Wisdom of Kahana: The Nature of God
In Karaism, it is the role of those born Kohen to teach. And although that is what I have been trying to do over the years, it would appear that there is far more that I could be doing and should be doing. So often, I find that people are willing to debate the small and insignificant matters and lose their perspective on the big picture. Sadly, all this leads to is confrontration and consternation within and amongst my Karaite brethren and in so doing fragments us further. And for that reason I have decided to start this series which will provide my perspective on matters but not to the infinite dissection that some seem to desire but through a broad scope with panoramic vision. Karaism was intended and is still intended to paint its teachings with as broad a brush as possible. It mattered not so much whether God's name is pronounced with a 'vav' or an extra 'heh' but that in our hearts and our minds that we knew there was only God to turn to in our hours of need. That it was only his divine existence that we should praise, and that it was only He that could bless us. Everything else was of inconsequence because He needs not to hear His name upon the lips of men but only inscribed upon their hearts. And because this very issue has seemed to have taken upon itself a life of its own and caused endless debate amongst some Karaites, some of which has turned insulting and cruel at a personal level, then I felt it was time to do what it is I have been hereditarily conscripted to do. So this first teaching will be on what I see as the essential nature of God without concern if we pronounce His name with a vav or a heh.
The Nature of God
There is but one God. He is the designer, the creator and the ultimate ruler over all things. He is everlasting and all powerful, both to degrees that can never be fathomed by the intellect of mankind. His existence permeates all things and for that reason He is invisible but yet we see Him at all times and He is unknowable but yet we know of his nature through the world we live in. He is silent, yet his words and actions ring in our ears every day of our lives.
He is the father of fathers, the mother of mothers, for all has come from Him yet he is not defined by sexual attributes or gender. He, or Him is only a pronoun, a tool of language but in no way tries to define God. Those that try to do so do not understand. Man never walks alone, he is never unescorted because God is there at all times whether we choose to see Him or not. He is self-created, there at the beginning and at the end, and He was the one that separated the Light from the Darkness, the Chaos from the Ordered, the Substance from the Void. His is the universal consciousness from which all existence has sprung.
His knowlege is the wisdom of an eternity, and his strength reaches to the limits of infinity. He dwells within and without the universe, from the core of an atom to the heart of a blazing sun. From the emptiness of space to the dancing radiance of the quazar.
His voice whispers to us from the running waters as they splash over the rocks and pebbles, and roars to us from the force of the whirling tornado. He sighs from the bending treetops and he laughs upon the leaves dancing as they blow in the wind. All these are the voice of God and yet we hear Him not.
A man dreams and wishes that it would be reality but God dreams and it becomes reality. Man tries to rationalize God through reason, but the essence of God is beyond reason and therefore always beyond human comprehension. Man seeks God through science but fails to understand that even the laws of science had to be set by one who possessed the creative power. Therefore it is nothing more than a tool and a tool can never reveal its maker. Because through His laws of nature he governs the destinies of all living creatures and we are bound to these laws that we continually try to master. All the forces within and without are controlled by God and that which we continually seek to explain these forces is none other than Him. Whether we accept it or not, our spirits are filled with the urge to seek God. It is an insatiable hunger no matter how much we try to deny it.
All things have their appointed place and purpose in the universe, and all existence conforms to the laws that He has created. The workings of the universe transcends our understanding so how can we even attempt to understand He that has created the universe? Few will understand the path that He has set for us. We will curse the stones that cut our feet and scream in agony at the thorny brambles and adversity that block our way. We equate riches and fame with blessings and money and possessions with heavenly reward but none of these are from God and only deceive us into thinking we have found Him. For God is in the order of nature and His plan is in the direction of its orderly laws. Look for Him amongst the stars, in the heavens and the sands on the beach and then you will appreciate His grand scheme.
See His glory in the heavens, his brilliance in the light of the sun that gives life to all creatures and plants upon this Earth, his peace in the moon that inspires us to love, His creativity in all which inhabit the oceans and the air, His bounty in the fruits of all that grows from the soils of our planet. Then and only then will you truly appreciate the Glory of God.
The Earth bends to His will. Mountains rise and islands sink beneath the waves. Ground quakes and the winds ravage all that we create. We are insignificant against all that He has created and we must find our place in His universe. We are bound by His limitations but these are still beyond our grasp for He has given us the intellect and capacity to far exceed our present knowledge.
We must realize that the sun shines down on the good and the wicked alike. The heartbreak of misfortune will strike the worthy and unworthy with indifference. Only the wise man will appreciate that this seeming indiffence by God actually serves a purpose. For God neither rewards nor punishes. Long ago he gave us the intellect to establish our own fate. But all that we think that we accomplish has only been throuh His initial design. Each man ultimately decrees his own fate and is rewarded according to their own achievements.
Order and beauty is God's gift to us. All things within the universe move accordingly to the direction of His hand. And it is the beauty of this creation which is His face. It is the awe of our own existence that is His wisdom. It is the sounds we hear from a world of amazement that is His voice. Know that He is with us always. He walks beside us wherever we may go. He is all that we are, and all that there is. From the burning bush He told us so but so many fail to listen and understand. Let us appreciate that Life is a gift and existence is its reward. We come from the Shekinah and all things return to the Shekinah. Such is His law, such is His glory.
Avrom Aryeh-Zuk Kahana
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