Many Truths?

Moshe Ben-Chaim


This week a student contacted me after hearing ideas taught by his Rabbi, ideas which he felt were unreasonable. The Rabbi expressed belief in the notion that for the world to be created, God had to "contract" Himself, so as to "make room" for the universe - the notion of "tzimtzum." The Rabbi also felt that there are no such things as true arguments in Torah, that all views are ultimately true and harmonious. Of course I then wondered why this Rabbi felt my opposing views did not qualify as truths.

The view of God "contracting Himself", has a clear and conclusive disproof, so well put by a Rabbi: There is no connection between God and the physical world. This is stated clearly by Maimonides in his 13 Principles. It also follows reason; God created all physical matter, and is not subject to their governing laws which He created, i.e., spatial relationships. It is heretical to suggest that "God had to make room" for the universe, by contracting Himself. This error is most grave, and stems from the infantile need of man to fit God into man's limited understanding. It is a denial of God's true, unknowable nature. Regarding the Rabbi's other notion that all views in Torah are true, it is clear that if one opinion is mutually exclusive to another, either both, or one position must be false. Additionally, our Sages admitted by their very arguments on one another, that they were not subscribers to this contradictory view. We must always follow reason. This Rabbi has veered from using his.