Jewish theology admits to the Abrahamic God’s incompatibility with divine simplicity. Tzimtzum is their attempt at addressing this problem, saying that all is simple, and that the cosmos only exists as a false paradox concealing God, but is really all one and the same as God.
So that simplicity would be preserved, they claim Ein Sof—God infinite & simple—”self-contracted” within his infinite simple essence, thereby causing within himself a void point of nothingness. The cosmos is then spawned to reconcile the paradox of infinity and nothingness.
The paradox is necessary, says they, because there could only be a distinction between the cosmos and God if he made it through withdrawal. Since God must be omnipresent (is infinite light), this withdrawal does not lead to total nothingness, but instead causes God’s concealment.
A full dissertation could be written against this ignorance, its most obvious offence being the conscious introduction of paradoxical explanations for the sake of rationalising a religion possessing a theologically incoherent God.
They hope that tzimtzum can justify the multiplicity of God’s activity as being through one act of revelation, this achieved unilaterally through a pseudo-willed providence: pseudo because providence comes by demand of the cosmos’ inevitable return to God, not by conscious will.
“The will of God” only appears in Jewish literature as a poetic expression of fixed fate- it is not theological. The plan of the cosmos was predestined from the very beginning because the cosmos is essentially the same as God. Fate is God’s will simply because “All is God”.
Therefore fate is necessarily fixed in unfolding towards the eschatological end of God’s complete revelation. Fate is driven by force of God’s encosmic essence working to return to him (to negate nothingness), a process which is every being’s fundamental activity & end.
This fatalism, a flaw Christianity suffers but refuses to admit, elevates a false “free will” where individual will is free insofar that will is thought to be essentially one with the freedom of God. Hence, “We have free will because God wills us to.”
Jewish theologians admit this is also paradoxical, but as they always do, they accept it anyway as integral to their theology. Christians, on the other hand, they unfamiliar with the theology of the religion they embraced, have found themselves within a horrid web of absurdities.
Though they insist they accept no paradoxes, they avoid them through dishonest inquiry. Rather than engaging with these difficult questions, they instead defer to scriptural affirmations.
For example, instead of giving a dialectical exposition on simplicity’s coherency with the multitude of attributes and acts associated with God’s will, they instead rely upon using scripture in vague manners to justify in God a kind of acting essence which makes it possible.
i.e. scripture states “God is love”; love is first act of will; God self-actualises: ergo God is will is love is God.
Great were Jewish scripture true, but can this be shown without it? Love can be both will and loss of will, a double-nature surely incompatible with God.
And free will of man is a challenge to them as well, though they think they’ve resolved it. They cannot reconcile eschatological providence with individual free will. They also rely on the paradoxes similar to the Jews, though they simply do not admit them to be paradoxes.
This question is deserving of much depth if only to show that even the greatest Christian intellectual endeavours undertaken by their theologians and philosophers all fall short of true philosophy, but importantly to show that still they have yet to escape the errors of Judaism.
Originally posted on Twitter: