Monthly Archives: January 2017

Reflecting on Elohim

 I have been, lately, quite amazed by the sheer genius of the Torah.

You know, it is often a philosophical concept that God is somehow Pure Being, indivisible, a “simple substance”. Even such mystical luminaries

as the late Aryeh Kaplan, touted this idea. It is part and parcel of much ofGreek philosophy, which certainly fused with the Hebrew One God, as philosophy became embedded in theology. Not an easy marriage, I think.

But, like Alfred Whitehead, I have been quite annoyed with this, no matter how devoted and bonafide this “Pure Being” has become. To my mind, it lacks purity.

Something never seemed right to me. For instance, if God supposedly creates a universe— meaning all together–– or more provincially, our particular universe, then, if God is a simple, substance, indivisible, then, how can there be observable SCALE in our universe?

If there’s no scale in God, then, in anything that results from God, one would expect no scale to exist at all, no differentiations of various magnitudes.

Sadly, Jewish religious philosophy has tended to identify Yahweh (with apologies to my Orthodox brethren, for using the word: consider me incapable of pronouncing it correctly)— with Being, since the word comes from the Hebrew root HVH.

Yahweh becomes identified with some kind of philosophical being— some Deity-of-Abstraction totally beyond us, which then requires some kind of magical intermediation, either through a semi-divine Messiah, or a semi-divine Kabbalah-of-Sephiroth.

But, all this, I think has gone far, far from the simplicity— and the simple genius of Torah.

One cannot fail to notice that the first sentence of Genesis, literally, i.e. “how it is written”, uses the term elohim. Originally a plural word, meaning “gods”, this became a singular-collective name— taking the singular verb barah, not baru.

The gods were acting as a single-entity, a God Constituted of gods, a Power constituted of powers.

From this— it is no mystery how dimensionality and scale were brought into existence. Since there are dimensions— elim within Elohim— since there are

scales within the Unity, many gods within Brahman so-to-speak, we witness acreation, whether it is a multi-universe universe, or, a singular universe with

solar systems— where such dimensions and scales exist.

You see, there is no mystery when the One God is not a philosophical abstraction but an ACTUAL ENTITY— with a real-nature! A real nature!

A real God?

Now— certainly, measuring that real Nature by our standards, might be quite difficult. There are incommensurables! Euclid proved that quite some time ago.

Our measuring rods, our rulers, cannot fully measure THE Ruler! But, this hardly means that that God has no self-dimensions.

The principle of non-idolatry, which is at the core of Hebrew thinking, through all its many phases, should never be interpreted that God is divorced from everything else, and has no connection to everything else, and is Exclusive beyond Inclusive of everything else. Who needs a God who is disconnected, and then,blames us for not being obedient? It makes no sense.

Non-idolatry” means the incongruity of human knowledge of this world, with the Nature That created our world. It is, on a basic emotional level, humility.

I do not know you fully, Lord. But, I am here because you are, in your fullness, of which I am a part, and without which, I would not be.” This is the very fact

of existence, which is the foundation of TRUE faith— not the fictional (believe it, even if it is absurd, out of duty!) so-called “faith” of all too many religions, tinged with cultism as they often are.

The over-philosophizing of Judaism is very dangerous. But, equally dangerous is the philosophy that has been embedded into our mathematics and sciences.

Such viewpoints create “mathematical artifacts” that make it seem that there is a “singularity”-barrier— that separates before and after in the universe,

and therefore, from a Genesis-structural viewpoint, prevents us from knowing God in any fashion. Stephen Hawking, has already shown, that this notion

Is questionable, and that there need not be a destruction into some primordial Black-hole! 

I urge everyone here to take a good look at the Torah  again. Take a good look at the distinction between Elohim— a God of Creation, for Everything and Everyone— and Yhwh— a particularization of Elohim, for the task of human history, through the Hebrews.

Despite what biblical critiques might say— I highly doubt this is merely due to some archeological distinction between Elohists and Yahwists— which found

its way into the layers of our Holy Book. I think it is purposeful, very, very purposeful, in a way that philosophy, mathematics and our sciences, has yet

to fully fathom or embrace: a distinction between ontos—- originating being— and telos— evolving being.

Blessed is Elohim— God of all Existence, Existence Itself! A God of

Dimensions beyond our dimensions, not knowable fully by us, but knowable through us— i.e. the very foundation of revelation!!

Wishing everyone out there, Jew or non-Jew, a delightful Greco-Roman Secular New Year. It is very much a holiday of “material” renewal— and may

we all prosper in the year to come.

By the way— do reach out and let me know there’s a heartbeat out there.

Sometimes I think I’m just talking to myself. Would love to get the blog

COOKING!!! Please spread the AUJ website around.

Blessings.

R’Michael Shevack