The nature of God

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The nature of God

Postby Hart60 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:13 pm

Many scriptures indicate that God has a physical body,for example, He is described as having hands in Exodus 15:17, feet in Psalm 110:1, ears in Exodus 3:7 and lungs in Genesis 2:7.
Moses Maimonides in "The Guide for the Perplexed" indicates that God is Incorporeal.

Any thoughts please.

Dan.
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Re: The nature of God

Postby rivka » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:10 am

Those are all metaphors. Biblical text is replete with metaphors and metaphorical language.
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Re: The nature of God

Postby Hart60 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:18 pm

Yes of course,but what is the nature of God ? is Hashem a mass, a spirit or just is ? and how should we visualise God when we pray ?
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Re: The nature of God

Postby Kira » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:56 pm

Those metaphors reflect actions, not form.

We can't visualize G-d, nor is it helpful to try.

Maimonides talks about how we can really only describe what G-d isn't ... He isn't corporeal because He created all matter, and energy, He is not time-bound because He created time. What's left?

We can say it's outside our experience, except that we are created to be able to perceive Him using our soul.

Hope that helps,

-Kira
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Re: The nature of God

Postby Hart60 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:28 pm

Yes it does, thanks.
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The nature of God

Postby aries » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:42 am

Although it is one of Maimonides thirteen principles that the divinity has no attributes we can describe, as Marc Shapiro pointed out in his well publicized essay a few years ago, not everyone agrees with the thirteen principles. In fact, many more recent Rabbis (Ari, Habad) will not even sing Yigdal (a prayer phrasing the principles in verse) as it is wrong to define any principles. In any event, the Raivad takes exception to this principle as he says that there are a lot of Kabballists who have described many of the physical attributes of the Divinity. As far as the biblical verses, we see that the Targum interprets virtually ever physical description metaphorically. The Targum is the official translation of the Torah into Aramaic which was read in all the synagogues with the Hebrew from the second to the 11th centuries. Temeni Jews still do it today.
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Re: The nature of God

Postby mariaw » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:46 pm

Moses & HASHEM'S Law from Torah

G-d's extended Hand: Exodus 17:9---G-d's extended Hand is Moses rod & "staff" also known as Judah's Scepter to the Children of Israel later in Torah: The staff & Hand of G-d is Torah including Law Moses receives on Mt Sinai.

G-d's extended breath from His Mouth: Exodus 4:12--- G-d says to Moses Exodus 4:12 "So now go! I shall be with your mouth & teach you what you should say."

G-d's extended feet: Wherever the Children of Israel cover the Land with Torah, their covering of Torah is His Garment from Head to Foot.

Torah questions are answered with Torah scripture! Prov. 30:5, 6 "Every word of God is refined; He is a shield to those who trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He test you & find you deceived."

Prov 30.4 is a metaphor of questions about Torah that can be answered with the story of Moses & HASHEM'S LAW.

Question? Who but Moses ascended to heaven & descended? Answer: Moses with Torah's Law.

Question? Who else gathered the wind in his palm? Answer: Exodus 14:21 "Moses stretched his hand over the sea and HaShem moved the sea with a strong east wind."

Question? Who else tied the waters in a cloak? Answer: Exodus 14:22---"The children of Israel came within the sea on dry land; and the water was a wall for them on their right and on their left."

Question?Who has established all the ends of the earth? Zech. 9:9 "I will eliminate any battle chariot from Ephraim & any war horse from Jerusalem, and the bow of warfare will be eliminated; and he will speak peace to the nations. His dominion will be from sea to sea & from the river to the ends of the earth."

What his name? Answer: Zech 9:9---King who rides the Donkey.

And what his son' name, if thou canst tell? Answer: Exodus 4. 22---"So said HaShem, My firstborn son is Israel."

Torah secrets are inseperable: I gleaned this from an article in Chabad.org.
"When Rabbi Avraham begged the Arizal to reveal just one secret to him, the Arizal laughed and replied, "I testify by heaven and earth: if I were to live eighty consecutive years, without exaggeration, and relate what I learned this time on the subject of Balaam's donkey, I would not be able to say it all. So how can I reveal one of the secrets to you, since they are all inseparable…." (Shivchei HaAri, chapter 2)

I believe the Talmud authors were using the Law to teach the EXEGESIS of Torah.
The Law is great for guiding the community...but its real value is found in teaching & interpreting the rest of the Children of Israel's history & keeping it connected as One as recorded in Torah.

I hope this helps as well!
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Re: The nature of God

Postby Hart60 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:50 pm

Thanks for the post Mariaw and for giving me more to study, I was with you up to Zechariah,I obviously need to study the apocalyptic literature further. :)

Dan.
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Re: The nature of God

Postby mariaw » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:01 pm

Thanks Dan,

I'm working on a few thoughts on the Donkey who might be part of the Returning of Lost Objects.
I think the Donkey, Ox and Garment have something in common & that is Moses leaving Egypt.
So this (return of lost objects) actually returns us to the Law as an interpretive tool for the giving & receiving of Torah.
The King ties his colt to the choice vine that is the Children of Israel representing the Law & the scepter of Moses that is the Law.

Thanks again for your comment.
mariaw
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Re: The nature of God

Postby Hart60 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:24 pm

Ah yes, I think I see what you mean,as in Deuteronomy 22:1-3. "3. So shall you do with his donkey, and so shall you do with his garment, and so shall you do with any lost article of your brother which he has lost and you have found. You shall not ignore [it]."

Are you saying Moses was taking care of the Children of Israel until he could return them ? (Exodus 4. 22. "And you shall say to Pharaoh, 'So said the Lord, "My firstborn son is Israel." '")
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