Tetzaveh - Feel G-d
In this week's parsha, the pasuk once again talks about Hashem resting His presence amongst klal Yisrael. The pasuk says "...I shall rest among the children of Israel.....they shall know that I am Hashem their G-d who took them out of the land of Mitzrayim...." The Ramban explains this pasuk that as a result of knowing that Hashem rests among us, we can properly come to the emunah that Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim.
On a basic level, this idea is very difficult to understand. Hashem was talking to klal Yisrael at this time. This was the every same klal Yisrael which saw the miracles in Egypt! Why did they need to "know that Hashem is among us", in order to know that "Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim"? Rav Yitzchak Isaac Sher asks this same question in last week's parsha. What was introduced with this knowledge which wasn't already a part of klal Yisrael? They witnessed kriyas yam suf! The ten plagues! How could this knowledge that Hashem is within in our midst add anything to the emunah that He took us out of Mitzrayim?
There's a very big yesod from the baalei Mussar which is very relevant. There are different levels of emunah. Rav Avigdor Miller would give a mashal of a small child. If you tell the child that the element of a stove is very hot and that he shouldn't touch it, the child will believe you. However, even though he can know that the stove is hot, he's never experienced the heat from the stove. On the other hand, if there's a child who touched the stove top and got burnt, his level of knowledge that the stove is hot is on a much higher level of understanding than the first child.
The same is true with our emunah. A person can know intellectually that there exists a Ribbono shel Olam. That person's emunah is within the realm of knowing. However, his emunah is limited, for he never experienced it. But, feeling. Hashem's presence creates a much higher level of emunah than simply knowing it to be true.
The baalei mussar say that this is what the Ramban is alluding to. A person could intellectually know Hashem. He could have even seen open miracles proving what he knows! However, if a person wants to make emunah a part of him, to take with him the root of emunah which is Yetzias Mitzrayim, it’s not enough to just know it; one has to feel it. He needs that higher level of emunah called emunah chushis; not just an intellectual emunah, but an experiential one.
This yesod is a major yesod which I personally take much mussar from. The Torah isn't just telling us to know Hashem, the Torah is telling us to live with Hashem. To feel His presence among us. How many times do we forget this? How many times do we act in a way which is against His will? Or furthermore, how many times do we justify our own agendas by misconstruing His will? If we felt Him in our midst, could we do such things? Would we be able to act in such a way?
The yesod is penetrating. If we want to become people who serve Hashem, who connect to Yetzias Mitzrayim, Hashem has to become our reality. And the only way for us to make Him a reality is to feel His presence. To try as hard as we can to focus on Him and to put Him in front of us always. In this way, with this high level of emunah, we don't just exist as people who know of Hahhem, rather we experience Hashem.