Let's take it as a given that SOMETHING created us. Let's take it as another given that this Creator possesses intelligence. No matter how many times those monkeys keep banging those computer keys, the probability that they will produce Macbeth still remains so low that Statisticians equate it with zero. Thus we know we were created by something intelligent. (For lack of a suitable word, let us call this "Thing", Hashem, meaning the Name, for what better way to refer to someone by than their name?) However, if you think about it deeply enough, you will realize that there remains a very profound problem with this idea. If indeed, everything that exists was created solely and totally from this one Hashem, then how can anything posses a unique existence at all? If hypothetically, we were to shine a sun light beam inside the sun, the beam would not be recognizable at all, as the source of the light which emanates from the beam is the sun itself. Chassidus calls this concept, being Bittul Bemitziut - being nullified in one's source. This is truly the natural state thus of anything that exists in our universe. However, this is not evidently the case in our practical world, where there exist such things as houses, and fish and people and money, and all the trillions of other entities and particles of entities in our universe. Thus, creation could only become a possibility if the Creator so to speak "hid" Himself. (Thus we have the word Olam in Hebrew which means world, coming from the root of HELEM - hiddeness). In other words, Hashem had to create along with everything else, SPACE, for creation to take place in. Thus the first thing Hashem created was the Chalal Hapanoi (the empty space, or VOID). Of course, we must remember, and emphasize at this point, that Hashem's presence is not in any way less present or diminished in ANY WAY in this space, it is only APPARENTLY so. Truly, as we have noted above, the single Creator must be equally and fully present in all of existence, in order for the thing to be termed existence. Thus the whole purpose of Hashem hiding himself and creating this empty space, was in order for creation to occur so that OUR perception of the world would be what it is. The next step in the process, involved the refilling of this space, by means of 10 different spheres or attributes which Hashem had constricted Himself into in this hiding process. This can be likened once again to the beam of light which alone remains invisible. However, if the light is shined through a stained glass window, the light takes on an appearance, and gives of the illusion of being divided into many separate parts, though we know it is really all the same light. Thus the stained glass which Hashem shines through has 10 colors, as indeed each of the Sephirot (above mentioned attributes), in addition to their distinctive names and characters, have corresponding colors. Each one of the sephirot is further "removed" from the revealed essence of Hashem, beginning with Keter (crown), which is described as the will of Hashem, above which point we know nothing of - and culminating with Malchus (sovereignty), which is the resultant attribute which in and of itself has no definition of her own, though she is what unites all of the preceding sephiros into practicality. At the same time however, while containing within it lesser and lesser intensities of Hashem's light, the further away on the sephiros something is found, the more distinctiveness and thus the more of Hashem's essence is revealed on a physical level. Within these ideas lie the key to comprehending what the entire purpose of creation is. The Zohar says that the reason why Hashem created this world is because he desired for Himself a dira betachtonim, meaning a dwelling place in the lower, finite realms. What distinguishes the spiritual realms from physical existence is the concept of space. In the spiritual world space does not exist as it does here. There is no such concept as a thing being 5 or 20 cm away from another object. The only way to measure "closeness" in the spiritual world, is in terms of similarity. Hence for example, the concept of goodness and kindness would most probably relatively close in the spiritual world. The miracle thus of the physical world lies in its ability to physically bring two completely "far" concepts PHYSICALLY close. For example, only in the physical world can there be such a creature as human who possesses both a good and evil inclination inside a single body. Thus the purpose of creation was in the physical, finite world. Torah tells us that originally, Hashem wanted to create the world through din, or Judgement only, however when he saw that this was not practical, he created it with rachamim, (Mercy) as well. This is indicated from the very first verse of the Torah which states: "Breishis bara Elokim………" - In the beginning was created Elokim - the name of Hashem which denotes judgement. The word Elokim is also plural