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Who Created G‑d?

Who Created G‑d?

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Question:

I’ve often heard the argument that there must be a G‑d, because creation is so well designed that there must be a designer. For example, the human brain is so complex, it must have a creator, so G‑d must exist. That makes sense, but by using the same logic, I can ask the question: Who created G‑d?

Answer:

Your question can be answered by following a few logical steps.

Before creation, there was nothing but G‑d. Nothing. When we say that G‑d is the Creator, we don’t just mean He created solid objects, like planets, trees and aardvarks. We mean He created everything. Any thing you can think of, every single existence on every plane and in every dimension, was once not, and G‑d made it be.

That means that even concepts were created by G‑d. G‑d not only created the concrete universe, made up of gases, solids and liquids; He also created all of the abstract realities, such as love, goodness, purpose and logic. These concepts did not exist before He created them.

One concept G‑d introduced is the very concept of creation. G‑d came up with the idea that you can have nothing, and make something out of it. The very notion that something has a beginning, a point at which it comes into existence—that notion itself was created by G‑d. The concept didn’t exist before. Just like there were no trees before G‑d created the first tree, so too there were no beginnings before G‑d created the first beginning.

So your question is based on a false premise. You can’t ask “Who created G‑d?” because the whole concept of creating was G‑d’s idea in the first place. There was no such thing as creation before G‑d came up with it. Just as it is obvious that the person who made the first cartoon was not himself a cartoon, so too G‑d, who invented the concept of creation, is not Himself a creation.

G‑d, the Creator, never changes. He is always the same; He always was and always will be. Humans, created beings that we are, do not remain the same. We once were not, were brought into being, and will one day be no longer. And that is why humans are so special. Because as creations, we—you and I—​have the power to change. That’s the gift of being human.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
Sefira Ross is a freelance designer and illustrator whose original creations grace many Chabad.org pages. Residing in Seattle, Washington, her days are spent between multitasking illustrations and being a mom.
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Ari F New York, NY November 13, 2017

Metaphysical You can't attribute the logic of physical creation to the creation of G-d because G-d is metaphysical. Just like love is not something that can be created because it is an abstract idea, so to G-d cannot be created or for that matter, annihilated because G-d is metaphysical and beyond consciousness. It/G-d either exists or it doesn't. Reply

K/ Toronto November 13, 2017
in response to Ari F:

Absolutely agreed The proof of G-d's metaphysical nature is in the Kabbalah. He is Uncreated but Creating ... not 'allogenes' (self-begotten), as we have the illusion of believing ourselves to be. (Greek words). He is beyond notions of personality and gender ..He cannot be annihilated but has the power of resurrection of our souls. We strive towards G-dliness as part of our relationship to him; Beloved and Lover. Reply

Jules Scher Monroe Twp, NJ November 6, 2017

Explanation? Mike Ettinger, you state that G-d is in a state of perpetual creation of himself, ever new before time, and that this explains how he exists even before the universe ever was.
The connection eludes me, and one has to question how, and where did the original G-d come from.
As stated by many, you either believe in G-d, or you don’t; you either have faith, or you don’t.
There is no way of proving, or explaining, his or her existence. Reply

Mike Ettinger Nova Scotia November 8, 2017
in response to Jules Scher:

It is enough to contemplate eternity as being one and that G-d comes from his/her oneness in creating that oneness. It is useless to try to conceive before the beginning because there is no before the beginning. To allude to the end, as I am Alpha and Omega, the earth's own magnetic field is a perfect illusion in that it ends were it begins, again alluding to the oneness. Reply

Jules Scher Monroe Twp November 9, 2017
in response to Jules Scher:

Mike, your “explanation” is baffling. Eternity is endless, not one or anything else. To put G-d into the equation before eternity, is creating something from nothing, which is just a likely occurrence as your “explanation”. Reply

Vivian Warshaw Los Angeles November 10, 2017
in response to Jules Scher:

if the universe is curved that brings up the question of what kind of curve. Parabolic means one thing but circular means sooner or later you come back where you started from. Eternity is not endless in a straight line - it is eternal in curves. Go figure that. Reply

