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    Where is God? – Ki Tavo

    Our enemies taunted us, “Where is your God?”.

    We asked the same question ourselves. Sometimes it was when we were suffering so badly that we wondered whether God had forgotten us and left us in the lurch.

    We also asked the question when we simply wanted to know the Almighty’s location. We noted the prayerbook phrase, Avinu Shebashamayim, “Our Father in Heaven”, and said, “Heaven is above us in the sky, so that must be where God is”.

    Simple logic, and it is supported by this week’s portion which calls upon Him, Hashkifah mim’on kod’sh’cha min hashamayim – “Look down from Your holy habitation, from Heaven” (Deut. 26:15).

    But we still couldn’t help worrying. Since God has no bodily form how can He have a location? Can there even be such a question as “Where is God?”

    And that view too is supported by the Bible, for example in the final chapter of Isaiah with its grand assertion that no place is capable of containing Him (Isa. 66:1).

    So how do we handle the references to heaven?

    By saying that we are not speaking of a geographical place but a symbol. We look up to God in a metaphorical sense. He is so far above us in every respect that poetry is the only means we have to depict the distance: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:9).

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