This is bothering me a lot.

Is God active (he changes things, tunes a little when it goes wrong) or he is passive or even he "passed away" when creating this Universe, meaning we are made from God himself.

  • 1
    Passive as in He knows everything that's going on, but doesn't do anything about it, or passive as in totally unaware of what's going on? – jake Mar 14 '13 at 15:03
  • I'm not sure how G-d's supposed uninvolvement (ch"v) implies that we are are "made from G-d himself." (Not that we aren't) – Hod - Monica's Army Mar 14 '13 at 18:32
  • 1
    I think there are a lot of unstated assumptions in this question that need to be made clear and substantiated before it ca be effectively addressed. – LazerA Mar 14 '13 at 19:45
  • see the Gate of trust in chovos halevavos which explains much of how God runs the world – ray May 16 '13 at 17:36

The Ramban on Shemot Perek 20, verse 2 comments on this issue. He speaks of how the events of the Exodus teach us many fundmental principles regarding God. Clearly the fact that God preformed the miracles of the plagues, splitting of the sea and the giving of the Torah at Sinai demonstrate Gods involvement in the destiny of man. It shows Hashem is in control of nature and can/does change nature. Furthermore, Ramban speaks of a side issue you just raised. He says "it is an indication of God's unity, as He said, that you (ie. Pharaoh) may know that there is none like me in all the world." The Ramban seems to hold that Hashem is a unity that can not be divided into parts. Therefore to say we are made from Hashem himself in a literal way, would suggest that there are parts to God and that he can share a part of himself to make humans. I am not exactly sure what you meant by the comment, but it does seem on the surface to conradict the notion of God's unity as well as suggest that we are in some way Godlike, comparible to God if you will, yet "there is none like Hashem in all the world".

I hope this addresses the issues you are bothered by.

| improve this answer | |

God is active, as shown through this prayer (the modim):

We thankfully acknowledge that You are the Lord our G-d and G-d of our fathers forever. You are the strength of our life, the shield of our salvation in every generation. We will give thanks to You and recount Your praise, evening, morning and noon, for our lives which are committed into Your hand, for our souls which are entrusted to You, for Your miracles which are with us daily, and for Your continual wonders and beneficences. You are the Beneficent One, for Your mercies never cease; the Merciful One, for Your kindnesses never end; for we always place our home in You.

Bolding is mine but translation is from here. The idea expressed is that God is still active in our lives and the world around us, constantly.

| improve this answer | |
  • Couldn't that just mean that the wonders He created originally are still around every moment? ie. He made a lot of wonders. It doesn't prove when He made them/set them in motion. – Double AA Mar 14 '13 at 18:31
  • The wonders, yes, but I see the beneficences as acts of goodness, not the residual effects of old goodnesses (not to mention the earlier "salvation in every generation"). The fact that Judaism has prayer which makes requests of god assumes that he is not passive but that's another answer. – rosends Mar 14 '13 at 18:34
  • The prayer-proof is just another version of the free will question. Could God have built in to Creation that I'd win the lottery tomorrow, before I had prayed for it? He knew I would pray for it. Perhaps all miracles and everything is pre-built-in because God knows when we will need what. – Double AA Mar 14 '13 at 18:35
  • so then all the texts which refer to god performing actions (Ad yom moto techakeh lo) would be empty assignations of active behavior as our behavior/actions/prayer have no effect on a passive god. But the underlying belief of the religion is NOT that that's the case. So I guess I'm assuming that the OP is asking for Judaism's take, not for other potential philosophical approaches to the nature of god. – rosends Mar 14 '13 at 18:38
  • I'll note by the way, that Chazal make a point of timing all lots of miracles in Tanach as having been created during Creation. (Korach's hole, the talking donkey, etc. See Pesachim 50-something.) – Double AA Mar 14 '13 at 18:38

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi discusses this at great length in the second section of the Tanya. He proves that G-d is actively involved in the world and in fact recreates it every moment. Thus, everything that happens in this world is directed by Divine Providence. Even a leaf falling from a tree at a specific moment and landing somewhere is decided by G-d. You can read an English translation and commentary here.

| improve this answer | |

see the Gate of Trust from Duties of the Heart. According to it God is fully directing everything that happens to you, including what happens to you from other human beings.

For example when someone does good to you, the correct outlook is to thank Gd for the good itself and the human person for his good intention. i.e. to understand that the good was from God and that the person or whatever was just an agent.


You may also want to have a look at the gate of unity of God there also for a good introduction to what we can possibly know about God.

| improve this answer | |

Only god knows. The main assumption is that god is omnipotent. This meaning that all is known and perceived by god. Hence if god created everything and god is omnipotent, there can only follow the assumption that god knows what's to come. Alongside that knowledge, you've just added a philosophical argument of whether god could change the events to come if god wants to.

| improve this answer | |
  • "Alongside that knowledge". I would like to correct you. It's assumption as you pointed earlier -> The main assumption is that god is omnipotent It could be different and you will never know. What if God has limits too? Assumption ;) – Derfder Mar 14 '13 at 15:25
  • 1
    Did you mean omnipotent or omniscient? – Seth J Mar 14 '13 at 15:27
  • Omnipotent is what I mean. And I stated alongside that knowledge in the assumption that god is omnipotent. Hence is would be an assumption of knowledge. – TheCodingArt Mar 14 '13 at 15:30
  • 1
    No one can/has (as of now) legitimately proven they know. Personally, I don't believe in a god, hence there's another fault to the argument that can be stacked among the rest. This is a pure philosophical argument that only grinds down to opinions even after relating numerous and countless controdictary religions down the line. The argument could reference different gods from different time periods down to the existence. You're better off arguing about Marvel. – TheCodingArt Mar 14 '13 at 15:37
  • 4
    @TheGamingArt This is not Philosophy. This is Mi Yodeya. Answers should be subject to traditional Jewish interpretation, not personal opinion. If you don't want to hear the Jewish traditional perspective, then don't look here. This question can be answered at this point in time with descriptions of what traditional Jewish sources have said on the matter. We aren't here to debate if those sources are right or not. That's not the point of the site. – Double AA Mar 14 '13 at 15:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .