"The Way of G-d"
"The Soul, Inspiration, Prophecy, and the Supernatural"
Ch. 5: "Moses as a Prophet"
We'll now conclude this chapter on prophecy as well the whole third part
of this work, which had focused upon such vast and recondite themes.
Make no mistake about it -- each and every prophet not only understood
what he was envisioning, he also understood every nuance and implication,
each of its mystical underpinnings, every grand theme it touched upon, its
intentions, and why it was depicted to him the way it was. But he *also*
understood that the image he'd envisioned was a created entity -- and that
it hadn't anything to do with G-d Himself.
For while the melange of prodigious and awesome abilities the prophets
accrued had indeed enabled them to understand how G-d interacts with the
world, the rock-bottom truth is that no one could ever grasp G-d Himself.
For G-d's essence can't be envisioned on any level whatsoever, as He's
utterly above and beyond all visualization and conceptualization. That's
why our sages referred to prophetic visions as "visions of speech" -- even
the exalted and authoritative ones that Moses was granted, and the ones
bestowed upon our people at Mount Sinai. For what they all experienced
weren't visions of G-d's Himself so much as Divine statements about
Him and His intentions which were depicted as visions.
Thus this limitation served as one of the "veiled lenses" we cited before
that obstructed the prophets' views. Understand, though, that without such
lenses (including the clear one that Moses saw through) the prophet would
simply be *annihilated* by the sheer majesty and radiance of the
revelation much the way we'd be blinded staring at the sun.
That being said, don't think the prophets' visions were prosaic or little
more than poetic inspiration. They were anything but that. For the
prophets were granted insights into the mysteries of the universe outright
and into the point of it all. They were not, though, granted insight into
the makeup of their Author Himself; and therein lies the difference.
We come now to the final section of "The Way of G-d", termed "Divine
Service". In it we'll touch upon the mitzvah-life and the effects each
mitzvah has upon Heaven and Earth -- as was unveiled by prophetic
Text Copyright © 2004 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org.