1. Our Story, Our Selves, Part One

1.1. Jews are storytellers. The story we tell is of a god who creates a world, and partners with a people to bring godliness to that world. We call this god YHVH. We call this world planet earth. We call this people—ourselves—Yisrael, godwrestlers.

1.2 Story and storyteller arise together; neither precedes the other; neither outlasts the other. We Jews are nothing without our story; our story is nothing without us.

1.3. Because our story is ancient, we Jews are ancient. Because our story continues, we Jews continue.

1.4. Our story has a beginning—“In the beginning”—but as yet it has no end. We live in the middle. We always have. And as long as we do, we and our story will not end for we will be needed to embody the end.

1.5. We do know, however, how it is supposed to end: humanity beats its swords into ploughshares, nations cease to study war, and everyone sits fearlessly beneath her vine and her fig tree (Micah 4:3–4). This end has yet to be embodied, so we keep telling our story, creating new ways to live in the middle, and forging new ways to realize the end vision toward which it drives us.

1.6. Our faith isn’t in creed, dogma, or belief; our faith is in story: the power of story to change lives, and the human potential to embody this particular story and bring about its promised end. It is our story that defines us, and we who define our story. Like lovers whose intimacy leaves them vulnerable to each other’s sorrows and joys, so we Jews embrace and are embraced by our story.

 

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