Friday, December 21, 2007

Shabbat Ideas - December 21, 2007

It is Friday and I am back to the land of the living after a while of just too much work so here are my Shabbat Thoughts for December 21, 2007:
Wait we want to talk to those guys...(yes)
Something about Shabbat...from a Rabbi...A Reform Rabbi...Cool
And the New York Jewish Week like it...cool too
Jews are becoming Nativists...(or just the ones controlling the message)
Women who read are cool

I was talking to a friend last night when we were out for a long delayed dinner. We talked about the future of the Jewish community, where we think it is going and a bit about God.

I found an email I sent to my lady about two years ago that was very useful in explaining my feelings about God...I will quote it here because I am lazy it hits my main points.
The idea that nothing is controlled has served as a comfort to me for the first time today. My mother tends to believe that everything happens for a reason. In the past it frightened me that I did not believe in a design to world. Yet today I feel that this is truly a gift. By knowing that neither the good, nor the bad is predetermined by God gives way to God being able to be a construction of Man in certain situations, like creation and human explanation of events. However, the fact that Man cannot explain the future, the true findings of thought and other such intangibles, to me shows that God is compassionate and fuels the thought process; if not directly than indirectly. The free form of ideas and ingenuity of Man clearly know no end. Yet will the end lead to a better understanding of God and the future? I feel that this unknown is where I find God.

This sort of ideology tends to be a reaction to an atheist's argument of proving God. I.e. you say God doesn't exist because you can't see God, but the fact you can't see God and you don't know everything proves there is a God. I do not see this to be the case. This is an abstraction of thought. This idea really just came to me while speaking with my mother. It was a relief to be honest. Wanting to be a rabbi [not the case anymore] and not having an explanation of God in a theological sense has been plaguing me. I had the banal answer of "I find God in the interactions of people" response. While this could fool most Reform (and Liberal) Jews, it was only a stopgap to the understanding I needed to reconcile with my belief of a plan-less world... I do feel that every second of every day people are presented with an infinite number of choices that truly boil down to blinks of the eye. What if? is the poison of those who believe in the plan. I however do not feel what if is not such a defeating nor destructive question.

God, regardless of power or anything else, is the fact that we can't explain things. I like that idea a lot. However in the real world of board rooms and fund raising, not knowing what is coming next can be difficult.

My dinning buddy from last night was lamenting his inability to secure major funding for his projects. It is a real bummer because these projects are good and could be good for the Jewish community.

His feelings about God are much more traditional than mine: God, who created humanity in the divine image he explained, is self-hating and self-punishing but at the same time punishing humanity as we continue to fight and kill one another. In that we are created B'tzeml Elohim as we fight we fight God. Therefore we are paying for our inability to get along and more to the point, we are being punished for our pigheadedness in regards to getting our funding...

So as we move forward, if we take a little bit of both ideas of God, and put them to work within our community, stop fighting and take comfort in the unknown, the Jewish community will be stronger. If not we will continue to punish ourselves by not knowing what is coming next.

Shabbat Shalom

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