Hope Will Find You
“Yes you were.”“No I wasn’t.”“I woke you; your whole body jerked.”“I wasn’t sleeping,” he insisted.It got really quiet in the room except for his stomach, and then helooked at me and said, “Well, hypothetically, if I
sleeping, howwould that make you
?”I thought to myself,
I can’t even hold a therapist’s attention, how canI expect to hold God’s attention?
I was a rabbi and God was no comfort to me.Who was my God? I thought about the way God appeared in theBible through so many different lenses. Every biblical personality en-countered God in a very personal and speciﬁc way. Abraham’s Godwas an aloof, even sadistic, God of tests, who was willing to pit mo-rality, love, and compassion against faith. Jacob’s approach to Godwas all about Monty Hall and
Let’s Make a Deal
—“If you do this forme, I’ll do that for you.” Moses’ God was all Hollywood, a God of special effects and pyrotechnics—ten plagues, seas parting.On the High Holy Days, I was taught to see a God who was pun-ishing and judgmental. A God who sits on a throne evaluating all ourdeeds and decides who will live and who will die.Who was my God?There certainly were times in my life when I hated God. Timeswhen I could not pray. Times when I could not even bring myself tosay Kaddish, the Jewish memorial prayer, for my own father, whotaught me to love God, who taught me how to pray, who brought meto synagogue every Sabbath and let me hide beneath the wings of hisprayer shawl.