Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev used to sing this song, called Dudelleh (Yiddish for “you, my dear one.”):

Where I wander –— You!
Where I wonder –— You!
Only You, You again, You always!
You! You! You!
When I am happy –— You!
When I am sad –— You!
Only You, You again, You always!
You! You! You! Sky –— You!
Earth—You! You above!
You below!
In the beginning –— You!
In the end –— You!
Only You, You again, You always!
You! You! You!


This is the song of an awakened master. God is everywhere and everything. God embraces all duality in a greater nonduality. Good and bad, right and wrong, up and down, male and female, matter and spirit are all contained in the One Without Second. And if this is so, there is no way for us to define God at all.

God cannot be an idea. We can point toward an understanding of God through myth and metaphor, but God Him/Her/Itself is beyond any conceptualization. If we can think It, It cannot be God, for that would make God smaller than us.

God cannot be objectified. But God can be encountered. This is what Reb Levi Yitzchak experiences in this song. He never uses the word “God” or any of the Hebrew names for the Divine. He uses the familiar Yiddish dudelleh, “You, my dear one.” The Yiddish carries with it a loving intimacy. Reb Levi Yitzchak isn’t seeing God; he is embracing God. He isn’t simply acknowledging God; he is loving God the way a child loves his mother when she plays peek-a-boo with him.

And this is what God is doing with you. Every moment, God, as it were, places God’s hands over God’s eyes and then removes them, pretending to see you as if for the first time and to be surprised. But it is you who is surprised: surprised to be seen, delighted to be seen, saved from an imagined loneliness, and embraced in an infinite love of seeing and being seen. When you can look and see, look and be seen, and know that the looker and the seer are both God, then you are awake to the game and ready to play another round.

Published in: on July 9, 2011 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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