Let My People Know

"One of the highest paradoxes"

The Maharal of Prague (Rabbi Judah Loew) was the first to define, in clear terms, what I consider to be one of the highest paradoxes. 

He said something like this: 

"Something that is really transcendental, which is beyond any limit, cannot be limited even to the point of being something abstract." 

There is a biblical saying that also relates to this. 

"The Lord is higher above the nations, on heaven is His glory." 

That is my translation, a very bad one. I'm sure the King James does it better.

Now the second verse is "The one who is sitting higher up, that looks down on heaven and earth." 

The interpretation of this saying is something like this: 

The nations do believe that the Lord is transcendental; He is in heaven.

We believe He is even higher up, therefore He looks down at heaven and earth. 

Even heaven, even the abstract, even what we call and understand as the infinite is really a kind of putting borders, order, and limits. 

When we say that He is even higher up, then the difference between heaven and earth disappears.

One of the basic explanations for the Jewish preoccupation with material things comes from the idea that the spiritual is not more important and nearer to the divine than the material. 

To the Ain Sof, a galaxy is not greater than, say, a virus. 

If the Lord cares for the galaxy, he cares also for what the virus will do in the next moment. 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From "The Private Gate" in The Strife of the Spirit by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz