Faith – the Formula

I wish to discuss  this Formula of Faith with you. Tell me what you think.

Faith, it seems, is not a matter for logic or rational thinking, but for feeling and intuition

Because there was never conceived, and perhaps will never be conceived,  a logical proof for the existence of God (am I right?)

So any one who believes, relies basically on his intuition and feelings, which makes him a charlatan or an NVSP (not a very serious person).

Doesn’t it?

I remember as a young man, just after being “reformed” going back to the Torah of my forefathers, my friends – asking me what the hell had happened…Having no sufficiently logical explanation to give them, I felt really primitive, fanatic, “seer-of-light”, to say “it just feels right”. But I had nothing else to say.

So how does it work, then?

I think Faith is really a combination,  or better, an amalgamation of logic and feeling (quite the opposite of splitting those two, which is a Western-Culture speciality).

What I mean is that Faith comes out of an encounter with something or someone, which resonates inside, beyond explanation. Just like a string “hearing” a wave-length equal to its own, begins to hum or resonate all on its own, in Acoustics. Because what was met or heard from the outside was something  which was actually always there – inside.

That’s the basis.

But from there on, everything begins to fit together perfectly, every piece falls exactly into place, like a great big puzzle. It is now that everything becomes logical.

Logic based on that which is beyond logic.

And it must be like that, if you think about it.

Because we are facing infinity,  the Eyn-sof B”H; everything’s upheld and kept in existence by Him. And you can’t encompass infinity, the Almighty.

But He has created a comprehensible world, a world to be dealt with with logic – based on that basic irrational Faith.

I wish to relate to two Jewish sources, almost opposite in their way of thinking.

The first quotation is from a mystic Kabbalistic source – The Holy Zohar:

לית מחשבה תפיסא בך כלל

No thought has a grasp in You

(Prologue to Tikunei HaZohar)

The Holy Zohar says no one can even begin to grasp Hashem, and then, without further ado, it goes on to describe the order and structure of the Holy Sefirot, in which G-d reveals Himself to us, very meticulously and in great detail.

After denying the possibility of comprehension – we’re given rational meticulous explanations…

The second source is the Talmud and I bring no direct quotation, but just say that in Talmud,  it’s common practice to use logic, developing a non-logical idea:

In Talmud there’s a kind of code of interpretation of verses in the Torah called Gzera Shava. A word appearing in one verse connects it to another verse containing the same word, even when they’re totally unrelated otherwise, learning Torah rules from one verse to the other. Now, this “technique” has its own rules: one of them is that you may use only a list of coupled words handed down  from Moses himself on mt Sinai, through our Sages, to us.

You can’t use your own logic here. Either you have an authoritative tradition in regards to a certain word being on the list, enabling you to connect the learnings of two verses, either you don’t, and then you may not make the linkage out of your own mind and ideas. Its irrational in that you can’t use your own judgment – only tradition.

But

Sometimes the Talmud brings an “official” Gzera-Shava, an authoritative linkage, but instead of two verses, three verses have the same word. And here begins a strictly rational discussion on which is the couple of verses more logical to link. The list words allowed to couple is given from heaven, but what verses to link – that’s up to us do decide – logically.

Again – a rational  discussion , based on the irrational.

Basing your life on the rational only, on what your brain judges as right, although it may be commended for its devotedness to the truth, will never actually bring you to it. No more than if you navigate life only through impulse and intuition.

One thought on “Faith – the Formula

  1. On my faith journey I have noticed that faith in God is kindled and maintained through communication – prayer and receiving response to prayer. Faith is also embracing the mystery; I don’t have to understand God’s ways to trust in Him.

    Liked by 1 person

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