by Rabbi Israel Rubin

You are here — that's what the sign keeps telling us, when we look for directions in bus terminals, big buildings, amusement parks and airports.

But even while acknowledging our present location, we're actually being pulled in opposite directions. There's no real concern or interest in where we are. "X" marks our spot only as a reference point toward other destinations.

But are we truly "here" — when we want to move elsewhere? We certainly don't intend to settle down by the map in the terminal lobby - which leaves us neither here nor there.

This is a typical sign of our society, and herein lies our problem. It's all here today and gone tomorrow. You can't set down roots and develop relationships while moving on a treadmill.

Now, can we enjoy our job or location if it's only a stepping stone, as we look elsewhere for bigger and better things? No patience. Modern transients rush thorough life on the fast track with no sense of permanence until their epitaph finally proclaims: "Here lies..."

But why wait for the Hereafter? Let's start right here. Don't skim over this page to skip further on. Let's "here" it over and over again to appreciate where we're at right now. If not here, where?

But where do we go from here? Do we remain stuck in the same place forever and ever?

Here we go again! Of course, we should progress and move onward an upward. Yet, we must realize, that meanwhile, we are here to stay and make it worthwhile right where we are.

This isn't all just hearsay. G‑d is here, there and everywhere, and the Baal Shem Tov taught that every step we take is by Divine Providence. Each pale we visit offers us a special mission and purpose to fulfill. The Torah carefully enumerates each station of the wandering Jews in the desert, whether it was only for a day or for many years.

You've probably already had it up to here by now, so here's the story: Shmerl, a poor small-town Jew, dreams of a treasure buried in the big city. He travels to the city, and tells someone about his dream. The fellow replies, "Strange! I just dreamt of a buried treasure under the house of Shmerl who lives in the shtetl." Shmerl goes back to find the treasure right in his own backyard!"