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He's doing the best he can ...
#1
So at services this morning someone asked why a perfect G-d would create so much imperfection (Adam and Eve, the generations leading up to the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah). The immediate, almost reflexive response of the Rabbi was: "Because G-d is not perfect. The idea of a perfect G-d is a product of a much later period and not a tenet of Judaism."

While positing an imperfect G-d has always been one of the options in dealing with the Problem of Evil, I don't believe that I've ever heard a rabbi respond so quickly and so definitively.

Thoughts?
To be is to stand for. - Abraham Joshua Heschel
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#2
This is an interesting topic you've started!
 
I've always thought that it's the world that's not perfect.  That's why we're supposed to heal it as best we can. 
 
People are imperfect, too.  If we say that God is imperfect, then aren't we ascribing human imperfection to God?  And, if we ascribe human imperfection to God, then aren't we in danger of anthropomorphizing God?
Heart !לחיים

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#3
(02-10-2019, 04:17 AM)Channalee wrote: This is an interesting topic you've started!
 
I've always thought that it's the world that's not perfect.  That's why we're supposed to heal it as best we can. 
 
People are imperfect, too.  If we say that God is imperfect, then aren't we ascribing human imperfection to God?  And, if we ascribe human imperfection to God, then aren't we in danger of anthropomorphizing God?

Perhaps, but cannot this also be said of Torah?

Parenthetically,
  • I suspect that perfection is no less an anthropomorphic concept than is imperfection.
  • The my Jewish Learning article on Tikkun Olam is worth a read (I love the picture).
To be is to stand for. - Abraham Joshua Heschel
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#4
(02-10-2019, 12:41 PM)nili wrote: I suspect that perfection is no less an anthropomorphic concept than is imperfection.

Yes, absolutely!  I don't really think of God as being either imperfect or perfect, as defined through human subjectivity.
 
Thanks for that link to the  article on Tikkun Olam.

Edited for additional:
 
In all fairness to your rabbi, perhaps he might have elaborated more on his answer ("God isn't perfect") if time permitted?  I wasn't there at your service, so I wouldn't know.  I don't think that question that the congregant asked your rabbi was the sort of question that can be easily answered by saying that God is either "this" or "that."
Heart !לחיים

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#5
(02-10-2019, 01:50 PM)Channalee wrote:
(02-10-2019, 12:41 PM)nili wrote: I suspect that perfection is no less an anthropomorphic concept than is imperfection.

Yes, absolutely!  I don't really think of God as being either imperfect or perfect, as defined through human subjectivity.
 
Thanks for that link to the  article on Tikkun Olam.

Edited for additional:
 
In all fairness to your rabbi, perhaps he might have elaborated more on his answer ("God isn't perfect") if time permitted?  I wasn't there at your service, so I wouldn't know.  I don't think that question that the congregant asked your rabbi was the sort of question that can be easily answered by saying that God is either "this" or "that."

She did, in fact, elaborate some, but the question was a tangential one coming at the end of her dvar Torah discussion and the elaboration dealt more with issues of Process Theology and Kabbalah than with the history and evolution of Judaism..
To be is to stand for. - Abraham Joshua Heschel
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#6
I agree with Channalee, that I do not see G-d as perfect or imperfect.

That is because if G-d is the Creator, then there is nothing to judge against.

As He told Moses when asked His name - "I will be what I will be."
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