Author Topic: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge  (Read 1799 times)

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Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #75 on: August 29, 2018, 07:45:39 AM »
It is known in all areas of authentic analysis that a theory alone is not considered absolute and reliable truth, and only a practical test can determine the authenticity of the theory. The same applies to a test of a person’s true character – of one’s good traits, faith and trust in God. A person’s idea or views cannot guarantee the truth of his traits. Rather, that which is put to a practical test will have a degree of certainty. The greater the degree of the test that the person is put through and withstands, the greater the degree of the proof of the truthfullness of the person’s traits.

Likewise, the verse states, “For the Lord your God is putting you to proof, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”(Deuteronomy 13:4) A challenge refines a person and his faith, and humbles the heart, and thereby brings a person closer to God. Therefore, in truth, a test is a great benefit for a person. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 129)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #76 on: August 30, 2018, 05:07:30 AM »
A person’s troubles also serve as a spiritual test. They may be administered by God to challenge one’s faith in Him, in order to demonstrate whether or not person will love and respect Him and trust in Him under difficult circumstances (as exemplified by the ten tests of Abraham listed in the previous chapter). The foremost source where this great lesson is taught is the Book of Job, which should be read and meditated upon. The understanding that a challenge or trouble comes from God for a good purpose, or for a Divine purpose beyond human understanding, will enable the person to endure it, and more importantly, to use it to grow spiritually and to discover his innate strengths and abilities that previously remained hidden. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 136)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #77 on: August 31, 2018, 06:25:56 AM »
The Talmud tells the story of the sage Nachum Ish Gamzu , who used to say at any seemingly negative occurrence, “This too is for the good.” This righteous man had faith and knew that however God dealt with him, it was for his good, including even the things that sometimes seemed on a superficial level to be a bad occurrence. Through his deep faith, a seemingly disastrous occurrence that befell him was miraculously revealed as good.

Even if one is not able to reach the level of accepting pain and suffering with happiness (as this is a truly lofty level that requires great refinement of the soul), he is nevertheless able to contemplate and meditate on the fact that it is in truth for the good (even though he is not yet on the level to actually see that it is). This concept in itself will help him to be strengthened despite the hardships, and will make it easier for him to endure them, despite his natural tendency to feel otherwise. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 137)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #78 on: September 01, 2018, 05:47:18 AM »
In some cases, the pious person will understand that the one who is wronging him with speech is just an evil person with a bad character whose way of speaking to others is an expression of his meanness. Regarding such people, King Solomon said, “Do not answer a fool according to his foolishness, lest you be considered like him.”(Proverbs 26:4)

This is specifically the situation in which a righteous person should remain silent and not answer back to the offender. This puts him on the level of pious people who accept to be among the pursued and not among those who pursue others, and among those who accept humiliation but not among those who humiliate others. The main point, though, is that the person who is spoken against should not argue and fan the flames of the fight. Instead, he should take to heart that the occurrence came from God and try to perceive why. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 141)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #79 on: September 02, 2018, 05:09:11 AM »
God creates mankind and each individual. He also knows the characteristics of people in general, and the unique character of each and every person. Like everything in God’s creation, it was His will to put the evil inclination into a person. Along with this, the ability to sin – either through temptation or carelessness – is fixed in a person’s intellect, emotions and actions. Clearly, this is in a person’s God-given nature. Therefore, God gives a person the ability and strength to correct and rectify himself through proper repentance, as recounted in numerous places throughout the Hebrew Bible about both Jews and Gentiles.

A person should not imagine that God is scheming against him. On the contrary, God loves every creation, and each being is created for His honor. If He did not desire us, He would not be continuously creating us. The good God, in His abundant love for mankind, wants each person to have what is best for him. Part of the good that God bestows upon a person is that he should be able to learn from experience, and sometimes the best way (or the only way) to learn is from one’s own mistakes. Therefore, God in His great kindness gave people the path of repentance to rectify and improve themselves, and this is a true proof of His love for mankind. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 147)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #80 on: September 03, 2018, 06:21:01 AM »
On the other hand, if the adulterer does not regret his sin and repent until his old age, when he is impotent and incapable of doing the same sin that he did when he was younger, then this is not a high level of repentance. Nevertheless, God will still accept him as fully repentant. Even if a person transgressed throughout his entire life, and only repented on the day of his death and then died in repentance, the sins he repented for are forgiven by God.

