Uncomfortable Day 4: Hashem Doesn’t Need Therapy
This video is part of the series Uncomfortable
Transcript, references and audio version available below Yehoshua’s Reaction.
I remember sitting there and as you can hear me in the opening of the clip saying:
“I just cant wrap my head around the fact of Hashem needing us.”
It just didn’t make sense to me, he is so mighty we are nothing compared to him.
R’ Manis went straight for it, digging underneath the surface until a clearer picture began to emerge. That if we can’t understand how much he needs us, then we can never properly serve him because the importance of our Mitzvos seems so trivial and unnecessary then we will never push ourselves on the level of where we know he needs this from us and thus is the purpose of our existence on this world.
A great line he used to put it all into context is:
“What would you get for the man who has everything?”
His answer is NOTHING. The job is done. Perfect. There is nothing we can add
A big misconception is that Hashem WANTS it from us. But he is saying that with Hashem they are intertwined. If he needs it, He wants it. And if he wants it, He needs it.
Delving back into an earlier topic makes it clearer as well. Since as Humans we interpret our needs as a weakness we feel like we cannot subscribe Hashem to that level. But we keep forgetting only our human needs are weaknesses, his are the highest level of Virtue. Its why we are here on this world.
The question for me on a personal level is; I have come this far, now these concepts are starting to take shape and gain clarity. How does that change my Avodas Hashem? Will this make me more in tune to Davening or Shabbos or Tefillin or Learning Torah, or it’s just a nice idea? Its a lot to take in at once but I can feel the seeds sprouting…
Note: Please be advised that these reactions are unedited.
Transcript & References
“ר’ יהודה בר’ סימון בשם ר’ לוי בן טרפון: בזמן שישראל עושין רצונו של הקדוש ברוך הוא מוסיפין כח בגבורה של מעלה, כמה דאת אמר (במדבר יד יז) ועתה יגדל נא כח ה’… ובזמן שאין עושין רצונו של מקום כביכול מתישין כח גדול של מעלן דכתיב (דברים לב יח)” צור ילדך תשי”.”
“Said R’ Yehuda son of R’ Simon, in the name of R’ Levi son of Tarfon: When Israel does the Will of the Holy One, Blessed is He, they increase G-d’s strength as it states (Bamidbar 14:17) “Now, please, let the strength of the Lord be increased.” … And when Israel does not do the will of Hashem, they weaken -so to speak- the great strength of Hashem, as it’s written (Devarim 32:18) “You forgot the Rock Who bore you.” (Rashi: …and weaken His power to do you good.)
-Midrash Raboh Aicha. Parsha 1:33
“א”ר חנינא בר פפא כל הנהנה מן העוה”ז בלא ברכה כאילו גוזל להקב”ה”…את ברכתו (פרש”י)
“R’ Chanina bar Pappa said: Whoever derives benefit from this world without first reciting a blessing is regarded as if he robs the Holy One, blessed is He…of the blessing due Him.” (Rashi)
-Talmud Bavli. Tractate Brochos. 35b.
What does it mean, “He needs, but we don’t understand?” If we don’t understand, we’re back to zero again. This is the crux of the issue in the world of Yiddishkeit today. If we have that conviction, then we’re in trouble.
‘We cannot begin to wrap our heads around the thought that the Aybishter needs a mitzvah’? Well then, that’s it, Yiddishkeit is over. It’s over.If we can’t really believe that it means everything to Him, then what are we doing? How dear are the mitzvos to Hashem…like infinitely? Wouldn’t you call that a need! No?.. If something is infinitely precious to you, you don’t need it?
I understand there are needs that come out of weakness, that’s true. I need a compliment because, I’m lonely, right? That’s a weakness. But real needs, human needs are not weaknesses, they’re virtues. Like for example, I need a purpose to my life, I can’t just hang around doing nothing. Is that a weakness?
