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“And I will surely have concealed My face on that day.” (31:18)

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There will be times when Am Yisrael will be in such desperate straits that they will feel that Hashem has forsaken them as a result of their iniquity. Hashem responds to this fear, assuring that He will never forsake His People.  His presence may be concealed, but it will never disappear.  In a homiletic rendering of the pasuk, the Baal Shem Tov interprets the words rh,xt r,xv as, “I will hide the hidden.” Hashem will send His blessing in a concealed manner — through the vehicle of pain and suffering. In fact, the blessing will be hidden so well, the people will not sense the concealed blessing. The hidden (blessing) will remain hidden!

In recounting his grandfather’s pshat, interpretation, the Baal Shem Tov’s grandson, Rav Boruch M’Meziboz, z.l., would cry and say, “From the first r,xv, concealment, I have no fear. If Hashem chooses to veil His blessing under the guise of affliction, so be it. It is from the second rh,xt, concealment, that I tremble. If I become so obtuse that I no longer realize that Hashem is the source of all blessings, if I lose sight of the reality that all blessing comes from Him under the guise of affliction, then what will I do ? The tragedy of ignoring Hashem’s message is more severe and unforgivable.”

Once, after repeating this idea, Rav Boruch’s own grandson burst into the room crying. Rav Boruch asked the child, “Why are you crying ?” The child responded tearfully, “I was playing a game of ‘hide and seek’ with the other children. When it was my turn to hide I hid myself well, but no one came to search for me. I remained hidden for quite a while, and my friends simply ignored me.” When Rav Boruch heard these words from the mouth of the innocent child he began to cry.  “This is Hashem’s demand of us,” he exclaimed. “He cries out from His concealment, ‘Why do you not seek Me out ?’ Hashem hides Himself for one purpose — to see if we will seek Him out.”

Nobody, however, seems to care. We waste opportunity after opportunity.  We let every chance to become close with Hashem slip by — either due to our ignorance or as a result of our ambivalence.  If we will only maintain the conviction to seek Him out, we will succeed in finding Him.

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