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What is G-d Smoking?

Thursday, 21 January, 2016 - 7:02 pm

On Wednesday, I had the privilege of visiting my colleague Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz who is battling the dreadful disease of ALS. He is super fun and outgoing, serving the Jews of Temecula for more than a decade, but today resides in Los Angeles where he’s being cared for by his amazing wife Dina and a great medical team. Although he can’t speak, it was fascinating to converse with him via his Electronic Eye Gaze computer, as he asked me about our family, Montana and everything in between.

In this week’s Torah portion, Beshalach, we read about the splitting of the Red Sea and our march to Sinai. With musical instruments to rock the day, Miriam led the women in song, while Moses led the men. In the “Song of the sea” they expressed their feelings “This is my G-d, and I will make Him a habitation, the G-d of my father, and I will ascribe to Him exaltation”. While it’s a poetic masterpiece, it’s expressing a much deeper truth: G-d needs to be mine; an internalized reality of me. First He’s my G-d, then G-d of my father. The fact that my parents or grandparents believed, doesn’t do much for my relationship with Hashem.

If our relationship with G-d is never nurtured, It will be very hard to find Him in moments of challenge. We all experience agnosticism at times, wondering “What is G-d smoking?”, as we seek to understand the mystery of His plan. Yet, if we’d spend more time delving into Jewish philosophy and Chassidic thought, meditating on life and its G-dly gifts and praying, praying hard, for inner courage, we’d be better positioned to deal with the crisis’s that, inevitably, come our way. Yitzi and Dina teach me every day that faith is stronger than anger, love is stronger than any trial life brings and hope is the only Jewish way.

I-God; ridiculously powerful!



May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May He protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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