A basic principle of physics is the law of conservation of matter. That has me wondering: If God created the world, then where did God come from?
The Aish Rabbi Replies:
Maimonides deals with this question at length. He answers that God is beyond our comprehension, and it is absurd to apply our realm of experience to His. Therefore it is inappropriate to discuss God in terms of past, future or being created, etc.
To explain: Everything that is finite has to have been created, but God is infinite and therefore He did not have to be created.
Everything in the physical world had a beginning at some point in the past. If you cut down a tree we can see how old it is by counting rings. As a person ages, i.e. he is now 20 years old, that means he had to be one year old at some time.
Since everything in this world gets older, it means that everything was created at some point.
How was it created?
There are only two options: Either it made itself, or it was made by something else. Now, it couldn't make itself, because it did not yet exist. So it had to have been made by something else.
Eventually, one must arrive at the conclusion that the world and all it contains was started by something that was not time-bound and therefore did not have a beginning. Since it did not have a beginning, it was not “created.”
A being that exists beyond time doesn't come from anywhere. He has always existed. If something created God, God would have a beginning and be finite, not infinite. Beyond time means having no beginning and no end, eternal. It means there is nothing that exists before God. “Before” is a time-bound quality that applies only to finite entities. Therefore God is called the “First Cause" - or the Prime Mover - the dimension that has no other dimension preceding it.
Who Made God?
Today in Jewish History
In 1716, the ship Restoration arrived in Massachusetts from London, with several Jewish merchants aboard, thus creating the core of a Jewish community in New England. A century earlier, the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay were determined to exclude alien elements from their community, and they hanged four Quakers to prove it. New Amsterdam governor Peter Stuyvesant cleansed his colony of Lutherans and Quakers, and tried to do the same to Jews. Such episodes were largely confined, however, to the 17th century, and by the time of the Revolutionary War, many Jews had settled in Massachusetts. It would not be until 1840, however, that the first synagogue was established in Boston.
Today's Daily Lift
Enter People's Reality
Enter the reality of other people. Put yourself in their shoes. See life through their lenses. This leads to a sense of identification and oneness, and is literally the fulfillment of the mitzvah to "love others as yourself.
Of course, if someone's reality is counterproductive, don't stay there for too long! And the same applies to your own. You can't always change your external reality, but you do have the power to upgrade your internal reality.
Think of someone you have a difficult time understanding or being empathic with. The next time you talk to that person, try to enter his reality and see the difference.
Today in Growing Each Day
A father transmits to his son beauty, strength, wealth, wisdom, and longevity (Eidiyos 2:9).
While some character traits, or at least tendencies to certain traits, appear to have a genetic factor, the lion's share of attitudes are learned. Undoubtedly the most significant influence on a child is his parents' attitudes, rather than their genetic composition.
One psychologist said, "If you have given your child self-confidence, you have given him everything. If you have not given your child self-confidence, then regardless of whatever else you have given, you have given nothing."
The crucial question is: What should parents do to help their child develop self-confidence? While many fine books suggest techniques to avoid common practices that depress a child's self-esteem, one factor overrides all else: self-esteem is contagious. Parents who feel secure about themselves will convey an attitude of security and self-confidence to their children. Parents who are insecure and anxiety-ridden are not likely to foster self-confidence in their children, regardless of how many books on parenting they may have absorbed.
As with so much else, the place to begin is with ourselves. By far the most effective way to instill a positive sense of self-awareness in our children is by developing our own self-awareness which will both lead to the discovery of our strengths and skills, and will reveal existing deficits that may then be corrected. Not only will the parents then transmit their self-esteem, the children may also benefit by observing the methods that their parents use to achieve positive feelings about themselves.
Today I shall...
try to enhance my self-esteem and overcome my anxieties and insecurities.
With stories and insights,
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