What do you think?

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    Can HaShem win a chess match in 1 move?


    Of course


    Can He divide by zero?
    Can He create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it?


    These are good questions.


    No, Hashem is limited by perfection.
    Sorry to kill your childhood.


    Reuven, are you a maamin?


    Shopping is correct. Saying Hashem can’t do something which is inherently paradoxical is not a reflection on His perfection.


    Actually there are three levels of Elokus interactions with the world, mimale kol olmin, sovev kol olmin and kula kamei kla chshiv – atzmus.

    Mimale- Hashem relates to the world through the limits of nature, we relate to Him through sechel

    Sovev- He relates to us with miracles, above nature, yet is bound by being boundless. We relate to this revelation of Elokus with Emuna,as we can’t relate with sechel.

    Atzmus however is nimna hanimnaos – Hashem can do the impossible where this is revealed. Example: in the kodesh Hakodashim, where Atzmus was revealed, the Aron took up an exact space by measurement yet didn’t take up space at all! Not sure how this would play out with a rock but He could do it.


    Chabadshlucha, there is a difference between the impossible and a Chuck Norris joke.

    in galus

    Yes, Hashem can do the impossible.

    You want to know how? I’m not Hashem, how would I know? I can only explain the so-called “possible.”


    Lol RebYidd23! ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„


    @in galus Why do you say that?

    in galus

    Shopping613 – because Hashem is not controlled by anything. If Hashem cannot do the impossible then the impossible controls him. What makes the impossible impossible if not Hashem? Nothing is impossible for him, not even the impossible.


    @in galus Hashem is limited by perfection. There’s a difference between the impossible and perfection. Hashem is perfect, he cannot create something that makes him imperfect, such as a rock he cannot hold.


    Why is this labelled as ” Controversial Topics ” ?


    Exactly!! I love the way you put it ingalus (although I object to your username๐Ÿ˜œ How bout living with a Geula mindset now? That will bring moshiach quicker!)

    in galus

    Shopping613 – perfection is just a concept that exists in our minds. Hashem is not limited by concepts.

    Chabadshlucha – we are still in galus. Living as if we aren’t is a surefire way to forget that we need to do what the nevi’im said we need to do in order to get out of galus – namely, do teshuva. How can imagining the geula is already here be wise?


    Shopping613 โ€“ perfection is just a concept that exists in our minds. Hashem is not limited by concepts.

    He is limited by logic. He cannot do that which is logically impossible.

    He cannot create a triangle with four sides since, by definition, such a shape is not a triangle. He cannot create a rock that He cannot lift because such a rock can no more exist than a four sided triangle.

    The Wolf


    @ingolus if that’s why you picked your Moniker, to keep yourself in a constant state of teshuva and yearning for the geula, then I guess it’s good for starters :). Living with a Geula mindset is avoda itself – and the more of us that do this, the more we will show Hashem that there’s no point of keeping us in golus and He’ll be (happily) forced to bring the Geula.

    Just one example from my life : money. Golus mindset : is better to be poor/ struggling because it helps me to remember that all money and evening I have comes from Hashem, I turn to Him more often, and serve Him better. It’s easier to forget Hashem or slack off when I’m rich.

    Geula mindset : what is money here for? So goyim can use it to build themselves palaces?! No its here to be used to serve Hashem. I can run so many more programs, host more guests, and help out so many more people with money. So it’s better to be rich because that’s where the money should go!

    The world is ready for moshiach. We got to live this way!!


    @wolff you reminded me, I learned once how can we trust Hashem to fulfill His promises? Aren’t they limiting Him?

    Same idea. The answer is no they aren’t because He wrote these rules and if He binds Himself to rules He creates, that’s not limiting Him, because He is choosing to limit Himself abs not an outside factor.

    So I guess the same may apply with logic?

    Otoh He can do the impossible such as the Aron example I gave above where it both did and didn’t take up space.


    Perfection doesn’t just exist in our minds. Hashem created a perfect world, he cannot deviate from that. The Torah is perfect, he could not of made an imperfect Torah.

    WolfishMusings, it is logically impossible for me to fly, but Hashem can make me fly. That’s why I called it perfection. Also, when I was explained these concepts in a shuir given at aish, he called it perfection.


    I’m surprised that grown ups can still be confused by this.
    While of course Hashem can do the impossible, these examples arent impossible they are meaningless.
    while we say it is impossible to divide by zero, thats not because it is too difficult for mere mortals Rather its that it is meaningless. Can he create an object that is blackwhite or a circle with 4 corners (im not reffering to an optical illusion). ITs not that He cant, its that there is no such thing. By definition if it has corners it isnt a circle. This isnt a limitation on Him r”l it is a limitation on us and our language.
    chess has rules if He does some other move that isnt allowed by the game that it isnt chess. So no He cant win in one move. Not because He is limited but because the game is.

