Ask the rabbi

Is really the G-d of Israel 1


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Im omer and I will be more than happy if you can answer my question. Im sorry if my English is not very well because my main language is not English. In the Tanakh, there are some passages that I was very confused about when I read them because I cant understand them as one who believes in 1 G-d like: Exodus.18.11 עַתָּ?ה יָדַ?עְתִּי כִּֽי־גָד?וֹל יְהֹוָ?ה מִכּ?ל־הָאֱלֹהִ?ים כִּ?י בַדָּבָ?ר אֲשֶׁ?ר זָד?וּ עֲלֵיהֶֽם׃ Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods, yes, by the result of their very schemes against [the people]. And Deuteronomy.10.17 כִּ?י יְהֹוָ?ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ?ם ה?וּא אֱלֹהֵ?י הָֽאֱלֹהִ?ים וַאֲדֹנֵ?י הָאֲדֹנִ?ים הָאֵ?ל הַגָּדֹ?ל הַגִּבֹּר? וְהַנּוֹרָ?א אֲשֶׁר? לֹא־יִשָּׂ?א פָנִ?ים וְלֹ?א יִקַּ?ח שֹֽׁחַד׃ For the LORD your G-d is the G-d of the gods and the LORD of the lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome G-d, who shows no favor and takes no bribe. In this verse, we might understand that there are more gods but less powerful than Hashem our G-d. After reading these verses I was scared to believe that maybe according to all these verses, maybe Hashem in the Torah and Psalms is just the greatest of all gods and some researchers think that only after the Babylonian exile Hashem became the one true G-d.
My friend, your mistake is totally based upon a clear lack of knowledge of Biblical Hebrew. The word elohim doesn't mean god, but refers to those who are attributed with power, for even human judges, who are clearly not gods, are explicitly called elohim [see Shmot 21, 6, "his master shall bring him to the judges [ha'elohim]; ibid, 22, 7, "If the thief is not found, the homeowner shall approach the judges (ha'elohim) and ibid, 8, "For any sinful word, for a bull, for a donkey, for a lamb, for a garment, for any lost article, concerning which he will say that this is it, the plea[s] of both parties shall come to the judges ["haelohim"], [and] whoever the judges ["elohim"], declare guilty shall pay twofold to his neighbor. Even Moshe (!) is also called elohim [ibid 7, 1, "Behold! I have made you a master [elohim] over Pharaoh"], so it obviously doesn't refer to gods! Accordingly, when paganists mistakenly attribute godliness to physical powers, they can also be called elohim, albeit wrongly. The difference is that when referring to God, we say Elokim (so we don't say His name in vain), while all other attributions of power, e.g. judges, are called "elohim". The root "el" means "power" and not "god": see Breishit 31, 29, "I have the power [el] to inflict harm upon you", or Dvarim 28, 32, "Your sons and daughters will be given over to another people, and your eyes will see [this] and long for them all day long, but you will be powerless ["ein la'el"]; or "great/large", Yona 3, 3, "Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great/large ["le'elohim"] city, a walk of three days"; and even violent, Bava Batra 34b, "the man who is stronger ["alim"]. Primitive man mistakenly attributed independent power every time he saw a certain power in the world (oceans, strength, beauty etc.), and called them: gods. Thank G-d, over 3,700 years, just about all of mankind has grown out of paganism thanks to Judaism's Torah and monotheism as seen in the Ten Commandments (way before the Babylonian exile!), and there's no reason for you to mistakenly revive those childish mistakes of primitive man, simply because of a misunderstanding of Biblical Hebrew.
את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר