Where Hashem’s Shechinah resides

During an Avos U’banim (father and son) learning program on Shabbos I had a discussion with my son (entering 3rd grade) and one of his friends (entering 5th grade) about behavior and kavod (honor) that we need to have while in a shul or beis midresh.

I quoted the Gemora in Megillah 29a that states the since the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple) Hashem’s Shechinah (Presense) which use to reside in the the Beis HaMikdash, now on a certain level resides in a beis haknesses (shul) and beis hamidrash (study hall).

My son’s friend piped up, “I thought that Hashem is everywhere?”
My son then quickly quoted the famous Uncle Moishy lines, “Hashem is here, Hashem is there…Hashem is truly everywhere.”

They brought up a good point. I submitted to the following analogy to hopefully explain this concept:

We know that the sun give us light all over the section of the Earth that it shines upon. However if you were to take a magnifying glass and put a leave under it, with some careful focusing you can focus part of the sun’s light and burn a leaf (this was a favorite activity of mine when I was younger). By doing this we are not taking away any of the light that’s being shined by the sun. So to, as I explained to my son and his friend, when we say that Hashem’s Shechinah resides in both shuls and batei midrashim, it doesn’t mean that Hashem is only in these places and not everywhere else. The Shechina itself is only being re-focused in certain locations. That focusing of doesn’t take away from Hashem being everywhere.

2 thoughts on “Where Hashem’s Shechinah resides

  1. A Simple Jew

    I really appreciated your mashal as well since I use to do this all the time as a kid.

    BTW, did you ever try it on black construction paper? It would catch on fire quicker than other types of paper.


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