UI 076: God and His 13 Attributes

art-painting-285919_1280This episode is a podcast featuring a class I recently taught on the book of Exodus.  In this particular class we focused on Exodus 33:21 -34:7.

Exodus 33 (NIV)

21Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

Exodus 34

1The Lord said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. 3No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain.”

4So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as theLord had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord6And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,7maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

In these short verses many important issues were raised:

  • Anthropomorphism of God
    • God’s “face/faces”- panim
    • God’s hand
  • Life, Death, and Not living
  • Miracles
  • Behavior/Actions VS. Feelings/Intent
  • Creation of the second set of Tablets
  • Is God good?
    • How do we know?
    • What does it mean?
  • How does God describe Himself?
    • 13 Attributes
  • Compassion VS. Truth
  • Must children suffer the sins of their parents?
    • Macro
    • Micro
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  1. Brent Jackson thinks:

    What a great discussion. Full of truth. The final 10 minutes are very compelling. I’m curious: You seem to have an authoritative grasp of the issues which accompany faith; where did you go to convert and study?

    I have two books which I believe will deeply affect me: ‘Mere Christianity,’ and Dennis Prager’s ‘Still the Best Hope.’

    What would be some good next steps for me, if I convert to Christianity and decide to live a responsible conservative life moving forward?

    • Many apologies for not responding earlier. Unfortunately I don’t make time to work on this site and podcast as much as TMT.
      Thank you for your comments and questions. My grasp is coming from a God gifted intellect and an unyielding will to ask “why?” repeatedly until it finally makes sense or at least takes the form of an understandable idea. I did not convert so much as I’m returning to Judaism. I was born into it, but not really raised with any of it. From a Christian perspective it may be analogous to being “Born Again.” Though I have not read it, I have heard great things about ‘Mere Christianity.’ And Prager’s ‘…Best Hope’ is a fantastic book and resource. I have other books in mind that you may appreciate, but I want to be clear that what I prefer is coming from a Jewish bias, and helped me transform from a secular Jew to a religious Jew. That said, an American conservative Christian has more in common with a religious Jew (especially in terms of values) than a secular Jew.
      A: Pretty Much any book by R’ Joseph Telushkin. Biblical Literacy is a great start.
      B: You will probably get a lot from any book by R’ Daniel Lapin. He covers many subjects, so pick one and run with it.
      C: And I love anything from R’ Abraham Joshua Heschel: ‘Man is Not Alone’ is his book about the philosophy of religion

      And then there is Viktor Frankl’s book ‘Man Search for Meaning’, which has been very influential in my life.

      Hope that helps. God bless and keep moving forward!

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