|Derech Hashem: Notes on First Chapter|
Transcribed Notes: 1992: We therefore see that there are six basic principles involved in our understanding of G-d so far, and they are: The fact of G-d’s existence, which was the opening paragraph and even that included many other things, the fact that G-d was the first being, the fact that G-d gives existence, etc. etc., all that he is saying is, all Luzzatto is saying is the fact of G-d’s existence. Number two, G-d’s perfection, or the Hebrew word for perfection is sheleimut, complete, and this is the one that we really are going to use the most, G-d’s being complete. And that is to understand what G-d will do with G-d’s perfection. Then to begin to understand the difference between G-d and human beings we get to the next one, the necessity of G-d’s existence, meaning G-d’s existence demands that G-d exists. You have to think about that, does our existence demand that we exist? Do we give ourselves existence? (No.) And it is true on so many levels. Yeah, on one level you could say, yeah my kids grew up without me, but it is not necessarily just looking at my life by myself do I give myself existence, you know this is a question we ask ourselves every night when we go to sleep, because before you go to sleep you are supposed to prepare yourself for a judgment on that day, and the question they ask you you know when you go up there to heaven which we are going to learn about is what did you do to earn your existence today? What did you do to earn another day of existence? Which is a tough question. But G-d doesn’t ask G-d’s self that question. First of all who is going to force G-d to answer. (So our existence demands G-d’s existence?) Our existence demands G-d’s existence, which leads us to the next thing, G-d’s absolute independence. Now, I just want to give you an example where, why, I am sure you noticed [?] many times when I translated something different then Kaplan did, right we have had a number of examples. For those of you who have a book if you open up to the notes, it is on page three thirty seven note three, when in the notes when he speaks about G-d’s absolute independence he adds in note three, part one note three, you see that page three thirty seven, he says this also includes the fact that G-d has no needs. Now, that is not necessarily true that Luzzatto meant to include G-d has no needs, and the reason it is not necessarily true is because the minute you begin to deal with Kabbalah then you begin to deal with needs even of G-d and what a human being can do for G-d. So Luzzatto did not necessarily mean to include it but Kaplan did. So you will see many many things that throughout where I will change the translation and I will show you later why I think he doesn’t include it, I mean in about six months.
(?) Well nothing about G-d is in the sense we understand anything. As you probably figure out by now. Yeah actually, we will see in the next chapter, the next one is my favorite one.
Ok, G-d’s simplicity. Simplicity means that G-d isn’t torn about in a million different ways like one part of him really wants something very badly and another part of G-d doesn’t want it, or realizes that maybe it is not so G-d, we talked about a piece of cake or pizza or popcorn, you know your [colon lady?] is going to say.
And then G-d’s unity, G-d’s unity meaning here that there is only one G-d and there is no other, because the minute there is another, if there can be another G-d then G-d is limited. Ok, because wherever this other is, G-d isn’t. So G-d is [?] unity. And again you should always practice finding any concept that impresses you as an important concept, try and find a place in davening to include it. So for instance G-d’s simplicity include in hashem echad, so that when you speak about G-d being one it doesn’t mean that there is only one G-d and not another but it means that whatever G-d wants, G-d wants with all of G-d’s being, and we spoke about that the last time we meant, that very few human beings really want something with all of their being, and when they do, [?]. He wanted something with all of his being, nebuch, and he got it.