Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Chat on Tzimtzum

One of my old talmidim from Skokie asked me about something he heard that the Chassidic approach to tzimtzum is heresy according to the Rambam. I responded that this was silly. Granted, he said, but what was the hava amina...

...what is the Rambam's shita on guf that one might construe as at odds with tzimtzum?
1:16 AM me: That Hashem is not subject to any dimensionality, and tzimtzum implies dimensionality.
1:20 AMyoel: so the answer is that atzmus Hashem ain hachi nami has no dimensionality? how does the Rambam explain the existence of the world? does Hashem exist everywhere?
1:22 AM me: The Rambam never makes the distinction between atzmus and relationship. He states that Hashem is so beyond human conceptions that it is absurd to try and reconcile His (the only true) existence with our (contingent) existence.
1:23 AM yoel: so the Rambam avoids the question and chassidus/kabbalah attempt to provide a framework through which to try and comprehend the mechanism which all agree must exist. yes?
1:25 AM me: Yes. Because of the importance in Chassidus/Kabbalah of understanding the relationship.

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