I thank http://www.yutorah.org/ and in particluar Rabbi, Dr. Alan Brill for helping me with a key part of this article.

Monotheism Vs.
The Outlook
That Everything is G-d

An Article Against The
Attempt To Deify The Rebbe Of Lubavitch, Rabbi Menachem Mendel

written by Shlomo Moshe Scheinman
to this article is the written recommendation of the Chief Rabbi of the
Old City of Jerusalem, Rabbi Avigdor Neventzal, Shlit”a
[Shlit”a being
a blessing for longevity and good fortune]
golden calf
Thou Shalt Not Repeat The Sin Of The Golden CalfThou Shalt Not Deify Any Part Of Creation

To the Honorable Rabbi Neventzal, Shlit”a,

I have a friend who is connected to the Chabad [Lubavitch] movement [and even though I stress that he does not represent all of Chabad, nevertheless there are others who hold his opinions]  and according to his views, all the created world is part of the Holy One Blessed Be He. In his view, in reality much of the Christian interpretation of the Bible is true and correct, however, they chose a wicked man and not a righteous man. That is to say, that in his view, the great Tzaddikim [righteous people] have succeeded in removing the barriers that hide how everything is the Holy One Blessed Be He and therefore there is no prohibition to pray to them. And in regard to what Ramban said in his disputation with the Christians, this was just propaganda.
His intent to what Ramban said: “That the main principle and argument between the Jews and the Christians is the fact that you believe a dogma concerning the divinity which is very bitter… The thing which you believe in and it is a dogma of your faith, is not acceptable to one’s intellect, and nature does not permit it and the prophets never said so, nor can a wonder spread itself out to this matter… that the Creator of Heaven and Earth would be a fetus in the belly of a Jewish woman and would grow there… and that he would be born small and afterwards grow and afterwards would be handed over to his enemies… no reasoning Jew nor any man can tolerate this, and for naught and for vanity do you speak your words [letter 47 in the disputation, in accordance to the division in the writings of Ramban with the commentary of Rabbi Chavel].

Now a “proof ” for my friend’s opinion is found in the writings of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, head of Chabad.

    “Just as Israel, the Torah, and the Holy One Blessed Be He are all one, not just that Israel is connected to the Torah and the Torah is
connected to the Holy One Blessed Be He, rather, indeed they are truly one – so too the connection between the Chassidim to their Rebbe; it is
not like 2 things that unify, rather they all become truly one. And the Rebbe in not an
‘intermediary that interferes‘  but rather ‘an
intermediary that attaches
Therefore also for the Chassid: he and the Rebbe and the Holy One Blessed Be He –
{are} one…
And for this reason there is no room for the question concerning an ‘intermediary‘, for this is self and the essence itself in accordance to what he placed to
rest of himself in a body.

And there in comment 56, the Rebbe adds, “I saw masters of the revealed 
[non-kabbalistic] Torah raised a question against this and with a great
tumult: Can it be, etc. etc. however a similar idea is
explicit also in the revealed parts of the Torah. And it is as the Yerushalmi [or perhaps the text of his words are that it is written in the Yerushalmi] Becurim chapter 3, halacha 3: ‘And G-d is in his holy sanctuary, this is Rabbi Yitzchak son of Lazar in the assembly of the
study hall of Kisrin
{probably Caesaria}’ “.     [Here Ends the quote of the words of Rabbi Schneerson.]

Now I looked in Ein Yaacov on the relevant passage from the Yerushalmi cited above and the text that appears in Ein Yaacov is slightly different. It says there, behold Rabbi Yitzchak son of Lazar and it is not written this is {Rabbi Yitzchak son of Lazar}. And he who analyzes that section from the Yerushalmi will see that the Yerushalmi is criticizing those who appointed [because of money], lousy judges and did not choose Rabbi Yitzchak son of Lazar, the righteous sage as a judge.

Now according to the commentary of HaKotev there, the intent of the statement, “And G-d is in his holy sanctuary” = “be silent before him, all of the land and he will in the future bring retribution against those who transgress his will”. For behold you were supposed to have chosen, Rabbi Yitzchak son of Lazar, and not a lousy judge or judges.

Now a second explanation of the Yerushalmi is the following. Many times in the Bible and in the sayings of the Sages the good actions of the righteous, the agents of the Holy One Blessed Be He, are described as the actions of the Holy One Blessed Be He. And the intent is not that they are actually from the Holy One Blessed Be He, but rather they are just from his agents. And so too here. The Yerushalmi wanted to inform us that Rabbi Yitzchak son of Lazar, is a capable agent of the Holy One Blessed to perform the mission of bringing justice to the world, in contrast to the lousy judges that received their tasks because of money.

Now perhaps my friend can still be judged as a sinner by mistake, (“shogeig”, in Hebrew, which makes the sin and the punishment less severe) for he said that if the Sanhedrin will rule against his opinion, he is willing to abide by their ruling. And still another point to bring in his defense is that he mistakenly believes that he has the approval of the Tanna, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai for his opinions, based on a specific interpretation of the Kabbala.

In light of his words I decided to investigate the viewpoint that everything is the Holy One Blessed Be He, for this viewpoint has penetrated into much of the religious world that aren’t connected at
all with Chabad.
Now I have a number of goals for this letter. Is it fitting to publicize my conclusion that it is not correct to believe that the created world = part of the Holy One Blessed Be He.

Secondly, I have a practical question. I work in the office of a certain Yeshiva [for a salary] whose rabbis hold the viewpoint  in accordance with the view of Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin that from the aspect of the ultimate truth, everything is the Holy One Blessed Be He, however, we have the obligation to relate to the Holy One Blessed Be He as something separate from the created world [and they also teach there with affection the viewpoint of the Chassidim]. Given this situation, is it permissible for me in a general way to help the Yeshiva? Is it permissible for me as part of my work, to help them bring to the internet, articles that contend that everything is the Holy One Blessed Be He. For if I don’t do it someone else will do it and it is also not clear to me if they will be willing to overlook and forgive my refusal
to help them in this area if I tell them that the Halacha forbids me to help with these articles.

