Thursday, February 17, 2005

Why blog now?

My goal in writing this blog is to share some things that go on in my life... personal things... things that relate to my relationship with G-d, with my peers, and with those I deeply care about.

I wouldn't write about life as a frum Jew unless there were a life -not- as a frum Jew. There was.

People thought I was crazy making the transition from being a normal guy. I always felt Jewish, but it wasn't until yeshiva that I learned that there is an obligation to follow G-d's commandments. Before then, I thought of Him as some spiritual being or force, with a long white beard if he had one. Regarding the Mount Sinai story? I thought it was a parable; a lesson to teach us about ascetic morality. You should have seen my face when I was in yeshiva learning Chumash (5 books of Moses) and I raised my head up in wonder and asked the rabbi "you mean this stuff is real?!?"

Here was my logic for becoming religious: If there is a G-d, then we have an obligation to him to follow his commandments. When we die, we'll know if we were right. If there is no G-d, and reality is limited to our experience in our lifetime only, when we die, consciousness will die with us and we won't know we were wrong. I'd rather err on the side of being religious.

1 comment:

kermitt10 said...

Your logic at the end is commonly referred to as Pascal's wager. True, it may help you to develop a belief, but the wager is, as i'm sure you know, not as tidy as you imply it to be.
two of the biggest problems are:
1) that IF god does not exist, then "believing" or "following commandments" is a waste of time. Time which, for our short lives, would be better spent on other "real and worthwhile" pursuits.
2) Even assuming God Does exist, which God? which mode of worship does this God desire? the Catholic form? the Jewish form? the Islamic form? Hindu? Native American? Do we get "Hell" if we belive in God but pick the wrong form of worship?

Even within Judaism, different "denominations" have different beliefs.
Orthodoxy and Conservative may believe that torah is "min hashamayim" and ever enduring differing only in how the interpretive process operates, while Reform may believe that it may have been "minhashmayim" but was only transitory to be replaced by newer revelations, or they may believe that only certain aspects of torah were "minhashamayim"

I think it is for this reason the 10 Commandments does NOT begin by commanding us to believe in God, but to KNOW God, experientially with all of our senses, as if we know our own spouse, or our selves.

Once we know God, and who god is and what god wants the Wager dissolves into mootness.