Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Liza,



What picnic? Am I missing a picnic? The picnic? Oh deary. Maybe Ishould read that bag of papers they gave me now.



I liked the wildfire article. Yes, it did fire more synapses.



I am feeling a little discouraged about Judaism right now-- mostly because the rabbi is not very encouraging. I know he is not supposed to be, but it's hard. And I do feel that I need to read more about Orthodoxy. The other day during my crisis in which Dereck told me to stop beingso literal, my question was this: If there is no evidence that Moses existed, or any of these people for that matter, then what is the basic difference, Moses or Jesus? Pick one. Dereck says that the story of Moses is a myth, a legend, and the laws gave the Jews a sense of purpose that has kept them together, that has caused the very faith to survive all of these years. So, why not the same with Jesus Christ? Why is it more important to me that I read the story of Jesus and don't believe it, when I read the story of Noah, and the story of Jonah, and the story of David andGoliath, Daniel and the Lion's Den with the same grains of salt. The Adam and Eve myth for that matter. I am perfectly okay with Adam and Eve being mythological, but not Moses. I am fearful of anything being mythical that challenges my belief that G-d actually exists. And I have to believe that. The very threads of my sanity and wholeness depend on it.



And so, okay. The other day my friend Karl posed the question on his blog of whether or not someone could have hacked into his computer and called 911 from his phone line, even though the power went out and it's not uncommon for your house to somehow contact 911 during these times. That is what the police told him on each of their three visitsto his house. But that didn't stop him from posing the question of a computer hacker. I told him he was a silly boy and that didn't happen. He said, it could have. I said, Not in the universe I live in. So, the point is, he lives in a self-constructed reality in which strangers hack into your computer and call 911 just for kicks. I knowt hat this is among the realm of possibilities, but the very unlikelihood (and I am not willing to entertain all the reasons why it*could* be likely. Didn't happen) of it happening has convinced me that that possibility should be dismissed as silliness.



Now. I am perfectly okay living in my self-constructed reality inthis circumstance and letting him live in his. But in the case ofG-d's existence, not so. I have to know how 911 got dialed, and theory is not enough for me. And I am not only willing to entertain every possibility, but I also view all of them as equally likely. I can't dismiss any as less important than the other because it's too important to me to know HOW 911 came to be dialed, not just the factthat it was. Do you follow where I am going with this? Maybe with the concept of G-d and His existence I should adopt the attitude that 911 was called(the earth exists) and so it doesn't really matter HOW it got called,but it seems LIKELY that G-d had something to do with it. And take things from there. And now (or before now) you are thinking to yourself, "I have conclusive, written, email proof that we have not only covered this ground before, but also that we have solved this."



But I keep returning to it. Because it's important.



If Moses did not really exist, then can I really adopt Judaism as my spiritual home, completely discounting Christianity? Because, if we are going to talk metaphorically about what feels like a good fit, then I can't choose this without further exploring the possibilities of that. I keep waiting for the lightning bolt to come and level this forest,but sometimes men build the fires when the lightning doesn't come.



I don't like Christianity. I don't necessarily want to be a Christian. But I am still drawn to the icons and to Orthodoxy, and I have to find out why. Is it aesthetic? One of the things I initially liked about Judaism is now giving me pause: if it's just a good lifestyle without genuine belief, as it seems to be for many Jews just as it is for many Protestants, then *I*can't do it. It's not enough. Even with the traditions, the rituals.I am still on the path, still on the search for Truth. And maybe Judaism is True. But the whole Moses thing *bothers* me. I don't like it. I don't want to think that. What if I went and got the same degree that Dereck did? I might be shaken to the very core. I might not ever recover. Why is it so essential to me to believe in G-d? It is. It is. I don't know why. But it is.



Prayer is important to me. I do think He takes care of us. I don't think things are coincidental. I don't think it was an accident that Christine, who hasn't known up til this morning who was going to watch Rowan this year, mentioned it to her para Sarah, who needs extra money and will do it, and who is marvelously qualified to do so. And whose husband is in Justice Systems. These kinds of layers and complexity are simply too much to be a coincidence. I know that I am in Kirksville for a reason. I know that you are too. I don't yet know why. Yet here we are.



Our lives are not justaccidents, and I am just crazy enough as a little spec of dust in the universe to insist that in the face of intellectuals and great minds who will tell me otherwise and why. And I can't prove it. But it all goes back for me to how then do I live? Which way? Which myth? And this just brings me to tears. Because I am uncertain about my path. Judaism is turning out to be much less about G-d and much more about the community than I had thought. And it is still beautiful, but I need something more personal.



So.This brings me back to Orthodoxy. And I will have to dig back in again.



Sigh.



Pray for me.



Jen

2 comments:

  1. The thing with Christianity is this...and I don't speak from a Mormon perspective so I could be wrong about your situation but consider this...

    Judaism boasts a community revelation. The whole community was gathered at Sinai when the Ten Commandments were given and Hashem revealed himself and his covenant to the nation. EVERYONE was there. EVERYONE saw it. I don't think anyone disputes that which is why Pesach is such an important holiday...we relive it and pass it down, it was THAT important. The story doesn't say some guy divined it and came back and told everyone else...the story says that everyone witnessed it! The story doesn't require you to suspend your belief in a rational world and claim that some guy was born of a virgin and then suspended the laws of physics and rose from the dead. Christianity requires FAITH and most of it is unbelievable. NOT believeable. My cousin told me a few weeks ago that G-d needed a NEW covenant and that's why he sent J. But why? Was the original covenant imperfect? If so, that would mean G-d erred...G-d made a mistake. Is that so? I recommend that you read the articles at Jews for Judaism. That helped me a lot in this conundrum.

    Z at JewView

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  2. Thank you, Z.

    I am floored. I had completely forgotten about that. Thank you.

    Wow.

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