Saturday, December 17, 2016

13 Principals Of Faith - #2: Hashem's "Emotions"

Rav Soloveitchik has a shocking passage [I saw quoted] in his The Emergence Of Ethical Man:

God loves and hates; God is saddened and gladdened; God likes and dislikes. God is not only the active creator but also the passive sufferer of the cosmis drama. The Bible is very far from sharing the views which were later espoused by the medieval philosophers in their tireless crusade against any anthropomorphism. By assigning to God pure actuality to the exclusion of all responsive behavior, one detaches Him from His world and renders practical religion almost absurd. (p. 41)

It is hard to swallow that Rav Soloveitchik openly disagrees with the Rishonim, claims with certainty that they all misunderstood Tanach and expresses a view that is counter to anything explicit anywhere. Of course I don't know everything and would be interested in knowing if there is precedent for such an opinion. Just as all references to Hashem's body parts [hand, finger etc.] are clearly parables and not to be taken literally - so too all references to His emotions. The Torah just uses those terms so that we can relate. 

Today we know that emotions are chemically based. Does Hashem have chemicals in His being chas vi-shalom??

Very strange and very bothersome to me. I hope someone out there can enlighten me....