In Parshat Va’etchanan, Moshe says that in the future, the Jewish people will go into exile and serve manmade gods. These will be gods of wood and stone, gods that cannot see, eat, hear, or smell.
What are these gods? Today they aren’t necessarily wood or stone idols. These gods are the things that get in the way of our relationship with Hashem, the things we turn to first. Money, status, physical desire, anger, jealousy. Whatever takes over our minds and hearts can become a type of god.
Moshe Rabbeinu goes on to tell the Jewish people that then they will seek the One, True God from wherever they are, right from that place. If they search for Him with all their heart and soul then they will find Him and the other gods will fade away.
The Baal Shem Tov says that wherever we’re standing, no matter where that place is, a person can start searching for Hashem right NOW. It doesn’t matter what you believe in, what you are involved in, what your relationships are like—know that you can search for the One, True God from the spot where you are. And if you search with honesty and yearning, you will find Him.
There is something special about exile, our personal exile included. In some ways, exile is more conducive to coming close to Hashem than living in a perfect situation. When we are in exile, we feel dissonance. We know something is missing. Something doesn’t quite feel right. This can spur us to reject the gods that we have in our life, and to seek only the One, True God—Hashem.
May you have a day in which you begin to seek Hashem no matter where you are exiled.