Monotheism Vs. The Outlook
That Everything is G-d

And the
Prohibition of Association of the Name of G-d with Something Else
on the Chazon Ish and Additional Rabbis

written by Shlomo Moshe Scheinman
תמונת מחבר הספר, חזון איש
Chafetz Chaim ben-ish-chai

The Chazon Ish established in his, Hilchot Avodat Cochavim, siman 62, comment 19:

“That is to say that the Gentiles of their times believed in a Creator, however, they attributed a material nature and change to him, up to the point where they considered created matter as a god and therefore at
the time when they recount the name of heaven [a euphemism for G-d] they associate [or make a partnership between] the Creator of heaven with something else so therefore this creates a leniency in the law against causing the name of an idol to be uttered, for indeed, the name which they recount is directed towards the Creator of Heaven; however there is an aspect of the association [or partnership] of the name of heaven with something else which is more severe than just recounting the name of idols.
And it is clarified, that a doubt never entered into the minds of our rabbis that it and those who serve it should have the status of idol worship, although they believe in a Creator of Heaven, for all that worship something that was created and attribute to it, an independent will [or free choice] and dominion, this is the main aspect of idolatry”.

In a similar fashion the Chafetz Chaim wrote in Sefer Mitzvot Hakatzar, Mitzvah 2:

It is a positive precept to attribute to the G-d, may he be blessed, an absolute state of being one; to believe with complete faith that he is one without any partner…
One must believe with complete faith that he is simple with the utmost state of being one and an absolute unity and has no body, nor will the factors that affect  the body affect him, nor will occurrences of the body occur to him, and there is no second to him and outside of him, there is no L-rd; and we are obligated to believe this principle of faith at all times and at all moments and the commandment is a requirement both for males and females.

The Sephardic Poseik, the “Ben Ish Chai” in the responsa, Rav Paalim, Vol. I, Orach Chaim, chapter 1:

“The end of the matter, all is heard, G-d is one and his name is one, and he does not have a body, nor a semblance of a body, and he has no form, nor picture, nor anything that compares to him at all”.

It is implied to me from the words of the Poskim that it is forbidden to claim that all the world = a part of the Holy One Blessed Be He, for by this, one is  essentially denying the principle that the factors that affect the body do not affect him, nor will occurrences of the body occur to him.

There Are Jews who are Connected to the World View of the Kabbala that Admit that it is Forbidden to Associate the Holy One Blessed Be He, with a Specific Detail of the Creation. However In Their Opinion, It is Permissible to Say That the Creation in Its Entirety is the Holy One Blessed Be He

However Rabbi Yitzchak Shlomo Zilberman, ZT”L, who was loyal to the views of the Vilna Gaon, established that also those that hold that all the world in its entirety = The Holy One Blessed Be He, are mistaken in a very serious and severe way [See Otzrote Harav Eliyahu M’Vilna U’beit Midrasho by Rabbi Moshe Tzuriel, Jewish year 5755, page 285]. Now this is a quote of the Vilna Gaon: “For they are a generation that have brazenly lifted up their eyes and words against the One Most High, do they utter: ‘These are your gods, Israel, every tree and every stone’… and they reveal interpretations [lit. faces] of the
Torah that are not in accordance with the halacha on the verse, ‘Blessed be the glory of G-d from his place’ and on the verse, ‘and you bring life to all of them’ “.Now in the Book by Volansky {or maybe the English transliteration is Wolansky}  an even harsher statement attributed to the Vilna Gaon is brought:
[Translators note: The following 3 paragraphs will not be translated, since I am afraid that people who don’t understand Hebrew, might take these words out of context. Below the 3 paragraphs the English Translation continues.]

 רדו לעמק יהושפט לעומקא דדינא לבער הקוצים מכרם בית ה’ צבאות כל בני ישראל להדפם ולרודפם ברדיפות מלאות הזעם להחרימם ולעקור שרשם בנפשם ומאדם, לעקור אותם ולשרש אתהם כדין עבודה זרה. צא תאמר להם. הכנס אל תאמר להם, המה הקהל מורידין ולא מעלין לדכאם ולמוגגם כמוץ לפני מים ולהתאמץ להפרידם איש מאחיו לבלי יתחברו ויתקשרו יחד חבר בוגדים ומנגדים נגד דת תוה”ק ובכל מקום שהם מצויים לשלחם מן המחנה כדין צרוע וזב
ואני על משמרתי אעמודה כמאז כן עתה… ועל כל מי אשר בשם ישראל יכונה ואשר נגע יראת ה’ בלבבו מוטל עליו להדפם ולרודפם בכל מיני רדיפות ולהכניעם עד שיד ישראל מגעת כי עוונם טמון בחבם וכי קשים המה לישראל כספחת

אמוני בני ישראל החרדים לשמוע בקול דברו. תצא אש קנאתם ומצאו קוצים כסוחים נתנו לאכלה, יכלו אותם מכרם ה’ צבאות העם בחר לנחלה לו, אם ללצים יליצו יריצו גולגלותם. מכנים עצמם בשם חסידים, חסד היא. לא יחמול עליהם איש ולא יחנם, ולתת עדת חנף גלמוד, והשומע להם ימתח על העמוד. לבשו קנאת ה’ ויצא רשף לרגליכם, מפיהם לפידים יהיו בלהט החרב נוקמת נקם ברית ותורה נוקמת, והנשארים יראו וישמחו, כי שמחה לצדיק עשות משפט ולפועלי אוון מחיתה, ה’ יחישנה בעיתה. נאום עורך שוע בצר נפשו, כי רע עליו המעשה, המקנא קנאתו ואליו הוא נושא את נפשו, אלי’ במוהר”ר שלמה זלמן זלה”ה

In my humble opinion there is support for the viewpoint of the Vilna Gaon in the words of Rashi to Sanhedrin, page 60b on the words, which start with the heading, ‘And he accepts it upon himself as a god’. “And even just a statement alone, such as one who says to it, you are my god, for it is linked to sacrificing to it, for it is written (Shmot/Exodus chapter 32) And they bowed down to it and they sacrificed to it and they said these are your gods, O Israel.”

