When we say that our God is one, it is necessary to understand two things. The first is that even though we see such a multitude of diverse phenomena in the universe and so many different and opposing causal chains, we know that even so, there is only One God, blessed be His Name, and only one Will. The second thing that follows from saying that God is one is that no other will can limit Him, even one brought into being by him. And it is certainly impossible that two powers or realms exist, one creating good and the other creating evil. HaShem our God, HaShem is One – with every kind of oneness and unity.
If at the present time it appears as if things come about through a power other than God, be it a power that He created or another “independent” power, it is not so. God alone in His intrinsic goodness brings everything about. We have already discussed how everything evil that now exists will not endure forever. In the end, everything will be good, and we will know and retroactively understand that there never was any other power or domain.
For an independent power or domain must, by definition, endure forever. This is obvious, for any power is independent only to the extent that nothing else has power over it. An independent power or domain is one that exists in and of itself. Whatever does not endure cannot be said to be an independent power or domain. Once we understand this, we see that no will – not even one that He brought into being – can limit Him. On the contrary, the purpose of the entire cycle is to reveal His dominion afterwards and to perfect all things through His goodness. This is what we must believe with perfect faith.
The benefit of studying the wisdom of the Kabbalah is that we can come to know and understand this clearly. We have been commanded to do so: “And you shall know this day and bring it into your heart, that HaShem is God in the heavens above and on the earth below: there is none other” (Deuteronomy 4:39).
And how will we understand this? When we understand how the entire cycle of the universe is governed from beginning to end, we will then see clearly how it is that everything comes only from God, blessed be His Name. The purpose of everything is that only His good desire to benefit will endure forever, and nothing else. The very things that today perplex us and cause the wicked to stumble into heresy, will in the end reveal this truth to us, showing us His true, unique oneness in all its ways.
From this discussion, we may clarify two aspects of the evil that apparently exists in the world now. The first is that it does not emerge from another domain or power (God forbid) that could exist against Him. The second is that, in the end, it will be good. In the end, it will certainly be good – for it cannot stand against His goodness, not even in the sense explained earlier whereby a will that He brought into being might limit Him. In the end, it will be good.
Moreover, it is precisely in this way that Eyn Sof makes known to us His true oneness. And then it will be revealed that there is no other domain but His. Had He simply given His creatures an immediate understanding of His perfection, they might recognize His complete perfection (inasmuch as He revealed it to them) and understand His great majesty and glory. But this would not have refuted the principle of the unbelievers in earlier generations that it is impossible to understand a thing except from its opposite. They argued that if we say there is one God who is the ultimate good, there must (God forbid) be another who is the ultimate evil. For if it were not so, there could be no knowledge of the ultimate good.
In order to refute this claim, God willed and created evil, as it is written, “making peace and creating evil” (Isaiah 45:7). In this way, the opposite is immediately manifest, and then it is possible to understand the side of good. Moreover, we will also know that even this evil was not an independent domain in its own right. Only the omnipotent God, blessed be His Name, has the power to bring about what appears to be His very opposite. And through this, we will see His great perfection.
Evil is not an independent domain God forbid. It is something created by God in order for His creatures to see what is the opposite of good, so that they will not think that there is some other opposite. For the only opposite is that which is actually the opposite. And when they have seen the opposite, and have also seen that it is nothing but His creation, they will have clear knowledge of His perfection and oneness. Then the folly of the wicked and the unbelievers will be exposed. For in the created realms, it is indeed the case that one side can only be known through its opposite. But the way of the Creator is not the way of His creatures at all. For a creature cannot make the opposite of himself. But He made His opposite, and then He negates it – and His oneness is revealed to perfection!
|-RaMChaL, 138 Openings of Wisdom, no. 2, retrieved from https://www.azamra.org/Kabbalah/Openings/002.htm
- Sepher ha Zohar
(40) “The sacrifices”
226. And there is no light that can withstand His radiance without appearing dark, even upper Keter, whose light is stronger than all of the levels and all the hosts of the upper and lower heavens, and it is said about it: “He made darkness His secret place” (Tehilim 18:12). Concerning Chochmah and Binah, “cloud and mist are round about Him” (Tehilim 97:2). How much more is it so for the other Sfirot and for the celestial beings, and the elements that are dead. He surrounds all the worlds, and none but He surrounds them in any direction, up or down or to the four corners of the world, and no one has left His domain for the outside, for He fills all the worlds and there is no other that fills them.
227. He grants life, and there is no other Eloha above Him to give Him life, as it is said: “and You do preserve them all” (Nechemyah 9:6), and for Him Daniel said: “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He does according to His will in the host of heaven” (Daniel 4:32). He joins together and unites members of each species above and below, and the four elements have no proximity apart from when the Holy One, blessed be He, is among them.