doctrine = limiting

This is taken from a historian by the name of Karen Armstrong. You can google her to find her books!!

*Armstrong: “Yahweh had always been a transcendent deity, who directed human beings from above and without. The Rabbis made him intimately present within mankind and the smallest details of life. After the loss of the Temple and the harrowing experience of yet another exile, the Jews needed a God in their midst. The Rabbis did not construct any formal doctrines about God. Instead, they experienced him as an almost tangible presence. Their spirituality has been described as a state of ‘normal mysticism.’ . . .

“So strong was their sense of presence that any official, objective doctrines would have been quite out of place. The Rabbis frequently suggested that on Mount Sinai, each one of the Israelites who had been standing at the foot of the mountain had experienced God in a different way. God had, as it were, adapted himself to each person ‘according to the comprehension of each.’ As one Rabbi put it, ‘God does not come to man oppressively but commensurately with a man’s power of receiving him.’ . . .

Any official doctrine would limit the essential mystery of God. The Rabbis pointed out that he was utterly incomprehensible. . . . Jews were even forbidden to pronounce his name, a powerful reminder that any attempt to express him was bound to be inadequate: the divine name was written YHWH and not pronounced in any reading of the scripture. . . .The Rabbis even warned the Israelites against praising God too frequently in their prayers, because their words were bound to be defective.” (73-4)


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