Tuesday, April 17, 2007


posted by Aviva

The Jewish religion is primarily based on faith. We believe that Avraham Avinu first discovered Hashem and knew there was no one else like him. We believe that Hashem freed us from our bondage in Egypt and gave us his holy Torah. We even believe that one day the Messiah will come and redeem all who are impure and selfish at heart. So the question remains: why doesn’t Hashem reveal himself to us so that we can know for sure that he exists and serve him better? Why is g-d purposefully hiding his “face” from us? Surely Hashem, the Creator of the heavens and the Earth has no problem revealing himself fully to his people so they will be able to serve him with no trace of doubt in their minds. Not only will Bnei Israel be able to serve Hashem better, but all the nations of the world will see that our Torah is truthful and Hashem is the only g-d.
After a series of commandments in Parshat Tetzaveh relating to the specifics of the priestly garments and sacrifices, Hashem affirms that “They shall make me a sanctuary, and I shall dwell among them” (29:45). Does this mean that Hashem’s presence will dwell among us only if we instigate it first? If so, why do we need to be the instigators? Shouldn’t that be left up to someone more powerful than us? And if not, why doesn’t g-d allow us to see and talk to him directly? Why wasn’t Moshe Rabbeinu allowed to see g-d’s face after all that he had been through? Is Hashem trying to hide something from us?


Anonymous Rachel D said...

I too have wondered this. I realized that there is no proof for God, and a "leap of faith" is only what will drive someone to accept that concept. People often ask the same question, and if I was a religious and confident believer, I would give you and answer such as, "God wants that leap of faith from you to show that you actually believe", or (my personal favorite) "There are somethings that we as humans cannot understand, but God knows what He's doing". Me being me, I cannot think of a legitimate answer to your question Aviva. If God wanted us to fear Him, why wouldn't He demonstrate His existance to us? The important thing is not to let your questions about God continue to perplex you. If one finds oneself frustrated by God's "hiddenness", it is important to acknowledge that one will never know, but that it is still important to preserve the Jewish tradition.

April 21, 2007 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Suz said...

i really like what rach said before me, about how sometimes one has to resign oneself to not knowing and just preserve the faith. On a different note, for modern times we have digressed from ancient time such that we can no longer ever have the relationship we once had with god. when we read the tanach we think that we can bc in most all of the books an "unrevealed" relationship exists and it makes us want one. however, we have existed without for nearly 2000 years and bc tanach closes before we lose the relationship, we think it is attainable. however given the modern situation we can only have hashems presence revealed to us if one of two things happen (as i understand it) either we become utterly horrible and completely leave the ways of the torah, or we all believe and act well. bc there is a dichotomy from both ends of the spectrum and we're all pretty mixed, i dont forsee us having god reveal himself to us anytime soon.t do as rach says and keep the faith!

April 22, 2007 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good questions and these are ones that i think all of us have or do wonder. But im going to look at Avivas blog from the first sentence " The Jewish religion is primarily based on faith.". Thats it exactly. That is, in my opionion the answers to all of our questions. Hashem does not appear to us because we need to have faith that even thoguh we can't see him, he is still there. The entire idea of any religion is that we dont have 100 percent proof that what we are beliving is true. Hashem acts and says all these things so we will continue to have faith him. He tells us to make a sanctuary for him becuase this is a place we can get closest to him for we rarely have a physcial place. Hashem dosent show his face to us becuase if he showed us, we would have proof and that isnt religion. Hashem wants us to belive without really knowing if we are going in the right direction, yet giving us hints along the way that we are.

April 22, 2007 9:00 PM  
Anonymous hadas said...

I agree with everyone, but the faith we are giving to God is not blind. Thoguh we do nto experience sea-splitting miracles every day, we do expereince things whcih say "hey, I'm here because Hashem is dewlling among us". Sometimes I feel that God is in the molecules around me, or under my eyes whe nI wake up in the mornig. If Hashem revelaed himself, I think His imaged would be cheapened. Look at kriyat yam suf and the almost immediate complaints of bnei yisrael of what they missed in mitzraim. Sure, maybe they belived in a God, with lighting bolts an dalmost power, but did they ftrust him? I think today we have that attribute. We trust God, though we may nto necassarily beleive in him. FOr example, some people would say "I don't beleiv ein God. But if he does exist, let him strike me down." We trust God's judgement. After all, we trust ourselves and we all have a bti of godliness within us.

April 22, 2007 11:00 PM  
Blogger tamar said...

i tihnk that God has multiple reaosn (understood by man) for not "Showing His facce". one, if He were to be "out in the open" then it would be too easy to follow and bleeive in Him, faith is really strangthened or lost through hardship, in times of despair when one turns to God shows that they truly beilev and gfollow Him. i He were to show His face, we woulndt have the free choice of following Him or not. i mean, clearly we cna choose what to do, but it would be a lot less of a choice becuase the glaring fact is facing us. and although we woul fully follwo
hium, it would not be as deep of a faith as one who follows Him through thick and thin. we must instigate the relationship with Hashem, for if He were to be too obvious ( excluding Yitzyat Mitzraim, because they barely knew of His existance He HAD to show Himself) we would not have as deep of a faith, we would jsut follow.

April 30, 2007 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the fact that God doesnt show his face is paralleled to other torah ideas. God doesnt need us we need him. And pressumably we should have enough faith in him to believe what happens is because of his hand in that instance and his commandment are what is to be followed. For example when a non- jew wants to convert the Rabbi sends them away numerous times to maek sure that they are in understanding of what is expected by a jew. If they wont bring along that faith and loyalty then God has one less jew to follow his rule; How would that effect God high level of divinity.
I think the fact that God hides himself from us gives us a boundry of utmost respect. I believe that in the time of the Beit Hamikdash the Neviim where the ones that reeally represented Hashem and that was Gods basic way of showing himself to Klall Yisrael. But those neviim where occasionlly disrespected and that is not how God should and wants to be treated. It is similar to how one calls their teacher or Rabbi. It is of utmost respect to call them Rabbi Mr. Mrs. etc. This provides a boundry and prevents the exposure and possible event that the student would be become to comfertable calling their teach and theirfore losing resepct. Pressumably if God created us we should have the highest respect and by not having his face shown to us we will try harder and gharder to follow his rule and eventually be so holy that he will inevitably expose himself to us!

May 01, 2007 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only is the Jewish religion base on faith but it is also very community related. Yes, we do have a high priest who takes the responsibility once a year of being the one to com before G-d and shoulder responsibility of the nation but largely it is our responsibility to bring G-d into our lives. As a community we are given commandments to help us believe and as individuals we are given the opportunity to strengthen our faith this is why thee is such a difference between a Torah and non-Torah observing jew. The Torah observing jew is always giving himself the opportunity to let his faith grow in G-d while the person who rejects the Torah rejects G-d as they go hand in hand because without the Torah giving us ways to connect with G-d we can't have faith.The reason why we can't see Hashem's face I think, is not because he's hiding from us but because we don't have the connection and holiness that Moshe had. It is a privilege and a special responsibility that, if gifted to everyone takes away from some of the kavod and fear that we're supposed to have towards G-d.

May 29, 2007 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Shira M said...

I think every religion is based on faith. If you cannot believe or have faith in something then you are not really following a relgion. Faith is what shows our true feelings towards Hashem and it shows what we believe. Every religion has something that they believe in and it is that thing that proves their faith in their religion. Also I believe that one reason Hashem does not show us His face is because we are supposed to have ahavat Hashem but also yir'at Hashem. If Hashem reveals Himself to us it makes it seem like he is almost on the same level as us. But he is not, he is much higher, therefore there needs to be something hidden that we cannot even grasp about him, and we must believe that He is there. In order to show our faith we cannot know everything about Hashem, and I think it makes sense that Hashem does not reveal himself and it is just part of the faith we must have.

June 04, 2007 7:18 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home