Thoughts on God

As a Jew, I listen to and learn from the many voices on God in our traditions - Moses’ God places the Israelites first, Jonah’s God loves all peoples equally, and Job’s God cautions us that we can never understand God’s ways. Maimonides wrote that we can only say what God is not.

For me, God is the mystery at the center of existence. When we imagine something beyond ourselves we get some perspective on our lives. That’s my intellectual God.

When things work, when all goes according to plan, or despite our plans, all works out beautifully anyway, I can feel God. This can happen anywhere - on a mountain with all the earth spread out below me in awe of creation, in a prayer service sharing an insight or a moment of singing together, sharing time with a loved one. Listening closely, with all of my senses, I can tune into the God I feel.

When great ideas come together - usually through a combination of conversation and contemplation - I sense something bigger at work. That hugeness connecting with my small self and helping me find something new - that’s my spiritual and inspiring God.

My Jewish God asks me to use our connections to our people, our texts, our traditions, and our land to find the divine in all these ways, and then share them, teach from them, discuss them so that we can use them together to improve ourselves, our families and our communities.