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.

I believe:

  • 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.

Originally published at Hevria 

Image: Sal in the Judean hills