Shabbat Shalom Magazine

Written by: Jacques B. Doukhan

Life with God, Where Does It Go?

Who can speak rightly about life with God? There are so many ways of living with God and so many religions. It is troubling that all these religions refer to the same God, the God of life, the Creator, and yet live differently. They do not eat the same food, and they do not pray the same prayers. They do not even worship at the same time.

How can we account for this multiplicity of religions? The nonreligious person sneers at us who claim to believe in one God. All the more so as this claim to the “unique” God far too often degenerated into intolerance, inquisitions, and crusades. This unique God is my God. Only my story and my lesson are the right ones. You have to do it my way. If not, I will kill you.

The first example of this way of thinking was given by Cain, who killed Abel precisely because his brother did not do it his way. Is there here a lesson on behalf of pluralism? Should we then say yes to the many ways—even to the bad way, the wrong way? In truth, the reason for this intolerance and paradoxicality in so many ways lies in the fact that religion has become a culture, a mere human expression of some vague wisdom. One has forgotten in the process that the best way, indeed, to live with God is to let God live with us. The way to God is God’s way to us. So understood, life with God becomes an adventure, a journey, where we only know the One with whom we walk but do not know where we will go.

 

Image: Yakov Chernin for Shalom L.C. 

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