Tag Archives: Duties of the Heart

God Unto Himself

We see allusions to the fact of God’s utterly unfathomable and transcendent nature early on in Chovot HaLevovot. In Chapter 2:6 Ibn Pakudah alerts us to the fact that

Whatever you know about the Creator’s wisdom and abilities in this world is absolutely nothing compared to His actual wisdom and abilities. For we only see the things we need to know for our own well-being, not everything that His infinite abilities are capable of bringing about.

He’s clearly alluding to the more arcane understanding of God we’ve been referring to. So let’s finally see what others say about God’s esoteric side.

The Leshem depicts God in Klallim (Introduction, Para. 11) as the “oil” to the “wick” that is the universe — that’s to say that He’s everything’s essential background, fuel, and energy-source.

And we’re taught that “God is the dwelling-place of His world, while God’s world is not His dwelling-place” (Breishit Rabbah 68:9). That means to say that God is the “backdrop” of everything. — “the ground of being” as the theologian Paul Tillich depicted — the dwelling-place, home, root source of the world.

But He’s more than that: He’s the one who had the original idea of and then actually created that “dwelling-place’s”, “ground’s” and “backdrop’s” manifest world; He’s its source, its impetus, its sustainer, and its own “ground” — the ineffable root of all roots, seed of all seeds, soul of each soul.


(c) 2015 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org


AT LONG LAST! Rabbi Feldman’s translation of Maimonides’ “Eight Chapters” is available here at a discount.

You can still purchase a copy of Rabbi Feldman’s translation of “The Gates of Repentance” here at a discount as well.

Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).

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