Project Genesis

Judaism and Non-Jews

Idolatry and Non-Jewish Practices

Manipulating the “Force” of the Universe

I’m very interested in learning about the systems by which we can manipulate the “force” of the universe. If such methods do exist, can they be used?

You are indeed wise to ask about this. As with many ideas, these schema might have some elements that might be considered similar to certain ideas within God’s Torah system, but it is certainly in conflict.

I suppose that the most important thing is that we believe that God runs the universe and that we cannot control everything. If there was some method by which we could force Him to do our will, and give us whatever we wanted, would that not make us – gods , and Him – our slave? In fact, Rabbi S.R. Hirsch (19th Century rabbi of Frankfurt, Germany) wrote that a pagan idolater brings animal offerings to his gods – but in an effort to force those gods to do his will. A Jew, on the other hand, also brings sacrifices (at least while our Temple in Jerusalem stood); but, in sharp contrast, this is done so that the symbolism and messages of the mitzva should inspire him to grow and follow more passionately God’s will. So, rather than trying to force our God to do our will, we aim to use the sacrificial experience to force ourselves to do His will!

I would also suggest that attributing free will and power to some vague force (e.g. “the Universe” or some such) is not unlike many pagan ideas that have, over the centuries, fallen by the wayside. Remember the verse from the Torah (Deuteronomy 4: 35) “You have seen in order to know, that the Lord is God, there is none besides Him!”

With regards,

Rabbi Boruch Clinton

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