Author Topic: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge  (Read 935 times)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #50 on: August 06, 2018, 07:57:12 AM »
The Oral Torah teaches that God created seven things before He created the world: Torah, Repentance, Gan Eden (the spiritual Garden of Eden), Gehinom (the spiritual Purgatory), His Throne of Glory, the Holy Temple, and the name of the Messiah. This means that it arose in God’s thought that these things were necessary for the existence of the world that He would create.

God, blessed be He, created His world for the purpose He desired – as the sages said, “God desired to have a dwelling place in the lowest (i.e. physical) world.” This clearly teaches that God’s objective for His creation of the world was to make a physical place which would be perfectly fitting for His Presence to rest in. The service of all mankind beginning from the time of Adam, the first person, is to contribute to reaching this objective. God has promised through His prophets in the Hebrew Bible that His desired future time will be realized through the coming of the true Messiah, from the dynasty of King David, who will usher in the era when all people will see God’s truth and the righteousness of all His ways – as the verse says, “And the glory of God will be revealed, and all flesh will see together that the mouth of God has spoken.”(Isaiah 40:5) (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 178)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2018, 05:13:53 AM »
God’s existence is independent. That is to say, it is not dependent on anything else, whereas the existence of every creation is dependent on God’s will to create it. In the terminology of the sages, this is called God’s Requisite Existence, which means that there is no cause for His existence. Rather, His existence is essential and due to Himself. His creations, on the other hand are called possible existences, since their existence always depends on another cause, and it is possible that they will either exist or not exist.

Therefore, God’s existence is not at all comparable to that of any created thing in the Heavens above or the earth below, including time and space and anything that exists within the context of those dimensions. Every creation has limitations to its existence and power and is comprised of multiple parts and elements, be they physical or spiritual. Therefore nothing can be compared to the Holy One, Blessed be He, Who has no limitation to Himself or His power. His power is infinite, endless and unlimited, and His existence is not made up of any combinations. Rather, His existence is a simple Oneness, which has no end and no beginning, and no reason or objective for being. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 14-15)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #52 on: August 08, 2018, 05:07:26 AM »
Since it has been clarified that God does not have any type of body or corporeal form, it is also clear that none of the functions of a body are appropriate to Him – neither connection nor separation, neither place nor measure, neither ascent nor descent, neither right nor left, neither front nor back, neither standing nor sitting, etc.

God transcends time, so He does not have a beginning, an end, or any age. He does not change, for there is nothing that can cause Him to change. He creates time and space, and those limited dimensions are part of the overall limitations of the universe. But He, in His true existence, is not limited by anything, and therefore He is not under the influence of time and space. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 17)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2018, 04:28:34 AM »
In all respects, the actions of God in His creation of all things are incomparable to those of a human. A human’s actions can only change an entity from one created form to another, as in the case of the artisan who takes a block of silver and changes its form into the shape of a vessel. When he finishes shaping the vessel, it leaves his hands, and its existence is not dependent on him, just as the original block of metal was not dependent on him, since he did not create it. God, however, creates the substance and form of the vessel, and the same applies for all His creations; their existence is contingent on His will to create them “ex nihilio,” which is the Latin term for coming into being “from complete nonexistence” at every instant. Thus there is no reason for the created entity to exist other than the power of God’s command and utterance which actualizes His will that this entity be created and exist in a particular way. In other words, every particular thing exists through a particular creative force that emanates from God, and that particular force is derived from much greater general power of His Ten Utterances that are recorded in Genesis, Chapter 1. It is in this way that the Heavenly realms , the universe, our Earth, and all their hosts are created from nothing. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 20)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #54 on: August 10, 2018, 04:13:27 AM »
A true recognition of the existence of God in every detail of the world, and in every detail of a person’s life, brings a person to a recognition of God’s Divine Providence over His creations. Simply stated, every entity, with its life and existence, is being constantly created at every moment by God’s will and with His knowledge, and it has been previously explained in Chapter 1 that He and His knowledge are One. Conversely, His knowledge of every detail of a thing as it is being created by Him, and of what is happening to it, and His will for it to continue to exist and in certain condition, are not separate from the thing, but rather are part and parcel of it and cannot be separated from it, in a way that is impossible for us to understand.

