The Rambam in yesode hatorah says that God has no emotions.

He does not change, he does not get angry nor have joy. Everything you see in tanach is just so that we can understand.

The commentary there says: "he does not get angry if you transgress nor get joy from your doing His will".

If so, why does he care about our service? Is it all for us only?


3 Answers 3


Kabbalists make a distinction (which may or may not be attractive to different people) between the אין סוף, the Infinite one that is completely beyond us, and the emanated פרצופים 'faces' of God. Our actions could never have an effect on the אין סוף, the Infinite one, but he has willed that they have an effect on emanations which are, at the same time, of Him, and just a garment of Him:

כהדין קמצא, דלבושיה מיניה וביה

"...like the snail, whose garment [shell] is of him and part of him..."

(cf., for example, ערוגת הבשם on Song of Songs, intro, 'klalim me-kitvei ha-ari, first paragraph)

(This is certainly not the religious path of the Rambam though.)

  • Tried to make things a bit clearer, feel free to edit as you wish..
    – Michoel
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 23:29
  • thank you. so why should we desire things like "arising the shechina from the afar" with our torah/mitzvot, such as in the leshem yichud. who are we helping? "the worlds"?
    – ray
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 6:11
  • yes, divine worlds and the whole universe--I don't know if this is an attractive idea or not but it's out there in different forms in the teachings of those figures who base their thinking on kabbalistic sources.
    – paquda
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 15:32
  • I hear. but it's difficult to feel any kind of motivation to help "worlds/partzufim". I can understand making people happy but benefiting "worlds" and "partzufim" where this doesn't make anyone nor even God "happy". what's the point of doing any religious service?
    – ray
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 18:23
  • R Sebag, I mostly just meant if you were finding the path of the Rambam to not be speaking to you, you could look into this other path for a while and maybe find meaning in it. I'm not too knowledgeable about the specifics but I think 'benefiting worlds and partzufim' means that there are great processes happening and you can choose to involve yourself in them, that would be choosing 'avodah'.
    – paquda
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 0:11

What does it mean to serve Hashem?

If Hashem is perfect why do we need to serve him, when you serve someone something it is generally because they do not have it otherwise it would be pointless to give it to them. Unless they have no control over them self and any desire they have they wish to do.

So we must say Hashem NEEDS my mitzvos and i dont think there is anything wrong with saying hashemneeds something. The need we mean by hashem is not like we need to eat etc. Its more like i need purpose, the fact that i neeed purpose does that make me weaker no it makes me more human.

So too hashem what makes hashem more hashem is that he needs mitzvos.

  • I think this takes the award for the most heretical comment I've seen on this site. Are you daring to suggest that G-D becomes greater by what we do? G-D asking people to do Mitzvos makes Him "more human"? Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 14:42

IT's not true that God not have emotions, It's misinterpretation of "God don't feel happiness or sadness". Actually One of God's Quality is eternal bliss. And he never loses it. He remains in Eternal content . Our actions are inspired from instantaneous motives and have temporary results .Hence he keeps himself remote from our actions although in some form or other he encourages us to do the right thing ,but it's our choice whether to follow his call or not.

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    Hi Rishi and welcome to Mi Yodeya. Is this your own thought or did you hear it somewhere? If the latter, could you edit your answer to give the source? Thank you. Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 14:59

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