And if those who hold that everything in this world = the Holy One Blessed Be He, then in essence the person that says that a statue of idolatry is my god, is at first glance, heaven prevent such an evil, correct.
For according to the view of the opponents of the Vilna Gaon, also the material of the statue = the Holy One Blessed Be He.
And I found another strong proof on behalf of the position of Rabbi Zilberman, in the writings of Rabbi Saadia Gaon, in Emunot V’Deot that appears {in Hebrew} at the internet address http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/mahshevt/kapah/1a-2.htm#3

And so too in the writings of Rambam to Moreh Nevuchim 1:70 {edition of Y. Even Shmuel, Mossad Harav Kook, 5742} [And so too the Rashba writes in Minchat Kenaot, chapter 6, that he agrees with the words of Rambam] ; from there it is clear that they considered the creation as separate from the Holy One Blessed Be He. – For those that do not have access to the internet, there Rabbi Saadia Gaon attacks the viewpoint that the Holy One Blessed Be He created the world from his own essence (and one should comment that Rabbi Menachem Kasher, in his work, Torah Shlaima, siman 15 forgot to mention this point).
And it is reasonable to assume that Ramban and Radak agreed that the Holy One Blessed Be He did not create the world from his own essence for Radak in his commentary to the first verse in the Torah writes: “And so too did the L-rd create the heaven and the earth, he created them from nothing”… “he said all of the world, this is by my name, that they will say I have created it, that it to say that I extracted from a state of nothingness to existence” {end of quote}.

And so too Ramban wrote in his commentary to the first verse of the Torah, “The Holy One Blessed Be He created all the creations from an absolute nothingness. And there is nothing in the Holy Language [Biblical Hebrew] that describes the extraction of something from nothing except for the word or concept ברא {pronounced in English as: Bara}”. An additional reason to assume that Radak and Ramban and many of the other Rabbis in the category of the Rishonim,  intended to negate the concept that the Holy One Blessed Be He created the world from his own essence was that they used the term that Rabbi Saadia Gaon used, creation ex-nihilo [יש מאין] . It is unlikely that they would use this term of Rabbi Saadia, unless they agreed with him.
Now this is a quote of Rabbi Saadia:

“and the third viewpoint is the viewpoint of the person that said that the Creator of the bodies created them from his own essence. And I found that these people can’t deny the maker, however, it was not acceptable in their opinion according to what they imagine that creation can come to be from nothing [creation ex-nihilo]. And since there is no detail outside of the Creator, they assumed in their minds that he created all the things from his essence.
[A refutation of the third viewpoint] Now these individuals, let the Almighty have mercy on you, are more foolish than the first ones. And I saw fit to reveal their foolishness in 13 ways“.

And afterwards I discovered other explicit supporters of Rabbi Saadia. In Sefer Haplia on the words starting Yara Even Pinata:

There is no escape {my comment: the intent is according to the opponents} from one of 2 possibilities, either there was eternal matter from which the world was invented both above and all that fills it or there wasn’t material at all but rather the ultimate cause of all causes {or ultimate catalyst} was alone.

If we respond to him that there was something there that is eternal, behold you verify that there is something eternal outside of G-d alone and if so this is a denial of our religion, and if we respond to him that there wasn’t anything. Rather the Holy One Blessed Be He created the world from his self; if so, heaven forbid, his essence became material and this too is a denial of our religion. And if so what will we respond to him…

“Rather regarding the ultimate cause of all causes one should not say that there existed there material, nor was the creation of the world from his essence but rather from his forces {or powers}, which are wisdom and understanding he invented the world

In the commentary of the Raavad to Sefer Yetsira that is attributed to the Raavad who offers critical comments on the works of the Rambam [but the Arizal did not agree that the 2 authors are identical]  we find that he wrote similar to what was written above:
For the Philosophers say that it can not be, that creation can take place from nothing, rather one of a kind comes out of its own kind, while in our opinion and according to our Holy Torah the world was created new; if so the Heretics have a mouth’s opening to ask of us, the world can not escape from one of 2 possibilities; either it has eternal matter from which the world was created which is outside of G-d alone and this is a denial of our Torah; and if we say that there wasn’t anything there; rather the Holy One Blessed Be He created the world from his self, if so his essence became material, and regarding this as a foundation in his explanation, he said, where were you when I founded the earth, if you knew understanding. The meaning of this: with the power {or force} of Wisdom and with the power {or force} of Understanding did the world come into existence” {end of quote of Raavad}.

I will not hide the fact that Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook who founded Mercaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva  in 5684 (1924), considered both “the monotheistic view” as well as the “Monotheistic outlook that leans towards Pantheism, when it is refined from its dross” as Kosher [Orot Hakodesh volume 2 pages 399, 400]. And seemingly he himself, held more or less in accordance with the view of Rabbi Chaim
of Volozhin {Rabbi Tzuriel brought a proof to this (Kvatzim, Kovetz 1, Piska 65)}. Now perhaps Rabbi Kook gave validity to the “second outlook” that I recounted, for many of his legal rulings clearly have
Kabbala and Agada integrated within them, which is a method that deviates from the classic Ashkenazic responsa [ thus wrote Rabbi Neriya Gutel in a general  appraisal of Rabbi Kook’s rulings]. Now one should note that also Rabbi Kook admits [in his article in Orot Hakodesh] that the viewpoint that is more famous in Israel is the monotheistic viewpoint.
And elsewhere Rabbi Kook strongly hints that the “Monotheistic outlook that leans towards Pantheism”, just became accepted by a community of significance in Israel after the time of the apostate,
Spinoza. For behold, Rabbi Kook wrote regarding Spinoza:

Within an inner layer of his thought there is a fundamental principal that after much refining enters into the camp. RMBM”N (someone said here this is an abbreviation, for Mendolsohn) began the process but did not complete his rectification, However the Baal Shem Tov refined him without knowing who he is refining… however the process was not completed”…

The Mishna Brura ruled, siman 25 comment 42: “the Knesset Hagdola wrote as a principle of the Poskim that whenever the Kabbalists and the Zohar argue against the Gemara and the Poskim go after the Gemara and the Poskim“, {end of quote}.

