You know that moment when you go on the floor to play toys with your child, and then your child goes to do something else, and you catch yourself a few minutes later alone but fully engrossed and captivated by your child’s toys…?
This has probably happened to me more times than the number of letters in this sentence. I now know the ins and outs of Pinkalicious and why she ate so many cupcakes. I know the art of Magna-Tiles and just how many squares you need to make a house. I know the perfect way to set up Little People in their playhouse. I even know how to color on the dining room wall with crayons!
All seriousness aside, though, (that’s a joke!) there is a fascinating lesson that I think can be learned from this anecdote. The Jewish people are likened to a child and Hashem is likened to a parent. Hashem, our loving Father, who cares deeply about each and every one of us, enjoys spending time, connecting, and having a relationship with us. When He gave us the Torah on top of Har Sinai, He “lowered” Himself to be with us and gave us a practical way to connect and spend time with Him. Hashem wanted to be מיטיב to us and give us abundance of good, like any loving father would want to.
Hashem sits down with us to make a connection, just like a parent sits down with his or her child to play toys, thus creating an emotional bond, a deep connection. But what sometimes happens is that children, even though they have a deep love for their parent, can easily get bored, side tracked, and lose focus on what’s right in front of them, and they simply walk away. They go play with another toy or go read a different book.
Hashem is like that parent who stays on the floor even after the child has moved on to something else. Hashem loves us deeply and never wishes to separate Himself from us. He awaits our return, lovingly and patiently.
In this week’s Parshah, Parshas Ki Sisa, the Jewish people committed one of the worst sins ever done by mankind. They created the Golden Calf, the עגל הזהב. A mere few weeks after they received the Torah from Hashem and experienced tremendous closeness and connection to the Master of the Universe, they created a deity and distanced themselves from Hashem. Hashem came down to “play” and spend time with His children, but the children walked away in pursuit of other things.
In Shir Hashirim, the passuk tells us: הִנָּ֤ךְ יָפָה֙ רַעְיָתִ֔י הִנָּ֥ךְ יָפָ֖ה עֵינַ֥יִךְ יוֹנִֽים – “You are beautiful, My love! You are beautiful, your eyes are dove-like!”
The commentaries explain that this is a reference to Hashem and the Jewish people after the sin of the Golden Calf. Despite their sins, despite the fact that the Jewish people strayed and “walked away from G-d,” Hashem still loved them and chose not to walk away from them. He referred to His children as יפה, beautiful, after they repented. Hashem consoled the Jewish people and assured them that they remained His chosen people.
What an incredible message to take with us. Hashem loves us no matter what. Of course, we have to be careful what we do, and of course we will be judged for everything, but we must always remember – and never forget – that Hashem’s love for us, His children, is unbelievable, and even in moments when we walk away from Him, He NEVER walks away from us. He sits on the floor waiting for us to return.