Monday, October 14, 2019

Being Through Rest

There is still another expression for the godhead, which this surpassing of space makes intelligible: the Shechinah. The root of the word means "to lie" and "to rest." In this meaning it is generally connected with God. The use of this word as a name of God apparently is intended to describe being through rest. All change, all alteration, must be eliminated from God's being. The philosopher says: God is substance. Monotheistic religion says: God is Shechinah, absolute rest. Rest is the eternal prime cause of motion. This is also what is meant with regard to God. Motion, however, is to be excluded from his essential being. This in no way means that through the being of God motion is made impossible; rather, it is precisely through this being of rest that the being of motion becomes possible.

[Hermann Cohen, Religion of Reason out of the Sources of Judaism, Simon Kaplan, tr. Scholars Press (Atlanta, GA: 1995) p. 45.]

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