The movie "Bruce Almighty" raises some important questions. It is about a man who is given the job of being G‑d for a week. Answers to the questions he faces have aided me in my search for the truth.

If you could be G‑d for one week, what would you do? Who would you help? What punishments would you mete out? How would you handle this awesome responsibility?


I have not seen the movie, but the storyline is familiar. A small book was written by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan in 1983 called "If You Were G‑d" posing the exact same scenario. You may be interested in reading that to see his perspective. I'm sure there are many similar works from many different perspectives. Here's mine.

You pose the question as a theoretical one: if you could be G‑d what would you do? But according to Jewish thought this is not a hypothetical; it is the reality!

G‑d has endowed each of us with a Divine spark, a piece of Himself, which we usually refer to as "the soul." This Divine spark is our true identity; our body and the "personality" that comes with it are merely the vehicles through which our soul expresses itself.

Our bodies are human. But our souls are Divine. From a soul perspective, we have the same attributes as G‑d Himself. We are made in His image.

1) We have free choice.

In truth, only G‑d can have free choice. Because to have truly free choice you have to be above any influence that may sway you to choose one path or the other. If I choose something out of peer pressure, ignorance or habit, I am not making a free choice.

G‑d alone is above any influence. From a body perspective, a human being is influenced by environment, education, genetics and mood swings. That means we aren't truly free in our choices. Scientifically, we are essentially machines that will make predictable choices based on external or internal influences. But that's only according to nature. From a spiritual perspective, we aren't so one-dimensional. G‑d has given us a piece of Himself, a soul, and that is the core of our being that is above any influence. Our soul allows us to rise above even our own nature and be free to choose.

So, like G‑d, we have free choice. Our destiny is in our own hands.

2) We are creators.

Apart from the fact that we can invent, build and even reproduce (which animals can also do), we humans are, in our very essence, creators.

The Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) teaches that every action we do not only affects the world around us, but also creates new spiritual forces. When we perform an act of goodness we create a "good angel," a positive energy force. On the other hand, when we act selfishly or destructively we create a "bad angel" — negative energy. Throughout our lifetimes we accumulate legions of these creatures that are our own creations, and they hover around our souls. The negative energy can be destroyed and even transformed to goodness if we regret the evil we have done and right the wrongs. These angels are ours, and we decide their fate.

Like G‑d, we are creators, and our creations are in our hands.

3) We can influence the direction of the entire world.

The soul's power is unlimited. My thoughts, words and actions can push the entire world towards its ultimate purpose, or delay the realization of that purpose. The Talmud says that one should see the world as exactly balanced between good and evil. My next move will determine which way the scales are tipped — will I bring more corruption, pain and sorrow into the world, or will I promote peace, happiness and harmony?

So just like G‑d we have free choice, we create and control our creations, and the destiny of the entire world is in our hands.

G‑d could have created us otherwise. He didn't have to give us such power. But He took a gamble. He placed the world in our hearts; in us He invested His very self. Because He trusts us to do a good job.

So the question is not "What would you do if you were G‑d?", but rather "G‑d has given you His power; what's your next move?"