Kenneth Cohen

To Know and Love G-d

There are those who say that the essence of Judaism is “to know and love G-d.” This means that the goal of our spiritual worship is to develop a stronger connection with our Creator, so that we eventually feel this emotion of love.

Similarly, it is our task to learn as much as is humanly possible, how Hashem runs the world. Nobody can truly know Him, but we can get glimpses, if we work at it.

We see this in the dialogue between Moshe Rabbeinu and G-d. He saw an opportunity when he prayed for forgiveness for the sin of the Golden Calf. He asked, “Show me Your glory.” He was answered that nobody can truly know Me and live.
Nevertheless, Moshe was shown aspects of the Al-mighty, because he desired to know Him. He asked why it appears that the wicked flourish, and the righteous suffer.

Moshe received much more than a glimpse. The knowledge he received, made him realize the magnitude of G-d’s greatness in relation to himself. The more he learned, the more he understood the vulnerability of man.

This caused Moshe to become the humblest and the greatest of all men. He realized that all of man’s achievements are a gift from G-d, and no matter how much one might achieve, it is a fraction of the ultimate power of the Al-mighty.

This is the benefit of the quest “to know and love G-d.” It helps give a true perspective of the reality of the world. It allows us to be focused on what is important and what is not.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at