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The Works of Maimonides Rambam: The Thirteen Roots of Belief

Understanding the Physical Descriptions of the Divine: Rambam’s Third Principle of Emuna – G-d has no body:

Why does the Torah use physical descriptions for G-d, if He transcends all physicality? Why does the Rambam claim that one who associates physicality to G-d has no part of the World to Come, Olam Haba? And how do those two opposite claims coincide?  The Rambam explains that all physical descriptions of G-d are metaphorical and not literal. They are a way for us to relate to the Divine, which transcends human understanding, and gives us a small grasp of the spiritual within our limited minds. The Torah wants us to connect to G-d, and if the Torah would have used abstract descriptions, it would create distance between man and G-d, and a lack of emotional connection. Therefore, the Torah deliberately uses physical attributes, such as G-d’s hand, G-d’s arm, G-d is angry, G-d’s eyes, etc. for us to have that tangible connection. The Talmud summarizes this claim, through the opinion of Rabbi Akiva – “The Torah spoke in the Language of Man”. 

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