Uplifting God

Professor Shalom Rosenberg once summarized the history of the concept of God with the parable of a puppet show. In the ancient pagan world, people believed that human endeavor is predetermined by the gods, and we are merely puppets where the strings are pulled from above. Part of the revolution in religion that Judaism brought about was not only a belief in one God but the belief that humanity has the ability to make our own choices. This Rosenberg compares to the cutting of the strings that control the puppets. There is however a third stage. The Kabbalah teaches that human endeavor impacts on the realm of the divine. The strings have returned connecting the puppets to that which is above them, but instead of being controlled through the strings, the puppets are using the strings to move that which is above. The ancient work of Kabbalah, Sefer HaBahir, derives this concept from the opening verse of Parshat Terumah, which it interprets as a call by God to Humanity to uplift Him.