Is G-d Beyond Us or Within Us?
The Torah recounts that G-d instructed the Israelites to build a sanctuary, telling Moses, “Let them build a sanctuary and I will dwell in them.” Note that G-d did not say, “I will dwell in the sanctuary.” G-d said, “in them.”
Is G-d beyond us or within us?
One day my son Ananiel and my two daughters, Leyadya and Ne’ema, burst into my study. They had obviously been fighting over something and were very upset. I could see that I was chosen to be the lucky arbitrator to resolve another case of sibling rivalry. They shouted at each other, “You go, you ask Daddy.” “No, no! You go, you go.” Finally Ananiel, who was age five at that time, took the challenge and said, “O.K., O.K. Daddy, isn’t it true that G-d is a boy?” Ne’ema and Leyadya, ages eight and nine, had tears in their eyes. I could hear them silently pleading with me, “Please no, please no. Tell us it’s not true. It’s bad enough our brother is a boy. Surely, G-d is really a girl.” I said to them, “G-d is not a boy and G-d is not a girl. G-d is beyond that. We may talk about G-d as if He is a boy. But we really don’t mean it literally.” They all looked at me in shock and confusion. There was this awkward silence, and then suddenly my son blurted out, “You’re wrong! He’s a boy.” And he stomped out of the room.