Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Fundamentals of the Jewish Faith

Chapter One: G-d (Part 3)

It follows then that whenever we speak about G-d we're forced to use metaphor and simile rather than say things straight out, Ramchal points out. That's to say, we use words to depict Him, to be sure, but they're inexact because there's simply no choice.

Now, that's a decidedly unscientific way of doing things, but common enough in our experience. It's somewhat like trying to describe your reactions to an idea you'd come upon that you found to be profound and very galvanizing because of who you are and what you've been through, but which wouldn't mean as much to others. Suppose, for example, you came to learn that you were adopted.

You could describe yourself as being thunderstruck and keeled over by the idea, for example; or report that your heart pounded and your head throbbed when you came upon the news, your jaw dropped, you suddenly became of cold and quiet, etc., and that would help explain how moved you were by the discovery. But no one other than you could put the pieces together and come to know as well as you how revolutionary and eye-opening a discovery that was for you.

That is, you could describe how you felt when you learned it, or perhaps even suggest that others imagine themselves finding out that they'd been adopted, but you could never express the profundity of that discovery in your own life to anyone. In much the same way we can describe G-d's effects on the cosmos, or draw analogies to Him in our own experiences, but we could never describe G-d Himself (as only He could do that).

For as Ramchal puts it, "our language only refers to the natural and finite world" and we have no other choice but to speak of such things. But G-d is transcendent of all that, so we simply don't have the vocabulary to refer to Him. The lesson that we should draw from that is that whatever we say about G-d is inexact if not out-and-out wrong, but we're impelled to speak of Him in order to understand what He asks of us in this world, and that we should keep this idea in mind at all times.


Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org.


 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

The Ordeal of Departure
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Abraham's Dwelling
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

The Unique Level of Avraham
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

ArtScroll

To the Land That I Will Show You
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Use Them or Lose Them
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Big Potential
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Mind's Eye
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

A Self-Starter
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

The Founders of Our People
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

> Entering the Land of Canaan
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

The Beginning & End of the Journey
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

What Happened To Lot?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Don't Walk in Front of Me (Anymore)
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Count Us If You Can
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Lotís and Lots of Opportunities
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

The Landlord Is Still Home
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information