Translate

28.1.16

1) "Seeing the wisdom in God's creations" in the mediaeval code word for learning Physics and Metaphysics. If you only see this in the חובות לבבות Duties of the Heart , you can miss this.  Refer to the Guide of the Rambam who says this openly. But you can see it also in מעלות המידות by Binjamin the Doctor --one of the classical books of Musar.


2) The idea is  learning these subjects is a good value in itself  The books of Saadia Gaon and the Rambam  show two values in learning the natural sciences.
 To the Rambam learning Physics and Metaphysics is the fulfillment of the highest mitzvot in the Torah, i.e. Love and Fear of God.

3) Later this was hidden. Even though all books of Classical Musar refer to this approach of Saadia Gaon and the Rambam, it is obscured by people that do not want this information to be widely known.

4) The Torah is clothed in the Creation. So when you learn about God's creation, you are learning God's wisdom.

5) See: Rambam beginning of the Guide, and beginning of Mishna Torah. {Plus הלכות ת''ת ברמב''ם איפה שהוא כתב והעניינים הנקראיים פרדס בם בכלל הגמרא}

6) To put this all together you have to start with the idea that the goal of Torah is to come to love and fear of God. Then you need the idea that the the world was created by the ten statements of Genesis, and thus those statements are the life force of all that is in the world. And that those ten statements are the clothing of the Ten Commandments. [as brought in the Tikunei HaZohar] And the highest statement is the first one "In the beginning God created heaven and earth" in which it does not say openly God said. It is the hidden statement which is the life force of everything and everywhere where God's glory is hidden.
Thus Torah is God's revealed wisdom and Physics and Metaphysics is his hidden wisdom.


7) There are people that if exposed to straight Torah will not be able to accept it. In Physics are hidden secrets of Torah. This explains also how often it is better for people to learn the natural sciences rather than open Torah, because זכה נעשית סם חיים, לא זכה נעשית לו סם מוות. By being exposed to open Torah one can become worse. And in fact this often happens before our very eyes.
Also seeing the wisdom inside ever aspect of creation binds ones soul to the purpose of that individual creation which in it s higher source is close to the purpose of all creation which is God's glory.


8) The Rambam defines the "Work of Creation" מעשה בראשית and work of the "Divine Chariot" מעשה מרכבה in the beginning of the Guide for the Perplexed . In the Guide itself he tells us what is the purpose he sees in these--the Work of Creation to come to fear, and the Work of the Divine Chariot to come to love. And this approach of the Rambam is quoted virtually verbatim in all later books of Musar.]

9) The question is how is this jump from knowledge of physical things or mathematical things helps one to make the jump to God? Clearly the Rambam holds this does help to make that jump, but how?
[See Schelling and Jacobi who dealt with this problem.]



10) To justify this approach of the Rambam I would like to bring together a few ideas:

We find that God's glory does not extend everywhere. That is even though His glory "fills the whole world," there are places where his glory does not reach. וכבודי לאחר לא אתן. I will not give of my glory to idols. Now we find that it says in a verse that God created the whole world for his glory. לכבודי בראתיו יצרתיו אף עשיתיו. So his glory is the root and life force of everything that exists. So what about those places where his glory does not extend? They get life force from the hidden statement (מאמר הסתום). "In the beginning God created heaven and earth."  That is hidden because it does not say "He said." [In nine other acts of creation it says, "He said."]

So the areas  the most hidden from God get their life force from the highest levels of holiness.

And when one turns to God from those areas and calls out "where is the place of his glory?" Then he returns to the highest statement of creation.

In Math and Physics there is no open numinosity. But there is the hidden statement by which the world was created. So when one turns to God there, and learns for the sake of Heaven, he brings up all the creation to God.


Appendix:
a) Maimonides held that Torah is only the Written and Oral law. But two of the commandments of the Torah are to love and fear God, and these Maimonides held were only possible by learning Physics and Metaphysics. [He was referring to the two sets of books by Aristotle called the Physics and the other called the Metaphysics].


b) But there are different levels of revelation of Torah.
The world was sustained by the Ten Statements (עשרה מאמרות) before the Torah was given [ten times it says ''And God said'']
But these statements were hidden. Then the ten trials of Abraham were a first step towards the revelation of Torah. The ten plagues on Egypt were the next step to make it possible to reveal the Torah. Then the Ten Commandments were the actual revelation of Torah. [The idea of the plagues was that one has to get rid of evil before the good can be revealed.]

 But because the Torah is in everything, it is possible to serve God with everything.

c) Knowledge of this sub-level comes not by sense perception, and not by logical deductions, but by non intuitive immediate knowledge.



d) in this world is hidden holiness; and even in the lowest regions in spirituality is hidden the highest holiness that comes from the hidden statement of creation


e) To put this all together you have to start with the idea that the goal of Torah is to come to love and fear of God. Then you need the idea that the the world was created by the Ten Statements of Genesis, and thus those statements are the life force of all that is in the world. And that those Ten Statements are the clothing of the Ten Commandments. And the highest statement is the first one "In the beginning God created heaven and earth" in which it does not say openly God said. It is the hidden statement which is the life force of everything and everywhere where God's glory is hidden.
Thus Torah is God's revealed wisdom, and Physics and Metaphysics is his hidden wisdom.



f) There are people that if exposed to straight Torah will not be able to accept it. This explains also how often it is better for people to learn the natural sciences rather than open Torah, because זכה נעשית סם חיים, לא זכה נעשית לו סם מוות. By being exposed to open Torah, one can become worse. And in fact this often happens before our very eyes.

g) Also seeing the wisdom inside ever aspect of creation binds ones soul to the purpose of that individual creation which in its higher source is close to the purpose of all creation which is God's glory.


h) The Rambam has  story inside the Guide about learning Physics and Metaphysics. It is the parable of the King's palace. In short in the parable you have a country of a king in which people differ in their closeness to the king. there are people outside the country, inside, in the capital city, around the palace in the outer part of the palace and in the inner part.
The parable refers to how close people are to God. There the Rambam puts philosophers and scientists in the palace with God.