There is a dire prediction in this week’s Sidra which is also read on Tisha B’Av which foresees a time when the Jews living in the Land of Israel shall go astray and worship false gods. When this happens the Jews will be dispersed throughout the world.
The Torah then says that from these lands they will seek out Hashem: KI TIDRESHENU BECHOL LEVAVCHA UVECHOL NAFSHECHA, “…with all your heart and with all your soul” and you will find Him (Deut. 4.29)
Rabbi Simcha Bunim had a very unique and telling interpretation of this passage. People who try to elevate themselves spiritually often start seeking in the strangest places. They search in books, in strange philosophies, in foreign lands. The Torah in this verse tells us to seek Hashem in “your heart and in your soul”. Spirituality does not reside in far flung places. It is to be found in one’s own heart and one’s soul.
People who want to achieve greater religious heights must search within themselves and their own manner of living. They can raise themselves to great spiritual living by simply contemplating on how they are living and how they can improve their religious lifestyle. It is within our reach; it is within ourselves.