Hashem can do whatever He feels like doing. Nothing gets in his way.

This has led to the various questions on here regarding the omnipotence paradox - can Hashem put Himself in a situation in which He's unable to do something (i.e. create a rock He can't lift, create a prison He can't escape, destroy Himself, etc.)?

There are essentially two lines of thought, it seems, to answer these questions, as described in the above links: either Hashem cannot violate logic or is above it.

Where is this all leading? This discussion. The one in which everyone vehemently replied no to the question of "Can G-d ever take on a physical form." Sure, the question was based on a faulty interpretation of certain pesukim, but it's a valid question, nonetheless. And the answer is that He cannot take on a physical form.

Why? Didn't we just get through saying He can do whatever He wants? As @DoubleAA pointed out, it wouldn't necessarily be a problem according to those who say He can't override logic, but the question still stands for everyone else. Before you say that it's just that He chooses not to, that discussion makes clear it's not that He won't but that He can't. Why not?

(Yes, I'm aware that there are those who hold He can become physical; I'm asking specifically based on the opinions cited in the above discussion.)

  • 2
    "two lines of thought" More like one line of thought and one line of incomprehensible mumble-jumble.
    – Double AA
    Aug 24, 2016 at 5:58
  • 4
    "Even according to those who say He can't violate logic, that wouldn't be the case here." Why not? An infinite being in physical form is inherently contradictory.
    – Double AA
    Aug 24, 2016 at 5:59
  • @DoubleAA As per your first comment, I cleaned that up a bit to make it intelligible. As per your second, I suppose that's a fair point, though the question still stands. Just about everyone holds Hashem can't be physical, so even according to the one tzad it's a problem.
    – DonielF
    Aug 24, 2016 at 6:08
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    The gobbledygook side would probably say something incomprehensible like "He can both become physical and he can't become physical" or some similar meaningless statement ("He has the benefits of both being able to become physical and not being able to become physical" or "Goose quack blue wall card."). Is that what you want to know?
    – Double AA
    Aug 24, 2016 at 6:22
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    @mevaqesh: If I understand the remaining bit of Kesav Tamim correctly, R' Moshe Taqu does not insist G-d is corporeal. Rather, he insists that one cannot rule it out -- just that one cannot rule out that he isn't. To the Rambam, G-d is incomprehensible and therefore indivisibly One and Unique. And to R' Moshe Taqu, it means we cannot reason about G-d one way or the other. Prophecy has to be accepted without our ability to decide what is literal, what is idiom, and what is allegory. Aug 24, 2016 at 22:48

2 Answers 2


It is important to recognize that logic doesn't dictate Gd's behavior/actions, in fact nothing dictates Gd's behavior/actions let alone a paradox.

Secondly, any paradox that we do encounter is by nature only a logical paradox and not a description of reality. Ex: zeno's paradox. In theory you can easily override the paradox by changing the rules of "man-made logical" or try to find a solution without changing the "rules" of logic. This is done many times in science for ex: newtonian physics >> einstein physics >> quantum mechanics, etc...

However, even without changing any rules, to follow aristotelian logic or any likes thereof, there is an important rule that precedes it that is commonly ignored. By definition each proposition can be answered with either true or false. If it isn't then it is not a proposition and therefore an inductive/reductive conclusion doesn't exist.

Proposition #1: HSM is all powerful >> True Proposition #2: Why can't he take on physical form >> This is not a proposition Conclusion: None

You can say the following:

Proposition #1: HSM is all powerful >> True Proposition #2: HSm is not physical >> True Conclusion: To be All powerful you need to be not physical

In fact what is the definition of All Powerful as it relates to HSM, is it simply can do anything HSM wants? This sounds more like a rebellious teenager. Where do we find this in the 13 principles?

This is the stretch of what logic can give an answer to, outside of that you are just speculating conclusions.


Well according to Kabbalah essentially Hashem can do anything and that means everything. But hashem himself writes in Torah "I do not change". According to Rambam and others no, Hashem can't but that is not a deficiency, see Rav Saadya Gaon on this. But according to Arizal we don't know anything about essence of Hashem, the Gra even writes it's forbidden to think about Essence because that's like saying God forbid that there is something besides. See Rav Eliyashiv, Sefer Leshem on Eitz Chaim on this topic. The question comes down to are you speaking according to Kabbalah that Hashem has created logic and he has no connection to it. Or like Rambam and Rav Saadya Gaon that yes there is logic somehow. The Marahal agrees with Arizal and argues strong against Rambam in his introduction to his Sefer Gevurot Ari.

Rav Sadyaa Gaon can be found in chapter 2 of his Emunot Vedayot.the Arizal that I mentioned is clear from all his seforim and including all seforim written on the Arizal Eitz Chaim.the Leshem I mentioned is in the volume called chelek habirurim the first few pages. This question has been asked forever and it really comes down to a disagreement with philosophy and Kabbalah. I will say though that some kabbalists do agree to Rambam.. But after the Arizal introduced his way 99 pct of Kabbalists agree with him. Meaning that essence of Hashem has no thought no idea zero, like I said the Maharal argues very strongly on the way of Rambam etc.. In his intro to Gevurot Hashem. It comes down to the fact we believe in what Torah and prophets have told us period! Hatzlacha biezrat hashem!

  • Welcome. I highly appreciate your answer, and I agree with most your views. I wondering if Rav Saadia Gaon really is at the side of Rambam concerning logic and impossibility. Rambam is in my view here a bit linked to Kant, and the oppodite side to Descartes. Please, edit this excellent post with references, book, chapter, if possible link. Thank you for this great response
    – kouty
    Sep 16, 2016 at 3:34
  • Posted for you hope it helps you biezrat hashem!
    – A yiddd
    Sep 16, 2016 at 4:22
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    It comes down to the fact we believe in what Torah and prophets have told us period What statement of the Torah or prophets clarifies the issue?
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 16, 2016 at 5:30
  • ״אני ה׳ לא שניתי״
    – A yiddd
    Sep 16, 2016 at 7:28
  • 1
    If you want a user to see your comment put a @ before his username. for example @Ayiddd
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 16, 2016 at 21:34

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