web analytics
July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

What Happens When We Remove God From The Picture

When one denies the objective source of value, the very meaning of those values becomes problematic.
sunlightthroughthetrees.jpg

Equally, if not more devastating in its impact, were the proclamations of Freud, whose underlying presumptions as they’ve been incorporated into modern thinking were to destroy the concept of the free will of man in relation to himself. Our thoughts are no longer under our conscious control. Our actions derive not from rational, free will, but emerge from the unconscious interplay of forces and influences themselves determined by the circumstances of our life, beyond our control. Hence not only are our actions and thoughts determined entities, denying free will, but we cannot therefore be held responsible for the consequences of those thoughts or actions – “we cannot help ourselves.”

Subjectivism, relativism, psychoanalysis – all declare that there is no intrinsic value to all those efforts, all those achievements, all of those great thoughts we’ve added to the history of human life on earth. Everything’s OK, what’s true for you may not be true for me; nobody can tell me what’s right because, in general, there is no right or wrong, should or shouldn’t. We aren’t responsible, so we can’t be blamed. Great efforts, great dedication, what used to be called noble and virtuous and honorable – these are not pursued in the name of “I feel like it.”

Where there is no challenge to succeed, to pursue righteousness, to transform the world, there will be no success, no righteousness, no significant change. Civilization stops progressing because it no longer believes in the notion of the objective reality of progress.

This is what Judaism (and all other western God-based religions, to the extent that they partake of the same spirit) comes to correct. The existence of God and His historical revelation of His Presence and His Torah to us is the ultimate source of human freedom, of objective value and meaning in thought, speech, and action, and is the constant source of the hope and challenge that it is man’s opportunity to fulfill.

Why is God the answer? Because by definition He is wholly Other, not contained within nor capable of being expressed by human form or human conception. Because he is not only the immanent but also the transcendent God. The God of nature, who rules over the material-physical world, is also the God Who is above and beyond nature.

The whole of the Exodus story comes to teach, among other things, the existence and meaning of this God. Over and over Pharaoh denies knowing Hashem. Only Kel, the God who might be “stronger” than all the other “gods,” a god of nature, defined by, contained within, and obeying the laws of nature – this was conceivable. But the purpose of the Exodus was l’maan teida, in order that you should know YKVK,Hashem.

This declares the absolute freedom of man in this world. Since man was created in the image of God, some of Him is in all of us. This is thus the origin of our free will, and the guarantor that our perceptions in this world can be true in an absolute sense. God stands outside of man, having announced His presence, as an objective source of value and meaning.

Man does not free himself from “shackles from above” by throwing off the yoke of religion. He replaces the mandate of heaven to achieve greatness and fulfill his potential by the shackles of circumstance, of “historical necessity,” of dark, inaccessible, and unperceived emotional drives and passions, which strip all meaning from our actions, all self-respect from our thoughts, and all worth from our souls. Living, walking with God, is living in freedom, is walking in sunlight with hope.

About the Author: Dr. Lawrence Resnick was a professor of medicine at Cornell University Medical Center and one of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s personal physicians. He passed away 10 years ago this week – on the 15th of Iyar – at age 55. This essay is derived from one of several notebooks of writings he left behind.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “What Happens When We Remove God From The Picture”

  1. When we remove G-d we remove His love which is warmth
    Kindness,and the greatest closness to something u really can’t put into words. I know without G-d I feel lost. Like He’s your best friend. Like He makes you smile when you think about Him!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Yeshiva boys learn Torah together at Beit Midrash Derech Chaim.  Due to their participation in a pre-army intelligence program, the IDF requires their identities to remain secret.
Exclusive: First IDF Cyber-Defense Program Opens at Yeshiva
Latest Indepth Stories
Terms of Surrender

Dear Pres. Obama, A “deal” in which one side makes all the concessions is, of course, a “surrender.”

Michael Oren, Israel's Former Ambassador to the United States

ALLY is a terrific read because Oren has a mission: Defending&protecting the Jewish State of Israel.

George Soros: No friend of Israel

George Soros: “European anti-Semitism is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States”

President Obama

Sources say seemingly irreconcilable differences between the 2 main parties, Washington and Tehran.

Instead of accepting reality, the President is trying to hold on to an illusion.

Those who suggest further capitulation to Iran are wrongly harming the interests of the West.

Few Arab Israelis found anything positive in the decision of its MKS to join any Gaza flotilla.

US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi

New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm

PM Netanyahu this week identified ISIS and Iran as Israel’s primary threat. It is a planetary threat that carries the promise of peace.

Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

More Articles from Dr. Lawrence Resnick
sunlightthroughthetrees.jpg

When one denies the objective source of value, the very meaning of those values becomes problematic.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/what-happens-when-we-remove-god-from-the-picture/2014/05/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: