Can you cite some of the sources for me? Does it specifically say that Hashem is all-powerful, or do we infer this somehow? Andif it's inferred, how do we come to this conclusion? It's not so much that I doubt His omnipotence as much as I want to be sure of it. I don't need any more proof than what we have in the Torah
Sure. The best source is the posuk (אין עוד מלבדו (דברים ד:לה
“All-powerful”,when we apply it to Hashem, does not mean quantitatively more powerful than you and I. It's not that Hashem has more power than anyone else. Hashem's power is completely different than what we understand power to be in thisworld.
Power, to us,means the ability to overcome something. Perhaps to lift weight (overcoming resistance), to jump high (overcoming gravity), or to figure out a mystery (overcoming lack of knowledge).
Limits come into the picture when the power that we want to overcome is greater than the power we possess. A limit means that there is some other power greater than yours.
Power and limits are expressions of the same thing. It's just a matter of how much power there is.
None of this makes sense when it comes to Hashem. When we say, “Hashem is all-powerful” it doesn't mean that He has power like we have except that He has an infinite amount of it. That would mean that the difference between Him and us is that we can only overcome a limited amount of things, but He can overcome everything.
Nope. That's not the idea. It's not that He is stronger than any power, but rather that He is the only power. There is no opposing external force for him to vanquish, since He is the creator, maintainer, and controller of all power in the world.
If you want to say that Hashem does have limits, I would ask you what the source is of the power that you say is stronger than Hashem. Since we can prove that the world - the entire world - has a creator, then the power that you claim is stronger than Hashem also must have a creator. Which means, ultimately, that the creator of the world can have no limits, since He would be the creator of power as well. And if you create and control all power in the world, you cannot have any limits, because limits means there is a power stronger than you.
When you understand how Hashem created the universe, you realize that He must be all-powerful. Not because he has more power than anything, but because there isno power except Him.
Hashem is called “Makom"” (place). The reason, Chazal say, is because “The world is not a place for Hashem,but rather Hashem is a place for the world”. This means that the entire world,the entire universe - reality itself as we know it - is only an expression of Hashem's will.
A good way to understand Hashem's existence versus ours (only as a moshol, of course) is to imagine a little worldthat exists only in your mind. Little people, little cities, little rivers and forests - all in your imagination.
This is a moshol to explain how Hashem created the world. Those people in your mind have real existence - they are little electrical impulses in your brain, which are involved in your thought process -but compared to you, they don't really exist at all.
So too we exist in some way, but only as expressions of the Will of Hashem. “Ain Ode Milvado” - there is nothing except Hashem. “This means nothing has true existence like Hashem” (Rambam YesodeiHaTorah 1:4).
In your imaginary world, there would be no such thing as you having limits on the power you possess. Since the entire thing is only an expression of your will, no power there can exist without your desire. It would make no sense to question whether you are “strong” enough to lift a big rock in your world or to revive someone from the dead, since the rock is only heavy by your will and the person is only dead because you imagined it so.
Your will controls everything and so no force exists except you.
When we say Hashem is all-powerful, we do not mean that He is stronger than anything, but rather there is no strength at all in the entire world except Him.
This is the simple meaning of “Ain Ode Milvado.”