Here's a question that has bothered me greatly for a long time: The world runs by rules of cause and effect and laws of nature. If so, how does G‑d get His "foot in the door" in this world. Does G‑d override cause and effect and the laws of nature, or does he somehow manipulate these rules to accomplish His will?


G‑d does not "mix in" in the affairs of the world because there is nothing to mix in to. All is nothing more than an extension of His self-knowing, and, as Maimonides writes, "the Knower, the Knowledge and the Knowing are all one."

If G‑d chooses to know the universe in one way, that is the way it will be. Know it in another way, it will be that way.

It is difficult for us to fathom this because all our acts are within and upon a world that was here before us, survives after us, and is entirely indifferent to our opinion of how things should be. The sun rises in the east regardless of our preference of placement for the bedroom window. Fathers are older than their sons, despite how the son envisages matters. One plus one always ends up as two whether our accountant needs it to be that way or not.

We did not make the rules, we only play the game within them. But to the Creator, all might as well be His fantasy and He can fantasize as He wishes.

If so, a miracle for G‑d is far simpler than nature. Running nature means simply locking Himself into consistent rules. A miracle means to break out and improvise a little.

There's a verse in the Psalms, "How awesome are Your works! They are so mighty that Your enemies deny You!" King David is saying that G_d outdid Himself. He created such an amazing world, with such consistency, that those who want to keep Him out of their lives can believe He does not exist.

Nevertheless, for the sake of those who earnestly seek the truth, He throws in a glitch once in a while, peeking mischievously from behind His craft.

I'll give you an illustration. One glorious summer day, while at a retreat, I passed by a building from which I heard piano music. I thought to myself, "Nobody plays piano here, it must be a recording."

But then I listened some more and something gave me the impression that this was a live piano. So I decided to stand there a little longer and wait. Then I heard what I was waiting for: The pianist made a mistake in the music, corrected it, and then continued. Now, through an inconsistency, I knew the music had a musician.

The same way, as long as G‑d follows the music He has written—those "great strings of rhythms throughout the universe" as Richard Feynman describes them—we can fool ourselves to believe there is only music without a musician. So once in a while He throws in some improvisation, some inconsistency in the form of what we call a miracle. And then we know there is a Pianist playing this very grand piano.

Everything I've written is really only an exposition of the ideas presented in the first two chapters of Shaar HaYichud V'ha-Emunah. You can read and listen to my classes on these chapters here.