In Shabbat 12b, G-d is called the Omnipresent several times, implying to me that G-d is present everywhere.

But then it says this:

אין מלאכי השרת מכירין בלשון ארמי שאני חולה דשכינה עמו

"Anyone who requests that his needs be met in the Aramaic language, the ministering angels do not attend to him to bring his prayers before God. ... A sick person is different. He does not need to bring his prayers before God because the Divine Presence is with him."

This implies to me that the Divine Presence is only with a sick person and not with the other people who pray. But then, how should I understand the idea of "Omnipresent"?

  • 1
    your question is related to the tzimtzum. the Baal Hatanya, for example, holds that there is no difference in the divine presence anywhere, only in how much concealment there is. Others, like the vilna gaon hold differently. you can find some stuff about it on this site.
    – ray
    Jan 12, 2014 at 21:58
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    ray, thanks, I'll study something about the tzimtzum.
    – Mariana R.
    Jan 12, 2014 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


Excellent question!

Of course Hashem is everywhere. In some times and places, we perceive His presence more strongly. In those instances, we say that the Shechinah is present.

An analogy for this concept is radio waves. They're (pretty much) everywhere, but we can only "tune into" them when we have a receiver (i.e. a radio).

Sorry - I don't remember the source for this idea. I remember which one of my teachers said it, but not the source that he quoted.

-Rebbetzin HaQoton

  • 1
    Thank you very much, this explains the apparent contradiction. If anyone knows the source of this idea, or some source where this is discussed more deeply, I'll be happy to read it.
    – Mariana R.
    Jan 13, 2014 at 7:29
  • read up on the tzimtzum. this answer seems to follow the baal hatanya's view
    – ray
    Jan 13, 2014 at 7:43

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