Thursday, March 5, 2009

Just a bit more than thirty

I had a whole inspiring post written about today, the ninth of Adar, that also included some snag bashing. Unfortunately that post was lost for all time, so I think I'll skip the snags and instead bash the most recent edition of "Think Jewish", chabad.org's answer to the competition.

So Aaron Moss has a whole beautiful article explaining why everyone has a god. It's actually a really nice article, and makes some really good points. So maybe I'll just copy whole bunches of it and then bash it at the end. Sounds good? Excellent.

Your god is the thing that you believe to be infallible; you trust in its power despite any evidence to the contrary; you believe it will always be there, is all-powerful and omnipresent. It's the thing you can fall back on no matter what. The bedrock of your life-this is your god.

If you think science has all the answers, then science is your god. And belief in science can be as irrational as any religious conviction. Its adherents blindly accept the most outlandish theory, as long as it was presented by an expert in the field.

Another common god is love. Believers in love make lofty statements about its divine qualities: "Love conquers all", "Love is forever", "All you need is love". Even though experience has shown that love is not all you need, and it certainly doesn't conquer all, their faith is not shaken.

Others worship money. And no matter how many miserable millionaires they meet, their god remains infallible.

A very popular modern god is self. "Believe in yourself. If you put your mind to it there's nothing you can't do." Nothing you can't do? Sounds pretty divine. A pity it's not true. We have limitations. There are things that are simply beyond our capability.

It is such a relief to just let G-d be god. If G-d is god, I can be human. I am not G-d. Nothing about me is infallible-not my feelings, not my intelligence, and certainly not my bank balance. I don't have to be perfect. G-d does a good job of that.

Science, love, money, and self are all very important. But they are also fickle, ever-changing, and unpredictable. The G-d of Israel hasn't changed. If anyone or anything should be god, it's G-d.
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Ok, very nice. Good points he makes. So what's my problem? Very simple. All he's really saying is, everyone has a crutch. The Jewish crutch really works! That's why you should be Jewish. Because we have a working crutch. It's such a non-Chassidic way of looking at things. Heck, it's such a non-Jewish way of looking at things. My G-d can beat up your god? What does that do for anyone? It's like Mr. Moss never learned B'yom ashtei assar '31. We don't serve G-d, we don't believe in G-d, because he does good things for us. We don't in believe in him because he's the only thing in existence with any power. We worship and serve because Anah Nesiv Malkeh!