The song "Hashem is here, Hashem is there..." seems to pose many interesting theological problems. What concerns would you have with this song? How would you educate your child on the challenges this song presents?

The lyrics are:

Hashem is here, Hashem is there, Hashem is truly everywhere. Hashem is here, Hashem is there, Hashem is truly everywhere. Up, up, down, down, right, left and all around, here, there and everywhere, that’s where he can be found. (As quoted here).

  • I won't mark this as a duplicate because of the chinuch angle, but see also: mi.yodeya.com/questions/876/…
    – Isaac Moses
    Aug 5, 2010 at 11:50
  • Yeah, I framed the question in terms of education. I find kids have a hard time with this song and wanted to see what others though about it.
    – RCW
    Aug 5, 2010 at 19:43
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    Yes, G-d is everywhere. What's the problem?
    – Turk Hill
    Apr 24, 2020 at 16:26

5 Answers 5


Children cannot grasp the concept of m'lo chol h'aretz kevodo without relating it to something concrete (e.g. the old bearded grandfather in the sky). In fact, children think of Hashem as "being" in the sky because they don't see Hashem "down here".

I think the song is OK for kids in the same way we teach anthropomorphic midrashim. When the child matures, we should reteach these concepts on an appropriate level. (No source)

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    Interesting point. Obviously their will be a difference in educating a 2 year old versus a 11 year old. However, when you teach anthropomorphic midrashim, wouldn't you explain that is a metaphor and can not be taken literally? I am not sure lying to children is the best education model either. Children can handle according to their level the idea that Hashem has no body or physical form. In fact they may have a harder time thinking Hashem is here and there and everywhere, "Am I sitting on God now?!?" Why introduce a false idea? What do you think? Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    – RCW
    Aug 5, 2010 at 19:50
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    Thank you for that. When we do teach that Hashem is "angry", I would think effective Chinuch would be to emphasize that this is a metaphor. One might even ask the student what he or she thinks it means. Depending on the age, you might ask what we can learn from the fact that this term of anger is used regarding violations of Idolatry. I think it is important to teach the child according to their level, to let the child's questions guide you. But I would not try and mislead or create a false impression per se.
    – RCW
    Aug 6, 2010 at 0:35
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    YDK, you mean "pantheism" and not "panentheism"
    – Yahu
    Aug 9, 2010 at 5:47
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    How exactly is this song any different, say, than the verse (Jer. 23:24), הלא את השמים ואת הארץ אני מלא - "Behold, I [Hashem] fill the heavens and the earth"? Of course Hashem is beyond spatial bounds, yet He chooses to describe His immanence in these (seemingly limited) terms.
    – Alex
    Aug 10, 2010 at 7:44
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    However there are a number of sources which give God's place as the sky or heavens. For example, Berachos 48a: > אביי ורבא הוו יתבי קמיה דרבה אמר להו רבה למי מברכין אמרי ליה לרחמנא ורחמנא היכא יתיב רבא אחוי לשמי טללא אביי נפק לברא אחוי כלפי שמיא אמר להו רבה תרווייכו רבנן הויתו היינו דאמרי אינשי בוצין בוצין מקטפיה ידיע When Rabbah asked Rava and Abaye, who were children at the time, where God resides, they both pointed up to the sky.
    – Yosef
    Nov 26, 2010 at 2:33

The song is a wonderful song.

I don't think that it poses any theological problems. Actually, it expresses one of the tenets of Torah Judaism.

Children understand very well that there are things that are true that they don't understand. They understand that lack of understanding does not take away from a truth expressed.

On the topic of the words of this song Meir Zev Mark, author of EmunahSpeak, http://emunahspeak.blogspot.com/ writes the following words, including in his words a famous observation of the Kotzker Rebbe Zatzal:

"Hashem is here, Hashem is there, Hashem is truly everywhere is all that stands between us and spiritual blindness because as the Kotsker Rebbe observed, the one who does not see the Omnipresent [literally, place] in every place, will not see Him in any place."


R' Yosef Masas, in Mayim Chaim, amidst his rejection of Kabbalistic recitations, has the following to say:

ואף כי עדין רגל על לשוני לומר קודם ברכת המוציא בשבתות. הנוסח למבצע על ריפתא. כאשר רגיל בפי כל ישראל אחד האיש ואחד האשה. אף שאין לי בה מובן? התם שאני. מפני שיש בה נגון. ואהבת הנגון מכסה מום חסרון ידיעה

And even though I still say the formula of למבצע על ריפתא, which all Jews, men and women, say, even though I don't understand it, there it's different because it has a nice tune, and the love of the tune covers over any blemish in the song.

The same could (hypothetically) be said for this song - it has a nice catchy tune, so it's OK if the words are a bit problematic. You could probably explain that to a child - the words aren't exactly right, but it's a fun song to sing!

  • Exact source please? Apr 1, 2021 at 23:32

So interestingly this concept does have its place in chinuch especially when taken in the realm of cultivating אמונה.

Rav Shlomo Wolbe זצ"ל explains that one should employ a measured approach to implanting אמונה. It is almost inevitable that your child will ask questions, and as parents we have a wonderful opportunity to begin to explain how Hashem is responsible for every creation.

This being said, there will no doubt come a time, when your child will ask where Hashem can be found. The best response to this question is to explain that He is everywhere. Often people make the mistake of either saying “He is in שמים” or “He is right here in the room with us now!” The problem with the first response is that a child is aware of spaceships and astronauts, and when he sees an aircraft in the sky he will equate the fact that it is currently in the domain of Hashem. In so doing, he will mistakenly deduce that any pilot or astronaut can personally meet Hashem. Alternatively, if a child is told that Hashem is in the room with him, he is not able to understand the magnitude of this statement, and will just think that there is some invisible presence in the room with him. This can potentially lead to undue trepidation. When he sits in bed at night all alone, thinking that there is something else with him in the room, he will be unsettled with fear. For this reason, when communicating the presence of Hashem, one should always try to say that He is everywhere (Source: זריעה ובנין בחינוך, 'הסברת אמונה', עמ' לט-מ).


I would explain to them that Hashem does not have a body. He is not really here or there. Ultimately Hashem is not lacking any knowledge and awareness, so I would try and explain that Hashem is all knowing. Always trying to keep in mind the level of the child and respond to their questions. Preferably I would not introduce the song, thus avoiding many of the issues it presents.

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    I don't think that the song presents issues. It simply express a tenet of Judaism. Not understanding something beyond the finite world is expected for a finite creation.
    – R. G.
    Aug 12, 2015 at 19:01

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