I’ve spent the last couple of weeks digging back into the Torah and Talmud with an objective and academic lens. I’ve always enjoyed the stories in Genesis. I’m not saying I believe in talking snakes and donkeys or that a 500 year old man loaded a boat with 2 of every kind. It’s not necessary to believe these stories as historical events to learn from them. Instead, one can look at the various ways men and women are portrayed. (As a side note Sarah and Rebecca, are clearly more influential than their husbands. How’s that for the man inspired myth of male dominance?)
The Talmud makes so many interesting points on the incorporeal nature of god. This got me thinking about how many religions have always done the exact opposite. They’ve applied characteristics like “jealous god” or even actions like “walking in the garden” or “remembering.” How would an incorporeal spirit do this? Isn’t it more likely that the writers of these text were just personalizing god because its easier to understand when we make god like us? The Torah is a book of instructions (not just rules) and I believe Genesis does more teaching because it really does have the best stories.
Now… let’s step out of the Torah and the Talmud and look inward. We all think, act, and feel things in our own way. We tend to “think” that we know what love means, but does my concept of love align with yours? Does my sense of morality align with yours? Can you really “know” how someone else is “feeling?” Think about that for a minute. We all exist in a physical sense, but then there is that other part of us. The part that “feels” and “loves.” Whether these are merely neurons and electrons firing in certain sequences, does not take away the fact that these are actual nonphysical or visible attributes. What’s to say the universe with its numerous stars and worlds teeming with life in forms we have yet to comprehend, doesn’t also have this attribute? Wouldn’t that explain your ability to “connect” with someone you love by merely making eye contact? Wouldn’t that explain those occurrences when you are thinking of someone only to find in a phone or text conversation that they were thinking of you at the same time?
The mystery of the universe is the greatest of all mysteries and our desire to understand it and relate to it is manifested in many ways.. worship, experimentation, exploration, reverence, appreciation, and inquiry. We all try to discover that mystery in our own way. It’s how our soul interacts with the mystery, that universal soul…