The expression we usually hear is “G-d is in the details,” which Wikipedia defines as “expressing the idea that whatever one does should be done thoroughly; i.e. details are important.”
Or perhaps we know the take off expression on that, “The devil is in the details.”
Wikipedia, says that the origin of the first expression is not clear, and “attributed to a number of different individuals, most notably to German-born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969) by The New York Times in Mies’s 1969 obituary.”
“An earlier form, “Le bon Dieu est dans le détail” (“the good God is in the detail”) is generally attributed to Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880).”
“The devil is in the detail” usually means that the tricky part or potential trap is hidden in the details.
I took that photo this morning, as I walked the dog… And I have a different take on “G-d is in the details.” For me, it means that G-d is in everything, even the smallest and seemingly insignificant things. On the days when I can successfully channel Rebbe Nachman, and walk and pray in nature, I become acutely aware of every sight, sound and smell. My senses are fully open and I notice EVERYTHING. It is a deep spiritual connection… a true wake up call… and a G-dly reminder that I am alive and that G-d is remarkable and always with me.
We would all love to see that big and amazing miracle, I imagine… that flashy reminder that there is a G-d and He is looking out for us and protecting us… but sometimes, actually daily, we have the real opportunity to see miracles and feel His existence in everyday things. It just takes time… walking… praying… meditating… giving ourselves those moments when we allow Hashem to be a part of us… to wash over us and not in the Baptism sense of the word.
Last week, Ben wrote so beautifully about the Shiva we both experienced… and clearly the story that hit us both was Rabbi Shlomo Seidenfeld talking about how his sister Gloria had been flown to Israel and was buried just before Shabbos. He told us that most of the passengers on the plane probably had no idea that she was flying along with them… and thus gave us the powerful thought that when we fly to Israel, for whatever reason, and from now on, we should also be aware that there is most likely someone below us, heading home to rest. Shlomo is a man of great heart and also deep intellect, but for me, it is the even deeper comprehension and expression of specific details that make him not only a great and insightful teacher, but an amazing human being…
Details… Specific details… and finding the holiness within them.
As we are overwhelmed with the stories of Facebook compromising our information… seeing first hand how criminals use the web and electronics… scanners and ATMs… to harvest and steal our personal details…
How we have to check our personal credit reports often and scan the dark web… I ask myself, is technology bringing us closer to G-d or pushing us away?
History is filled with the genius of man, creating many wonderful things… But along with each incredible invention, there seems to be just as many using those creations for crime.
The web was originally intended for academics to share information and knowledge, but quickly became a tool for scams and theft.
And it’s not just regular crimes… technology also has a way of stealing our time, distracting us, killing clear and honest and human communication.
We need to make sure we control it, and not the other way around.
On the other hand, sites like Aish.com, Chabad.org allow us to learn Torah, hear prayers and classes, read the weekly Parsha, research and study… and yes… of course… technology allows you to read this blog!
Clearly G-d is in our computer and technology because He is everywhere… but, as with anything else, we can imbue those things with holiness… or with temptation and distraction.
G-d has given us all Free Will, so it is up to us to truly connect and to really find G-d in the technology… and everywhere else.