“We who have been unsatisfied by any traditional religion have spentour lives in quest of a rose, but the closest we ever get is entering a room still redolent with the scent of a rose that was removed before we arrived.”
It’s unavoidable: the god factor, yes or no or other or what? Yom
kippur is here again and this prepent process, almost over, sends me
back again to probe the big one: does god matter? (and does the no
capital G use matter?)

I’m pretty sure that this entire repentance process can be succesfuly
completed and be totally devoid of theological land mines – virtually
god-free. We take stock of the year that was, focus on what matters to
us now and plan ahead for the future, full of high hopes. Humans
striving to do/be better.
We ask each other for forgiveness, deal with our shame, regret, rage,
responsibilities. We fast because our ancestors used to, we cry when
the liturgy rips at our heart with memory and manipulative poetry, and
god’s got nothing to do with it. If we pray we use allegory,
psychological convictions, Contemplative tools. It’s not about god –
Creator, source, judge or imaginary friend. If we address anything at
all in our pleas for help or rants of rage or simple thank you’s it’s
some vague sense of the universe, the life force, nature, or perhaps
our inner selves.


Over drinks a few days ago G. Asks me about god – “does faith give you
comfort”? He wants examples.

The best that I can do is tell him that yes, there is comfort here,
there is a powerful sense of being part of a plan bigger than self, a
plan that is both chaos and cosmos, random pain and intentional
pleasure, all blended up, no sense or rhyme or reason – but real and
larger than life.
I may be fooling myself but prayer helps me; at times of great need
and vast awe I reach out higher and it feels – and sometimes thinks –
important, connected, not alone.

G., ever the journalist does not relent: ” do you believe in god”?

I promise him an answer after yom kippur.

And I take these remaining days of prepenting to wrap up as many
unfinished friend related tasks as possible and focus on the g spot
and my relationship with IT circa now.

What’s the role of god in whatever form in your life? ( not a
rhetorical question. I’m really curious, dear readers, fellow
prepenters, do tell??)

“We who have been unsatisfied by any traditional religion have spent
our lives in quest of a rose, but the closest we ever get is entering
a room still redolent with the scent of a rose that was removed before
we arrived. We cannot easily locate God in the house of our longing,
yet we remain haunted; God’s missing presence echoes throughout the
empty rooms. In the void we hear faint hymns of an ancient faith for
which we no longer have room among the endless quarks, waves and
subatomic particles identified by science. We exist in a God-shaped
vacuum. That which is no longer present (but is not completely absent)
gives shape to our aspirations and longing.”

In the Absence of God, Sam Keen



Rabbi Amichai & Lab/Shul’s annual Elul journey into the new Jewish year with 40 daily communally co-created inspirations to help us begin the year with more focus and presence.

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