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan in his book Handbook of Jewish Thought 13:47 explained that because the Kabbala emanates primarily from Divine Inspiration one does not have the obligation to obey the customs of the
Kabbala. And if so, that most of the Kabbala is Divine Inspiration [or less than this], there is a principle, Lo Bashamayim Hi, namely that halachic matters are not to determined by heaven [as explained in Bava Metzia 59b] and we do not accept the decisions of a Bot Kol [a type of Divine Inspiration] in opposition to the conclusion of the Sages of the revealed Torah {Nigla}.
In an article that I saw on the internet http://2905.hydepark.co.il/topic.asp?topic_id=981194, arguments [in Hebrew] are brought that further weaken the authority of the Zohar, etc. against the halacha.

  1. Sefer Yochasin of MHR”A Zechut in the name of R”Y Dmin Acco the student of Ramban brought firsthand testimony that the book of the Zohar was written by means of one of the secret names of G-d {Shaim Hamiforash} and is not the work of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. We are dealing with a witness who saw firsthand!
  2. Rabbi Yaacov Emdeen in his book Mitpachat Sofrim brings many proofs to contradict the claim of the antiquity of the Zohar beyond all doubt and so too did he write in his comments to Sefer Yochasin, see there.

Furthermore I recommend that you listen to the lecture in English of Rabbi Alan Brill of Yeshiva University to understand some of the background behind the Kabbala in general.
and perhaps also his second lecture

I bring all this just to strengthen the notion that one should not determine halacha based on the Kabbala when it opposes the masters of the revealed Torah {Nigla}.

Now for someone that bases his viewpoint “that everything is the Holy One Blessed Be He”, upon the words of the Arizal (translator’s comment: he is a famous Kabbalist), I wished to bring to attention the following point, that perhaps what is said in the name of the Arizal does not represent his final refined conclusions. Such is implied from an article that dealt with the topic, how by mistake Log Ba’omer was transformed from the day of happiness of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai to the day of his death.

Recently it became known that a photocopy containing passages from the original handwriting of Rabbi Chaim Vital made it by some way to the National Library of Israel in Givat Ram. Armed by means of the photocopy, Rabbi Kosman came to the Library and after a strenuous examination of the original handwritten text, he succeeded in finding the relevant passage and found the passage that was subject to dispute. Now it was clarified beyond any doubt that the true text is indeed what appears in the book, Shmona Sh’earim.
Now it was possible to reconstruct the chain of errors that led to the errant text. A comparison between the various editions and between another early ancient handwritten addition in the Oxford Library teaches us that the scribal error was caused as a result of copying from a handwritten text, with the words: “the reason שמ’
[  a Hebrew abbreviation] Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai on Lag Ba’Omer is because …”
The person that copied the text chose to decipher the abbreviation to mean the day  he died and such he wrote down, while according to the truth he should have deciphered the abbreviation  to stand for, for the day of joy of . It turned out that the day of joy of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was transformed by an error to the day of death of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.
How did it occur that such a fundamental copying mistake took place? The Chid”a himself already offered a hint to the answer and thus he wrote, “and it is already known that among the texts attributed to the Ari {short for Arizal} there fell confusion”… Behind this vague statement is hidden a concealed or unknown historical event. It turns out that after the Holy Ari died, Rabbi Chaim Vital contacted all his disciples and gathered from them the writings that were in their hands with the reasoning that the fit time had not yet arrived to reveal the secrets. The writings were all gathered under his hand {guard and control}for the duration of 15 years. One of the sages of Tzfat {Safed} by the name of Yehoshua Bin Nun pleaded with him that he would be allowed to look at the manuscripts but Rabbi Chaim Vital rejected his request and said that the time had not yet arrived. When Rabbi Chaim Vital was extremely ill and was taken to Damascus, Rabbi Yehoshua exploited the opportunity and paid Rabbi Chaim Vital’s brother 50 gold coins in order to allow him to copy the manuscripts. He brought 100 scribes who worked during a 3 day period and they copied all the manuscripts. In this hasty copy, which was made without the knowledge of Rabbi Chaim Vital, many mistakes and errors were introduced and it is no wonder that also in the detail dealing with Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was written in a short way. A matter which led to the story, as if the day of the death of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai is on Log Ba”Omer.

The Mishna that appears in tractate Brachot 33b states that he who says {in the Shmona Esrei prayer} … Modim, Modim [in English, we give thanks to you, we give thanks to you] we silence him. The Talmud
commented: “it is understandable Modim, Modim {should not be stated} since it appears “as if there are 2 authorities” {by making such a statement}. In his commentary on these words of the Mishna, starting
with the words Modim, Modim, Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura explained: “that it appears as if he is accepting 2 gods”. This implies that the prohibition of 2 authorities = 2 gods. However, there is no prohibition
of 2 authorities, for someone who holds that there is a partner to the Holy One Blessed Be He in good deeds, who is not a god, rather just a person. As explained in Tosafot to Sanhedrin 63a on the words that
start with “All that associate the name of heaven“. “It is not comparable to what was written {in Shoftim/Judges 7:20} ‘A sword for G-d and for Gidon‘ and so too, ‘we have spoken against G-d and against you‘ (Bamidbar/Numbers 21:7) for it is only prohibited  in matters relating to being a god”. That is to say that as long as they don’t ascribe something outside of G-d by the name of a god there is no violation of the prohibition of making a partnership or association with G-d with something else. I brought all this because there are Jews who say that all the creation = The Holy One Blessed Be He and they claim
that on the contrary, to believe that there exists something outside of the Holy One Blessed Be He is the prohibition of service of a G-d who is associated with something else.

