(37.40) What Do I–Rabbi Brian–Think That (the) God (of my understanding) Wants


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From the desk of Rabbi Brian

What do I – Rabbi Brian – think that (the) God (of my understanding) wants from me? An honest, present relationship with me.

This article has been lifted from my book – How To Find Out What (The) God (Of Your Understanding) Wants from You. The
book helps adults find their own answers to the question of what it is
that God (howsoever they understand this word) wants from them.

This is one of the answers (of many) that I give.

Rabbi Brian’s Book


Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
considered by many to be one of the most significant Jewish theologians
of the 20th century – wrote that society’s problems were not caused by
humanity seeking and searching for God. He wrote that the ills stemmed
from God searching for humanity and humanity making excuses, running

Nineteenth century Polish scholar Menachem Mendel of Kotzk
once asked a group of students, as the introduction to a longer
discussion, “Where is God?” The students’ answered his softball
question with words they knew by heart: God is everywhere.
(Although, in the way I initially heard the story, they put it in a bit
more Biblical language, “The whole earth is filled with God’s glory.” ) The great teacher exclaimed, “No! God is only where humanity makes room for God.”

Carl Jung had the Latin phrase Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderit (Invited or not invited, God is present) inscribed above his doorway.

I often run away from, fail to make space for, and ignore God.

is in the present all around me right this moment. And, as with a faint
star in the heavens, as soon as I stare at it, it disappears; God,
likewise, is really hard to keep an eye on.

as I understand it, wants a relationship with me. A real one. A present
day one. Not one based on the fact that I’m circumcised or that I was
ordained as a rabbi. Not one based in history, but one based right here
and now in the here and now. God wants to be a part of my life, even if
that means a few more sessions of us going to couple’s counseling.

God of my understanding doesn’t want me to have blind devotion. God
wants to wrestle with me and for us to proverbially enjoy a glass of
schnapps together.

wants me to be in a relationship – a real, adult-type relationship. The
type in which I can tell God honestly, as I do with my wife and closest
friends, when I feel disappointed or annoyed in the way I feel I’m
being treated.

I am certain now, was glad that I taught classes on atheism because I
was working on our relationship – not ignoring it, but working through
the difficult parts. God wanted then and still wants from me some
inkling of where our relationship stands.

Like it or not, God is here, all around me, and God wants to be more a part of my life.

This week’s spiritual-religious advice: Think
about whether you believe (the) God (of your understanding) wants an
honest relationship with you and what that might look like.



With love,

Rabbi Brian

Rabbi Brian

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