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Is God Praiseworthy?

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Mike Franklin

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( 5 months ago )

In many Jewish prayers and throughout Tanakh, God is strongly praised for His goodness, that which He does for the Jews, His amazing miracles etc. However, those same sources, and most Jewish sources, also agree that God is perfect. That presents something of a contradiction, as a perfect being always needs to make a perfect choice and therefore does not have what most would traditionally define as free will.

That being the case, does it make any sense to praise God if you believe God to be a perfect being incapable of doing anything other than that which is perfect? Is God praiseworthy if He doesn't have a choice in what He does?

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Amie Khalifa

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( 5 months ago )

G-d is too sublime for us to actually understand Him or describe Him in any way. However, He has revealed to us through the Torah and through the Nevi'im (and maybe through the chachmei ha'Shas as well) how He wants us to view Him and His attributes. We have to accept that our traditions are the best way of understanding Him, even though we may know that from the standpoint of "truth" or philosophical study it may not,and probably isn't, a proper description of who He really is. And this understanding of Him is not a bi'dieved because we just can't do better - it is how He wants us to view Him. It is the "necessary truth" instead of the "actual truth" as described by the Rambam in the Moreh. So as far as we are concerned G-D is worthy of praise because we were told so. We are taught by the Torah what our releationshship and attitudes should be towards Him.The ultimate truth as far as we are concerned in our dealings with G-D is that He is praiseworthy. Beyond that is already beyond our capacity to understand.

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