Archives for April 2014


YHVH is the second name of God introduced in Torah. Because we Jews are forbidden from pronouncing this Name, our rabbis created a euphemism we can pronounce: Adonai, Lord. With this they made YHVH in their own image. Where YHVH is a verb, Adonai is a noun. Where YHVH is not gendered, Adonai is masculine. Where YHVH is nonhierarchical, Adonai is the top of a hierarchy. Where YHVH is imageless, Adonai is the image of the rabbis themselves.While it is true that YHVH is without form, it is not … [Read more...]

11 Elohim: Not God the Creator but God the Creating

“In the beginning Elohim (God) created sky and earth,” (Genesis 1:1). The beginning as Torah understands it was less than 6000 years ago (I am writing this book in the Jewish calendar year 5774). The beginning as I understand it was 13.8 billion years ago. The creation of the earth was a little over 4.5 billion years ago. So Torah is a bit off here. But it doesn’t matter. Why? Because Torah isn’t a science book, Torah is a storybook. The value of our story isn’t in its science (or history for tha … [Read more...]

10 God is Ultimate Reality

My understanding of God mirrors that of the first century rabbi Saul of Tarsus: God is that “in which we live, and move, and have our being,” (Acts 18:28). It may be odd to quote Rabbi Saul, better known as St. Paul, in a book on Judaism, but on this point he is spot on. I am a panentheist (pan/all en/is in theos/God). I believe that God, if the word is to have value for me at all, is Ultimate Reality, the source and substance of all that was, is, or can be.  I won’t pretend that the au … [Read more...]

9 God is Dead. Long live God!

We Jews have many Gods. This is because we have many readings of our story. There are Jews who’s God is obsessed with Land, and who are themselves similarly obsessed. There are Jews who’s God is obsessed with women’s modesty, and who are themselves similarly obsessed. There are Jews who’s God is all about mitzvot/commandments, and so they, too, are all about keeping the mitzvot and commandments. There are many Gods worshipped by Jews. But for most Jews, all these Gods are dead, having been gassed … [Read more...]

8 But Does God Matter?

Remember, the only God we know is the God of story, whether it be our story or some other story. In all cases the God of story supports and sanctions the story in which that God appears. And because the things these Gods support and sanction become the determining factors in the way billions of human beings live their lives, Gods matter. But in the case of Torah, God isn’t a finished character. As we grow, God grows. That is to say as we understand more about the nature of reality our reading of … [Read more...]