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"The Way of G-d"

Part 2: "Divine Providence"
Chapter 5: "How Divine Providence Works"

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Let's concentrate now on the system G-d uses to react to what He's aware of about us and the world at large.

The first thing to consider is the fact that G-d set up a specific system or structure to react to things. Understand, of course, that G-d has no need for any structure whatsoever. In fact, an awesome, yawning bedlam, barrenness, and utter opacity reigned at the beginning of time (see Genesis 1:2's "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep") which could very well have stayed in place, with no one the wiser. But G-d decided to allow for design and order, sequence and pattern in the universe. (There are of course anomalies, but as the expression goes, "it's the exception that proves the rule".)

The structured universe G-d set up reveals an important mystical axiom, which is that everything in the physical realm has its spiritual counterpart, and vice versa (see our remarks in 1:5:2). This phenomenon is often termed "as above, so below". That's to say that the vast universe has been structured in such a way that it follows many of the selfsame rules our everyday world follows.

We'll examine some of those rules as we go along, but the following point has to be clarified if we're to understand the underpinnings of this phenomenon. Many in modernity contend that man has projected himself and his own experiences onto the Heavens, so what he says about it can't be trusted.

But just the opposite is true. The rule "as above, so below" and vice versa alludes to the truism that *the world is actually a projection of the Heavens*. And that we can thus extrapolate *back* to the spiritual from all the material things about us and can come to understand how G-d interacts with us accordingly -- which was G-d's whole point in setting up the structure that He did. (Knowing that should ignite a world of possibilities in the inquisitive mind, and allow for a slew of ways for the sensitive to commune with G-d in the here-and-now. But that's obviously beyond our discussions here.)

Thus, G-d elected to react and respond to the multitude of things in the universe much the way we react to things. By delegating duties. And He does that by making use of the chain of angels going from "above" down "below", to the last one who has direct contact with the physical entity meant to be affected the way *G-d Himself* wanted. (Recall, though, that as we put it in 1:5:1, angels aren't "fairies", "winged spirits", or the like as they're often taken to be; they're utterly immaterial, celestial agents of change.)

Thus, while everything is affected by G-d's will for it and His will alone, the mechanism set up to facilitate that is the one we cited. We'll expand upon that mechanism in the course of this chapter.

This series is dedicated to the memory of Yitzchak Hehrsh ben Daniel, and Sarah Rivka bas Yaakov Dovid.

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