16 Some Proof Texts

Judaism always reaches into its past even as it forges ahead into its future. We do not relinquish what was but adapt to what will be. The texts we adapt are called “proof texts” citations from TaNaKH or Talmud or Zohar or rabbinic sages of one generation or another who we read in ways that support our own positions. Here are some of the texts that speak to me in this way.

 

I am by no means the first to speak of God this way. Let me share some of the wisdom of my teachers:

 

Where will I find You? Where will I not find You!

If I travel north, it is You; if I travel south, it is You;

East—it is You; West—it is You;

If it is good it is You; and if it is not—also You.

It is You, only You, always You.

(Dudele, Levi Yitzchak)

 

YHVH is God; there is nothing else (Deuteronomy 4:35). Know this day and take it to heart that YHVH is God: in the heavens above and on the earth below there is nothing else,” (Deuteronomy 4:39). [We will talk about YHVH shortly.]

 

God is found in all things and all things are found in God… Everything is in God, and God is in everything and beyond everything, and there is nothing beside God. (Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, 1522-1570)

 

Regarding the Holy One, Blessed be, as it were, there is… nothing but God, and nothing outside of God… (Rabbi Aaron HaLevi of Staroselye Sha’arei HaYichud veEmunah, Sha’ar I, Perek 24, Daf 49a)

 

[N]othing exists but God. Above and below, in heaven and on earth, everything is empty and without substance—although this is impossible to explain, but can only grasped according to the intuition of each person. (Rabbi Noson, Likkutei Halakhos, Matnas Sh’chiv me-Ra’ 2:2)

 

The absolute reality of God, while extending beyond the conceptual borders of “existence,” also fills the entire expanse of existence as we know it. There is no space possible for any other existences or realities we may identify—the objects of our physical universe, the metaphysical truths we contemplate, our very selves… do not exist in their own reality; they exist only as an extension of divine energy…. (Rabbi Menachem Mendal Schneerson, 1902–1994)

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