My dear friend and teacher, Rabbi Adam Kligfeld, challenged me to write my theology in 100 words. This is both harder and easier than it sounds. I highly recommend the effort.
Theology is “the systematic and rational study of God and of the nature of religious ideas.”
Confronting my theology was difficult because I have so much to say, little of it is rational, and 100 words could never qualify as systematic.
The exercise was liberating, however, because I knew it would not be exhaustive. I simply wrote from the heart.
- God created the world and sustains it continuously, as a Dreamer sustains His dream. Like characters in a dream, we cannot fathom the Dreamer’s waking world.
- God loves us.
- God exercises infinite restraint in permitting us to live, despite the aggravation we cause Him and each other, perhaps because we make God kvell.*
- God gave us eternal souls, and eternity is more than enough time to redress the apparent injustices of this world.
- God created different streams for living, loving, and knowing Him, Baruch HaShem.** My soul flows within the Jewish stream.
* Kvell is a word of Yiddish origin meaning to feel extraordinarily proud of a loved one.
** Baruch HaShem is Hebrew for “Blessed be The Name.” We say it to express gratitude for the infinite gifts we receive continuously, both knowingly and unknowingly.
Image: Sal in the Judean hills