“Mommy, I want you home now. I want you here,” my youngest demands. “Mommy, are you coming home again?”

The sweet and simple question of my three-year-old makes my heart ache. “Of course. I will be home in two days.”

The answer doesn’t appease him, nor does he understand that I already have my return ticket home. “Mommy, I want you home now”Two days, a week, a month. Time means nothing to him. He doesn’t know the difference. And seeing me on Skype confuses him. We have no television or videos in our home. He doesn’t understand where I am, or how he can get a glimpse of me and not be with me. He doesn’t understand how I am in constant contact with him. My physical presence is not with him, but I am thinking about him and still with him—still very much connected to him, just not in the same tangible way.

It’s the first time I’ve left home, left my children, for a week-long course that will give me a tremendous amount of skills and tools to use in my practice. I felt that the one-week separation was worth it, but I am surprised by the reactions of my children, especially the youngest one. I am also surprised by how much I miss them!

I left everything ready, food cooked and frozen, a calendar of events, careful instructions for my husband, and clothes freshly laundered and put away. Knowing how much my children are close with and adore my husband, and given that all their needs were taken care of, I didn’t even think that they would miss me. To my delight, I was wrong! There is nothing like the feminine presence of a mommy.

I wish that I could put into words exactly what that presence is, but I can’t. If I close my eyes, I think of warm soft arms, a full belly, a soft shoulder, a sweet smell. I see a woman doing what only her body is capable of doing—nursing her baby. It’s not that my husband isn’t nurturing or soft. I rest assured knowing he gives them loving hugs and kisses, but he’s not mommy.

When the Holy Temple was destroyed, we didn’t just lose our physical place of national worship and service to G‑d. We lost that closeness, that physical contact with the Shechinah, the feminine attribute of G‑d—our “Mommy.”The phone calls and Skype aren't enough

We wake up in the morning, we breathe, we eat, and everything we need is prepared and provided for us. We do connect, and we do learn Torah and pray. We receive hugs and kisses, but we lack, we miss, we yearn for Mommy.

The phone calls and Skype aren’t enough. As the years go by, we begin to doubt. Will the Shechinah really come home? Will there really be a redemption? Will the lack ever be filled? Will we once again have that closeness, the closeness of a baby suckling at its mother’s breast? The child may doubt it, but I must tell you, from the perspective of the mother—it will come. She never forgets. She never stops thinking, never stops worrying, about Her children. Her love is unconditional. In fact, when we went into exile, She insisted on coming with us. She can never really part from us, and when the final redemption comes, She will reveal Herself to us. Her presence will be once again be tangible to us, and together with Her, we will all return home.