Questions on God

There is a remarkable teaching of the Zohar relating to the Chet HaEgal, the sin Golden Calf, which illuminates how we perceive God. The name of God, Elohim is composed of two Hebrew words, Me, meaning ‘Who’ and Ela, ‘This’. These two words reflect two levels of perception of God. On a deeper level God is ‘Who,’ beyond comprehension, the question that remains unanswered. However, God wants to be revealed, and on this level God is ‘This.’ The forging together of these two words in the name Elohim guides us to relate to God on both levels.

The Golden Calf was presented to the people as “Ela Elohecha Yisroel,” “This is the God of Israel.” According to the Zohar, the sin was in defining God as being ‘This’ which concretizes and makes God tangible, a process which the Zohar views as being the essence of idolatry.