Tucson, AZ - March 2007 - Age 60
This has been a very different year for me in my study of Judaism and my personal belief system … especially the last month or so … as many of my perspectives about Judaism have taken new shape … as they come more sharply into focus.
I do appreciate the Jewish rituals … they are wonderful and have always brought me much joy. And I do appreciate the lessons that are taught by the ancient Rabbis … there is so much beautiful wisdom to learn.
But recently there has been a new bright light that shines down for me. A light that has cleared my vision to see and understand with new eyes the attitude and “stories” of the Jews as told by ancient teachings … generation after generation … that Jews are told how and what they should believe if they are to be Jews … and it is these teachings that have caused me to move into a new dimension of what Judaism (and perhaps all formal religions) is all about for me.
And although I will always be a Jew and One God will always be central to me, I have a deep need to Love God “organically” and naturally from MY own heart and not from someone telling me how I should Love God.
This is what God has instilled in me for as long as I can remember … as the most precious of Jewish prayers, the Shema says it well … “Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your might”. It is the word “your” that is key for me … it tells me to Love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul and all my might … and not someone else’s … and not how the ancient Rabbi’s … even in all their wisdom … think loving God should be.
Now imagine if all your own children were taught that they had to learn to love you in a predefined way … and each one in exactly the same way as their brothers and sisters love you
… exactly as your ancestors did going back 1000’s of years as they taught their children how they should love their parents.
I ask … is this really the kind of love you would want from each of your uniquely created children? Do you really need to teach your children how they should love you? Or do you want them to love you for who you are … and who they are when they are with you and away from you … because of how you treat them ... and your individual relationship you develop with them … and how you as parents give your love to them ... unconditionally? Is this not the kind of Love you want to share with your children? Is this not same the kind of Love God wants to share with us?
In a million years from now why will we still need to remember what happened a million years ago? In a million years from now will God Love us less if we don’t … In a million years from now will the old enemies of the Jews and all of mankind itself be long gone … when antisemitism and bigotry will long be forgotten by all nations because of Gods blessings ... In a million years from now won’t there still be One God for ALL of mankind to Love.
But then you may ask … what about Today? Then I must ask … when will it be time for Tomorrow? Because a million years from today will soon be God’s yesterday.
This year I will not partake in a traditional Passover Seder … but instead I will commune with nature and God … and eat some Matzo and have my own Seder … and experience my inner thoughts as they come forth … “Thank You God for Loving me … Thank You God for All that I have … I love You God” as this feeling sings from my heart and soul … and God will answer back in God’s own way … “And I Love you too.”
by Ron Kaufman
from his "Labyrinth of Life" Collection