In the supplement section to the book of Shmot/Exodus in the work of Rabbi Menachem Kasher, Torah Shleima, siman 15 we learn: that the viewpoint of the Vilna Gaon on the explanation of the words “the whole earth is filled with his glory”, is a reference to his providence as described in Lkutei Hagra that were printed at the end of Safra Dtsniuta page 38a (Vilna 5642).

However the disciple of the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin, though he admired his Rabbi as if he were one of the Tana’im {Rabbis of the Period of the Mishna} on this point he did not follow after the his
{rabbi’s} viewpoint. Those who deeply investigate Shaar 3, of his work, Nefesh Hachaim will clearly see that he read
Sefer Hatanya {written by the founder of the Chabad or Lubavitch Chassidic movement} and
accepted that author’s view in
almost all details.

One should comment that even according to Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin who holds that on the level of the absolute truth, even after the creation of the world, in a way that is not understood by us, there is no
material or existence outside of him {G-d}; however, he too admits that for every single matter and issue, we from our part, are obligated to relate to the Holy One Blessed Be He, as separate from the created
world; see for example, Shaar 3, chapter 6.

Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin for the most part bases his viewpoint on his explanation to the wisdom of Kabbala. And I have already brought as “a remedy to the plague”, the words of the Mishna Brura siman 25 comment 42: “the Knesset Hagdola wrote as a principle of the Poskim that whenever the Kabbalists and the Zohar argue against the Gemara and the Poskim go after the Gemara and the Poskim“, {end of quote}.

Now I have already brought in the beginning of this article, that according to Rabbi Saadia Gaon, Ramban, Rashba, and more, even on the level of the absolute truth, there is a difference between the Holy One Blessed Be and the Created World.

In the book Kashrut Arbaat Haminim, page 194 [Chelek HaIyuni,siman 7] it is brought:

Howbeit in the responsa of Tuv Taam and in the opinion of Rabbi Shlomo Kluger…it is written explicitly that one should not rely on the examination of a magnifying glass, not to be lenient nor to be strict. And he brought a proof from the fact that according to the scientists in all water there are unseen bacteria; will all the water become forbidden because of this? And so too in every knife used for slaughtering, by means of a magnifying glass, defects {in the knife’s smooth edge} will be seen; would we invalidate it because of this?
On a practical level the poskim have already decided and ruled that viewing from a magnifying glass does not alter the halacha, and all that according to the eye appears to be a deficiency, even though by magnifying glass, the deficiency isn’t seen, behold this is invalid; see the responsa Dovaiv Maisharim, siman 1 on the matter of a letter which does not look like it is surrounded by parchment, except when one looks in a magnifying glass, that it is invalid. And see in the responsa of She’airit Yisrael of the Rabbinic Genius, Z. Mintzberg.

Now according to all of this, it is implied that even if you were to claim, that according to the absolute truth in reality all the material of this world is part of the Holy One Blessed Be He, that truth would be pushed away in favor of the halachic reality that established the opposite is true.

In Truth Can A Person Explain the Verses of the Hebrew Bible that the
Other Side Brought as Proofs For Their Viewpoint?


You have been shown, so that you know that G-d is the L-rd, there is no other beside him.
(Dvarim / Deut. 4:35)
In the commentary of Kli Yakar to Shmot /Exodus 7:17, it is written regarding the ten plagues, regarding the last set of 4 plagues [which the Passover Hagadda] called by the Abbreviation B.A.CH.B., Rabbi Yitzchak Abarbanel explained that they came to verify the ability of G-d, may he be blessed. But it appears to me that Pharoah claimed that there were 2 authorities; therefore it was stated in the first plague of this set B.A.CH.B.
“in order that you know that there is none like me on Earth”. That is to say, there is no other beside him, May G-d Be Blessed, namely, no other authority.
And so it appears to me that also according to the commentaries of the Netziv and the Malbim to Dvarim / Deuteronomy 4:35, one should explain “there is no other beside him” as a negation of the concept of 2 authorities [each one expresses this idea in his own style].
It is implied to me from Rashi’s commentary to this verse [Dvarim / Deut. 4:35] that he agreed that the intent of “there is no other beside him” is to negate the concept of 2 authorities. However, in his opinion, the proof that “there is no other beside him“, is not from the ten plagues,
but rather from the revelation of the Torah to Israel at Mount Sinai.As it is written there: “that when the Holy One Blessed Be He gave the Torah, he opened up for them, the seven heavens and just as he tore open the upper realms so too did he tear open the lower realms and they saw that he is single, therefore it was stated you have been shown, so that you know”.From the words of the Talmud, tractate Chulin page 7, it is implied that the expression “there is no other beside him“, comes to inform us, that if we have merits, the system or order of sorcery that G-d himself produced to deny his heavenly entourage, will not be able to harm; just as the system of sorcery did
not harm, at the time of the ten plagues, and at the time of the sorcerer, Bilaam. Now here I will quote:
There is no other beside him“, Rabbi Chanina said, even sorcery “{end of quote}.The Talmud afterwards explained, that there was a witch that tried to perform witchcraft against Rabbi Chanina. And he responded, that the witchcraft did not succeed against him, “there is no other beside him“. The Talmud asked, behold, did not Rabbi Yochanan
say, that these matters are called witchcraft {or sorcery}because [the name for these things in Hebrew imply that] they deny his heavenly entourage? {That is to say, that it is implied that witchcraft/sorcery do have the ability to cause harm}. The Talmud answers, Rabbi Chanina is different, for his merit is great.
In Rambam’s opinion as recorded in Hilchot Yesodei Torah chapter 1, halachas 3 and 4, the purpose {in summary} of “there is no other beside him” is to come and negate the Greek notion, that the world or that matter is eternal. And the Rambam established “that all those that are present need him, and He, Blessed Be He, does not need
them nor even one of them, therefore his truth is not like the truth of one of them”. {The commentary of Rambam La’am explains: the existence of the rest of the things that exist is not of absolute necessity, for they are dependent upon others, namely, by the reason that caused them to come to be – therefore they are just possible
existence: it is possible that they endure and it is possible that they do not endure; however the first presence which is before every other thing that doesn’t have a cause for its existence, this existence is a necessity…} Now one should comment in the Hilchot Yesodei Hatorah, Rambam did not go to the trouble to explain, what did
the nation of Israel, see (“you have been shown, so that you know“) that proved that there is no eternal matter which exists outside of the Holy One Blessed Be He (“there
is no other beside him
Blessed be the glory of G-d from his place.
(Yechezkel/Ezekiel 3:12)
Radak explained:
Blessed be the glory of G-d from his place, that is to say that when he departs from his place above the ark cover between the two cherubs; for Israel was lessening his glory when he was among them with the image of jealousy that provokes jealousy {ie. an idol}(so it is) as if his glory was increased when he departed from them.
Metzudat Dovid: “And I heard from behind me a voice with a great tremorous noise say, Blessed be the glory of G-d from his place; as if saying to the prophet, do not think that when the Divine Presence departs from its place inside the Holy of Holies it will not be blessed and extolled; however, Israel they indeed will be the ones that are lacking when the Divine Presence departs from among them but the glory of G-d will continually be blessed and extolled.
If a man hides in the hidden places but shall I not see him, says G-d? Is it not so that the Heaven
and the Earth I fill
, says

Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah 23:24
To summarize the commentary of Radak one should understand this verse similar to the phrase, “and the glory of G-d filled the Mishkan{Tabernacle}” {see: Exodus 40:34 and 35}. This is a reference to a light that was created.
The Hebrew words  Ani Malay אני מלא in this verse of Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah 23:24 are to be understood as I fill. That is to say, that I am in every place. And this is just a parable, for the Holy One Blessed Be He, is not a body that fills space, rather his providence is in every place in the Heaven and the Earth and so too explains
Targum Yonatan Ben Uziel, that the verse  {of Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah 23:24} tells us that his glory fills the Heaven and the Earth.
Rabbi Saadia Gaon explains in his work,  Emunot V’Deot :And I say: How shall we establish in our understanding his presence in all places, to the point where there is no place that is empty of him. Because he is prior to every place. And if the places would have separated between his parts, he would not have created them, and if there would be situation that the bodies would grab space in whole or partially, he would not have brought them into existence.

Now since the matter is such, behold his existence after he created the bodies is like his existence before this, without change, unhidden, and without division. And it is, in accordance to what was said: “
If a man hides in the hidden places but  shall I not see him, says G-d? Is it not so that the Heaven and the Earth I fill”.

Now I draw the matter near for the sake of comprehension, and I will say: 

If not for the fact that some of the walls do not form a barrier against sound, and that we have become accustomed to the fact that glass does not hide the light, and we know that the dirtiness in the world does not harm the light of the sun, we would then be astounded about this. Now behold all these things teach us about the truth of his state {of being}.
I asked the Rabbi, Dr. Alan Brill {in English} how should we understand Rabbi Saadia Gaon’s words that the Holy One  Blessed Be He is present everywhere. He answered me in English.

  • Saadayah does not hold “God” is everywhere only
    the kavod {glory},
    which is not the same as the unknown God.

  • Rishonim
    differentiated between finding divine as an efficient cause, a final

 or a formal cause. Finding God everywhere
as an efficient cause or final cause is not the same as being a
material cause like in chasidus


  • All hakhmei hanigleh hold that divine essence is
    not on earth. For them God is not material so the divine cannot be in
    the material world.
    0For Sadyah, God is not corporeal, material ,
    or  attached to matter- he says that outright.

  • God is also above time, motion, and change.

As the passage that you quoted says ” he is primordial” even after the creation of matter
he is as he always was.
So how does he fill space???


There are 4 causes for a the classical world – material, efficient, formal, and final


If God is not material, then it leaves 3 choices. The Ibn Ezra and Rambam  limit God to the final cause .
The passage you cited can be interpreted as formal

{Here ends my quotation of Rabbi, Dr. Alan Brill}

For the Earth shall be filled to know the glory of G-d as water covers the sea-bed
(Chavakuk/Habakkuk 2:14)
Radak explains: for the Earth shall befilled to know the glory of G-d
– and the explanation is that all will recognize and know that from G-d was this vengeance, the vengeance of the nation of G-d and the vengeance of his sanctuary, for he brought a miraculous wonder against Nevuchadnetzer {Nebuchadnezzar}that he was driven from living with people, when the matter was still in his mouth, that he was haughty as it is written {Daniel 4:28}”The matter was still in his mouth”, etc…And so too to Beltshatsar {based on Daniel 5:30, it should be printed, Belshatsar} the son of his son, he brought a mighty sign by what was written on the wall of the palace and on that same night Beltshatsar {based on Daniel 5:30, it should be printed, Belshatsar} the king of the Casdians was killed and Koresh {Cyrus}Mada’ah {it needs further investigation why he wrote Mada’ah and not the Parsi} said after Bavel {Babylon} was conquered all the kingdoms of the Earth did G-d the L-rd of the Heaven give to me. Behold all the nations admitted and recognized the Almighty, may He Be Blessed, at that time, and they recognized that from G-d came all the evil upon Bavel {Babylon} and by this thing everyone knew the glory of G-d, very much as the waters cover over the sea-bed. They knew that truly the Almighty does supervise over the actions of people to give to each man according to his ways.
For I G-d have not changed and you the sons of Yaacov {Jacob} have not been consumed
(Malachi 3:6)
Radak explains: For what I have said though it has not taken place year by year and even though it may take a very long time, so shall it be, for I G-d have not changed and my words will not change and all the future events that I said to you by means of my prophets, so shall they be …
Metzudat Dovid explains: For I G-d have not changed. My opinion has not changed from what it was in the past, to start loving the evil. Not as you have
said “all who do evil are good in the eyes of G-d” and you the sons of Yaacov {Jacob} have not been consumed; but you have not been consumed from before me and even if you die in a state of being evil without having received retribution, behold in the future when you stand at the time of the resurrection, you are then also in my hand and at that time you will receive the retribution that is fitting.
{The Hebrew 4
lettered name for } G-d is your
name forever
{The Hebrew 4 lettered name for}G-d is your
remembrance for {each} generation and generation

