900.11e Pivot of Our Formulation (pps.122-123)
hard cover page 122
Our formulation attempts to reconcile (1) an omnipotent, omniscient, all-benevolent, morally comprehensible Deity with the existence of gross evil; (2) a Deity who clearly interacted with man in the here-and-now in biblical times, yet does not visibly do so in post-Temple times; (3) Man’s freedom with God’s omnipotence and omniscience; and (4) Maimonides’ postulation, with which we agree, that God’s knowledge is completely unlike human knowledge, with the concept that man was created be-tzelem Elokim (“in the image of God”); (5) the concept of Divine omniscience with concepts of Hester Panim (“Hiding of the Divine Face”); and (6) concepts of Hester Panim with concepts of sachar va-onesh (reward and punishment).
This element of our formulation will pivot on a stratification of Divine omniscience into various modes of omniscience. We will distinguish between (1) here-and-now (real-time) omniscience and (2) a spectrum of non-here-and-now omniscience.
Gersonides hits the crux of the dilemma and grasps at the solution in a way that comes very close to our formulation.
. . . there remains no alternative but (to posit) that in one way He knows them [particulars concerning man] and in another way He does not know them. Would that I knew what these two ways are!496
[Lord] Incline Thy ear to us.
â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”- NOTES â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”-
496 Gersonides, Wars of the Lord, Third Treatise, chap. 4, as cited in Bleich, With Perfect Faith, p. 450. (See also Feldman translation in Jewish Publication Society edition)
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