Not MY God

by Rebecca Einstein Schorr on 18 July 2012 @ 5:35 pm

There are many things that don’t know about God.

I hope that doesn’t make you nervous to hear that from a rabbi. I mean, it’s not as if I’m a brain surgeon admitting that there are many things I don’t know about neuropaths or cerebral blood flow.

I don’t know why certain things happen.
I don’t know how God is able to watch without intervening. (As a parent, I know how much self-control this must require.)
I don’t know why there must be so much suffering.

But here is what I do know: God does not cause the suffering. Nor does God take the young, beautiful, talented, etc. because He wants them by His side.” At least, my God doesn’t do that.

In Maimonidean understanding, it isn’t that God is unable to do that. For to state that would be to limit the power of the Eternal. Rather, God chooses not to do that. Cancer strikes indiscriminately.Young and old alike. Beautiful and ugly alike. Talented and untalented alike.God does not need some of us more than others.

Death is a part of life. A painful part, to be sure. We seek answers to the unanswerable. The God I know embraces us in death as in life. The God that I know helps ease us out of the darkness of grief, back to life renewed. I cannot fathom a Loving God who deliberately wretches our loved ones from us for His own edification.

The psalmist, in his anguish, calls out: I lift my eyes to the mountains; what is the Source of my help?

My help. Not my hurt. Or my pain. Or my fear. But my help. The psalmist comforts himself with his own answer: My help comes from God, Maker of Heaven and earth.

Our Tradition does not respond with “he’s in a beter place” or” she was so perfec that God wanted her in His kingdom.”. For there is no better place to be is here, healthy, with us.

May those who are grieving be drawn close to the Source of Comfort.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Irene 18 July 2012 @ 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm

Well said.


2 Rachel 19 July 2012 @ 4:03 am at 4:03 am

I believe that we suffer so that we have a greater ability to connect with others. We’re here to connect and build each other and make g-d more visible through our lives. Bad things happen to good people so that those people can share with others how they made it through.


3 Rebecca Einstein Schorr 19 July 2012 @ 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm

Welcome, Rachel!

I believe that suffering offers us the opportuity to empathize with others and be a support to one another. But I cannot believe that is the reason for our suffering. A loving God could not cause the suffering so that we came to such knowledge.


4 Jody 23 July 2012 @ 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm

It’s our choice to suffer. I truly believe that G-d has provided us with that freedom, the freedom to CHOOSE. There is something unique about Earth (and, yes, I believe there are many other worlds than ours) wherein we are an experiment of sorts. Can a moral consciousness choose to do good, be of peace, etc?

Unfortunately, I don’t have to tell you that, thus far, we aren’t acquitting ourselves very well!


5 Donetta 02 February 2013 @ 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm

I enjoyed reading this though I am at a point in my life that I am struggling with religions in general. I would have to give you a whole life story to explain where I am right now at this point in my life. I do know that since I lost the first person really close to me, my grandfather that raised me, even at 17 years old, I disliked hearing about how ‘he was in a better place’. ‘Rejoice for him.’ ‘God called another angel home.’ I can tell you my grandfather was no angel, though on death’s bed he did accept Jesus as his savior, I’m told. I enjoy reading everyone’s different takes on God. I believe in my heart people misconstrue God and religion as the same thing. I don’t like any organised religions when it comes to judging other’s, proclaiming to be right and all other beliefs wrong, and some of the things I have heard in my 36 years, I have to believe God is a loving God. The God I pray to and know in my heart, isn’t the one I was brought up to know in a small town Church of ‘God’. Thank you.


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