We’ve been speaking recently with atheists… Let’s say, just for argument, that the great prophets of the Bible can actually tell us something about how God works – that Moses and Isaiah, say, the Psalmists, etc., can shed some light on how He operates. What do they tell us about HaShem’s modus operandi?
Some few points:
* He hides Himself. (“Verily, thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.” Isaiah 45:15). Man cannot “see” Him and live (“Thou canst not see My face: for there shall no man see Me and live,” Exodus 33:20). Even a prophet as sanctified as Moses can’t see “the face,” the full Manifestation of the radiance of HaShem, but only – at most! – the afterglow, as it were; the “back parts” (Exodus 33:23), like the wake left by a passing ship.
Why should He have made us like that, that we can’t, as Moses asked, “see” His glory (Exodus 33:18)?
At least at our current stage of human development, it would be too much, the late Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan taught (“If You Were God”) the experience would overwhelm us. “Above every other consideration,” the rabbi said, HaShem must not reveal Himself. “It would cause much suffering… [we] would be reduced to a state of almost vegetable-like dependence from which [we] would be unlikely to recover. If [we] did recover, [we] might rebel so violently as to eliminate any positive values that [we] might have originally had.”
* He makes things happen. Even while managing the fate of nebulae and galaxies, He’s keeping you, perhaps, from getting the parking place you thought you wanted and directing you somewhere else.
“He spoke, and the world came into being. Blessed is He Who maintains Creation; blessed is He Who speaks and does; blessed is He Who decrees and fulfills; blessed is He Who has mercy on the Earth; blessed is He Who has mercy on the creatures; blessed is He Who gives goodly reward to those who fear [yirah – “regard”] Him; blessed is He Who lives forever and endures to eternity; blessed is He Who redeems and rescues – blessed be His Name!” (Baruch she’amar prayer in the Hebrew Prayerbook/Siddur, c. 930 CE).
We have trouble even imagining being in two places at once, but HaShem, the One God, Who is a unity – a united single Being – beyond all other unities, is everywhere at once, the Sages tell us. He’s 100% with everyone and everything in every place. He is always conscious and aware of everything that happens because He is consciously involved with every particle and atom in existence, maintaining their existence and sustaining them – even though, as the Sages tell us, He is not in any way dependent upon them.
We spoke before of the Higgs Boson – the so-called “God Particle” - that the CERN large hadron collider, the European scientific agency’s quantum particle accelerator, says it found “Freud Would Flip," CovCon, August 2012. What the Higgs points to is a “dark,” “invisible to all instruments” kind of energy field that extends throughout all existence, as a kind of background, as it were. It makes existence possible, in fact, by giving mass to atomic particles. It sustains them, and the Universe as a whole. That’s why the scientists involved with the Higgs call it the God Particle.
If the world weren’t so convinced that Biblical religion is false – if Religious Studies scholars were a little more concerned with the contents of the Bible than with their futile theories of who wrote it – probably, based on newly discovered scientific principles and the realized prophecies of just the last 100 years, we’d be seeing the most amazing resurgence in Torah belief….
* ALL his ways are just and true. People have been taught to fear “the God of the Old Testament” like He’s a dangerous old ogre. People, regarding the First Covenant, still teach that He loves dark and bloody penalties, and – incidentally - subjects the vast majority of humankind to the whim and caprice of bearded foreign “experts.” Bosh! Nonsense! Nothing could be further from the truth. “HaShem is just, my Rock in Whom there is no wrong.” (Psalms 92:16).
* He and His Word [as expressed in the Bible] shall accomplish His purposes.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts; Neither are My ways your ways, saith HaShem. For as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts… So shall My Word be… It shall not return unto Me void, except it accomplish that which I please, and make the thing whereto I sent it prosper.” (Psalms 55:8-11)
* In the future we shall be ready for more - when knowledge of HaShem extends over Earth “like the waters cover the seas” (Isaiah 11:9).
By Michael Dallen
Michael Dallen authored The Rainbow Covenant: Torah and the Seven Universal Laws. Director, The First Covenant Foundation. Editor, “Covenant Connection,” our monthly newsletter.
"Rainbow Covenant is essential reading." “Truly and obviously a MOST wonderful work.”
Note: this article, unusually, was NOT reviewed by our directors prior to publication – due to bad timing in the midst of the New Year 5776 holidays. Sorry about that. If a problem appears, we’ll tell you, God willing. Happy New Year, everyone! Wishing everyone a happy Sukkot holiday!