Rabbi Bernard S. Raskas, z”l, wrote the following:

“The Bible tells us what to eat and what not to eat. It contains instructions on how we are to dress. It even discusses the uses of fire. We may think these are unlikely topics for a religious text. For what does God have to do with food and drink or clothes or the use of the natural elements? The answer is: Everything! The truth of the matter is that God is everywhere or God is nowhere. 
This, then, is one of the meanings of religion. God is not to be worshipped merely one day a week, on our so-called official day of rest. God is with us all the time. God is with us everywhere.” [1]

In his “Daily Meditations,” [1], he associates this with a quotation from “Plantarius”:

“God is in all things and out of them; above all things and beneath them; before all things and after them.”

I am unfamiliar with any philosopher or teacher named “Plantarius,” and I found no mention of such a person in an online search. This might be a mistyping of the name “Plotinus,” the founder of the Neo-Platonic school of philosophy, whose teachings resemble the quotation. I would like to cite a more specific source but can’t do so based on Rabbi Raskas’ citation.

Nevertheless, the Rabbi makes an otherwise valid and invaluable point.

Our “religion,” our “Torah,” is not just for one time or one place, after which we are “on our own.” Rabbi Raskas is saying that by its very subject-matter, Torah tells us that God is aware of, concerned with and involved in every aspect of our lives, everywhere and always. Everything we do is either worship or denial of God’s Presence. What the Rambam calls “the knowledge of God” is our recognition and awareness that we are in God and God is in us, in all that’s around us and in all the events of our lives.

Yet, the same idea can have liturgical uses, too, as a “kavannah” when saying prayers, especially the “Shema.” To be a “kavannah” for prayer, we have to think about the idea until we’ve internalized it; until it becomes our own way of looking at the world and our lives. Then, prayer can become the special time when we take our attention off of any other consideration and turn it to God alone. (God, of course, is beyond “thought,” but that’s another discussion.)


[1] Raskas, Rabbi Bernard; Jewish Spirituality and Faith; Daily Meditations; © 1989 by Bernard Raskas; Ktav Publishing House, Inc., p. 63