Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Lunar Files

Arguing with G-d is an old Jewish tradition. Abraham did it, Moses did it, most Jewish grandmothers do it frequently. But, according to our sages, the first to argue with G-d was the moon.

Before we get to that story, it's important to point out just how ludicrous arguing with G-d really is. Here you have the first belief system that ascribes absolute omnipotence to a single deity. Power over everything, both in heaven and in earth. He knows all, directs all, and everything that occurs comes from Him. Everything -- including Abraham, Moses and your grandmother. And they argued with him.

It doesn't stop there: They usually win.

We must say, therefore, that G-d wants to argue. It's part of The Plan. Furthermore, we must say that He likes losing arguments (most of the time).

I can empathize. After all, what fun is it to run a world so passive that its inhabitants agree with whatever you do? There would be no challenge, no thrill. It's that interactive experience that G-d desired in creating the cosmos. And a lot of that comes from losing arguments with your own creations.

In fact, the rabbis of the Talmud recount that when G-d lost an argument with them once, He laughed and said, "They beat me! My children beat me!" So, He really does get a kick out of the whole thing.

Arguing with the moon -- and losing -- was also part of the plan. G-d set her up to it.

Here, for the first time, reconstructed from genuine accounts of enlightened sages, is the entire dialog: see here