Q. On question 2373 you dealt with the presence of Hashem arriving to a shul only when there is a minyan of people present and the first ten to arrive are credited with bringing the presence of the Shechina to the shul. I don’t understand, isn’t the presence of Hashem constant and permanent always in the whole universe that he He created? Doesn’t the Shulcham Aruch begin with the statement Shivissi Hashem… or I have the presence of Hashem always in front of me?
A. Mishne Halochos (7: 213), Karyana Deigresso (3: 144). Binyan Tzion (3) and others explain the many contradictions we find in regard to the actual presence of the Shechina. They elucidate why we pray for hamachazir shechinoso letziyon or the return of the Shechina to Tziyon, when our Sages teach that the Shechina never departed from the Kossel Hamarovi or why only a minyan brings the Shechina, when two people learning Torah also do (Avos 3: 6), or why the Talmud (Yevamos 64a) requires twenty two thousand present, and other similar contradictions.
They maintain that there are numerous degrees of consciousness and awareness of the presence of the Shechina. Although the presence of Hashem is permanent everywhere, it varies in degrees of revelation and manifestation. Tefilah Betzibur requires a higher degree of His presence.
(See also Tesh. Maharsham 4: 66 and Binyan Tzion 3, and question 445 in this forum regarding a patient feelings of Hashem’s presence, when hospitalized and wearing diapers. See also next question…).
Rabbi A. Bartfeld