[This article is a serious piece of heresy. It does not presume to change or question any established Jewish values, but merely amounts to an intellectual exercise. Our religious readers might want to skip it.]

Strictly grammatically, the Torah’s pronouncement that God is one does not imply that he is the only one in existence. When we say to the wife, “You’re my only one,” there is no implication that she’s the only woman around.

Suppose for a moment that minor deities exist; is it possible that God cannot defeat them? Consider the situation with souls: after death, they exist unaffiliated with one another, in complete loneliness. There is a famous Sadducean argument: if a woman was married several times, and each of the husbands died in turn, to which of them is she married in the afterlife? Rabbinical Jews and Christians after them retorted that souls do not interact. The lack of interaction is an unavoidable consequence of incorporeality: an object which lacks any attribute (such as size, duration, or strength of field) has no attribute to change. Interaction is conceived as a change of attributes: we jam into one another (change our form slightly), magnetic fields change their strength when interposed, etc. Lack of attributes makes interaction impossible. Bereft of attributes, souls cannot interact.

Incorporeal God cannot interact with similarly incorporeal entities. He cannot listen to angelic songs of praise, and he cannot defeat other deities if they exist.

The only interaction takes place in the world created, the realm of attributes. Here, God can communicate with humans, influence their thinking, and perhaps do something about events—but not physically affect the material world. About this, sages say that God doesn’t do miracles that violate the laws of nature.

Human thought is transcendent. Suppose otherwise, that it is a product of physical brain processes. Then suppose that at a certain stage of scientific advancement, we can copy one’s brain neuron-for-neuron. We can give a verbal command to the artificial brain and record its reaction. Seconds later, we convey the same command to the original person. Since their brains are physically identical, the person should respond in exactly the same manner as the artificial brain did. Thus, we would be able to predict a response, and there is no free will. Unless we accept humans as automata, thought has to be transcendent, at least in some part.

The microworld-type indeterminacy does not help: if each copy of the brain has a measure of randomness to it, then the decisions are also random rather than governed by free will.
It is natural that incorporeal God affects the transcendent thought which he created, which is probably a part of himself if he pervades the universe created.

Though the Torah’s references to God in plural can be plausibly interpreted as plural of majesty which actually refers to a singular object, it is much harder with Genesis 3:22, “The man has become as one of us.” It would be a blasphemy to suggest God’s multiple personality, and the rabbinical explanation that the Torah speaks here of angels strikes against a rock that, thus interpreted, God speaks of angels as similar to himself, essentially minor deities. Using plural verb for a noun of majesty, as in Genesis 1:26 (“Let us makes a man”), is highly unusual, and suggests multiple objects.

The Torah speaks of other deities matter-of-factly, with no implication of them being false: “For he will turn your son away from me, and they will serve the deities of others” (Deut7:4). “For the LORD your God is God of gods” (Deut10:17). The Torah’s author had no doubts that the Egyptian priests performed true miracles in competition with Moses. What we consider as several manifestations of God were worshiped by various tribes as local deities. Midians sacrificed to El Shaddai, the Jerusalemites of Melchizedek to God the Most High, and the Egyptians to Aton/Adon. It would be odd to imagine that all the billions of people who worshiped deities and ancestral spirits were utterly silly.

Various deities have their representation in this world, in a sense legitimately. God cannot destroy the deities or their physical representations, but can induce some humans to do so.

Jews fight literally for the sake of our God.