- Divine Sparks
- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- Reader: I have a question concerning your objection to
Chassidim. My understanding is that a part of your objection is that
Chassidim teaches that there is a divine element is the physical
world. They teach that if it were not for the "divine spark"
matter could not exist. Some consider this a form of pantheism. The
Chassidim counter that this view necessarily results from the idea
that G-d is infinite. If G-d is infinite, they say, how can the
physical world be separate from Him? If it were separate, then there
would exist something that was not G-d, and He would be finite.
- Mesora: Just because there is
something which is not God, it does not follow that this limits God.
They say this is a limitation because their idea of God is connected
to the physical, and that is heresy. By their very assumption that God
would be limited if there were other things which are not
"Him", indicates that they assume incorrectly that God and
the physical share something in common, that is, "space".
Since they cannot conceive of God outside of the physical, they feel
that creation actually encroaches on His "turf".
Additionally, they deny the actual Torah which says that God created
the world. These verses in Genesis are not used by God as word games
to mislead us. If God said He created the physical world, then He did.
All the Rabbis teach the same. This is our Mesora.
- In reality, God has no connection with the physical. Once someone
can accept this, they will understand their other nonsensical ideas
have no basis. (See my related article o "Tzimtzum")
- Reader: Can you explain the idea of an infinite Creator with
a creation that is separate from Him?
- Mesora: We do not know what God
is, so we cannot think in terms of "separate from Him". What
we can know is that we know nothing of what God is, but that God is
the source of all reality, the entire universe, their governing laws,
and the Torah. We also know that the physical is not God, as God said
He created the physical, which by definition, cannot be Him.
- Reader: Further, do you think that the soul of man contains a
divine spark, and are you troubled that this form of matter contains
- Mesora: Man's soul is not part
of God in any way - God has no parts. See Maimonides
13 Principles, Principle 2.