    (Though what might prove me wrong is the Aron not taking up space, though I’m not clear on what this means. The classic example is if measure from side of Aron to each side of mishkan each measured 5 amos although the aron was 2.5 amos long and the mishkan was 10 amos. What if I take a tape measures lay it along the length of the Kodesh kedoshim it reads 10 amos. I take another put it from aron to wall it reads 5 amos are those amos different sizes? is this an illusion or is it something that is meaningless and yet Hashem can do it)


    No the amos weren’t different sizes, it was doing the impossible.

    Anther example was the miracle of Chanukah : the oil burned yet didn’t burn for eight days (as otherwise the miracle would only be for seven days as they had one days supply of oil)

    in galus

    To think that Hashem is limited by logic or perfection or statements which are supposedly meaningful is to bring Hashem down to our level. Hashem is not playing in our sandbox and he is not subject to our limited notions of reality. He is the very base of reality. There is nothing, no matter how ridiculous sounding, that is beyond him. To say otherwise is to assume our minds govern God. How is that different than saying we are God and there is nothing outside of us? Is that not the exact opposite of what we say in Alenu and what it says in the pasuk, ื›ื™ ื™ื”ื•ื” ื”ื•ื ื”ืืœื”ื™ื ื‘ืฉืžื™ื ืžืžืขืœ ื•ืขืœ ื”ืืจืฅ ืžืชื—ืช ืื™ืŸ ืขื•ื“?

    Chabadshlucha – I am not sure what using money for good has to do with geula as opposed to galus, but either way, there is no shortage of poverty and struggle even in this day and age, and imagining otherwise is not going to help anyone.


    “No the amos werenโ€™t different sizes, it was doing the impossible.”

    thats not impossible, that is meaningless. what did the tape measure read?

    I should note I means “meaningless” to us, of course there may be a higher plane where physics doesnt apply.
    but chess isnt in a higher plane. It is a game with rules. and in following the rules it is impossible to win with one move. thus “winning a chess match in 1 move” is devoid of any meaning. Unless you are palying by different rules in which case it isnt chess.
    It would be like sayign can Hashem make an Aron not take up space while keeping our rules of physics. Again, of course not. Not because He lacks ability.

    I dont understand your Chanuka example. and besides maybe there was a nes only 7 days which is true accoridng to many of the answers given including 2 the BY gives.


    @ubiquitin I see you don’t understand my examples. Please see the Menorah files by tzvi Freeman (available online) for a humorous easy to read write up of these very deep concepts – at least the Aron and Chanukah ones.


    Everyone is missing the obvious: The winner n a chess match always wins in one move…it is the final or winning move.
    The OP did not ask if HaShem can win a chess match in ONLY one move.


    That’s why you’re a lawyer….


    “I see you donโ€™t understand my examples. …”

    Keen powers of observation! as I said “I dont understand your Chanuka example.” and besides as pointed out, your point (“as otherwise the miracle would only be for seven days as they had one days supply of oil”) isnt necessarily true

    I read the essay you mentioned and I have absolutely no idea what it is saying. and surely you agree that it isnt a factual description as to what occurred, so Im not clear on why you assume his conclusion as to what occurred. IS correct maybe yes mayeb know. Maybe the extra day celebrates the milchama, maybe any one of the 100’s? 1000’s? reasons given to that question.

    consider the rock example. I’ll waklk you through it:
    when asked Can Hashem create a rock that he cant move you are forced to say yes. (He can do anything).
    Ok so can he move said rock. Again yes (He can do anything)

    So the question really boils down to Can Hashem move a rock He cannot move?

    Which is nonsense.
    the answer isnt no or yes the phrase “move a rock he cannot move” is devoid of meaning although it sounds like it makes sense, so we nod along.

    Another example
    Can He add to infinity?

    The answer isnt no per se. It is that the question is nonsensical. there is no such thing as “add to infinity”
    Its not that He is incapable. its the the words “add to infinity” dont actually have meaning

    Another example. Can Hashem create a ;[-78%^

    The question is nonsense “;[-78%^” is meaningless there is no such thing. Of course if there where Hashem could create it. and of course Hashem could create a new thing and name it ;[-78%^. But as it stand today 1/9/17 that question is devoid of meaning as “;[-78%^” doesnt describe anything



    @ubiquitin thanks for reading it. Sorry it still wasn’t clear๐Ÿ™ˆ. Not sure why unless you only read the first segment of the “story”?

    The source is likutei sichos chelek 15 page 183-190. Maybe the text without the jokes will be clearer? The whole shakla vtarya can be found there. (Assuming you know Yiddish)


    Actually it also been translated into lashon kodesh


    I’ve always taught my law students (and my children) read every word carefully and don’t overlook simple or obvious answers by looking at a problem too deeply.
    Many a legal problem can be solved quickly by just answering the question asked, not going deeper.


    Thank yo u for the source
    I read it in the original
    He leaves open three possibilities 1) The amount oil increased 2) the quality 3) it burned and dint burn
    According to the first 2 (B”Y and Pri chadash) it isnt relevant to our discussion.
    As for asking from a derush from the Rebbe. Well I dont have to accept it it isnt really a question, particularly as he points out 3 vaild approaches . I go with say the B”Y or (any of the other 1000’s of answers).

