Here’s a most insightful excerpt from another great commentary on the ‘I will hide that I will hide’ text (Deut 31:18) in last weeks Torah Portion:
“This world is like a cosmic game of hide-and-seek. We are given an invitation to this world; the invitation is called life. This invitation itself is a challenge: Who brought us here? Who sustains us here? What are we doing here?
To make the game more challenging and our success more meaningful and rewarding, there are various distractions and “false leads” which can take us away from the game. But our “Host” has not left us without a “crib sheet” to help us navigate this ultimate virtual adventure. He has provided a clear manual that is guaranteed to allow us to unmask Him and the purpose of our existence. This manual is called the Torah.
When we keep the Torah we see our “Host” more and more clearly. But if we don’t keep the Torah, He will hide himself more and more deeply, and finding Him will be very difficult indeed.
“I will surely hide My face.”
In the Hebrew language, the emphatic “to surely do” something is expressed by the repetition of the verb. In other words, the literal translation of the phrase “I will surely hide My face” is “Hide, I will hide My face.”
The very structure of the Hebrew language gives us an insight into this “hiding.” There are two kinds of concealment. One is a concealment where you know someone is there but you just can’t see him. The other is a concealment where you don’t even know if he is there at all. In this second type, the very fact of his being hidden is concealed. This is the ultimate hiding, where the very hiding is hidden.
When we are aware that G-d has “hidden” from us, He is not really concealed, because we realize that our hiding from Him has been reciprocated by His hiding from us. And so, we humble ourselves and return to Him, imploring his forgiveness. However, when the hiding is itself hidden, and we think that this is the way the world is supposed to be, then we are in big trouble because nothing awakens us to return to G-d. We think to ourselves, “This is the way things are supposed to be, isn’t it?”
Ignorance, they say, is bliss. But only while we’re ignorant of our ignorance. One day we will all wake up in the real “Supreme” court and we will then have to pay the price for our years of “bliss.” On Yom Kippur we have a chance to shake ourselves out of our self-inflicted ignorance. A once-a-year opportunity to throw ourselves on the mercy of the King. If we search with all our hearts we will find Him.” – from Parshat Vayelech – by Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair (a Torah scholar and photographer)