God and Man: The Balancing Act of Faith and Personal Responsibility

As Jews we believe that God is not only the Creator of the Universe, but also is constantly sustaining the world with spiritual and physical nourishment and individually supervising all humans. The extent of how involved God is with us in the most minute fashion is revealed when the Talmud declares “A person cannot bend his finger from below unless it is thus decreed from above”. Yet surely we cannot rely on God totally and neglect our own responsibilities. Or can we? In this class we examine some of the sources in classical Jewish literature that grapple with this delicate subject.