Is there only One God?

Question

OS 304

, 10 years

Answers

  1. This is sort of a mistake in translation. The Hebrew word elohim most often refers to God, but it is actually a descriptive word meaning “one of power” or “force.” Thus, it can also mean an angel (Genesis 32:29) or a powerful leader (Exodus 7:1).

    Other forces seem to exist – wind, fire, radioactivity, electromagnetism, chi, yang, etc. – so the Torah tells us that they have no independent power. God is all powerful and all other forces are merely God’s “agents” and they should not be deified.

    The great commentator Rashi explains that the proper translation is not “other gods” but rather “gods of others.” That is, anything that others believe in as a god, we should not.

    So, you can believe the sun exists, but don’t worship it.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team