Tehillim/Psalms chapter 135 verse 13
Translators Note: Due to the holiness of the Hebrew name for G-d, the exact pronunciation of the name is not provided here.
Malbim explains: G-d is your name forever, that is to say that we have seen from you 2 types of systems of actions. A] A system of action that is ordered from the six days of creation and this is called by the {Hebrew 4 lettered} name,{for} G-d; for this is the name by which he is known continually from for all time without change B] The miraculous system of actions that originates at specified times and this is called your remembrance, as one who does a great action for a short period of time in order that they remember him and this is not fixed for all time without change. It is just for each generation and generation. That the miraculous system of actions is just according to the generation and in accordance with the need in each generation.
This is the
blessing that Moshe {Moses} the man of the L-rd blessed the children of
Israel before his death.

Dvarim/Deuteronomy 33:1
Targum Unkelos explains the expression “the manof the L-rd” =  a prophet of G-d.
You are G-d alone, you have made the heaven and the heaven above the heaven
and all of its host, the Earth and all that are on it, the seas and all that are in them; and you bring life to all of them and the host of heaven to you, do they bow.

Nechemia/Nehemiah 9:6
Metzudat Dovid
explains the expression “you bring life” = you bring vitality and food to all of them.
For you are not an Almighty Being who desires wickedness; evil does not dwell with you.
Tehillim/Psalms 5:5
Rashi explains: Evil does not dwell with you = does not dwell by you.It appears to me that according to the viewpoint of Rashi, the Holy One Blessed Be He is not present on a physical level in the place of evil, in contrast to the outlook of Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin.And for those that deny that there is evil in the creation,
see Yishayahu/Isaiah 45:7 “fashions light and creates darkness, makes peace and creates evil, I G-d, do all of these”.
The Almighty is not a man that he should deceive or the son of a man that
he should regret;  he has said, shall he not do or has he
spoken but not bring it to fulfillment?

Bamidbar/Numbers 23:19
Rashbam explains: The Almighty is not a man. He is not a man to retract his blessing after such a short time like this, for behold, they did not rebel after the blessing which I have blessed them today.
Three times in a year all your males shall appear by the face of the master, G-d, the L-rd of Israel.
Shmot/Exodus 34:23
Targum Unkelos explains the expression “the face of the master, G-d“: before the master of the Universe, G-d.
And to Eiver{Eber} was born two sons; the name of one of them, Peleg,* because
in his days was the Earth divided and the name of his brother, Yawktawn.

Bereshit/Genesis 10:25
*This Hebrew word connotes: section, part, half ; faction
Rabbi Yosi says, the first generations by the fact that they recognized their {total} line of descent, would issue their names based on the event; but we who do not recognize our total line of descent, we issue names based on the names of our ancestors. Rabbi Shimon son of Gamliel says the first generations by the fact that they were using Divine Inspiration, they issued {their names} based on the event, but we who do not use Divine Inspiration, issue names based on the names of our ancestors. Rabbi Yosi son of Chalafta said, Eiver {Eber} was a big prophet who issued a name in accordance to the event. This is, as it is stated, “And to Eiver{Eber} was born two sons”, etc. [Bereshit Rabba 37:7}.
Behold there are days that will come, says G-d, and I will raise up for Dovid {David} a righteous sprout and he shall reign as king and act wisely and perform justice upon the Earth. In his days Yehuda {Judah}shall be saved and Yisrael {Israel} shall dwell securely and this is the name that they will call
him, G-d Tzidkeinu
Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah 23:5
See what I have already brought on the verse “And to Eiver{Eber} was born two sons”, etc. that the first generations and the prophets named a person’s name based on the event. And see Rashi on the verse of Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah 23:6 where Rashi explains:G-d Tzidkeinu  = G-d makes us righteous {or justifies us} in the days of this one.   And see the words of Radak’s commentary there, “In his days. This is the name that Israel will call him, namely, they will call the messiah by this name, G-d Tzidkeinu, for in his days the righteousness {or justice, in Hebrew, Tzedek} of G-d will endure for us continually, it will not depart. And this naming is in the same manner that Moshe {Moses} our Rabbi, peace be unto him, named the altar, {see Shmot/Exodus 17:15} “G-d is my banner {or some translate, my miracle}”. And Yaacov {Jacob} called the altar, Almighty the L-rd of Yisrael { [see Bereshit/Genesis 33:20]}. Each one according to the matter which was relevant to it. And similarly, “And the name of the city from that day, “G-d is
there” [end of the book of Yechezkel/Ezekiel], ” .
And G-d said, behold there is a place with me and you shall stand upon the rocky mountain.
Exodus 33:21
Rashi on the words

“Behold there is a place with me”.
On the mountain where I speak with you continually, there is a place prepared for me, for your need, that I will conceal you there that you
should not be harmed and from there you will see what you will see. This is the simple meaning. And the midrashic interpretation of the
phrase is: every place that the Divine Presence  speaks there; and the verse says, the place is with me and does not say I am in the
place; for the Holy One Blessed Be He is the place of the world and the world is not his place.{In contrast to the position of the author of Nefesh Hachaim, and Chabad, that the world indeed is his place.}

