The Torah's Language
Moshe Ben-Chaim
Question: How do we interpret Dibrah Torah K'lashon B'nei Adam? What I mean is that I know that there is no physicality to G-d (Third Ikkar of Rambam), and that any time the Torah ascribes an emotion to G-d, it is for our benefit, but in practical sense, What does that mean? Is that a reflection of how we relate to G-d vis--vis our actions and there is no actual meaning to it in relation to G-d. If so, it seems little simplistic, which there may be nothing wrong with...
If you could just clarify the principle of Dibrah Torah Klashon B'nei Adam, specifically in relation to emotional descriptions to G-d.
Thanks very much.
Mesora: If God gets "angry", it means to convey - in our own jargon - that God disapproves of something.
If God "hates" something, as idolatry, it is to say that something is directly contrary to His wishes.
If God "smells" the sacrifices as pleasant, it means that God knows man's actions and He approves, the are "pleasant smelling." This does not mean that God senses things, for this would imply that at one moment He is ignorant of something. God's knowledge is different than ours. We must observe phenomena in order to learn something knew, or we must ponder something. God is not at one moment ignorant, or in need of observation to know what exists. His knowledge is that of the Creator, ours is lesser, of the observer.
All these terms are to teach an idea to man, on man's level of understanding. As man matures intellectually, he realizes that God does not partake of these qualities, but since man starts life as completely ignorant, the Torah must work within man's initial frame of reference if anything is to have meaning to him.

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
© 2003 Mesora of New York, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Articles may be reprinted without permission.