What Does G-d Need Us For?

What Does G-d Need Us For?

By Izzy Greenberg

Before anything was created G-d was alone.

Whether or not I want to believe in G-d might be up for debate. But if there is an entity that is behind the beauty and madness we call life, I must concede that It alone is the true reality, the objective source of all sources and ultimate giver of all life; logically and empirically speaking, either no such Being exists, or the only thing that really exists is this Being. Even human reason will not allow me to conclude that such a Being exists, but is limited by anything. That means that It is everything and everywhere at all times – no space, no place, no thought can be devoid of this Presence because It is the primary cause the enables all of the beauty and madness to subsist.

Since he is everything, it is impossible to say that he lacks anything. Certainly he is not missing anything that we, as created beings, could possibly satisfy. What the Sages meant by G-d being alone before creation was a metaphoric statement of fact, not a lacking in G-d’s self fulfillment. But, ultimately, does it mean that G-d is lonely? In a certain sense, He is. He wants something other than this imposing, all-powerful Presence that dominates reality. He wants it – he doesn’t need it. In a nutshell, he wants us to love Him. And that is why we are here.

G-d is not a tyrant. A reality that is dominated by His own Presence cannot have a real relationship with Him. By instilling within us the possibility of free choice, which stems from the concealment of His Presence from our reality, G-d accomplished something unique within creation: Beings that can choose to have a relationship with Him. In all other spheres, the beings (angels, souls, etc.) are coerced into a relationship with G-d; because He is so well known to them, they cannot choose either way – they are forced into relationship by their own perceived reality. We, on the other hand, are made more G-d-like, with the ability to create our own reality. We can choose where to invest our energy, which way to grow, whom to love.

Through our efforts, our world becomes one that we build for G-d, a place that chooses to have Him reside here, not one that is home to him by default or imposition.

That is why love is so important. If I relate to G-d only from a distance, then I will never change myself or grow spiritually. My awe enables me to act against my base impulses, like a son who dutifully obeys his father even though he would rather not. But it would not necessarily change me, and it doesn’t make us closer. Internally, I remain opposed to what He wants – I just feel obligated to do what He wants rather than what I want.

Love, on the other hand, is hard work that requires real, internal change. It requires that my own will, my own desires, be redirected toward my beloved. And that is ultimately what G-d wants, for His dwelling place to extend into the depths of my heart – to have a real relationship, to be loved.

The same is true in any relationship. If my relationship is directed only by some sense of obligation or a need that I have, then the relationship is limited and I am not bringing me entire self into it. But if I engage the other person out of love, then I want to love that person fully, with every characteristic, every nuance, every fiber of my being devoted to the love.

Love is the ultimate fulfillment of our true purpose. Without it, there is no hope of real growth, no potential to justify our own existence. Where do I find G-d? In the recognition that at every moment, he wills me into being because He wants me to accomplish something meaningful, something monumental. Every twist and turn on the path of life is precious; every single moment is an opportunity – an opportunity to love and thereby touch the essence of my purpose. But don’t waste time searching for love. Love is not something you fin


(c) Exodus Magazine

 

Izzy Greenberg is a writer, scholar and teacher, as well as the Creative Director of Tekiyah Creative. To read more of his writings, click here.