Kafka: Foran Loven - hypertekstualiseret af Elias Ole Tetens Lund
I will surely hide My face.
The Hiding Is Hidden. Siddur Baal Shem Tov
Often it is not what at first seems to be evil that is the problem, but our inability to see how God is behind or within it. In Jewish mysticism this is called God hiding God's face. In the following, the Baal Shem Tov draws a lesson from the syntactical peculiarity of biblical Hebrew. To emphasize a verb, the Bible repeats the verb. The BeSHT suggests, however, that we might read the doubled verb literally, and in the following teaching suggests that there are actually two different kinds of hiding.
"You hid your face, I was terrified" (Psalm 30:8). The Baal Shem Tov used to explain this verse by citing Deuteronomy 31:18, "[haster astir] I will surely hide My face."
In order to communicate intensity of the verb idea, biblical Hebrew commonly precedes the verb with its own infinitive. English renders this double verb as "surely hide," but a close, literal reading speaks of hiding twice.
The Baal Shem Tov said it means that the hiding is itself hidden, so that we are unable to fathom the good that is latent within the hiding. Indeed, if we could understand that some greater goodness is concealed within God's apparent absence—that the hiding is for a reason, then we would be able to "sweeten the harsh decree"—to discern the purpose of God's apparent withdrawal. The BeSHT would conclude by saying that I am more afraid of not realizing that God is hiding than I am of the actual hiddenness itself.
The first kind of hiding is tolerable. We remain convinced that even though we don't understand what's going on, even though God's face, as it were, seems concealed from us, we remain convinced of God's presence. Indeed, if we understand that God is present but only hidden—that the hiddenness, in other words, has a purpose—then our present sadness is mitigated. But when the hiddenness is itself concealed, then the terror of meaninglessness overwhelms us. Our goal, therefore, is a faith in and an abiding trust that the world is working out the way it's supposed to. And we are summoned to find the hidden meaning we trust is already there. (..)
kilde: Lawrence Kushner: The way into Jewish Mystical Tradition
(Jewish Lights Publication, Woodstock, Vermont, 2001) p. 101-102