2 Faith in Story

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 our 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, we Jews embrace and are embraced by our story.

It isn’t that we believe in the story, but that we believe in the power of the reader to invent new meanings from the story that move us ever closer to realizing the global peace promised in the story.

Some of us take our story literally and call it divinely revealed history. I’m not one of them. Others believe that Moses made it up. I’m not one of them either. Still others believe God and Moses are themselves made up. I am one of these.

It isn’t that I don’t believe in God, I just think all beliefs about God are made up. And it isn’t that I doubt any historicity of Torah, it is just that I don’t need Torah to be history. It is the story that matters, and the meanings I can cull from it. For me Torah is story, a narrative I was given at birth, and asked to nurture until my death.

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