In order to repent to God, a sinner should abandon his sins and strive to remove those inclinations from his thoughts, resolving in his heart never to commit them again – as it is stated, “May the wicked abandon his ways...”(Isaiah 55:7) He must also regret his past sins – as it is stated, “After I returned, I regretted.” (Jeremiah 31:18)

(Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 150)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #81 on: September 04, 2018, 07:18:59 AM »
What constitutes a prayer for forgiveness? The person should verbally confess his sins to God, and continue with stating the matters that he resolves in his heart about this. For example, one can say, “God, I have sinned before you committing the sin of … [explicitly stating the sin that was done]. Please, God, in your abundant mercy, pardon me for this sin. I am regretful and embarrassed for what I have done, and I have already resolved never to repeat it.”

Anyone who verbalizes his confession without resolving in his heart to abandon the sin has not accomplished anything. In truth, by making an insincere confession, the person is making mockery of himself before his Creator. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 150)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #82 on: September 05, 2018, 05:30:44 AM »
In some cases, for a person who repents for transgressions he committed publicly against other people, it is very praiseworthy to confess in public and to make his past sins known to others. He should tell them: “Although I sinned against so and so, committing the following misdeeds, … now I am repenting and expressing my regret.” Nevertheless, if one does not publicly confess a sin that he had done in public, but he does truly repent with all his heart and regrets his actions, this is also considered repentance (albeit an incomplete one), and he is forgiven by God.

For a sin done in private, however, it is not appropriate to publicize one’s transgression, since doing so would be a disgrace to God’s Name. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 150-151)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #83 on: September 07, 2018, 06:34:11 AM »
Repenting only to God atones for sins between man and God; for example, idol worship, or eating meat that was severed from a living animal, or engaging in consensual forbidden sexual relations, or the like. However, sins against people – for example, injuring, cursing or robbing someone, or the like – will not be forgiven by God until one who committed the sin makes restitution to the victim and asks for his forgiveness, and the victim is appeased and forgives him.

It is forbidden for a person who was wronged to be cruel and refuse to be appeased. Rather, he should be easily pacified, and hard to anger. When the person who wronged him asks for forgiveness, he should forgive him with a complete heart and a willing spirit. After the sinner has appeased his colleague, he must then do correct repentance as outlined above, by regretting his sin, resolving not to repeat it, and confessing to God and asking Him for forgiveness. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 152)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #84 on: September 08, 2018, 05:06:21 AM »
It must be emphasized that even if a person makes restitution (for example, returning money that he wrongly took), he must also ask his victim for forgiveness and appease him. If a person wronged someone who then died before restitution was made and forgiveness was asked, the wrongdoer should still repent to God and ask for His forgiveness. It is fitting that he should go to his victim’s grave in the company of three other people, and ask for forgiveness from the victim’s soul for the wrong that he did. If the wrong done was in money matters, he should return that amount to his victim’s heirs. (If there are no heirs, he should disburse the money to proper charity, or consult a proper court or an expert rabbi about what he should do.) (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 151-152)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #85 on: September 09, 2018, 07:50:04 AM »
A person should always look at himself as equally balanced between his merits and sins, and the world as equally balanced between the total of its merits and the total of its sins. If he performs one sin, he may tip his balance and that of the entire world to the side of guilt and bring a verdict of punishment upon himself. On the other hand, if he observes one of his commandments or does a meritorious good deed, he may tip his balance and that of the entire world to the side of merit and bring deliverance and salvation to himself and to others. In this accounting, a person’s observance of a prohibition can be greater in God’s eyes than actively doing a good deed. As they relate to an individual, the Noahide Commandments themselves all involve prohibitions, and very often, refraining from a sin takes more effort in self-control and more submission to God’s Kingship than doing a positive action. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 155)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #86 on: September 10, 2018, 07:28:59 AM »
In a similar way (although it is impossible to accurately describe or even comprehend), the reward that will be given by God in the World to Come for a Gentile who lived piously in His eyes will involve a great transformation. It will raise him to an immensely higher spiritual level that his soul previously could not attain, to perceive the Divine Presence an be filled with knowledge of God, while he continues living forever in his resurrected physical body. By contrast, the reward for a Gentile who is not living piously in God’s eyes is the type of physical or spiritual pleasures that he enjoys having in his life. Even after his death, God can give his soul spiritual pleasure until its due reward has been completely alloted. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 160)

Online Hrvatski Noahid

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #87 on: September 11, 2018, 03:17:09 AM »
In a similar way (although it is impossible to accurately describe or even comprehend), the reward that will be given by God in the World to Come for a Gentile who lived piously in His eyes will involve a great transformation. It will raise him to an immensely higher spiritual level that his soul previously could not attain, to perceive the Divine Presence an be filled with knowledge of God, while he continues living forever in his resurrected physical body.

Amen! May we merit His eternal reward!

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #88 on: September 11, 2018, 03:51:53 AM »
Amen! May we merit His eternal reward!
Amen, we have to put an effort to succeed!

