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Leaving Home

Wednesday, 12 January, 2011 - 9:11 am

Leaving Home!

Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist, wrote an article  In which she describes her brother leaving home for college saying: “About two weeks after my brother left home, his tear stained letter arrived telling how much he missed all of us. …..  I learned that the first year of college did not just involve going away to college; it was also about leaving home".

That brought up the question, what about the second year? Does this happen when  transferring from one college to another?

The next morning, while learning a Chassidic Discourse, there was an obvious and interesting answer.

(This discourse was said by the Rebbe when he accepted the leadership of the Chabad Movement in 1951)

The discourse says: It says in the Midrash (the classical collections of the Sages' homiletical teachings on the Torah): This world is G-d’s home. When we speak of welcoming G-d into His home in the world, it means welcoming G-d's revelation to us here.  (Of course G-d is always present.) In the words of King Solomon describing this world, he says it is “My (G-d's) garden". When Adam and Eve ate from the tree G-d left His home. He went on a journey further and further away. Then He started to travel back. When Moses and the Jewish people received the Torah He came home again. But, a short while later when the Jews made the golden calf (a sin that pushed G-d away), He left home again. Now in 2011, He is almost back home.

What brings G-d home is our doing mitzvah (ie, lighting Shabbat candles, charity, teffilin.) It is in our ability to welcome G-d's home.

Why is only the first travel away from home enumerated in detail? Because the hardest thing for G-d was leaving home. Once He was not home the other travels weren’t as hard.

So yes the first step away from home is hardest and the return home is most significant.

Let us put out the welcome mat for G-d, and welcome Him home this Shabbos. By lighting Shabbat Candles or even before Shabbat by learning Torah at the Wednesday class.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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