May 20, 2019

WHEN YOU TREAT IT AS AN ETHNICITY:

A Judaism bereft of its center: All the thoughtful, creative ideas in the world can't replace deep, personal, engagement with the beating heart of Judaism (Aryeh Ben David, MAY 20, 2019, Times of Israel)

I once asked a rabbi: "How is your personal relationship with God?"

Speechless, his face went white.

Then, before he answered, I asked him a second question: "When was the last time you were asked that question?"

This time he could answer: "Never."

I have raised this question countless times with rabbis over the past 10 years, hoping to hear something different. And yet - rabbis who have been in the field for 10, 20, and even 30 years have all reacted the same way. In the last five years, since beginning Ayeka's work in day schools, I have put this question up to teachers - who have also answered similarly.

We have lost our center. We have become a God-less people.

The Jewish people brought the idea of God to the world: a monotheistic God; a God who is not distant but interacts in our lives; a God who is a benevolent creator; a God who communicated directly with our ancestors for centuries.  

Now God is the one subject we don't talk about. [...]

A Judaism that has exorcised God from its core - will not survive. Period. It is an amputation following which the patient cannot live. It is doomed, no matter how many great rabbis, teachers, and pedagogically innovative programs may flourish.

Posted by at May 20, 2019 3:59 AM

  

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