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    I recently drove to a
    funeral at a cemetery
    deep in Miami. One of
    the other attendees
    asked me which route I
    took to get there. I
    thought for a moment
    and realized I couldn’t remember. I had entered
    the address into Waze before I left and was so
    preoccupied with phone calls the whole way
    down, I arrived at the destination with no
    memory of how I got there.
    When Hashem refers to the holiest place in
    the world, He doesn’t give us an address or
    coordinates. He didn’t offer directions or what
    route to take. He simply says:
    כי ִּ אםִ־אל-ֶ־הַמָּקֹום אשֲֶׁ ר-־יבִחְַר ה״ אֱלקֹיכםֶ֙
    מִּכל-ָ־שִׁ בטְֵיכםֶ לשָּׂום אתֶ־שְׁ מֹו שָׁ ם -לשְִׁ כנְֹו
    תִדְרְׁשּו ּובאָת-ָ שָׁ מָּה׃
    Look only to the site that Hashem your G-d
    will choose amidst all your tribes to set His
    name there, you shall inquire after His
    dwelling and come there.
    What is this mysterious place that Hashem
    wants us to find? Why doesn’t Hashem provide
    the coordinates for it? Why not give an address
    for Moshe to plug into his GPS?
    The Chizkuni says there was no set address
    as the precursor to the Beis HaMikdash, the

    Mishkan, moved around. The Ramban
    disagrees and says the adverb “there” is, in
    fact, referring to the Beis HaMikdash. The
    location isn’t revealed because Hashem wants
    us to seek it, to calibrate our compass towards
    holiness and to find it. Rather than give a
    specific location, Hashem wants us to intuit the
    location of the holiest place on earth and then
    confirm it with a Navi, a prophet.
    The Ramban offers a second understanding,
    explaining that the word שמה ,”there” is not
    referring to a geographical location, but is
    modifying the word “ לשכנו“ , to feeling
    Hashem’spresence and influence. The Torah is
    saying תדרשו , if you want to feel Hashem in
    your life, seek Him, look for Him, reveal Him,
    connect with Him.
    Uncle Moishe famously sings that Hashem is
    here, Hashem is there, Hashem is everywhere,
    but the Kotzker Rebbe disagreed. When he
    was yet a little boy, he was once asked where
    can Hashem be found, and he answered, only
    where you let Him in. It is up to us to have that
    relationship to make that connection, to see
    behind the curtain that Hashem is there all
    In Havdalah, we highlight the distinctions
    בין אור לחושך- בין :things several between
    ישראל לעמים- בין יום השביעי- לששת ימי
    המעשה , between light and dark, Jews and

    gentiles, the seventh day and the first six. Rav
    Soloveitchik points out that light and darkness
    are clear for all to perceive. Even animals
    respond to the difference in these stimuli. But
    the Havdalah between kodesh and chol, what
    is holy and what is profane, is much different.
    It cannot be perceived or measured by the
    naked eye. A person needs to have a special
    intuition, to see with his or her heart, as this
    separation can only be sensed, not seen.
    The Midrash (Tanchuma Vayera) says when
    Avraham went with his entourage to the
    Akeida, he saw Har HaMoriah from a distance
    and turned to Yitzchak and asked, what do you
    see? Yitzchak answered, I see a beautiful and
    praiseworthy mountain and a cloud envelops
    it. He asked Eliezer and Yishmael, what do
    you see? They said, we see a barren desert. He
    stay – שבו לכם פה- עם החמור ,them to said
    here with the donkey – the donkey does not see
    and you do not see, and כה עד -נלכה והנער ואני
    , Yitzchak and I will go until there.
    The “there,” was Har HaMoriah, the future
    site of the Beis HaMikdash. Avraham intuited
    holiness, Yitzchak was drawn to holiness, the
    others saw barrenness, they saw a desolate
    be to לשְִׁ כנְֹו תִדְרְׁשּו ּובאָת-ָ שָׁ מָּה, is ,Jew a be To
    able to make Havdalah, to distinguish between
    holy and profane, spiritual and mundane, and
    be drawn to holiness, to seek spirituality.
    A donkey sees everything as superficial,
    only at its surface level. A donkey wants
    to satisfy its appetite and to be happy. If
    we fail to understand certain images,
    ideas, media, language, behaviors are
    profane, they are the opposite of holiness,
    we are no better than a donkey. We have to
    see beneath the surface, to distinguish
    between what is holy and profane, what
    brings out the best in us and what satisfies
    a craving that is only skin deep.
    We don’t strive for happiness; we strive
    for and are to be drawn to holiness. To be
    the progeny of Avraham is to intuit
    holiness, to calibrate our compass of
    kedusha and ,שמה ובאת go to it. To go to
    “there” is to see Hashem in everything. In
    every bite of an apple, every sunrise,
    every meaningful experience and every
    contact with kindness, you can feel
    Hashem. In the words of the Kotzker, let
    Him in, make room, invite Him into a
    We are welcoming the month of Elul,
    which, as is well known, is an acronym
    for לי- ודודי לדודי אני – I am to my beloved
    and my beloved is to me. When we are in
    a period of courtship, of falling in love,
    we are tidreshu, we are drawn to the other.
    We keep checking our phone to see if they
    have called or texted, we count down until
    the next time we will be together, and we
    struggle to hang up the phone, no matter
    what time of night.
    Dr. John Gottman, one of the greatest

    authorities on healthy marriage, explains what
    we were doing when we stayed up all night
    talking or finding it hard to get off the phone.
    He says we were drawing love maps, learning
    about one another, being inquisitive, we are
    engaging in discovery and that creates
    electricity, excitement and brings romance and
    But too often, we then get married, life,
    children, responsibilities get in the way and we
    stop drawing love maps. We have no time or
    emotional energy to discover, to learn, to ask
    about the other’s inner world, hopes and
    dreams. And that is why many marriages
    struggle. Gottman says continuing to draw
    love maps is critical to a healthy marriage. (On
    his website, you can download great questions
    couples can use to ask one another and
    continue to learn about one another deep into
    Hashem doesn’t provide the coordinates or
    the address, He wants us to draw the map in
    our relationship, to use our spiritual intuition
    to find Him, and to let Him in. How? The same
    way we approach our other important
    relationships. By learning, inquiring, being
    curious about Hashem’s “inner world.”
    It is time to renew our relationship with
    Hashem, to bring ourselves back to a time
    when we struggled to hang up with Him and
    just wanted to talk all night, finding out more,
    experiencing more. Relationships, both human
    and with Hashem, need nurturing. They are fed
    with a diet of time, communication and
    attention. Our relationship with Hashem, like
    all other relationships, needs all three.
    When I met with the Skver Rebbe a few years
    ago, he asked me a lot of questions about the
    community – he was truly curious about what it
    is like here. At the end of our conversation, he
    said he had one more question. He turned to
    me and said, Rav Goldberg, are there
    mevakshim in Boca Raton? Does your
    community have seekers, people who are
    looking for Hashem? I was proud to give him
    a resounding yes, but I found it fascinating that
    this was his major question and it struck me, it
    should be the question of ourselves as well.
    Are we mevakshim, are we dorshim, are we
    searching for Hashem by learning about Him,
    talking to Him, listening to Him. Over Elul and
    beyond, set aside time to learn daily, talk to
    Hashem in davening in a way you haven’t in a
    long time. Draw your new love maps, reignite
    the energy and don’t let your relationship
    remain stale.