(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Sun, 7 Feb 1999 18:44:42 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Understanding G*d

We must, when discussing "incapability" distinguish between
logical, psychological, & physical incapability and contractual obligation.

Rabbi Eliyahu Teitz, in Torah Forum 4, Vol 59 writes:
<  <  ...No, there is one physical act that G-d can not perform.  He can not
destroy the world...>  >

No! G-d *can* (physically) destroy the world and it is doctrinal to our
beliefs that He can. However He has contractually obligated Himself NOT
TO destroy the world. A contractual obligation of course is not a statement
of incapability but simply a statement of obligation.

<  <  ...G-d can not act in an unjust manner either...>  >

G-d can physically act unjust. He simply has obligated Himself not to.

As to the impossibility of G-d making a rock He can't lift, this would be
a logical impossibility not a physical impossibility...it is not that G-d
can't do it but rather that such a rock can't exist.

Finally with regard to the impossibility I mentioned: Of G-d (or anyone)
committing suicide: This is neither a physical nor a logical impossibility
since physically it is not that hard for most beings to commit suicide.
Rather it is a new type of possibility--a psychological impossibility. I
brought the subject up in the hope that it would possibly make more
palatable some of the statements of impossibility by G-d.

Russell Jay Hendel;Phd ASA RHendel @ Mcs Drexel Edu
Adjunct Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science