Mike Ettinger Canada October 31, 2017

Can you imagine G-d in a state of perpetual creation of himself, ever "new" before time. This would explain how he exists before the universe ever was, during the existence of the universe, and after it ends. Time is a lower form of consciousness. If there were no consciousness to perceive time, would time exist, I think not. Einstein said time is a variable....so is consciousness...how else could we become closer to Hashem, who is more "intense" than the frequency of light, without time. The eternal one. There is no past or future in eternity, this is why G-d expresses himself as one. This truth harmonizes with logic, logic being a "form" of the truth. Reply

K. Toronto October 31, 2017
in response to Mike Ettinger:

Great answer!!

Exactly as i was thinking ... Infinity consciousness. Beyond conception of the human mind ... Reply

Alan NY October 16, 2017

Logic doesn't work here. This is an unsolvable question since no one can prove they are right or wrong. The question is an endless trap to confuse and waste precious time. Reply

Allan Koven Laguna Woods October 24, 2017
in response to Alan:

You are right.
Allan in Calif. Reply

Yochanan Netherlands October 25, 2017
in response to Alan:

It does’nt realy matter whether what is the answere. Fact remains where would we be without Hashem who brought us Thora or any other religion as a tool to create a certain order in our life without it there could only be chaos and the right of the strongest and devious ! There would be no progress in science and/or consciousness because the strongest would not allow it in order stay on the throne. Reply

Mike Ettinger Canada October 25, 2017
in response to Alan:

logic is a fundamental building block in this world to help us understand all things...however in the higher world our understanding is transcended by new knowledge. This does not mean logic is contradicted, but rather logic is not needed to render, as all is known. Reply

Alan Wolfson Brewster October 31, 2017
in response to Mike Ettinger:

What has been solved by this discussion? There has been no enlightenment, there has been no resolution. Anyone who claims understanding will be the one who knows the least. Reply

vivian warshaw los angeles November 10, 2017
in response to Mike Ettinger:

not everything happens logically. Sometimes things just happen - like mutations. Logic fails when you analyze the creation of the universe. It may be logical but we fail to see the logic in it. Reply

Mike Ettinger Nova Scotia November 10, 2017
in response to Alan Wolfson:

We are made in the image of G-d, so what attribute is most like our creator? I would say, from my little understanding it is our susceptibility to sin, or rather the consequence of our sin. I am not saying G-d sins, but that he must under all conditions maintain his righteousness. Why? Because of his almighty power which is employed in his own creation of himself. The only spirit that can not only stand, but thrive in such power is love. G-d is bound to his power and is humbled by it and has no choice but to be righteous. Our sin causes us fear if we get close to his presence, can you imagine our fear if increased by the full power of G-d. This is what G-d wills us to learn...that wilful evil not only can, but will destroy the soul. Reply

Anonymous September 28, 2017

Hardwired Belief and Faith No-one really knows if G-d exists, what He is truly like, why we are as we are, etc. All 'proofs' and conjectures (usually quotes from Torah/Mishnah) are implausible to a large number of people. Maybe we will never know or understand. Reply

Abraham Milky Way Galaxy September 14, 2017

I think there is something missing here. This question was asked by many philosophers thousands of years ago,in many variations (such as, can god create a rock that he can't throw, can god uncreate god)... and till this very day, there isn't an answer that a true seeker of spiritual truth will be fully satisfied with- but the seeker of ultimate truth must also be mindful that if god didn't leave room for doubt, a chance for the mind to say: "logic says it can't be the created doesn't have a creator) , then god wouldn't be giving every human the chance to rise above the limitations of Intellect and choose faith and soul over logic and the mind. The question purposely doesn't have a good answer , because it is giving us the chance to believe in spite of the doubt- that is the glorious divine intention; obviously god could have chosen to create a world where faith is knowledge, where believing is knowing, but then you wouldn't have free will. Reply

