Rav Avigdor Miller on Is Hashem a Man or a Woman?

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Q:
Why is Hashem portrayed as a man in the Torah and by the Ne’vi’im?


A:
The answer is that instinctively we have more respect for and more fear of a man than a woman. That’s the truth. A man is taller than a woman. You see that a wife is usually shorter than her husband. A man gives off the aura of authority more than a woman does. That’s how Hashem made it. You can’t have two captains in one house. If you have two captains on one ship then you’re looking for trouble. Sooner or later there’ll be a mutiny. Your wife however is the first mate and must be respected. There’s no question about that. But there’s also no question that the father is more of the authority figure than the mother. Of course, you have to give your mother great respect too. But your father has to be the leader. And therefore, Hashem is portrayed for us as the father. For our sake – for our da’as Hashem – He is the picture of the father for us.

You have to think of Hashem as an active personal being. If you think of Hashem as a force or something like that which is impersonal, then you are edging into the dei’os of the outside world – of kefira, chas ve’shalom. In order to feel the great truth that Hashem is “chai vi’kayom” – not only that He is kayom – that He endures forever – but that He is chai – yes, that He is chai – you have to think of Hashem as a living person. It’s very important to think of Hashem as a living person.

And it’s not considered meenus. Only that you shouldn’t believe it! But you must picture Hashem as a living person. A monarch or a chochom. A zakein vi’yosheiv bi’yeshiva. It’s very important to think of Hakodosh Boruch Hu as real.

And one more thing. If you want to become great – if you want to accomplish in life – then you should remember the following. When you look into the face of your fellow Jew, his face should remind you that Hashem is looking at you. I’m looking at your faces right now and I’m thinking that Hashem is looking at me through your eyes. Yes, yes. That’s why it says “ki bi’tzelem Elokim asah es ha’adam.” He made us in the image of Hashem in order that each Jew should remind every other Jew that Hashem is looking at him. Do you realize how great you can become if you would be thinking that Hashem is watching you all day long?! And He is! And therefore you must behave because He is looking at you. Behave! And actually, He is looking at you without the medium of a person’s eyes. But you must be sure to utilize your fellow man’s eyes to remind yourself that He is looking at you. There is nothing more important in this world than making Hashem real in your mind.

TAPE #E-178