Muchrach HaMetzius – Video/Audio

Muchrach HaMetzius – Video/Audio

Tuesday, May 18th, '10

To listen online to the shiur in audio:


Rabbi Shapiro
  • muchrachhametzius

13 Responses to “Muchrach HaMetzius – Video/Audio”

  1. anonymous says:

    The opening story is incorrect. One can not cut either a 12-inch stick or a football field into pieces that are smaller than the constituent atoms.

    • rabbishapiro says:

      Well yes, but it’s a moshol, of course, and what you are saying does not diminish the accuracy of the point. The reason you can’t do that is not because the lack of space taken up by the atom but because of its nature. The point was that there is still measurable length that is mathematically divisible. The “cutting” is just a moshol. If you prefer, instead of cutting the stick, simply draw a mark next to it at its half-way point. In that sense you’ll “divide” it – i.e. you’ll be constantly dividing its length in half, without having to – sigh – split any atoms.

      • E says:

        “Drawing a mark” also takes up space, in real life. But the point was, theoretically, we cannot reach infinity in a finite number of finite steps. Therefore if we set any minimum amount of time as a finite step, this time that we experience must hit a beginning point (or a point where we cannot step back further because the remainder is shorter than the minimum we set), were we to stop now and go back by these finite steps. So actually, atom or whatever finite bit that we set as minimum, your arguments reach the same conclusion: any physical existence we recognize is finite, so there must be a beginning and Source to it. Excuse me if this is not explanatory.

  2. foncused says:

    I really liked the shiur.

    but i still didnt understand what you were saying about the fact that hashem is Poshut and does not have any properties.

    you are saying that if something has properties (attributes) than this is its cause. i’m not sure what this means. if i have a red ball, is the redness part of the cause behind the ball’s existence? why can’t hashem have an attribute of mercy, for example? will his mercy be the cause of his existence and in contrast with his being the first cause? how?

    i could understand that you hashem may not have mercy as an attribute, because the mercy is a limitation and a definition of him.

    i would love to get a little more help on this topic of hashem being Koolo Pushot.

    Thanks a lot. I wish there were more such shiurim out there.

    • rabbishapiro says:

      Thank you for the kind words.

      I responded to this on the JWQ site. In short, any attribute needs limitations in order to exist. So the ball in your example, which is red, could have been blue but for some reason it happens to be red and not blue. There has to be a reason it is red and not blue So what caused it to be red and not blue? Whatever the answer to that question will be, it will require something to have impacted on the ball that caused it to be red and not blue. That means it has a cause – at least of its redness.

      Redness is a limitation – since it requires the specific characteristics that makes something red, as opposed to blue.

      So too any attribute that you will attribute to Hashem needs a cause as to why it is specifically that attribute with its exact parameters – and parameters equals limitations.

      For more on this, I discuss it in the audio Shiurim on the Derech Hashem, the Shiur on Muchrach HaMetzius, or my Kuntres Tzeda Laderech, all which are available on the Baismedrash.com website.

  3. Benjamin says:

    You said “everything in the world that happens has a reason.” 10:30

    We should be able to make a more precise argument. That’s because if something doesn’t have a beginning (if that was indeed possible) then there doesn’t need to be a cause of it. It was always there.

    But, the argument to make is that anything that BEGINS to exist must have a cause. A house, for example, doesn’t pop out of nowhere for no reason, when it didn’t exist just the other day before.

    Now, since you’ve shown in the beginning of the video that the entire universe and all of time had to have a beginning therefore space and time was the result of an uncaused Cause that is above time and space. Since G-d didn’t have a beginning, nobody would be able to ask for His cause.

    I hope with this form of the argument, we end up with the same conclusions but without all of the complications.

    • rabbishapiro says:

      No, you are not correct. The argument works even for something that did not need a beginning. Even if it was “always” here, it could have theoretically not ever been here. If so, then we can ask why is it here as opposed to not being here? The answer to that question is its cause. (The only thing that would not need a cause, then, is a Muchrach HaMetzius.)

      But besides that, the argument also requires that everything that is subject to time and space must have had a beginning, and therefore, a cause. For even if we say something was “always” here, was “always” a finite amount of time or an infinite amount of time? It cannot be an infinite amount of time because if the past was infinite we would never reach the present, since infinity cannot be reached. Therefore the past had to have been a finite amount of time. And since it is finite, it has a beginning, which needs a cause.

  4. HIllel says:

    What do you mean that space cannot exist without time? Doesnt time exist in space not vica versa?

  5. HIllel says:

    I have your booklet on first cause. Its great. But is there any way you could write it for the more learned with quotes and sources and more sophisticated. I would love to be able to learn it and see the mekoros first hand.

  6. yehoshua fox says:

    This is very deep and I get much of it. There are certain beliefs I feel must be true but I can’t prove it. I always knew without understanding the deep principles that there would always need to be a hashem and he always existed however I know hashem had to always be perfect and good, gd had to be planned otherwise how could we possibly think that our holy hashem could have been bad, imperfect chaz vasholom.

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