Describing G-d in Human Terms


Moshe Ben-Chaim


Reader: Reading your front-page article last week, it seems that you totally misunderstood the person’s comment on people being a “part” of G-D. He wasn’t disagreeing with your idea. He was trying to explain that people use the incorrect language “part of G-d” to refer to the concept that all existence is dependent upon G-D. He did not contradict himself at all, if you read his words more closely. He just attempted to account for the misleading phrase that religious people often use.


I am not sure that he is right that this is really what people have in mind when they say the soul is part of G-D. But the person doing the explaining is not subscribing to the view you imputed to him. 


Mesora: I agree, I was not addressing the emailer, but rather, the writer he quoted. The use of “parts” instead of “sections” is not a valid distinction in this area.

How do you understand the writer who said, “and because of His overriding unity there are no distinctions within Him. The point is that Torah and neshama are part of G-d as opposed to separate from G-d...”

He clearly states that neshama and Torah are “part” of G-d. This is error #1. He bases this on his “overriding unity” theory. With such a theory, he clearly claims positive knowledge of G-d, of which the Sages agreed we are bereft - error #2. Not having positive knowledge of G-d, such a statement is a grave error. He projects “parts” and “unity” as humanly understood, onto an unknowable G-d. The great error is transferring human concepts onto the unknowable G-d, when these concepts are limited to accuracy within the Earthly sphere alone.


He cannot describe the unknown, and he compounds his error by saying that this unknown G-d possesses some similarity to our ideas of “parts” and “unity”.