Divine Sparks
Moshe Ben-Chaim
Reader: I have a question concerning your objection to Chassidim. My understanding is that a part of your objection is that Chassidim teaches that there is a divine element is the physical world. They teach that if it were not for the "divine spark" matter could not exist. Some consider this a form of pantheism. The Chassidim counter that this view necessarily results from the idea that G-d is infinite. If G-d is infinite, they say, how can the physical world be separate from Him? If it were separate, then there would exist something that was not G-d, and He would be finite.
Mesora: Just because there is something which is not God, it does not follow that this limits God. They say this is a limitation because their idea of God is connected to the physical, and that is heresy. By their very assumption that God would be limited if there were other things which are not "Him", indicates that they assume incorrectly that God and the physical share something in common, that is, "space". Since they cannot conceive of God outside of the physical, they feel that creation actually encroaches on His "turf". Additionally, they deny the actual Torah which says that God created the world. These verses in Genesis are not used by God as word games to mislead us. If God said He created the physical world, then He did. All the Rabbis teach the same. This is our Mesora.
In reality, God has no connection with the physical. Once someone can accept this, they will understand their other nonsensical ideas have no basis. (See my related article o "Tzimtzum")
Reader: Can you explain the idea of an infinite Creator with a creation that is separate from Him?
Mesora: We do not know what God is, so we cannot think in terms of "separate from Him". What we can know is that we know nothing of what God is, but that God is the source of all reality, the entire universe, their governing laws, and the Torah. We also know that the physical is not God, as God said He created the physical, which by definition, cannot be Him.
Reader: Further, do you think that the soul of man contains a divine spark, and are you troubled that this form of matter contains divinity?
Mesora: Man's soul is not part of God in any way - God has no parts. See Maimonides 13 Principles, Principle 2.

Philosophy | Tnach | New Postings | JewishTimes | Audio Archives | Suggested Reading | Live Classes | Search | Letters | Q&A's | Community Action | Volunteer | Links | Education | Chat | Banners | Classifieds | Advertise | Donate | Donors | About Us | Press | Contacts | Home


Mesora website designed by NYDesign.com
© 2003 Mesora of New York, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Articles may be reprinted without permission.