Menachem White Plains, NY October 15, 2017
in response to Abraham :

Actually there are people who do know. They do not need faith. They are not convincing themselves. They know. And because someone knows it does not negate free will. They are not mutually exclusive. A person can still make mistakes, be unhappy, and feel the entire human condition, but he knows what reality is. Yet he is still very much a part of the world even though he knows. He may find it possible to have a breakthrough of experiencing actual oneness with G-d, but it's hard to say exactly what that experience feels like. I doubt such a person could explain it in a way others would understand. Reply

mike ettinger nova scotia November 9, 2017
in response to Menachem:

would you say that you are such a person, to be a witness of knowing oneness? Reply

Yochanan Netherlands September 8, 2017

This morning after Shacharit (I always ad a few personal thoughts in Dutch before I take of Tefillin and Thalit) and than I sit down a while enjoying the inner rest I always feel afterwards. Today a funny thought entered my mind that I like to share although I know it is wishful thinking. I said before science say we only use like 15% of our brain, I thought mayby the moment the our whole 100% someday is activated is the moment all beings become one and that could be Massiach becoming one with the universe. Wishful thinking I know but it gave me a great feeling only hours away from Shabbes ! Shabbat Shalom to all. Reply

Vivian Warshaw Los Angeles CA September 1, 2017

Bina - everything in life cannot be proved. For example there is no proof that the sun will rise tomorrow. There is a pretty good statistical chance that it will but proof? Nope. The only thing we can be sure of in life is that sometime in the future we will die - hopefully, not now. Reply

Yochanan Netherlands September 18, 2017
in response to Vivian Warshaw:

Than there is no proof either that "we" will die in the future, we only see that previous life died not us , so your thought is no good ! Reply

Dr. Harry Hamburger Miami October 25, 2017
in response to Yochanan:

Maybe we are not really here at all, and the dream of a cybernetic sheep, or computer program? God would then be the program creator/writer. Reply

Marina China November 13, 2017
in response to Yochanan:

Who created God Yochanan, please don't say thoughts are not good. Any thought is always good, it demonstrate curiosity and interested in a discussion. Perhaps you should put it differently than "no good" so there is room for an argument, don't you think? Reply

Yochanan November 7, 2017
in response to Dr. Harry Hamburger:

You wach to much the Matrix movie ! Reply

Jules Scher Monroe Twp, NJ September 1, 2017

Tally, I like your response to the Rabbis "proof", especially in that it basically concurs with my comments made on August 24th. Reply

Guillermo Vazquez Plasencia N Palm Beach September 1, 2017

Wisdom is, saying nothing .We do not need to prove there is or there is not a G-D . Some jobs must be left only to G-D ...He or she should be scratched when describing G-D ......lets teach how to control ill advised inclinations. Have a wonderful Shabbat . Reply

Bina August 30, 2017

Are you serious? Way to dodge the question!
"We believe in what we're saying, we say it because we believe it!"
Enough declarative statements!
Show some evidence! Reply

Vivian Warshaw Los Angeles . October 25, 2017
in response to Bina:

Faith means you believe without concrete evidence. Reply

Robert Utah August 28, 2017

WoW,I'm so glad that G_D was,G_D is,& G_D will Always Be! Glad to be along for the Trip! Reply

Taly Israel August 28, 2017

Dear Rabbi. It takes courage to attempt to answer this question
The opening sentences are surprising:
"Before creation, there was nothing but G‑d. Nothing." And after creation there is something other than G-d? This seems totally illogical if we accept the axiom that only G-d Is.

Axiom: The beginning (time and everything else) was created by G-d. So by laws of logic, one may not ask what happened before the beginning. Since 'before' the beginning contradicts the axiom that the beginning was created by G-d. Science recognizes today that time was a product of the big bang. So one cannot scientifically ask what happened 'before' the big bang. Doesn't mean you understand it. It means that it is not in your playing field. From G-d's perspective, nothing else exists. From man's perspective, G-d, as Torah defines him, doesn't exist. But we can "accept" His truth. And we see from trial and error (science) that accepting His truth, makes creation a better world. Reply

Yochanan Holland September 1, 2017
in response to Taly:

The perfect entity we call G"D withdrew space (according to Kabalah) in order to create a fanclub to adore it (why would a perfect being needs worshippers) then whatches from the side line the destruction of each other and themselves ! In our human perspective is an individual who witnesses tragidy an has the power to prefend or stop it but does nothing actually an acclomplice to the crime. There are many questions we do not (yet) understand. (According to science we still use less then 15% of our brain capacity so maybe creation is not fullfilled yet) But in the end I put on Tefillin every Shacharit, pray Mincha and Arvit every day trusting that in time (while the prayers to me work as mantras to increase my consciousness every day) the answeres will apear ! Without hope or trust only chaos exist. We Jews have one thing in common with all other people ( including the most even not yet discovered tribes) we all believe that our G"D is the only and true creator. It is in our genes ! Reply

Jules Scher Monroe Twp, NJ August 28, 2017

Nancy, I agree that the scenarios you cited can not be comprehended, at the time.
However some day, especially with life expectancy increasing, we will be able to comprehend the complexities of the universe, and how it all began.
It may be a million years from now, but it will be.
I believe that we'll even be able to teach your cat Algebra, in its life after death. But that's another discussion.
At this time, I think that either you accept the incomprehensible existence of G-d, or you think that everything just somehow coincidentally happened simultaneously.
Flipping a coin is probably the best scientific way to determine the answer, at this time. Reply

Anonymous India August 28, 2017

This is not a perfect answer. I think you felt problem to answer the question and to manage it try in a best way. Reply

Michael NS August 28, 2017

God creates him/herself. It is evident that G_d has at least as much power as it takes to make a universe, and before time there would be no place to store this power. It would have to be in play. Logic is a given as well as understanding and wisdom. Consider this power as a squaring process, but without time to square the increase would have to be all at once. There is only one spirit which can endure this much power all at once and that is love. In the natural if you were to make a graph of a square to infinitum, you would find it curves outward to fold back to the beginning. The magnetic field is picture of the folding but not of the power. Thus G-d is the beginning and end, all in one, before time was made. This is why so much emphasis is placed on righteousness. G-d is subject to his own power and if he were to become unrighteous, it would be the end of all. This is the most important attribute G-d has given us in his image, our subjectivity to sin, Reply

Anonymous berlin August 28, 2017

That´s quite a high level,I like that. You can show that time and causality are the same and just are ways of thinking.So they don´t exist (Kant). So our job is to create the (or a better) universe.That´s why God created us. Reply

Nancy Texas August 27, 2017

Oy ! Trying to explain Hashem to us would be like trying to explain how computers, phones, airplanes, etc work to someone 300 years ago! Even I don't understand how they work... how can I understand something as complicated as Hashem? Face it, it is at this time beyond our comprehension. We're just not advanced enough to understand. (That doesn't mean there isn't an answer, just that we can no more understand it than my cat can understand algebra.) Reply

Anonymous August 30, 2017
in response to Nancy:

Humans invented computers, phones and airplanes. You can learn this by studying, going to school.
If complexity requires intelligent design, god should also!
Far more likely that we are the cause of natural events, rather than a supernatural one. Reply

david auw taipei, taiwan August 26, 2017

Did God created evil and all wickedness? Why only good things
were created by God? Reply

Nathaniel Sam George August 28, 2017
in response to david auw:

It was not He who created it, but anything against His will is termed 'evil' and 'wickedness' . As man was created in His image, we have free will. All evil will be condemned. Reply

Kenneth olen Smith Denison, Texas August 25, 2017

Rabbi Moss, i would in no way question fearing G_d I would be the very last man on earth to do that. I do not have an education as you and write with very poor skills. I know that G_d alone controls the universe and we do have the ability to be righteous, but we all do make mistakes, this is why we have a loving G_d that hears our sincere prayers and forgives our misdeeds. Da'at Tevunot 1-3 Reply

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