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Posted on May 3, 2013 By Rabbi Yaakov Feldman | Series: | Level:

1:1:3

The next thing is that G-d’s existence is “imperative” — “He simply couldn’t not exist”, if we or anything else are to exist 1. Let’s explain these ideas.

By definition, an imperative is either a “prerequisite”, or something that’s “absolutely required”. When we think of a “prerequisite” or something “absolutely required”, we’re immediately drawn back to school, where there were always prerequisite courses we had to take before we could either go further on or graduate. With that in mind we’ll take the expression that G-d’s existence is “imperative” to mean that He simply has to exist if anything else is to follow and to advance. So, “G-d simply couldn’t not exist” because if He didn’t exist nothing else could either exist from the first or go onward.

There’s an emotional sense of the term “imperative”, too. It refers to the fact that when we have an “imperative need” for something, we experience an acute, aching, burning desire for it, and we could be said to be “in pain” without it. So in that sense of the word, you and I can be said to experience a deep and existential “imperative need” for G-d all the time. We simply couldn’t exist, couldn’t “go on” without Him.

But there’s another point being made here, and it’s that G-d isn’t simply an adjunct (however great and Almighty) to creation, or merely its Originator — He is its Source, its Soul, and its Life. And it denies spontaneous generation, which is to say, creation by happenstance, chance, or as a consequence of the stuff of core physical and chemical reactions. Without Him — if one could even posit such a reality — nothing whatsoever would exist, period. That’s why He’s referred as The Supreme Being or The Most High 2.

Notes:

1 See Ma’amar HaIkkurim (“BaBorei Yitbarach”) and Ma’amar HaChochma (“Aleinu Leshabaiyach”). Also see Yesodei HaTorah 1:2.

Understand, of course, that these ideas don’t explain anything about G-d Himself. It would be absurd to say that His own existence is “imperative” if He Himself is to exist as well as absurd to say that He “simply couldn’t not exist” if He’s to exist.

2 See Numbers 24:16, Deuteronomy 32:8, 2 Samuel 22:14, Psalms 7:17, 91:1 as well as Tikkunei Zohar 17a and Pardes 3:1.


Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has translated and commented upon “The Gates of Repentance”, “The Path of the Just”, and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers). His works are available in bookstores and in various locations on the Web.

 




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