February 17, 2009

Explaining My Judaism

The Blues Brothers Are On a Mission From God.

I keep writing and rewriting the opening paragraph of this post. I don't like the title. I hate it. It sounds ridiculous and idiotic and it sets a poor tone, but for now it will do.

Sometimes I'd like my religious beliefs to be based solely upon critical reasoning and logical thought. It'd be really nice and exceptionally convenient if they fit together like a cool set of legos. I'd start by providing you with an outline and then follow up with sections that built upon each other.

It would be like a pyramid with a wide base that served as a foundation and then blocks upon blocks until it reached the narrow top. And the best part would be that it would be easy to simple to understand. You'd look at the bottom and by the time you reached the top you'd have a clear understanding of why I believe what I believe.

Or maybe what I am really saying is that I'd like that. I'd like to be able to just whip out an explanation that didn't leave me asking questions or shaking my head because some things just didn't make sense.

But the thing is that when we are dealing with matters of faith then we are forced to take positions that require accepting that faith is sometimes all we have. It is hard to do and it makes for all sorts of interesting situations and compromises.

Faith is what let's me accept some things and question others. To some people I am sure that this sounds ridiculous. One could easily argue that most of us are brainwashed as children to accept a particular religion as being the truth. From that perspective we could also argue that those who convert as adults deserve special consideration because they made a choice to believe, it wasn't just spoonfed to them.

But that is a different story for a different time.

When I think about faith I think about a number of things. I think about love. When someone says that she loves me do I simply accept her word or do I require her to prove it. And if I require her to prove it, what do I need for proof.

Must she bear my children or would it be enough to have sex with me. Does she need to live with me and take care of me to prove it, or could it be proven by words.

Now all that might sound ridiculous, but to me it is tied into faith. When she says that she loves me I can take her word and accept it to be the truth or I can doubt it.

Ultimately I make my decision based upon a couple of factors, but faith is the primary mover. It is a bit disconcerting to make decisions that way, but sometimes it is all you have.

Ok, is it just me or is this post a prime example of gibberish and blather.


Michael said...

Did you ever read This is My God, by Herman Wouk?

Sounds to me like you might find it of interest.

Jack said...

Haven't seen it, I'll have to check it out.

Mottel said...

a very interesting post . . . though it seems like only the tip of your pyramid.
Faith begins where logic ends. There are two commandments in the Torah: to Believe in G-d and to know Him.
We are obligated to learn and try to understand as much as possible about Hashem, the Torah and Mitzvos - anything less then that is ignorance.
However, after that point has been reached, belief kicks in . . .

Ben-Yehudah said...

No, I don't think what you said was in the least bit gibberish.

I get it,...or at least I think I do, to the degree that I'm not you, I get it.

Jack said...

Faith begins where logic ends.

I have always liked that line.


Glad that it makes some sort of sense. Wasn't real sure if I was being clear or not.

Jay said...

Blind faith is never a problem. Problems come when blind faiths don't accomodate eath other.