How God Created

I understand that God does not have a physical being, but only a spiritual being. What I don't understand is how any entity without any physical being can be responsible for the creation of the planet Earth, or any other physical entity for that matter. I'd appreciate your response.

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

You've asked such a great question you've just thrown yourself into one of the deepest mysteries of the metaphysical world.

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan deals with this issue in his book, "The Infinite Light." Here is a segment to get you on your way:

The very word "create" implies creating something out of nothing. Otherwise, we use the word "make" or "form." When we say that God created the universe, we mean that He created it absolutely ex nihilo - out of nothing. This is alluded to in the verse, "He hangs the world upon nothingness." (Job 26:7)

The Midrash tells us that a philosopher once remarked to Rabban Gamliel, "Your God is a wonderful artist, but He had fine materials to work with. When He made the world, He fashioned it out of waste and desolation, darkness, wind, water and depths." Rabban Gamliel replied, "Your words are mere wind! All of these things were also created by God."

The act of creation involved absolutely no effort on the part of God. When the Torah says that he "rested" on the seventh day, it does not mean that He rested because He was weary or tired after six days of hard work. Rather, it means that God stopped creating after six days, since the world was completed with the creation of man. The act of creation, however, involved absolutely no effort on the part of God, as the prophet Isaiah taught, "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord, the everlasting God, Creator of the wide world, grows neither weary nor faint." (Isaiah 40:28)

This is because God is absolutely infinite. To an infinite Being, the entire universe is like nothing, and therefore, its creation involves no effort. The Bible thus says, "Everything on earth is like nothing to Him, He does as He wills with the host of the heaven and the inhabitants of the earth." (Daniel 4:32) Every possible thing, even the creation of a universe, is infinitely easy for an infinite God.

To learn more read, "The Infinite Light," by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, or "The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology," both published by the National Conference of Synagogue Youth.

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