"...and God Spoke" How did He speak??

    April 2010            
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And G-d Spoke

By Larry Fine

Quite possibly the most common phrase in the Torah is the phrase, “And G-d spoke...”. It is so common that no one seems to ask the simplest and most obvious question: G-d does not have arms, He does not have a body, and therefore no mouth. What does can it mean when it is written that 'G-d speaks'?

If the purpose of G-d's speaking was to reveal His will and desire to man, it should have just said, “And G-d revealed...”. The fact that this was not done coupled with the fact that the Torah was written exactly with no superfluous words or phases leads us to understand that the word, “spoke” has been chosen specifically and for a particular reason.

The answer to the above requires the mystical teaching of the holy Chassidic texts to come to the rescue. They have offered us a solution that is very revealing and important for us.

We must realize first that G-d is the infinite; this means not just in spatial dimensions (or dimensionlessness) but also in ultimate power. G-d's power is so great that it is futile for us to try to imagine what His power is like. A nuclear bomb is perhaps the greatest power that we know, yet this is nothing compared to the sun's fiery explosions which are hundreds of times greater than the largest nuclear bomb blasts. Of course the sun is really small in comparison to the other gigantic stars and so the fiery explosions on the surface of these mega stars who dwarf those of our own sun. Which is of course nothing compared to the power of the Creator of the universe.

Now when we speak our words seem to have only the power from the feeling of the words that the orator selects. Yet there is another method to determine the power of speech: we can simply monitor the sound waves and the breath that emanates from the speaker. We can get an audio sound measuring meter and we can see just what power of sound is being emitted from the speaker. (This, by the way, is measured in decibels.) Also, you can put your hand in front of your mouth and feel the wind coming from your mouth as you speak; this is also indicative of power.

G-d also emanates power when He speaks, but since His power is on the level of the infinite, it must be reduced to a point where the world and every thing in it can continue to exist with out being destroyed from His great power. When G-d created the world, it was His desire that the world become independent and be a place in which His infinite Being could not be perceived.

Speech emanates from man, yet once he utters his words, they no longer are attached directly to him. Yet with today's technology, we can easily record a man's speech and keep it for our own. Image that: One man speaks words and a second man captures his words and may keep them for himself.

This is what the Torah referred to when it used the concept of speech by G-d. It meant that although G-d's desires are being revealed to man, and the powers that emanate from this speech filter down into the physical world, none the less, it is given to man that he may utilize this divine power and yet not be destroyed by it. It is similar to tape recording a person's speech and using it for your own purposes; it is legal yet it does not affect the speaker.

So too, G-d is not affected or effected by any use or misuse of His speech. The power of His speech is still giving power to the universe and our world to continue, yet He is unaffected by any misuse of the speech. It is the power of his speech that are invested into the very words, and into the very letters of the Hebrew alphabet that have immense power; power so great that it created the universe.


from the April 2010 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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