What picture should we have of Hashem when we daven?
There are two parts to this. One is what we should know and the second is what we should think. We should know that אין לו גוף – He has no form that’s physical at all. Because when you talk about electricity, do you think you can see electricity? You can never see it, never in your life. But you see the effects of electricity. It turns into light, it turns into sound, it turns into heat, it turns into movement. But that’s not electricity; that’s only the effect of electricity. You can see the results of electricity but you never see electricity in this world. Nobody ever saw electricity and nobody ever will.
Therefore, even though you can see the results of Hashem’s deeds, but you can’t see Hashem – because He’s not a physical thing like a piece of wood. Energy is something you can’t see with your eyes, but it’s there; it’s as real as could be, that energy. But you’ll never see energy.
So Hashem is a form of energy; He’s the energy of all energies. Aleph Lamed – “Keil,” means that He is the koach, He is the energy behind everything. Because even a piece of wood is nothing but energy; that we know. Matter is only a form of energy; they’re interchangeable. And so we understand that Hashem is the energy behind everything – but there’s nothing physical about Him at all.
However, when we speak to Hashem, so for our benefit He gives us permission to imagine that a compassionate old Sage is standing in front of us and listening to us; or that a King is sitting on a throne and looking down with kindly eyes upon us and listening to us. Each person can utilize whatever picture is more beneficial to him.
So we have a right to think those thoughts but at the same time we should know that these thoughts are only forms of our imagination meant to help us gain an awareness of Hashem. Actually, Hashem is far above any form that you can ever imagine. אין לו דמות הגוף ואינו גוף.
So therefore, both things are true. We have the right to picture Hashem in order to gain more awareness of Him, and nevertheless we know that Hashem is exalted above all forms that we could ever imagine.
TAPE # 920 (June 1993)