Talking To The Wall
“Rabbi, I usually feel when I pray that I am talking to the wall!”
“Rabbi; when I read or hear people say to a child, ‘Your father is now in heaven,’ to console him, I shudder. I wonder how much we choose to believe simply to make ourselves feel better. If I believe that about people of other religions, how can I be sure that I am not doing the same thing?”
“Rabbi, the world is inconsistent with what I have learned about God. I have heard the numerous explanations of the difference between humanity’s choices and God’s actions, but I cannot find peace as I look at all the evil and suffering in the world.”
“Rabbi, I will never be able to live at the level God expects, at least the way I am taught by so many Rabbis. I wonder how well those Rabbis would handle living in my situation! Am I doomed to never have a good relationship with God?”
“Rabbi, I don’t want to determine how to relate to God. I want to follow His instructions, but they are simply too demanding.”
The above is a fair sampling of the questions asked over the past two days, typical of issues, doubts and concerns that people share with me everyday.
“Why are my experiences with observant Jews consistently unpleasant?”
“I am torn between fitting into the community despite its lackings, and developing a more passionate relationship with God.”
“How can I ever find truth if great scholars debate the most fundamental issues? Am I really the one who has to choose?”
“I feel that God is torturing me! He teases me by lifting my hopes and then smashes me down just before I achieve success. I pray and He rejects me. I work on myself and it is never enough!”
“My life has been one failure after another. I take responsibility for my choices, but this is just too much. What does God want from me?”
I spend a great deal of time dealing with such questions. I certainly do not have all the answers and cannot claim to answer for God.
I chose to share these questions with you as I explore a new series of blogs: The Big Picture. I look forward to your comments, challenges, criticisms and questions. Perhaps we will successfully find a crack in that wall.
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