Re: What is G-d?

Micha Berger (aishdas@hudson.idt.net)
Wed, 25 Dec 1996 18:37:08 -0500 (EST)

Daniel.J.Pearson wrote:
>Everyone talks about It/Her/Him, but I have never heard a good definition.
>Many people seem to anthropomorphize G-d, and speak and act as if G-d was
>some kind of omnipotent version of a person, this is obviously fallacious.
>What I need is a definition that is truly satisfying to the intellect, the
>emotions, and the soul. I would like to know how does the Torah defines
>G-d.

According to Maimonides' Guide to the Perplexed (sec I), G-d is perfectly
One, and therefore does not have seperate attributes. When we describe Him
we are either: 1- describing how G-d appears in His relationship to us, or
2- describing what He isn't.

This makes "defining G-d" somewhat difficult.

However, Maimonides' approach is to show that there had to be a Creator,
a First Cause. From there, we can show what this First Cause must be like.
For example, if the FC had multiple parts, their relationship, at least
in principle, could be changed -- which means that this Being would not
be a FC.

The way I personally see it, since the Creator created everything,
including time, there is no way we can localize "ma'aseh bireishis" (the
act of 'In the Begining') to one particular moment. Perhaps translating it
as an "act" is wrong, since an act is an event -- localized at time and space.

Creation, however, is continuous. "He who makes new -- in his goodness --
daily, ma'aseh bireishis." G-d created every moment, the entire timeline,
and therefore His interaction with us now is part of the same MB as "let
there be light".

Showing there is a Creator is identical to showing that Someone guides the
"random" events in our lives.

Micha Berger 201 916-0287
micha@aishdas.org