Can you imagine approaching G‑d and hugging Him? Like, really embracing His essence? Is such an encounter even possible?

In Chapter 4 of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe teaches us that it is. G‑d, in all His greatness, humbly enclothed Himself into this physicalCan you imagine approaching G‑d and hugging Him? world and can be found in tangible things, such as in the ink of the 24 books of Tanach and in the mundane items with which we perform mitzvot. When we—regular flesh-and-blood people—learn a verse in Torah or perform a mitzvah, it’s like we’re giving G‑d a hug, connecting to the G‑dliness found within the physicality. Whether it’s a coin for charity or wine for kiddush, we tap into spirituality specifically through these objects.

In fact, this is the reason that one hour of human life on planet earth spent performing good deeds is more valuable than an everlasting Afterlife in heaven, for it is only through physicality that one hugs the Essence of G‑d. Physicality is not a distraction from holiness; it is the medium through which every part of our being can connect to G‑d on an intimate level.

It’s true that we may not always feel that doing a mitzvah is hugging G‑d because the holiness of the Torah is couched into such tangible, mundane items to the point that it feels like it is “covered up” by layers of physicality. However, if you were hugging someone really special, would it matter how many layers of clothing he or she was wearing? G‑d may seem to be “wrapped” in all these layers, but it’s still Him that we’re hugging.

Tanya Bit: Doing a physical mitzvah is like giving G‑d a hug.

(Inspired from Chapter 4 of Tanya)