(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) 1996-2000 Project Genesis

Re: What is G-d?

Russell Hendel (rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu)
Thu, 23 Jan 1997 17:58:51 -0500

Daniel J Pearso writes:
>>Everyone talks about It/.../Him but I never heard a good definition.Many..
>>speak and act as if G-d was some kind of omnipotent person...What I need
>>is a definition that is truly satisfying.

Micha Berger responds:
<<However Rambams approach is to show..First Cause..>>

I would suggest that Micha was referring to the Rambam in Foundations of
Torah Chap 1. However a more complete definition (thus answering Daniel's
question) is in Repentance 3:6-8. Paragraphs 6,7,8 discuss 3 groups of
attributes which are essential. These 3 groups of attributes give rise to
13 specific properties which have found there way into the 13 verses of the
Poem Yigdal. Finally these same 3 groups are the groups that Rabbi Albo
used in his review of all beliefs of G-d in his book Essentials (The
Ikarim). These 3 groups are

Repentance 3:7: LORDSHIP/PRAYER: Omnipotent; All prayer goes only to Him
Repentance 3:8: PROPHECY: Mans capacity to prophecy; Moses greatness
Repentance 3:6: REWARD & PUNISHMENT: Including the resurrection of the dead

In other words: To believe in G-d is to believe that there is Someone One can
Pray to, Who has the power to do anything, who can and has verbally responded
to man and who will punish/reward those who violate his will. Incidentally we
anthromorphize G-d because of Prayer and Prophecy (speech is distinctly

Russell Jay Hendel, Phd. ASA; rhendel @ mcs drexel edu