in form. It also has the same gematria(numerical value) as the word for Nature in Hebrew (Hateva) Hateva = 5+9+2+70=82 Elokim = 1+30+6+5+10+40 = 82. Judgement involves discernment. It involves discerning between right and wrong, true and false, degrees of due punishment and so forth. This level of Hashem's relationship with us is on the level of what is described above, where Hashem hides himself and then re-reveals himself in a constricted, yet hidden manner. Originally, Hashem created the world strictly through this medium. However it soon became clear to Him that his original purpose could not be satisfactorily fulfilled in such a creation, since he had accomplished this first stage too well. He had successfully hidden and constricted Himself to such and extent that it was indeed impossible to recognize the Creator at all within the world. Thus mercy had to be instilled within the world as well, meaning the highest name by which we refer to Hashem, the Yod Key Vav Key, or tetragrammaton, which is made up of the words Haya, Hovei, and Yeheyei - past present and future - i.e. infinity. Hashem had to instill the world with a taste of His infiniteness in order to keep it going, and in order for the purpose of revealing Hashem's essence in the world to be possible to undertake. The second commandment of the 10 were outlined on the tablets states that we are prohibited from worshipping idols. However the words that are used are quite odd and are in need of an explanation. You would think that the scripture would say don't bow down to rocks or other inanimate things, or simply say, don't be a fool and worship man made objects that have no power. Instead, the terminology that is used is "Elokim acherim". - meaning literally other gods. The Torah uses the word Elokim, the same word that is used for Hashem Himself. This is because, the level of Elokim, as is stated above, is the level of nature. It is the level of distinctions. On this level there exists tehara and tuma (purity and impurity) and good and bad. Witchcraft, Buddhism, Eastern Meditation - all of these things have MUCH truth to them and power, however they exist on the level of Elokim. Palmistry, astrology and other occult sciences, are sciences of the natural world, not the supernatural world. The Rambam talks about the origins of Idol Worship and explains that originally, everyone believed in Hashem, but slowly, people began to acknowledge the sun and the moon and other creations of Hashem as the mediums through which Hashem revealed Himself. Slowly, people would thank these mediums for acting as the messengers of Hashem. It soon came to pass that people began to forget that these were just mediums however, and began giving thanks to these tools alone. This is how idol worship started. The problem comes if we latch on to the level of Elokim and that alone, forgetting about the infinite Yod Key Vav Key. The level of Elokim is not always revealed good. The level of Yod Key Vav Key is. If one goes to a palmist (an authentic one of course there are far too many frauds in our times), and the palmist tells one what will happen to them on such and such a day, this will most probably come true. This is because by seeking advice from a palmist, the person has latched on to the level of Elokim, and has thus submitted themselves to nature and its limitations. We are not natural beings. The nefesh Elokit or G-dly soul, which is at the core of every Jew's being, is an extension of the essence of Hashem Himself, Hashem as He exists beyond the level of Yod Key Vav Key even. Still, we have a choice. We can latch onto nature, or we can rise above it by connecting to the infinite. The way to connect to connect to nature is through amulets, meditations, witchcraft, astrology and other such mediums. The way to connect to the infinite is through will of the Creator. A connection is formed when the will (Keter) sucessfully goes through all the sephiros till it comes to action (Malchus). By physically performing the will of our Creator (stemming from the sphere of Keter which is the highest one as is stated above, we can successfully form a connection, and this is the only way. Hence we have the concept of a mitzvah, which is commonly translated as a commandment, but which literally means something which connects, coming from the root of letzavot, to connect. The number of mitzvahs, which a Jew much perform, are in fact 613, while the number of mitzvahs a non-Jew must fulfill are 7 (which correspond to the 7 Rabbinical laws which Jews must keep as well). Together, this adds up to 620, which is significantly, the same number as the numerical value for the word Keter, the sphere corresponding to the will of Hashem (20+400+200= 620). The number of letters in the ten commandments (which are in fact an outline for all of the 620 commandments, the 10 written there, being simply headings to the outline of what they are) is also, significantly 620. Count for yourself!