Here I've read, that the Rambam in yesode hatorah says, G-d has no emotions.

But the Torah is full with things like:

  • what He hates (usually the breaking of His laws, especially the sins related idolatry, or if the people doesn't believe him enough strong)
  • what He likes (mainly the odor of the burning sacrifices)
  • He repents the creation of the antediluvian humanity, even exterminates nearly the whole,
  • but after the Flood, He also smells Noah's sacrifice in the new Earth, and says in His hearth to not do that again.

How G-d doesn't have emotions? As I see, he does his task highly emotionally.

  • Hello, maybe provide the source from where you saw that " God doesn't have emotions. And I'm sure your question will be more readily answered – Shoel U'Meishiv Feb 23 '15 at 15:31
  • @Nafkamina I edited the reference in the question. – Gray Sheep Feb 23 '15 at 15:34
  • Please cite where the Torah says those things. – Double AA Feb 23 '15 at 15:37
  • @DoubleAA I will do, despite I think most people here knows the Torah enough well to remember these verses. – Gray Sheep Feb 23 '15 at 15:38
  • @user8558 A) But not everyone does. B) Often you think you're quoting something correctly till you force yourself to find an actual source. – Double AA Feb 23 '15 at 15:40

The Rambam referenced in the question actually deals with the many times in Tanach in which we ascribe emotions to Hashem.

In chapter 55 in Moreh Nevuchim, the Rambam discusses Hashem's "emotion" as a literary device used to convey meaning to us an audience. Emotions and moods are transient in nature, and are impossible for the unchanging perfection of Hashem. "Wanting" something means that there is something you are lacking, "anger" means something doesn't follow your intent, etc.

When we use these phrases, it is to explain to us that the manner in which there is a "response" from Hashem is as if he were angry, jealous, happy, etc.

In reality, what is changing is our relationship to Hashem - the rest flows as an inevitable reaction to the changes we make in that relationship.

A very similar answer is given regarding prayer - we aren't "changing Hashem's mind" when we pray, we are changing who we are in our relationship to alter how we interact with Hashem, and the (hopefully desired) results flow from there.

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I agree with Maimonides that G-d does not has emotions. Maimonides explains:

"I am G-d who does not change (Mal. 3:6). And if He were sometimes angry and sometimes happy, He would be changing (MT, Hilkhot Yesodei HaTorah, 1:12). Yet Maimonides failed to convince most Jews that G-d does not have emotions.

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The idea that G~d does not have emotions does not make sense unless we think od G~d knowing ablout emotions but not experiencing them. In order for G~d to understand us he must understand how our emotions affect our behaviour. To do this he must experience emotions in the way we experience them, otherwise he is not completely informed. To experience them the way we do he would need to experience certain very strong emotions as totally consuming himself in they way they consume us. Otherwise G~d understanding of emotions is purely abstract and detached.

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  • 1
    Your response reminds me of the uproar caused by the film "Last Temptation of Christ" which implied Jesus had to experience all human emotions in order to better understand man. The church was particularly disturbed by the film's assertations that in order to do so, he had to have a sexual experience. That idea is diametrically opposed to Judaism and Islam and all other monotheistic religions as G-d has no physical form and would not have to "feel" or experience human emotions. For G-d to become man for such knowledge is totally against Judaism. – JJLL Feb 24 '15 at 3:52

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