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Now

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Within the driven rapids of time
a stillness lies.

A stillness that transcends time.

It is still. It is quiet. It is now.


The past is bounded and defined—a somethingness.

The future is a blank slate yet to be—a nothingness.

But the present is neither.

And it is both.

It is now as it was now a moment before. It grew no older. It was not touched, not moved nor darkened by the events that flickered upon its stage. They have vanished; it has remained. It perpetually transcends.

And it is immanently here. Tangible, experienced, real and known. For what can be more known than the moment in which you stand right now?

Yet, what can be so utterly unknown?

It is the ultimate of secrets: It can be told, examined, hung out for all to see, discussed by all that experience it—and what creature does not experience being here now?—and yet remain silent; as silent as a secret never spoken.


Because the now must be grasped from two opposite ends:

If you are here only now, what is the purpose?
And if all is transient, why be here now?

Grasp the now by both ends and every moment is divine,
every experience is precious.
For you have grasped G‑d Himself.

I will tell you a secret that can be told, and within it a secret that cannot be known: Take the Hebrew present tense of the verb to be, and prefix it with the letter yud to indicate a perpetual state of now-being—and you will have the name of G‑d.

G‑d is now.


—See Rabbi Shalom Dovber Schneersohn, Hemshech 5672, page 823. Based on Ramban to Exodus 3:13.

לא באש הוי' דעיקר ש' הוי' הוא היו"ד דש' הוי' כנודע, וי"ל דהיו"ד דש' הוי' מורה על התמידות וההווה וכמו ככה יעשה איוב שעושה תמיד כו', וזה עיקר ש' הוי' שהוא הי' הוה ויהי' כא' וע"ז מורה ענין התמידות דהיינו שלמעלה מהזמן, וכן ההוה מורה ע"ז וכמ"ש הרמב"ן בפי' הפסוק ואמרו לי מה שמו שהעבר והעתיד הוא בבורא בהוה כו', דהי' הוא עבר ויהי' עתיד כו' מורה על הזמן, אבל הוה הוא שאינו בעבר ועתיד וה"ה למעלה מהזמן, וע"כ היו"ד הוא עיקר שם הוי' כו'

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at Chabad.org, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman's writing, visit Freeman Files subscription. FaceBook @RabbiTzviFreeman Periscope @Tzvi_Freeman .
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Gary US November 5, 2015

I did not consider this aspect before reading those words. I suddenly felt a warmth and understanding. Thank you for bringing me closer to G-D. Reply

Mendy Co NY August 24, 2015

Where is this letter printed? Dear Rabbi Freeman,
I would like to read this letter in its original format.
Please send me the source.
Thank you

Mendy Reply

Me USA October 14, 2013

This is a wonderful passage of time, of before and now bringing worlds to connect together even if you do not understand them, Only time connects them, only time will tell. When you are here, but you not and you still know you are regardless of where one is at at this present time. Reply

Tehillim songs Israel October 4, 2013

Now I feel the movement of the time. I see the end in the beginning, and in the midst of change I sense temporal eternity of being. Reply

Anonymous October 3, 2013

NOW by Tzvi Freeman Dear Rabbi Freeman,
Thank you for this wonderful insight "NOW", and the many meditations about it.

Many of us live in a busy, busy race to achieve everything on time. Many years ago there was a stage play "STOP THE WORLD, I WANT TO GET OFF". A musical with Joel Gray. Well, at the time the play was running, the idea was that life in general was picking up speed, and for some people it was hard to cope with.

So, NOW by Tzvi Freeman, if we learn to focus on the moment we are in, in the NOW, we can catch our breath and gain a new perspective.

i used a trick to do this to quiet my mind in order to fall asleep. i closed my eyes and in my mind's eye i pictured a page from a book with words in sentences on the page. Then you imagine that the SPACE between each word becomes even wider. keep imagining the words getting farrer apart, and the spaces getting wider. When you are able to see in your minds eye only the SPACE and no words
then you are in the NOW. Reply

Tzvi Freeman October 3, 2013

For Josh Read "Children of the Universe" on this site. Also: Divine Madness. Reply

David Levant Emerson,NJ October 2, 2013

How can one grasp the now by both ends? It would not have ends.It would be circular with no starting or finishing point. Once this is understood,it will be now. Reply

Chris June 16, 2017
in response to David Levant:

Just because you "grasp" a beginning or an end does not mean it no longer exists. Likewise, if we grasp anything then we know that it does exist. On the other hand, a beginning and an end are inseparable and yet separated by the "now". However, this does not imply that the end comes before the beginning or the end before the beginning. However, I believe that the "both ends" he is referring to are not as you would picture in your mind as a beginning and end of either an object or a moment, but rather these "ends" are questions that we would normally not ask or at least see as not obviously connected. They are connected through the "now". We should constantly ask ourselves both of these questions as if one could not be asked without the other also being asked. The answer for both of these questions are in our Torah. Just my two cents ;) I could be missing the point though. Reply

Josh WA October 2, 2013

Rabbi Freeman So, if God is the "Now", how do you have a relationship with God? Isn't this Pantheism?

I read your two other articles on Pantheism but they don't answer the question. My question is, in Likutey Torah and elsewhere it always states (as in this article) that God is "Reality", the "Now", well, how do you have a "relationship" with the "Now"? Is the "Now" conscious?

Thanks. Reply

Anonymous Mexico September 25, 2013

In Spanish the verb to be is translated into two words: ser / estar. One denotes the state of being and the other the state of being somewhere. When I think of the name of G-d I like to take the second: being somewhere. He is always here with me. What do you think? Reply

Anonymous September 25, 2013

NOW by Tzvi Freeman NOW can be less than a moment, it can be a nanosecond, but all together it is part of the continuum of Time, a cycle, a circle.

i came across this in the waiting room of a dr. office:
""Accept your past without regret
Handle you present with confidence
And face your future without fear."" Reply

Sev Szafran Australia September 25, 2013

shkoiah Tzvi wow
what a message for the new beginning of Torah reading.
Reply

Betsy Hunter NY September 24, 2013

Rabbi Tzvi, you rock! It is in Him that we live and move and have our Being
Love ya,
Reply

Anonymous September 24, 2013

NOW by Tzvi Freeman this is very beautiful. thank you Rabbi Freeman.

my comment is that now is the nexus point. it holds the past and connects us to the future. it is the paste that holds the past and connects us to the future, so that if we don't like our past and feel we want to change it, so that we can have a brighter future, we have to start now, right now, in this moment--NOW!!! Reply

Noii Chicago, IL September 24, 2013

Tsidkenu Dear Rabbi Freeman:

What a beautiful exultation to G_d because G_d is infinite and cannot be measured by time yet G_d is always omnipresent and known to us. Exalted be He! Reply

Anonymous Qro. September 24, 2013

What a joy to be part of a secret. What a joy to be part of a secret.
I enjoy whenever a secret is revealed to me. Especially those ones that enhance my relationship to G-d. Thanks for sharing. Reply

Marlene Lewis Mtl September 24, 2013

This is so beautiful, I want to read it over and over again. Thank you. Reply

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