These principles are the key to recognizing that God knows and is involved with what is happening in every detail of creation, at every moment, and that everything happens according to His purposeful plan. Not only a person’s actions – for example, when someone walks to a certain place at a certain time – but all other events, even the movements of inanimate objects, such as a leaf falling from a tree by the power of a wind and landing in a certain spot, are ordained by God for a specific purpose known to Him. This is the understanding of Divine Providence that was taught by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 27-28)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #55 on: August 11, 2018, 05:26:12 AM »
It is up to the person’s choice that the main concern which influences him should be his desire for closeness to God in all his ways, and not his desire for closeness to the lusts of his evil inclination. Therefore, the sages explained that the Torah’s directive to “cleave to God” means that a person should cleave to the holy Torah sages, for he will thereby create an environment for himself that is conductive to influencing his character in the righteous direction we have described. If on the other hand he decides to cleave to people who are hedonistic and immoral, that is the direction to which his character will be drawn.

Likewise, it is said about the knowledge of God, “And you shall know today and take to heart, that the Lord is God, in the heavens above and the earth below, there is no other.” The goal of this intellectual comprehension that God enjoins upon us is to fix a love for Him in one’s heart, for all of a person’s actions are drawn by the heart’s emotions. A person will always be quick to do what he loves, and he will withdraw from things that he fears. A person does not experience love for something unless he is yearning for it, and wishful thoughts of it are filling his mind. Likewise, one does not experience fear of a matter unless his thoughts compel him – either out of a fear of danger, or of exposing something he is ashamed of, or from the presence of something of greatness and high honor (i.e., the awe that motivates respect and bashfulness). (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 34-35)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #56 on: August 12, 2018, 04:56:49 AM »
The greatest level of prophecy were attained in the earlier, Biblical generations, by the men and women who were giants of piety. They were able to unite their consciousness entirely to God, Who then imparted a spirit of holiness to them so they could communicate Godliness in human terms to their wider communities. This is the high level of prophecy that is most commonly depicted in the Hebrew Bible (the Tanach). It is the most prominent aspect of the Tanach, because the concept of authentic prophecy and its characteristics are essential to understanding the truth of the One God and faith in His Torah. Without this, many fundamental themes would be negated, and the unique concept of a religion that is God-given, instead of man-made, would not be correctly understood. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 42)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #57 on: Today at 05:46:54 AM »
What was the difference between the prophecy of Moses and that of the other prophets?

All other prophets experience their prophecy in a dream or a vision, whereas Moses would receive his prophecy while he was awake, lucid and standing – as it says: ”Moses came into the Tent of Meeting to speak with Him, and he heard the Voice speaking to Him.”(Numbers 7:89)

Furthermore, Divine insight (ru’ach ha’kodesh) is bestowed through the agency of an angel and is perceived as metaphoric imagery and allegories. But Moses, our teacher, would receive prophecy without the agency of an angel bringing it to him. The Torah testifies to this about him: “God would speak to Moses face to face, as a man would speak with his fellow,”(Exodus 33:11) and “Mouth to mouth do I (God) speak to him, in a clear vision and not in riddles; at the image of God does he gaze.” In other words, the prophecies to Moses were direct communications to him from God, without being couched in metaphors or allegories, and he would receive God’s statements directly and fully. His prophecy would be through direct and open revelation, and he would appreciate the matter in its fullness. Other prophets are overawed, terrified, and confounded by revelations they experience. The response of Moses, our teacher, was not in that manner, but rather, as quoted above, “as a man would speak with his fellow.” (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 51-52)

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #58 on: Today at 05:47:53 AM »
The everlasting faith that the Jewish people have in Moses, as the preeminent emissary of God, is not because of the miracles that he performed. Whenever a person’s faith in a prophet is based on the occurrence of a miracle, that faith is somewhat deficient, because it is possible for someone to bring about a “miraculous” (unexplainable) occurrence through magic or sorcery, or some concealed natural process. This leaves the authenticity of the occurrence as a Divine miracle open to doubt, because there might be some other explanation.

Therefore, the miracles that God performed through Moses, as recorded in the Torah, were not intended to serve as undeniable proof of the legitimacy of his prophecy. Rather, each one was performed to accomplish a purpose that was needed at that point in time. For example, when it was necessary to save the Israelites by drowning the Egyptian army, the sea split for Moses, and after the Israelites passed through on dry land, the Egyptians followed, and God returned the sea upon them. When the Israelites needed water, Moses struck the rock, and it provided a continuously flowing spring water. When Korach, Dathan and Abiram mutinied against Moses, he called upon God for the earth to open its mouth and swallow them. The same applies to all the other miracles that God performed through Moses.

What then is the foundation of the unique faith in Moses and the Torah he transmitted? It is the public testimony that God Himself gave about Moses during the revelation at Mount Sinai. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 55)