And by the way, where do I get this craziness that my existence has to have a purpose? Why? You’re here, enjoy, what’s your problem? No, ‘Why am I here’, ‘What’s the purpose of life?’… Stop it! Eat, drink and die. Like, what do you need purpose for?
‘No, I can’t. If I think I don’t have a purpose I can’t stand it.’ Why? Cause we’re created in His image. He can’t exist without a purpose. Not that He wouldn’t exist. He would, but He can’t stand it. To be perfect, to exist forever and that’s it? That’s it!?
You come to the Aybishter; ‘How old are You now?’ And you come the next year, ‘How old are You now?’ ‘Same. Infinite is infinite, what am I gonna tell you.’ ‘So where are You going, what’s gonna happen?’ ‘Nothing, nothing I just am forever.’ ‘What are You?’ ‘Everything.’
I mean, would you like that? So actually, listen to this: When we say that “The Aybishter is ‘Kol Yachol’” and He is the boss of everything, and He… You are describing His problem, you are not complimenting Him.
“אם בחוקותי תלכו, אם זה הוא לשון תחנונים כמרז”ל שכוונתו הלואי בחוקותי תלכו.”
If you go in My statutes.” Our Sages interpret the word “If” as a plea, in the sense of “If only you would go in My statutes.”
-Hayom Yom, 24 Iyar.
“לו עמי שומע לי ישראל בדרכי יהלכו.”
“If only My people would listen to Me, if Israel would only walk in My ways.”
Why is it that a human being needs to work out the “want” and the “need’? Do ‘You want it? or ‘You need it?’
When you say ‘He wants it,’ it kind of implies that, you know, it’s ‘lav davke’…He wants it..if you don’t do it…it’s not gonna…When He says He needs though…
We are not asking why. That’s illegitimate because..we’ll never know. But the Aybishter is giving us a Torah..what is He telling us? He wants us to hear Him, so when He says, ‘Keep My mitzvos,’ what is He expressing here?
We call it ‘Ratzon,’ and He doesn’t need therapy. Because by Him, there is no dichotomy between His Ratzon and His need. A human being gets himself into trouble when he wants what he doesn’t need, or needs what he doesn’t want. By the Aybishter, if He wants it, He needs it, and if He needs it, He wants it. He’s not immature, not at His age, anyway.
So what we’re really trying to understand is what He’s telling us; we’re not speculating on the Aybishter. He says “Serve Me”, what is He talking about? “I’m perfect, serve Me?”
‘I’m sorry, I don’t understand what that means! If You’re perfect, I can’t serve You.. What should I get You, another tie? You have all the ties in the world; I should get You another one?” So in what way can we serve Him if He is not lacking or needing anything?
So really what the Aybishter is revealing to us, and that’s what we’re trying to tune into; “What are You saying? “Anochi Hashem Elokecha” what are You saying”? So I’m not speculating about the Aybishter, I’m trying to hear…
We call Matan Torah ‘Revelation.’ What was revealed? What? What’s best for us!? That’s revealed? The Aybishter revealed Himself. Well, we gotta hear what that is; otherwise we are not getting it, that’s not nice. How did the Navi say.. “Lamah Basi Vi’ain Ish.” Who am I talking to, is anybody listening, does anybody get what I am saying?
And that’s called Limud HaTorah which means trying to hear the Aybishter speaking. What is He saying? So when the Aybishter says “Im Bichukosai Tailachu,” and we turn around and we say “oh, You mean, Your advice for how we can make a better life”. Did we just hear Him correctly? He said “Bechukosai” not ‘Bechukosaichem.’ “Bechukosai,” “Es Mitzvosai Tishmoiru.”
What does He mean, “My mitzvos”? My advice to you!? Is that what a mitzvah is!? So if we don’t hear Him correctly, we are completely off track; then Matan Torah has failed, then the Aybishter does not communicate well. He doesn’t by the way. If He was communicating better, would we be in this shape? Would we be so confused and messed up?
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