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Philosopher’s Stone

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: God, Creating a Rock He Can't Lift

Name Withheld wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

I am a firm believer in Judaism, the Torah and of course in G-d. But the other day someone asked me a question that I had trouble answering. Can G-d make a rock so heavy that He Himself cannot lift?

Badbones wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

Can G-d create a rock he cannot lift? I know this is an "apikoris" [heretical] question but please answer!


Dear Name Withheld & Badbones,

My 5 year old son asked me a similar question: "Daddy," he said with a devilish grin, "can G-d make this fork to be that it never was?"

The answer to his question, and to yours, is: No. G-d can't do something that is a contradiction.

G-d can't divide 5 evenly by 2, can't win at chess if He starts with only a king, and can't spell "table" correctly using only 4 letters.

The reason G-d "can't" do these things, is because we have not specified a thing to do; we have contradicted ourselves in the description. "A rock too heavy for the Almighty" is a self-contradiction, because the Almighty is...All Mighty! Therefore, by definition, such a rock can't exist. So your question boils down to: "Can G-d create something which cannot exist?" Of course not; that's a self contradiction. G-d's "inability" to do such a thing does not indicate a lack in G-d; rather, it indicates our failure to define what it is we are asking.

  • Thanks to Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb

 
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