Monday, March 03, 2008

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To Know There is a G-d

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

According to Rambam,[i] to know there is a G-d is the first of all the 613 commandments.

To those who believe that G-d exists, it is hard to understand how others do not. “After all, you can see that there is a creation. Certainly, there has to be a Creator.”

And for those who do not believe that G-d exists, it is hard for them to understand how believers ever believe such a thing. “After all, have you ever seen G-d? All you are doing is believing in something that some other believer has convinced you to believe!”

If the nonbelievers would learn what the Torah means when it says “G-d,” they would see that they, too, are believers. But belief is just a step along the way. Belief is necessary when we lack knowledge. Believers do not know what G-d is, but they believe that He exists. We believe that things will be good, or that we will live to a ripe old age, but we do not know these things. We know that we exist and that our names are so and so. We do not believe these things, we know them.

Once we truly understand even a tiny bit of what G-d is, then we will no longer believe that G-d exists, we will know it.

When Moshe asked G-d for His Name, He did not say that His Name was Creator, Judge, Father, King or any of the other roles that G-d assumes when dealing with man. He said that His Name is, “I Shall Be As I shall Be.”[ii]

The most sacred Name of G-d is spelled --Yod – Kay -- Vav – Kay--. The root of this name are the letters heh-vav-heh. The first definition of this word is, “to exist”. Its next definitions are, “present, actual, being.”

This is what G-d is. G-d is existence. G-d is the actual One Who is all. “You shall know this day and take it to your heart that Hashem, He is G-d – in heaven above and on the earth below – there is nothing else.”[iii]

Each of us is like a small finger on a huge hand, or a minuscule atom, just a tiny, tiny drop of a huge body. We have the simple consciousness of this tiny entity, but not of the entire body. Even though we lack this knowledge, still, we are included in the one universal body, although certainly an extremely small drop of it. But the body itself is merely the physical manifestation of the One Who Actually fills every drop of it, the One Existent Being. He is the existence, and He is the One Who is Present. He is the Actual Being. He is all that exists, even the lowly body.

G-d is existence. Can anyone say that they do not believe in existence?

[i] Sefer ha-mitzvoth
[ii] Exodus 3:14
[iii] Deuteronomy 4:39

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