In modern Jewish literature, there are references to God being "lonely", which justifies His involvement in our fortunes; witness the piece below by 20th-century rabbi Eliezer Berkovits. Are there hints of this concept in Chazal?

We are lonely in the world but we are not alone in our loneliness. A greater one than we is lonely too: God. Mighty and exalted is He, but He is alone. We Jews are alone in our misery, so is He in all His might and Glory. There is no place for us, neither is there any for Him. The system of living in the world has been devised without us, neither has God had much say in it.

God in all His Might and Glory is patiently waiting for the New Man to deliver Him from His loneliness by making Him the corner-stone of human life. God is waiting for the company of a mankind to come. Can it be our task to-day to go out and fraternise with life as it is, to accept life as it is, and thus to augment the solitude of God?

We are lonely, and it is hard to bear loneliness. But let us not forget that there is a great company of the lonely ones. There is God who is lonely, there are Justice, Truth, Freedom, Goodness—they are all very lonely. Let us remain faithful to their company.

Only after we have delivered God Himself from His loneliness, only after the great human ideals break through their present splendid isolation and are realised in the everyday life of men, shall we Jews be redeemed from the prison of our solitude.

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    No more than he is angry, jealous or any other human emotion.
    – rosends
    Commented Jul 24, 2022 at 13:27
  • @rosends -- Of course, but doesn't answer my question on whether Chazal mention it. Commented Jul 24, 2022 at 13:32
  • 1
    I would be interested to see the original Hebrew, perhaps this isn't lonely in the usual English sense but rather "lone", as in, the only one.
    – ezra
    Commented Jul 24, 2022 at 13:32
  • Berachos 3A מַה לּוֹ לָאָב שֶׁהִגְלָה אֶת בָּנָיו, וְאוֹי לָהֶם לַבָּנִים שֶׁגָּלוּ מֵעַל שׁוּלְחַן אֲבִיהֶם
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Jul 24, 2022 at 14:56
  • Loneliness implies something is missing. G-d in all our sources is described as complete. G-d is definitely unique, separate, apart, etc. but to say this equals loneliness is falsely projecting human emotions onto G-d.
    – N.T.
    Commented Jul 24, 2022 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


Several sources explain Hashem's involvement in our fortunes in terms of His Goodness. For that matter, they explain that the entire reason for creation is that it is the nature of good to have someone to whom to be good to. Moral Good can only exist in potential without a recipient of that good.

For example, this is the position of R Saadia Gaon (introduction to Emunos ceDei'os. And going from Aristotilian rationalist to Qabbalist -- it's also how the Ramchal opens Derekh Hashem (after the introduction). The Ramchal writes, "הנה התכלית בבריאה היה להטיב מטובו ית׳‎ לזולתו - See that the purpose of creation was to give from His goodness, may He be blessed, to another besides Him."

  • But that is something we cannot really understand. It's part of the unanswerable question of מה לפנים.
    – N.T.
    Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 6:02

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