26 Av 5781 / Wednesday, August 04, 2021 | Torah Reading: Re'eh
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The Oneness of Hashem    

The Oneness of Hashem

138 Openings of Wisdom, the classic Kelach Pitchey Chokhmah by the renown Kabbala scholar Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto of saintly and..


Oneness, God's existence, His will and control
Opening 1: The oneness of Eyn Sof - He who has "No End", blessed be He - lies in the fact that only His Will exists, and no other will exists except through Him. Therefore He alone is in control and not any other will. The entire structure is built on this foundation.
God's supreme unity is the foundation of faith and the root of wisdom. Accordingly, this is what must be explained first. For the entire Wisdom of Truth (Chochmat Ha-Emet, the Kabbalah) comes only to demonstrate the truth of Faith (Emunah). It comes to explain how all the created realms and beings and everything that happens in the universe all emerge from the Supreme Will (HaRatzon HaElyon). It shows how everything is governed in the right way by the One God, blessed be He, to bring the entire cycle of creation to complete perfection in the end. The component details of this wisdom provide detailed understanding of all the laws and processes by which the universe is governed.
Thus the first axiom of this wisdom is that everything we see, including all created beings and all that occurs within time, is under only One Master, blessed be He. God alone makes and does all this, and He governs everything. The purpose of this wisdom is to explain the ways in which He acts to make and govern the creation. If so, the oneness of God is what we must explain first, since this is the very foundation of the creation, as will be explained. If we can understand this subject, we will have an understanding of the foundation of the creation, its root and purpose. Accordingly, it is certainly proper to explain this first.
The opening proposition consists of two parts: Part 1: The oneness of Eyn Sof. This introduces the subject of the supreme unity of God. Part 2: The entire structure. This unity is also the foundation of all the emanated realms and created beings.
Part 1: The oneness of Eyn Sof. You already know that we are not talking at all about God in Himself, namely about the essential nature of the Owner of this Will. Everything that we discuss relates only to His Will, which is all-powerful and unlimited. Of this we are permitted to speak, yet even here there is a limit to how far our minds can reach, as will be discussed below. Nevertheless, since we are not dealing with His Essence but with His Will, it is more permissible for us to seek understanding.
We must believe and have faith that the Supreme Emanator - blessed be He and blessed be His Name - is One alone, unified in all respects. This means that He alone exists, and only He exists necessarily: there is simply none other. And He alone controls everything. That He alone is in control is an obvious inference from the first proposition - that He alone exists. Since He alone exists, He alone is in control. This means that every other being that exists now is contingent upon Him.
Nevertheless, the fact that He alone is in control is a separate item of faith. Otherwise the unbelievers might say that at first He may have been alone and that He chose to bring creatures into being. But they could argue that nevertheless, as soon as He created independent creatures possessing their own will, it would be possible (were it not for the fact of His perfect unity) that these independent wills would set limits to His will. In other words, once He gave them free will, they became able to choose the opposite of His will.
Moreover, the course of the history of the world makes it appear outwardly as if this is indeed the case. For He created the universe for good, but He created the Other Side (Sitra Achra), which is evil, and He created man with free will, giving him the potential to do evil. Man came and chose to do evil, with the result that God's desire was not accomplished. The unbelievers argue that now that the people of Israel have sinned, there is no salvation for them (God forbid) for they sinned and continue to sin. Accordingly they will always remain exiled and persecuted - for where could their salvation come from? Indeed it says explicitly: "For Jerusalem is ruined and Judah has fallen because their tongues and their doings are against God, to provoke the eyes of His glory" (Isaiah 3:8). It also says: "You forgot [or weakened] the Rock that gave birth to you" (Deuteronomy 32:18).
To be continued.
To purchase The 138 Openings of Wisdom, click here
(Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum is the director of Azamra (http://www.azamra.org/).

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