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What is G-d not?

by Rabbi Mendy Hecht


Library » G-d » What is G-d? | Subscribe | What is RSS?


A. G-d is not any one particular person, place, thing, or concept, form -- concrete or abstract -- of the physical universe. Ergo, worshiping the “Son of G-d,” the Roman god of war or the Norse god of bad weather is out. Worshiping the power of Nature, mighty though it may be, or seeing G-d as only Love, is a fundamental violation of Judaism’s most sacred laws, one for which Jews have laid down their lives rather than violate.

B. Pantheism

Pantheism is the erroneous belief that G-d is everything--that when I worship the sun or moon or mountain or flower or animal, I am really worshiping G-d, Who is inside any of those things. Sounds good, but wrong-o, friend. Big no-no. Judaism rejects pantheism, because while G-d is within that mountain, He is not that mountain—He is much more than that mountain. You cannot label anything as Him. For this reason, it is forbidden to pray in front of any man-made image—a bust, photograph, sculpture and so on. G-d is within everything, but one worships G-d Himself, not any of the things in which He is found.

G-d is within everything, but one worships G-d Himself, not any of the things in which He is found
1. How not to connect to G-d

While you are praying, don’t think that you’re praying to any particular person, place or thing—you’re praying to G-d, the Creator, and to G-d only. The Torah considers praying to anything outside of or lesser than G-d idol worship.

2. Only one G-d

If a solid cube is one cubic foot in dimension, nothing else can fill that space of one cubic foot, because it’s already occupied by the cube. Likewise with G-d: He fills the entire universe, and therefore, than can be no other god or Force outside of Him. Thus, your intellectual forays into the existence of G-d must not lead you to conclude that there are others out there besides Him.

TAGS: god


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only love

Posted by: arond, wassenaar, Netherlands on Apr 22, 2005

You almost seem to warn: "seeing G-d as only Love, is a fundamental violation of Judaism’s most sacred laws". I should like to know which laws and why you are not explicit in this respect.

Editor's Comment

By "seeing G-d as only love" the author is referring to the idea that it is not enough to love G-d in your heart or accept Him as your savior, without the need to fulfill any of His commandments. That type of belief is in violation of all of Judaism's sacred laws, because it ignores them.


Posted by: Anonymous on Jan 15, 2007

Since man is made in G-d's image, and every man in his spiritual self is an individual, it is safe to say that G-d IS a person. Besides, how could He otherwise speak, listen etc. etc. If He is so out of His own creation that He is not a person, or anything for that matter, what a rediculous story Moses wrote down about G-d giving the Law. Now, since that story is true, and God did speak, reply to Moses questions, AND we are created in His Image, it is not more than logical and truthfull to say that G-d is a person. To say that scripture does not intended that literally, but rather as IF G-d spoke, is to pervert the clear litteral meaning of the text.

Editor's Comment

G-d has no form or image. How does He speak? He does not. Why then does it say in the Torah "and G-d spoke..."? Torah speaks the language of man, when G-d communicates to man (via divine inspiration) - the Torah refers to this as "divine speech" so us human earthlings, who have never experienced divine inspiration, will understand what it is referring to.
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.