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #89 on: September 11, 2018, 06:16:06 AM »
This was implied by the prophet Jeremiah who stated: “From the command of the Most High, neither evil or good come forth [upon a person].” (Lamentations 3:38) This means that it is the sinner himself who causes his own loss. Nothing is gained if he deflects from his responsibility by looking for other excuses, as that leads a person to be content with merely complaining about his sins, instead of correcting them.

Therefore, it is proper for a person to cry and bemoan his sins and the damage he has done to his soul, and the negative consequences he brought upon it. This is implied by the following verse: ”About what should a living man complain? A man (gever) for his sins” (Lamentations 3:39) – meaning, the sins which he owns. (There are several words in Hebrew which mean “man”, and the word gever used here means a person with inner strength. This indicates that a person is endowed by God with enough strength to stop from sinning.) The prophet continues in the next verse to explain that since we have free choice, and it is our own decision that prompts us to commit a wrongdoing, therefore it is proper for us to repent and abandon our sins, for the choice to do so is present and in our hands: “Let us search and examine our ways and return to God.”(Lamentations 3:40) (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 165-166)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #90 on: September 12, 2018, 07:15:07 AM »
In contrast, true sages and people with correct knowledge know that all such conceptions of the afterlife are vain and empty things which do not lead one to the path of properly serving God. These physical things are considered to be desirable or beneficial to us in this world because we possess a body and a physical form. The natural soul desires them and lusts for them for the sake of the pleasures and honor of the body, so that its desires will be fulfilled and its health maintained. A wise person knows that God presents the needs of the body to us so we can choose to use them for aiding us to serve Him in this world. In the afterlife, when there is no body, all of these matters are nullified, and the soul forgets about them.

Beyond this, the ultimate good that is stored away for the righteous is the life of the future World to Come, which will be revealed in the second stage of Messianic Era.

When that time begins, the souls will return to their bodies with the Resurrection of the Dead, as will be explained in the next chapter. This will be a perfected life that is not accompanied by death, and a higher level of good that is not accompanied by evil. The Torah alludes to this in the promise: “… so that it will be good for you, and you will prolong your days. The Oral tradition explains:

“... so that it will be good for you” - in the world that is entirely good; “ and you will prolong your days” - in the world that is endlessly long, the World to Come.

(Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 173-174)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #91 on: September 13, 2018, 06:11:16 AM »
In truth, there is no way to compare the good of the soul in the World to Come with the bodily pleasures in this world. Rather, that future good is immeasurably greater, with no comparison or likeness to anything else. This is alluded to by David’s statement: “How great is the good that You have hidden for those who fear You.” (Psalms 31:20)

But if the souls of the righteous must be returned to resurrected physical bodies in order to experience their ultimate reward, how does it differ from what the body can experience now in the present physical world? When God will resurrect the bodies of the righteous, He will not restore them to the way they were before, in the world as we know it. Instead, He will recreate them in a perfectly spiritually refined and immortal condition, in which one’s very flesh will experience a unity with God. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 176-177)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #92 on: September 14, 2018, 06:08:35 AM »
This rectification of the Jewish people, which is prophesied in the Torah, will bring the rectification of all mankind, since the revelation of God’s Divine Presence (the Shechinah) will return to the world and dwell most openly in the Third Holy Temple, which Moshiach will build in Jerusalem. This will be the revelation of God’s Presence as it was in the beginning of the world, in the physical Garden of Eden. But it will be in an even greater way than ever before, with a Divine light that will illuminate and spiritually uplift the entire world. Emanating from the Holy Temple and the Jewish people, this Divine light will spread throughout the world to rectify everything and motivate everyone to serve only the One God. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 181)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #93 on: September 15, 2018, 05:00:01 AM »
In that era, the character of mankind will be changed to recognize the spiritual truth and to desire only God. Each person will leave his previous faulty ways – as the prophet says, “For then I will turn the peoples to a clear language [i.e., a clear conception of truth and Godliness], so that all will call upon the Name of God to serve Him as one shoulder [i.e., “shoulder-to-shoulder,” all together as one people].”

In that era, there will be neither famine nor war, envy or competition, for good will flow in abundance, and all the good delights will be freely available as dust. The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know God – as the verse states:” The world will be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the ocean bed.” (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 181)

*This part talks about Messianic era


Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #94 on: September 16, 2018, 05:35:28 AM »
After that era of the Days of Moshiach, there will be an incomparably more wondrous period – the eternal era of the Resurrection of the Dead – which is called the “World to Come”. It will be the time of the full Divine revelation and the ultimate spiritual reward that God is holding in store for the righteous.

