A Part of G-d in Us All

 

Moshe Ben-Chaim


 

 

Some people foolishly believe some words in the book of Job to ascribe “parts” to G-d. They refer to the phrase, “a portion of G-d from above”, or in Hebrew, “Chalek Elokim M’Maal”. Fools think this to mean, “there is a part of G-d in each of us.” You have most assuredly heard this unfounded and heretical notion. It is usually mouthed by those in need of bolstering their self-worth.

 

However, they do an injustice to Job, and to Ramban’s explanation. The source of their error is found in Job, 31:1,2: “A treaty have I made with my eye; for what shall I gaze at a virgin? And what portion shall I have with G-d above, and an inheritance of G-d on high?” Here, Job declares he is upright, never gazing lustfully. And he explains that in doing so, he forfeits his “portion with G-d”. This is reasonable. But people misinterpret the word “portion”, not as the end of the verse clarifies - to be an “inheritance” of G-d - but they wrongly assume this means to ascribe “parts” to G-d.