    Questions for you
    Can Hashem move a rock He cannot move?
    Can He add to infinity?
    Can Hashem create a ;[-78%^ ?


    I regret bumping this one.
    Ubiquitin, my intention was to point out the absurdity of the
    OP’s question, not to raise actual concerns of my own.


    No reason for regret
    You dont have to open this thread ever again.
    Your intention was quite clear. I’m addressing, and having a nice conversation with CS who does seem confused by this


    Can He add to infinity?

    Yes, He can – simply because some infinities are larger than others. The set of whole numbers is larger than the set of even numbers, even though both are infinite.

    The Wolf


    WolfishMusings, it is logically impossible for me to fly,

    No it’s not. It’s *physically* impossible, but not logically impossible.

    but Hashem can make me fly. Thatโ€™s why I called it perfection. Also, when I was explained these concepts in a shuir given at aish, he called it perfection.

    Perfection does not rely on doing the impossible. We don’t say that a perfect circle is imperfect because it doesn’t have corners and a perfect triangle is imperfect because it doesn’t have four sides. Perfection does not rely on the ability to do the logically impossible.

    The Wolf


    But the question was about omnipotence, not perfection.


    The concept “impossible” was created with the creation of the world, in Hashem’s “world” there’s no such a thing Impossible just like to there’s no limits of space and time.


    Thanks though
    “simply because some infinities are larger than others. The set of whole numbers is larger than the set of even numbers,”

    Only the first half is true. The set of whole numbers and even numbers are both countable infinites and are equal.
    Try it:
    1 – 2
    2 – 4
    3- 6

    etc …
    Even numbers, odd numbers, and integers are all aleph-null and equal.

    However where you are correct is the set of real numbers does for m a larger infinite set known as aleph-one.
    This set of real numbers cannot be put into a 1:1 correspondence with the set of integers. (see Georg Cantor’s diagonal proof)
    Though there are



    Another approach occured to me.
    the mistake you are making is you are assuming the sentence “win a chess match in 1 move” or “a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it” or “move a stone that He cannot move” or “Divide by zero” are sensical statments. And at first glance they sound like they make sense so you assume their is a yes/no answer in which case if it is “Can Hashem…” of course you say yes.

    The truth though is these examples while they sound like they make sense , as they contain grammatically correct words all of which you understand. Is in fact nonsense.
    Take Chomsky’s classic “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.” it is a grammatically correct sentence but it has no meaning it is gibberish.
    Thus the Question “Can Hashem cause colorless green ideas to sleep furiously?” is also gibberish. Its not that He cant do it. It is that there is nothing being described.
    The other examples we have been discussing are equally gibberish. Winning a chess match using only one move isnt a very hard task. IT is nonsensical it essentially has no meaning.
    Similarly for ” divide by zero” its not that it is really hard for our calculators to do, but for the Almechtiger, He can do it. Not at all. Dividing by zero is nonsense, the phrase is gibberish it is as meaningful as “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously” or “;[-78%^”


    @ubiquitin no I get it. What I’m saying is that Hashem isn’t limited to any sort of sense in any paradigm whether the paradigm is working within nature or being above / breaking narrow. Both of those have a certain logic they need to abide by and Hashem isn’t limited by that.

    The example of the Aron:

    The statement “The Aron takes up space,” is both true abs false at the same time.

    Or by Chanukah (according to the source isn’t you.)

    The statement “the oil burned” is both true and game at the same time.

    Hashem can do the impossible nimna hanimnaos is called.

    He can break any logic and be within that logic at the same time.

    Of course the biggest paradox is yet to come with the Geula – when our materialistic, physical bodies will see Hashem with no filters, whereas now either we live here and don’t see Him, or Above even the avos etc get to see a limited manifestation of Him or they’d be blown out of existence…

    And when moshiach comes, WE as we are physically, will see HASHEM with no filters, not even the filter of being above nature, and yet well just be normal…


    *true and false – sorry for all the auto corrects


    *according to the source I gave you

    So I guess we can agree that a non sensical question is not a question but also that Hashem is not bound by any logic abs can do the greatest paradox such as making darkness shine which to us would be nonsense as it’s impossible…



    “no I get it.”

    you dont. You are saying “What Iโ€™m saying is that Hashem isnโ€™t limited to…”

    Yes I agree. And I pointed out this is what is throwing you off. Hashem is not limited. Our language is. “winning chess in one move” doesnt describe anything it has as much meaning as “colorless green ideas to sleep furiously”

    My last try
    “Can Hashem century mountain election restless weight?” ( I used a computer random word generator for thesewords)

    I admitted I dont understand the Aron (I doubt you do either)though I do have an out. Namely that it wasnt within the rules of physics.
    I grant “outside the rules of chess” He can win in one move, and outside the definition of words He can “cause colorless green ideas to sleep furiously”
    Within the rules of chess, No Hashem cannot win in one move.

    “So I guess we can agree that a non sensical question is not a question”
    Exactly, so the “answer” cant be “yes”


    CTL, id love to learn first seder with u

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