Many eons ago, before children would come home from school to their PlayStations and personal computers; before parents' leisure time was consumed by the internet and hundreds of cable channels, mothers and fathers would actually spend considerable amounts of time playing and bonding with their children. One of the favorite pastimes was the game of hide and seek. A parent would climb beneath, say, the sofa and wait for the cry of delight which would inevitably accompany the child's discovery of the parent. The pride the children would take in their incredible sleuthing skills was only matched by their parents' pleasure; seeing how happy their children were to find them.

Our collective Father also enjoys the game of hide and seek. He wants to have a meaningful relationship with His children, but realizes that a commodity is rarely treasured when it is unearned, with no effort having gone into its acquisition. So He decided to hide Himself.

our Father manages to be hiding everywhere, making every moment of our lives part of this grand game of hide and seekHe hid Himself in the obvious hiding places, such as the synagogue, the Torah, charity, mitzvot, and many other places where one would think of looking for Him. But to make the game a bit tougher, and the end result so much more satisfying, He also hid in many unconventional hiding places — places where one wouldn't think to search for Him. In nature and in "coincidences." At home, at work, and even in the gym. In fact, unlike the conventional game of hide and seek where often one must search many a nook and cranny before finding the one hiding, our Father manages to be hiding everywhere, making every moment of our lives part of this grand game of hide and seek, one where we can uncover Him anyplace and anywhere — it all depends on how closely we analyze any given moment and situation.

But if He is hidden, how are we to know to search for Him? Taking this concern under consideration, our Father devised an ingenious plan. He programmed His children to have a natural penchant for searching. He wired us to be instinctively dissatisfied with any status quo; to always feel the urge to search for something more, something deeper.

And search we do. And He waits in His hiding places and eagerly awaits the cry of delight which will come accompany our discovery of Him.


P.S. Occasionally a child would get distracted by an important object found in the course of his quest to find his parent. A half eaten lollypop behind the radiator or a long lost toy truck under the sink. So while the parent lay crumpled beneath the sofa waiting to be "discovered," the child was blissfully playing with the precious object he has just unearthed, his parent the farthest thing from his mind. We can only imagine the disappointment of a parent who emerges from a hideaway only to discover that the child abandoned his parent in favor of a sweet or toy.

Heard from my uncle, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak "Fitzi" Lipskier of blessed memory.