of the One I love. Actually I am not afraid, but I dislike when everybody tries to make me afraid. It is not thaI I do not honor and revere Him. But I very much love Him. So, when I read we can go to him as the child goes to his father and takes the frightening masc away, it just makes me happy. Yes, I will climb into His arms like a child does with his father and say *Daddy*. It moves me to the point, that tears of happiness run down my face. Thank you Rabbi Freeman, that you wrote this! Reply

Kevin Gilad Benyamin Smith September 17, 2006

Tzvi's words What a wonderful story. Reply

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