Monday, April 27, 2009
G-d is found on Earth - not in the Heavens
The belief that even the physical earth is G-dly, and man’s mission is to reveal the G-dliness, explains why Judaism is so concerned with minute physical details of a Mitzvah (Torah command). Including: time, size, shape, and the precise way to do the Mitzvah.
Because in the finitude, resides the infinite. In order for this great light to be concealed in the finite, it requires a great concealment, but nevertheless G-d can be finite, and yet be infinite, simultaneously.
Whereas other religions emphasis mans distancing himself from the world and cutting himself off, Judaism emphasizes mans elevation of the world itself, and making it better. G-d’s greatness is found here, and not in the limited heavens. The heavens only have a ray of G-dliness, for if they had more than that, they would expire.
Whereas other religions emphasize the next world and death, since G-d according to them G-d only dwells in the heavens, Judaism emphasizes this world and life. Judaism teaches, that G-d is not limited, and therefore inhabits this world in a greater manner than the upper worlds. G-d’s essence is found here hidden under the finite. The purpose of man therefore, is to combine heaven and earth, and not to leave the earth.
According to their understanding, since this world is finite and G-d is infinite, therefore in order to reach an infinite G-d, one must leave the confines of a finite world. But Judaism, as is illuminated through Chassidus, states, that this actually limits G-d, by saying that He cannot simultaneously be both finite and infinite.
Other religions see the future world, as one of physical reward and gratification. But Judaism says, that in the future we will transcend our limited desires. Now desires enslave a person, because the soul is in
prison. An animal is limited to its desires, but man is much more.
Therefore, desires cannot be a reward. This would leave us distant from G-d, limited by our finite beings and desires. A physical reward would only relate to the physical organs of a persons body. Eating an infinite number of cakes, would be a strange kind of reward.
The true reward, is to be one with G-d.
Man must be involved in the world, but in a G-dly manner, and not be cut off from the world. Otherwise, one would be saying, that G-d is limited (G-d forbid). This would mean to say, that G-d can only reside in the heavens but not on earth.
The earth would then be a separate entity from G-d. From other religions perspective, the more physical, the less G-dly. G-d being defined within the human frame of reference. Yet Judaism says, that man must eat, marry, have children, work, etc., but do it in a G-dly way, thereby infusing everyday life with G-dliness.
Even though one may feel more spiritual viewing a mountain, a sunrise, the ocean, etc., in actuality one is still infinitely distant from G-d. These are limited physical sensations that do not directly connect with G-d. Only through Mitzvahs can one transcend the finite, and reach the infinite.
Since there is no part of the world that cannot be elevated, therefore every G-dly activity is associated with a physical act. Food has blessings, etc. It is not that the physical world was created to serve the spiritual worlds, but rather the spiritual worlds were created to serve this world.
Now G-d’s essence is hidden, therefore only a ray of G-d is “visible”. Therefore, since the upper worlds are more refined than this world, they are more of a receptacle for the ray, so G-d is more manifest there. But in the time of the Geulah (redemption through Moshiach), when G-d’s essence will be revealed and not only a ray; because then this world will be able to receive this tremendous light.
The essence of G-d is not limited by the infinite or the finite. The very fact that our world is the lowest (more finite), makes it the highest (able to absorb the essence.) This is because, in order for G-dliness to be hidden in this world, its source must come from the essence of G-d.
Because only essence can reach to such a low (finite) state. Only essence can create a situation, where the creation seems to be totally separate from G-d. Because only essence is able to limit itself to such an extent, that it can be finite.