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There is a law of physics called "causation." It means, in a nutshell, that everything in the world has a cause. Even accidents have reasons why they ended up the way they did. If someone throws the dice and they land on 9, there were reasons why that happened. The force of the throw, the angle, etc. There is a reason for everything.

And there are reasons for the reasons, too. And reasons for those reasons. Nothing happens without a cause.

But now we have a problem: If everything has a a cause, and the causes also has a cause, and the causes of the cause also has a cause, ad infinitum, where did it start? it would be impossible that there were an infinite chain of causes without a beginning, because, as we stated elsewhere on the boards, an infinite amount of things cannot happen - infinity is not the "biggest number"; rather, it is a number that can never be reached. Therefore, you can never have an infinite number of anything in this world.

And if so, if we cannot have a chain of causes without any beginning, there had to be a beginning - a First Cause, which itself had no cause at all.

This means, that this first cause has no reason or reasons for why it is; nothing created it, nothing makes it what it is.

This First Cause is Hashem.

But since nothing makes Hashem Hashem, He cannot have a real definition, in the strict sense of the word. A definition explains what makes the thing being defined, that thing. Like if I give you the definition of a table, i will tell you it has legs and a base and it is designed to have things placed on it. So the definition of table is a listing and explanation of the things that makes it a "table."

If I ask you the definition of yourself I mean to ask what makes you you.
And if you ask me what is the definition of Hashem you are asking what makes Hashem Hashem.

But since G-d has no things that make Him Him, therefore, He cannot have a definition.
The most important thing we can know about Hashem is that He is causeless.

This means that, whereas everything in the world has a cause, a reason for why it is the way it is, Hashem has no such cause. Nothing made Hashem the way He is, there are no reasons for why Hashem is the way He is, there is nothing out there that caused Hashem, or makes Hashem Hashem.

If I ask what makes you you, you will give me al ist of things. If I ask what makes me, me -- same thing. But when we ask what makes Hashem Hashem, there is no answer.

All the components, reasons, and things that you think makes up "Hashem" are really not so at all. You may think you can say that what makes Hashem Hashem is His "infinite power", "infinite wisdom", etc etc, but that is not correct.

This is the second thing we know about Hashem, and it is really not a second thing but an offshoot of the first (His having no cause), and that is His simplicity.

This means that indeed, there are no "components" that makes Hashem Hashem, because when we say that Hashem has infinite strength, wisdom and goodness, to mention just three, we do not mean that literally, any more than we mean "G-d let the Jews out of Egypt with an outstretched hand" literally.

Just as G-d has no hand, so too He has no strength, no wisdom and no goodness. He has no components. If he would have components, those components would be the cause of Him, and He has no cause.

G-d has no strength because He doesnt NEED strength; no wisdom because He has no need for wisdom; no goodness because He has no need for it.

Strength is only necessary when there is something for you to pit your strength against. If someone can lift 400 pounds it means he can overcome 400 pounds of resistance.
If nothing resists Hashem, then whats the point of strength?

Wisdom is a way to figure out things; knowledge is the thing that you use to overcome ignorance.

G-d doesnt need any of these things. Indeed, he CANNOT have them; they make no sense in the context of Hashem.

G-d is not ignorant even though He has none of what we call "knowledge" - He doesnt need it. He is not weak even though He has none of what we call "strength".

Which brings us to the third thing we know about G-d - which is really the next logical step of the first two - and that is, Hashem echad! G-d is One. This does not only mean that Hashem is not two, but that Hashem has no components. He is Whole - indivisible. Non-composite. Not made up of any ingredients or elements - not strength, not wisdom, not knowledge, not goodness, not even form or substance.

NOTHING makes up Hashem, therefore Hashem is what they call in German a gestalt. Meaning, something that cannot be divided into parts. Something uncomposed of other things. Something with no cause, and therefore no definition.

Thats what it means: Hashem Echad.

We know things with our knowledge; we do things with our strength; we memorize things with our memory, etc. G-d "knows" things and "does" things and "memorizes" things with the SAME mechanism: Him.

Not His this or His that. He has no this or that. If He did, they would be components, and then having those components would be His cause, which is false, since He cannot have a cause.

G-d "has" nothing - no parts, no abilities, nothing. He doesnt "have"; He only "is." The mechanism by which G-d knows, and does, and gives, and makes, is Him. His essence. Not His talents.

G-d and His knowledge and His strength therefore are One and the same.

Hashem echad.

All the things said about Hashem in the Torah - and elsewhere - that He is strong, awesome, good, merciful etc. - all of those things are not to be taken literally, just as phrases such as "the eyes of Hashem" and "the hand of Hashem" are not to be taken literally.

Rather, what these phrases mean is that Hashem can accomplish the same things as these attributes but without the attributes. Thus, "gibor" means Hashem does not need strength; "rachum" means Hashem does not need the emotion of mercy; "yodeah" means Hashem does not need knowledge, and so forth.

It is extremely important that we do not take these attributes literally. Hashem has no attributes since he is Kulo Pushut - Completely Simple - Hashem Echad.

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