Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Proof that no one created Hashem -- from the mouths of babes

Another story (see previous one) with connections to parshat Bereishis, from back when Junior was three. I made it my practice to say Shema with him in both Hebrew and English, so that davening is not just mumbo-jumbo.

And so:
"Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad."
"Listen, Oh Jews, Hashem is our God, Hashem is One."

At which point he laughed, and said:
"But Hashem is not one! Hashem is an infinite number of years old."

Then he thought for a moment or two, and proceeded seriously.

"And that means that no one could have created Hashem."
"Why?" (I asked.)
"Because Hashem is also infinitely big. And so if someone were creating Hashem, he would still be working on it! So no one could have created Hashem." (That is, it would take infinite time to create something which took up infinite space.)

He came up with all of this, unprompted. This, BTW, is a good answer to the objection that I should not be teaching the idea of a non-concrete shamayim to a kid under five, because it would only confuse him. This is probably a valid objection for many five-year olds. And Junior does indeed have a need for an idea of a concrete and physical Shamayim because of various people he cares about who are there. But still, chanoch lanaar al pi darko, and if a particular kid can handle it, I think it is justified. (Also, he actually argued with me and gave me an alternative theory to this idea of a non-concrete shamayim, but perhaps detailing that in a separate post.)


Anonymous said...

"Because Hashem is also infinitely big. And so if someone were creating Hashem, he would still be working on it! So no one could have created Hashem"

What the universe is infinitely big? Then by that logic it couldn't have been created.

joshwaxman said...

baruch shekivanta! he actually asked that also, a week or so later. and we tried giving him various answers, such as that the universe is continuously expanding, and so on.)

(also, i'm not saying that this is a definite proof without a pircha. it still is a nice philosophical idea, especially coming from a 3 year old.)


E-Man said...

Who says the universe is infinitely big? Supposedly, it has a finite number of particles in it. It may be expanding, but the amount of matter always stays the same. That is the big bang theory, that all matter that exists used to be in a tiny little ball and then boom, it started expanding. But it is not infinitely big. G-D on the other hand, we could say, is infinitely big because, just like the number pie, he keeps going on and on and we can't ever completely "count" him.

That is one smart kid ya got there Josh.

Anonymous said...

The universe couldn't have been created, maybe as in lineair fashion.
But if the universe is G-d Himself, though 'obscured' by the very act of creation, that same universe sure can be an ongoing creation i.e. 'creating'. No?

E-Man said...

why couldn't the universe be created?

Anonymous said...

For 'the universe' (but there are many universes) to be created at a certain point in time, first there has to be time, which itself is a 'creation'.
Ultimately time is an 'illusion' i think. As is space. Their very 'existence' only for us, to enable us to experience our lives the way we do.
From the Creator's perspective however, i think things look very different.


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