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Rabbi Elchanan Lewis22 Tammuz 5766
333
Question
The other day there was a polemic in the Beit Midrash. A person made the commentary that G-d is great and awsome, but he is not perfect because of the statement of Genesis: "He repented that he had created man". I answered them that G-d knew everything since the beginning, and as is written, he made man perfect, but man is the one who chose the wrong way. In Job 37:16 is written: "The wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge", the whole universe must rely on a perfect Being, and if G-d is not perfect to the milimeter, the Universe would be a complete chaos. What do you think about this matter?
Answer
G-d is perfect by definition. (See Kuzari 2, 1-9; Ikarim 2nd chapter; Maimonidies - the Guide to the Perplex 1:26, 32, 53, 2:14; and many more) As for the verse (Genesis 6; and you can find tens of similar verses in Tanach) which one might misinterpret to say that Hashem repents, the commentators all have already noted that changing mind, regretting or repenting is a human characteristic, not a Godly one, and this is only the biblical way of writing, so we - as humans, can relate to. (Ramban, Ibn-Ezra, etc. ibid)
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