A couple of weeks ago I lost my ipad. I rely on it for work, and I also use it to study Torah with people over Facetime. I’m usually very careful with it, and I knew where I’d left it, but alas, it was no longer there.
And so my search began.
I scoured my office from top to bottom and hunted through every nook and cranny of my apartment, to no avail. It wasn’t in the car either. My wife joined the search, but she had no success either.
My frustration grew as days passed and I was forced to ask favors and borrow friends’ iPhones each time I had a remote learning session scheduled.
I searched several more times, assuming it had to show up eventually, but it seemed well and truly gone. After all, this is Manhattan; offices and apartments are small—there aren’t that many places to look!
But just this past week, when I’d entirely given up on ever finding the errant tablet, one of my children was playing under the dining room table and lo and behold—they found it! It was ingeniously hidden between the leaves that extend the table, a place only my three-year-old Sara could’ve reached.
Relief! I had my iPad back, was feeling eternally grateful, and life could go on as usual.
A couple of days later, as I ran through Central Park, I listened to a talk given by the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
The Rebbe explained that when we are in exile, G-d is hiding from us, just as a father hides while playing hide and seek with his child. He wants the child to look for him! G-d hides from us so that we will search for Him. The problem is that G-d has hidden Himself so well that we have stopped searching! The Rebbe cried profusely as he described this deepest part of the exile which we are currently in, where G-d is so hidden that we no longer look for Him.
Next week we celebrate the holiday of Purim, when we read Megillat Esther—the only book of Tanach in which G-d’s name is not mentioned at all. But even though G-d’s name is hidden, we still know that all the events told in the Megillah (i.e., the story of Purim) were directed exclusively by Him.
So let’s make a concerted effort not to succumb to the exile; if we actively search for G-d, we will surely find Him present in every aspect of our lives.
Zimbabwean-born Rabbi Uriel Vigler has been directing the Chabad Israel Center of the Upper East Side of Manhattan together with his wife Shevy since 2005. In addition, he founded Belev Echad which helps wounded IDF soldiers. He has a weekly blog on current events. He is the proud father of eight children (including triplets) and leads a very young, vibrant and dynamic community.