And I will miraculously set aside on that day, the land of Goshen, where my nation is based; so that there will not be there, a mixture of destructive creatures, in order that you know, that I, G-d, am in the midst of the Earth.
Exodus 8:18
Rashi: In order that you know, that I, G-d, am in the midst of the Earth.”
Even though my Divine Presence is in the Heaven, my decree is fulfilled in the lower realms.
And if Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin were correct, there would be no need for Rashi to explain that his Divine Presence is in the heaven.
The Holy One Blessed Be He said to Yechezkel {Ezekiel}, son of man, say to Chiram the king of Tzor{Tyre},
why have you become arrogant, you are born from a woman! The Holy One Blessed Be He brought a wind by the loose hairs of his head and brought
him up to Chiram. When Chiram saw Yechezkel {Ezekiel} he became frightened and he trembled; he said to him, who brought you up to here?He responded, thus did the Holy One Blessed command me, go
and say to him; why have you become arrogant, you are born from a woman! He answered, Am I indeed born from a woman? Rather I live and exist eternally, just as the Holy One Blessed Be He is in the
firmament, so too am I; and furthermore, indeed many kings have died and I continue to survive, 21 kings from the kings of the house of Dovid {David}, and 21 from kings of Yisrael {Israel} and five prophets
and ten high priests. I have buried them all, yet I live, am I not Divine?
What occurred to him at the end?
The Holy One Blessed Be He brought Nevuchadnetzer {Nebuchadnezzar} upon him … [Yalkut Shimoni 367]
Artscroll’s translation of Tractate
Brachot 10:
He [ie. Rav Shimi bar Ukva or Mar Ukva] said to [ Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi ]. When I asked this, this is what I meant to say to you – these five verses of Bless my Soul – regarding whom did King David state them?
Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi answers:He stated them regarding the human soul. Each of the verses corresponds to a G-dly attribute that is shared by the human soul.
These are the five shared attributes: Just as the Holy One Blessed is He, fills all the world so too does the human soul fill the body.Just as the Holy One Blessed is He, observes but is not
observed – so too with the soul – it observes but is not observed.
Just as the Holy One Blessed is He, nourishes all the world so too does the soul nourish the entire body.
Just as the Holy One Blessed is He is pure, so too is the soul pure.Just as the Holy One Blessed is He, abides in rooms within rooms so too does the soul abide in rooms within rooms.
Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi concludes King David is saying: Let one who possesses those five attributes come and give praise of the One who possesses these five attributes.[End of the Quote of Artscroll]Iyun Yaacov comments on the words, “so too does the soul abide in rooms within rooms”. Yet nevertheless it gives its strength in all the limbs, so too the Holy One Blessed Be He, though he dwells in the heaven above, nevertheless he supervises {or provides his providence} within the lowly world and provides nourishment {to a range of creatures} from the eggs of lice to the horns of the Re’aim { the animal mentioned in Dvarim/Deut 33:17.}[Translator’s note:
I have not provided an original translation and commentary to Brachot page 10, in particular for the difficult, Hebrew concept, “Chadrei Chadarim”, which has been translated by Artscroll as “rooms within rooms”. I found no need to give a deeper understanding of Brachot page 10, since my goal was not to talk about the soul. My citation of the Artscroll’s translation was just an introduction to Iyun Yaacov, who explains Brachot, page 10 in a way that supports the classical monotheistic viewpoint held by the Rishonim.]
Rabbi Yehuda Bar Simone said, you find that idolatry is near and far while the Holy One Blessed Be He, is far and near,

for it was stated,” Though he screams to it, yet it won’t respond” (Yishayahu / Isaiah chapter 46), behold it is far. Yet the Holy One Blessed Be He is far
and near. In what way? Rabbi Yehuda Bar Simone said from here until the firmament is the distance of 500 years of travel {by foot},
behold, this is far. And from where do we know that he is close? For a person stands and prays and contemplates within his heart and the Holy One Blessed Be He is near to
hear his prayer, for it is stated (Tehillim/Psalms chapter 65) “he hears the prayer of his congregation all flesh shall come” {end of quotation from Dvarim Rabba, Vilna, Parsha 2, starting with “for who
is” and see also Yalkut Shimoni, Vaetchanan, remez 825, Ki Mi Goy, for a similar quote}.

The Letter of Recommendation of
the Chief Rabbi of the
Old City of Jerusalem, Rabbi Avigdor Neventzal, Shlit”a [Shlit”a being
a blessing for longevity and good fortune].

With the Assistance of Heaven during the period of the year where, “And the Cohain shall purify him” {is read in the synagogue} 5768, The Holy City of Jerusalem, Let it be Built and be Established Well
Speedily  In Our Days, Amen.
Great Peace to the Honorable R. Shlomo Moshe Scheinman, Shlit”a!
I received your well-versed letter {alt. translation: crammed full of information}.In my humble opinion, it is a good thing that you publicize your conclusions, but on the other hand there is no need to refrain from
helping people who hold like Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin, the disciple of the Vilna Gaon.
With a Word of Encouragement With the honor of the Torah
The Youth Among the sons of Levi
Avigdor Neventzal
{To view the original Hebrew letter press here.}

Clarification From Mr. Shlomo Moshe Scheinman, Nissan 5768

In general, I do not have the authority to issue halachic decisions and here I wrote based on  the mitzva to rebuke fellow, religious Jews together with the fact that I have the approval of a distinguished Torah scholar. And if others sometimes honor me by the name Rabbi, this is just based on what is written in Pirkei Avot
{Ethics of the Fathers}:
   He who learns from his companion, even one chapter, one halacha, one verse, one statement, or even one letter, is obliged to treat him with respect. For so we find concerning Dovid {David}, King of Yisrael {Israel}, who learned only two things from Achitophel and yet he called him his Rabbi, his Mentor, and his intimate friend, for it has been stated: “You are a man whose value is like my own, my Mentor {alt. translation: my General}, and my intimate friend” {Tehillim/Psalms 55:14}.
Now, we may infer as follows: If Dovid {David}, King of Yisrael {Israel}, who learned only two things from Achitophel, addressed him as his Rabbi, Mentor, and intimate friend, how much more should one who learns from his companion, one chapter, one halacha, one verse, one statement, or even one letter, treat this one {who taught him} with honor.

If you would like to strengthen the belief in classical monotheism among religious Jews, one way to do so, is by supporting Torah institutions that promote this viewpoint, such as Aderes Eliyahu, founded by Rabbi Yitzchak Shlomo Zilberman ZT”L. Press Here For Details.



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