Matisyahu On God's Absence

I recently read an interview with Matisyahu in Relevant Magazine.  One particular Q&A within it caught my attention.

Q: On "Silence," a track off your new album, you tackle the tough issue of feeling God's absence in the midst of struggle.  Theodicy is something a lot of us struggle with, both within Judaism and within Christianity.  Do you have any ways that you personally deal with this issue in your spiritual life?

A: I think we need to embrace that feeling because it works in two ways.  On the song I discuss the idea of God being absent, but then I add the lyric, "I wouldn't have it any other way."  In other words, God is sovereign and acts in distinct ways that we don't know about, but that's how it should be.  There's a philosophical idea in Judaism that God, in order to create the world, had to evacuate Himself from it, in a sense.  So God's absent just enough in order that the world can feel its own autonomy.  It can in a sense exist on its own, and that's the ultimate act of giving for God: to pull away.
     And at the end, when a person lives through God's absence and then goes to his or her church or temple, there's a feeling that God has created something, a lesson or a learning experience.  There's a creative element to the absence, and I think often there's a redemptive quality to it.