Sunday, March 15, 2009

Section 193 Rabbah bar R. Shila once met the prophet Elijah and asked him, "What is the Holy One doing?" Elijah answered, "He is reciting traditions concerning law in the name of all the sages, but He is not reciting them in the name of R. Meir." Rabbah: "Why not?" "Because he learned Torah from the mouth of Aher." Rabbah: "What does that matter? R. Meir found a pomegranate, ate the pulp within it, and threw away the rind!" Elijah: "Henceforth God will begin to say, 'My son Meir says.' "

This is another example of G!d learning from people. G!d is corrected by R. Shila and now accepts the teachings of R. Meir. While the tradition has accepted the idea of G!d's perfection, it also accepts the idea of G!d's development. The later is certainly consistent with the G!d of the TaNaCh.
A G!d who is testing out Her ability to relate to humanity, is sometimes surprised, and tries different techniques for moving humanity forward. Cabbalah also shows a G!d that needs humanity to help Him bring the world to perfection.
I find this G!d much easier to worship than a perfect G!d who places demands without considering humanity as any more than robots who must do what G!d wants. The perfect G!d comes from Greek philosphy not the Torah. The tradition has, theorectically, accepted the Greek reading but also can't give up the learning and growing G!d.

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