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Father, Where Are You?

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Father, Where Are You?

The purpose of exile has been explained with a parable: G-d hides from us, like a father hides from his son - in order to evoke the son's deepest desire to find his father and be close to him again.
Tzimtzum, Galut, Lubavitcher Rebbe
Father, Where Are You?
Disc 48, Program 190

Event Date: 15 Shevat 5739 - February 12, 1979

The purpose of exile has been explained with a parable: G-d hides from us, like a father hides from his son - in order to evoke the son's deepest desire to find his father and be close to him again.

But after looking for so long, the son is liable to give up the search! He may even forget that the father is there altogether. The Jew may continue to adhere to Jewish law, but no longer hope for a meaningful relationship with G-d. And when confronted about this he can respond: "Why complain to me? Complain to G-d! How long must we wait for Him?" G-d is the One Who makes man finite and limited, and the exile seems to be more than man can handle. When a person increases the Divine light in his life, and specifically a real and tangible joy, then "joy bursts through barriers" - it tears down the barriers within himself, and the thick barriers of the darkness of exile.

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Gamaliel ben Gamliel August 7, 2019

I get the Rabbi's figurative speech. The term G_d is a noun used by mortal man to define that which he doesn't fully comprehend. There are many other names man used to define that Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent Universal Spirit. The danger with giving 'something' a name is that you limit its potentiality and fullness. We perceive G_d as missing in a circumstance because of lack of recognition of that Universal Spirit (the which we call G_d) in our lives...someone called 'it' the Divine Light. It lives in each one of us and our level of consciousness of its presence determines the extent of His presence in our lives. Reply

Perry Tennessee August 3, 2015

I was thinking about darkness, it seems it's always there when ever the light is absent. Darkness isn't like the light that you switch on and off, light can be generated. As far as I know we still haven't invented a switch to turn on the dark. Still if we do nothing the only light we'll see is the light emitted by the sun or the stars or reflected light by the moon. Maybe we should follow the example of the one who created these and let our light so shine that people would see the reflection of the father in us. Reply

Chana August 2, 2015

Thank you for sharing Yes, joy is the answer, and delight!
The Rebbe is the most amazing human being in my eyes -- the depth of his feelings show you, and he says that the same intensity can shatter the darkness and turn it to bring our Redemption, relief, and that you have to want it with this same intensity to ask for that miracle to bring it on. This is beyond logic, it is a high level of trust.
Watch also the 'Is Exile G‑d’s Way of Punishing Us?' video here to understand this concept and to see it in action realized! Reply

Rafael July 30, 2015

I watched the video again and read all the comments. The Rabbi seems to have reached a paradox of logic vs faith . So much pain and suffering could obviously be avoided if G-d came forward . Generally speaking the faithful would keep the faith without daring to ask the question . Faith only requires faith however the Rabbi is trying to reason and has run straight into a wall . it hurts to watch his torment . Reply

Graham Riley UK July 28, 2015

Father where are you How silly of me, sarcasm does not travel the ether very well :)
Let me put it another way;

'Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.'
If we delight in our own traditions rather than the Word of G-D, should we really wonder why he seems distant? Reply

Rafael July 27, 2015

To clarify what I said in the last comment , no Rabbi today would dare use Divine revelation and write it as the words of God . To take natural calamities and extrapolate words and write them down claiming Gods authorship would not be excepted today . It is our new cognition that has made G-d disappear. Reply

Anthony Tallapoosa July 26, 2015

praisean Praise be the holy name of G-d......... Reply

Herb Silverman USA July 26, 2015

The Rebbe asks why G-d is hiding from us and explains it’s like a father hiding from his son because the son will appreciate his father more when he searches for him. I don’t view absentee fathers as role models, especially when such fathers are permanently absent. A more likely explanation is that G-d is hidden because G-d doesn’t exist. The invisible and the nonexistent look very much alike.

Herb Silverman
USA Reply

Anonymous Florida July 26, 2015

Rebbe's tears moved me to tears. A Tzaddik Godol! Reply

Graham Riley UK July 26, 2015

Today we are very different Or maybe he has disowned us. Is this even possible? Have i disowned any of mine? Could a loving father ever really disown his children? What could we have possibly done to deserve such a thing? Reply

Anonymous UK June 12, 2015

G-d is everywhere G-d reveals himself everywhere, it is impossible to be alive and not see creation. G-d, himself, can be perceived as concealed when a person does not; pray, think about G-d, about how G-d helps us to survive this world and the trials of this world.

It is clear the Rebbe understands true repentance and this is a wonderful man who has a heart that feels emotion and understands how G-d listens to true repentance, hence the tears.

It is not easy during times of great suffering to understand how and why this is happening and if G-d is observing this? so many questions as to why? Yes, G-d observes and acts - G-d is a 'just' person and the wicked (whom for a time enjoy what they do) are observed and those whom suffer and turn to G-d are comforted. The time, place and oppressor are historical - see the after effects, the justice brought into action. By keeping G-d alive in our hearts and mind, being mindful, then G-d is not concealed and we are not exiled. Reply

Dina Day USA February 26, 2013

the Rebbe is crying when you hear silence, the Rebbe is crying Reply

Tuvya Friedlander haifa, israel July 26, 2010

what was the Rebbe thinking? does anyone know what the Rebbe was doing when he goes quiet in this video when he is talking about how G-d needs to show himself and hasn't shown himself yet and how hard it is for humans to carry on without G-d's revelation. Reply

Mayer Cedarhurst June 22, 2018
in response to Tuvya Friedlander:

The Rebbe is trying to compose himself. Reply

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