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2. Ways in Which We Do and Do Not Anthropomorphize God
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The articles in this series are based upon ideas expressed in the Rambam’s Moreh Nevuchim (The Guide for the Perplexed). Numbers in brackets represent the book and chapter of Moreh Nevuchim where these ideas are discussed. There are many ways that one can describe a human being. [I, 46] These include: * Based on his […]
1. Anthropomorphism of God in the Torah
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The articles in this series are based upon ideas expressed in the Rambam’s Moreh Nevuchim (The Guide for the Perplexed). Numbers in brackets represent the book and chapter of Moreh Nevuchim where these ideas are discussed. —————————- Anthropomorphism: attributing human form or human characteristics to something that is not human. Does God have hands? Does […]
Understanding Anim Zemiros
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Introduction Shir HaKavod – The Hymn of Honor – is better known by its opening words, Anim Zemiros (“I will compose pleasant songs”). The song is popularly attributed to Rav Yehuda HaChasid, though it was more likely composed by his father, Rabbi Shmuel ben Kalonymus HaChasid of Speyer (12th century), who also composed Shir HaYichud (The […]
The Meanings of the Anthropomorphisms Applied to God
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As noted in our first installment on Moreh Nevuchim, there are copious terms that can be understood in more than one sense and we must be careful in understanding the sense intended when these words are applied to God. One of the examples that we use there is: The Hebrew noun ayin can mean the physical […]
The Behavior of Those Who Love God
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 (Based on Chovos HaLevevos, Shaar Ahavas Hashem chapter 7) It would be impossible to list all of the behaviors of those who love God, but the Chovos HaLevavos gives a nice representative sample. People who love God know Him. They recognize that He is in control and they are aware of what He expects from us. […]
3.21 – Signs of One Who Loves God
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(Based on Chovos HaLevevos, Shaar Ahavas Hashem chapter 6) People who love God exhibit a number of signs. First of all, they reject a surplus of material things, as these distract one from the service of God. People who love God have a visible “fear” (yirah, meaning awe or reverence) of Him, as per Exodus 20:16, […]
3.19 Types of Love
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Based on Chovos HaLevavos – Shaar Ahavas Hashem (Chapter 2) In order to describe the different types of love that one might have for God, the Chovos HaLevavos employs the metaphor of the different types of love that a servant might have for his master. This comes in three kinds: (1) A servant might love his […]
3.18 Love of God
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Based on Chovos HaLevavos – Shaar Ahavas Hashem  Introduction Love of God is the highest level attainable by those who are devoted to the service of God, and all the traits and qualities detailed throughout Chovos HaLevavos – both those we have summarized here and those we have not – are steps towards achieving this […]
3.17 Learning to Trust in God
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Shaar HaBitachon Chapter 7 The following things interfere with a person developing his trust in God (in addition to the various impediments mentioned earlier in Chovos HaLevavos): Ignorance of God and His positive traits. If one doesn’t appreciate how God cares for His creations with great compassion, he will lack the confidence necessary to trust in […]