Thursday, October 18, 2012

God is an Existentialist


People think that Sartre is incompatible with religion.

I disagree.

There's s Midrash in last weeks Parsha
V'Ha'aretz Haysa Sohu V'Vohu...eilu ma'aseihem shel resha'im
VaYomer Elokim VaYehi Ohr...eilu ma'aseihem shel tzadikim
Aval eini yodeia b'eizeh meihem chofetz...keivan dichsiv Va'Yar Elokim Es HaOr Ki Tov...bma'aseihem shel tzadikim ani chofetz.....

What is going on here?
Hashem says I see the deeds of the righteous and of the wicked and its not certain which I'd rather have. Until the Torah reveals that He'd rather the deeds of the righteous.

What I think is going on here is that the Midrash is revealing something incredible here.
Hashem is saying. There's nothing objectively right in the deeds of the righteous over the deeds of the wicked. There's nothing intrinsically pulling Him in one direction over the other...after all they're both a manifestation of his kingship (rewarding righteous and punishing wicked).
It's Hashems SUBJECTIVE choice that makes him favor the righteous. Because he wants to.

It's the same with us. We're so used to thinking that our tasks are laid out for us objectively.
We underestimate the power of our choices and we take away our autonomy by viewing the world that way.
We must put ourselves first and give everything in the world subjective value. This means even putting ourselves before God in Choosing to believe in Him. We believe in Hashems because we subjectively want to.
This gives us tremendous power and adds so much more value to our choices.



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