What will be the distinction between the era of the Days of Moshiach and the era of the World to Come? In the Days of Moshiach, the world in general will still be in its natural condition. People will continue to eat, drink, sleep, and be occupied with all the body’s physical needs, while at the same time, a person will be able to connect his mind and emotions with expanded knowledge of God, blessed be He. Therefore, there will also be birth and death in that era, although the natural human lifespan will be greatly increased.

In the subsequent era of the World to Come, the natural order will be removed. The physical existence of every creation will be unnoticeable in comparison to its Godly essence that will be openly revealed, like a tiny flame of a match when it is held up before the face of the sun. There will be no physical bodily needs, and yet the body will continue to exist, recognizing and unifying with God according to a greatly increased and indescribable capacity. There will no more eating, drinking, sleeping, birth or death. Regarding this time, the verse states: ”Death will be swallowed up forever...” (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 181-182)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #95 on: September 17, 2018, 06:30:04 AM »
How is it that mankind differs from all other created beings? It is in the unique human ability to attain conceptual knowledge and use it in the exercise of free will, as the Torah states: “and you will be like God, knowing good and bad.” We will now explain how the purpose of mankind is to use this knowledge to reveal both the “Godly image” and the “Godly likeness” within each person.

In Biblical Hebrew, which is God’s holy language, this unique power of knowledge that was given by God to mankind is called da’at. With his power of da’at, each person is able to understand and relate independently to concepts and situations that are apart from him, and removed from his own physical needs and the necessities of his life.

The nature of every other type of created being was fixed by God. Therefore, those entities cannot “freely choose” anything, nor can their deeds be categorized as “good” or “bad”. A human being, on the other hand, can decide how he wishes to act in any given situation. Depending on the deed he chooses, he can either elevate or impair and degrade himself and the world around him. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 8-9)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #96 on: September 18, 2018, 07:52:56 AM »
Mankind is identified as having the “image of God”. This includes not only these God-given intellectual powers and abilities, but also mankind’s spiritual essence. As the great sage Rabbi Akiva is quoted in the Mishnah: Beloved is mankind, for they were created in the image [of God]; it is even a greater love that it was made known to them that they were created in the image [of God], as it says [Gen. 9:6]: “… for in the image of God He made mankind.” By choosing to act in ways that are like the revealed benevolent ways of the Creator, a person can rise to the point of bringing out the spiritual “likeness of God” that is within him. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 9)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #97 on: September 19, 2018, 07:15:20 AM »
In order to enable a person to elevate himself by exercising the gift of free will, God “wrapped” that spiritual essence in a physical human body. Thus, a person is truly a synthesis of body and soul. For example, a person is similar to an animal in that he needs to eat, drink, sleep, relieve himself, etc. A person does not have the ability to essentially change any functions of this type, because these types of functions stem from the bodily nature.

On the other hand, the gift of free will gives a person the choice and ability to appoint his God-given spiritual soul as the primary motivating force within himself. One who chooses to do this is wise and upright. He trains himself to place his body and its physical desires as secondary considerations that have importance to him only insofar as they are needed to serve the God-given Divine mission of his soul. This is one of the definitions of a chassid (a pious person, in Hebrew). Within this distinction there are many levels, but even a chassid at the most basic level merits to receive reward from God for this piety. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 9-10)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #98 on: September 20, 2018, 05:44:10 AM »
This dominion, which God grants to humans, is not only our physical influence over other creatures (through the means that human intelligence devises), but also our ability to uplift other creatures toward their destined spiritual perfection, by including them as a part of the world that mankind can make into a dwelling place for God’s Divine Presence (Shechinah). The lesson for us is that if a person does not choose to make this effort, to bring out his personal “image of God” to rule over the animalistic nature within him, he can descend to its level, acting similarly to an animal. Even worse, he can “become inferior before them” - i.e., both the animalistic nature of the world and his own animalistic tendencies will rule over him. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 11)

Offline Noachide

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Re: Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge
« Reply #99 on: September 21, 2018, 06:37:32 AM »
Nevertheless, it is also an obligation to believe with simple, child-like faith in the Creator and Master of everything, for, as will be explained, it is impossible for a person to understand and recognize the Creator completely. Only a small aspect of God’s existence can be understood, because it is essentially entirely beyond the grasp of any creation, including even the greatest prophets and the highest angels.

From this it follows that there should be two dimensions to a person’s relationship with God. On the one hand, it is incumbent on each person to know and recognize God and His Unity, to the extent of one’s ability, with the goal to fill his mind and the emotions of his heart with his understanding of the Creator, and to act according to “the ways of God” (which will be explained further on). At the same time, he should believe that God, may He be blessed, is completely beyond any human being’s grasp. (Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman, Ask Noah International, 2017, p 13-14)