Thursday, October 18, 2012

Did Man Create G-d?

FRIDAY NIGHT SERVICE NEW TIME 6:30pm (Mincha 6:15pm)


Question of the Week:


At my University a group of students from all faiths and religions, including Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindus, Buddhists meet weekly to discuss many subjects. A recurring question often comes up: "Did man create G-d or did G-d create Man?" What would you have to say on that?




Imagine a new colour. Not a new combination of existing colours, or a shade of another colour, but an entirely original colour that does not resemble any other.


You can't. It has never been done. It is beyond the human capability to conceptualise anything that has no basis in reality. All human creativity is the result of taking existing ideas and rearranging them, using ingredients that are already present and making a new combination. There is nothing completely new under the sun.


Human invention is the mimicking and harnessing of nature. That's why airplanes are modeled on birds, with wings and tails, and cars are built like horses, on all fours with two eyes at the front and exhaust coming out the back. If you look at every human invention, you will find that nothing is absolutely original.


Even in the world of fantasy, human imagination can only invent characters that somewhat resemble real creatures. The most outlandish aliens from the weirdest science fiction stories are no more than overgrown frogmen or human lizards with big ears. The scariest space monster looks strikingly similar to a giant lobster. The wildest imaginations have never been able to dream up an entirely original being. Even fictional characters are based on real life.


This was also true of the gods of ancient mythology. The Babylonian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman deities were all merely exaggerated humans or personifications of forces of nature. It is easy to see how they were man-made, a combination of mortal man's fears and hopes and fantasies. All ancient gods, like all human inventions, were creative depictions of familiar realities.


The only exception to this is the G-d of the Torah. G-d is unlike any creature.

A being that is infinite, above the limits of time and space, who can create something out of absolute nothingness has no parallel anywhere. G-d is the only being that is indescribable and incomparable, unequalled and unlimited. He is not made up of parts, not a combination of characteristics, not a magnified version of some other being. He is totally and utterly original.


No human could have come up with that. Just as we can't invent a new colour that doesn't exist already, we can't invent a new being that has no basis in our reality. So the fact we are aware of an absolutely original being means we didn't make Him, He made us.


We can't create G-d. But we can discover Him. Beyond the frontiers of our perceived reality lies not an army of giant lobsters, but a being that created us with love and purpose. When we have the humility to recognize our limits, we can perceive the unlimited.


Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Moss


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MEANINGFUL MOTHERHOOD - back on this week Discussion for mothers and babies with Nechama Dina Moss and Sherny Dadon Mondays 10am-11:15am at Nefesh





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