If you’ve read my earlier stories, you might surmise I hoped there was no God. From that vantage point, I thought the odds of a good life were better if life were just a crap shoot. At least then we’d all be squared off without a cheating ump or preferential referee. In my mind, any preferential referee would be a biased God vying against my team.
Growing up, I witnessed much fear in my family. I knew somehow that it had something to do with the Holocaust. Something to do with a God who didn’t care. Actually, an uncaring God would have been the best case scenario. Maybe it was worse. Maybe God did care and was simply against us as Jews.
My strategy in my teens and 20’s was that if I could just stay away from the nasty history stuff and any notion of God, my life would be good. Dance, go to parties and try to get a few good grades/jobs/boyfriends in between. That’s what I wanted. Avoid this whole matter of persecution. This was the 1970’s and early 80’s. Disco dancing had made a comeback after the hippy 60’s and it had me dancing seven days a week.
Clubs and parties were fun and I managed to eke out some decent grades. Later I achieved a good amount of career success, dotted about in a few long term love relationships, and even had the great fulfillment of realizing more than one of my life dreams. That was exhilarating.
…late in my 20’s, my dreams, goals and love interests could not keep down a gnawing unrest. A pain was building inside and I could no longer dance it away. Anxiety had taken hold and was growing.
Thus began the wonderful great search that led more than two decades later to falling in love with Judaism. But mind you, it was a good long while before I even considered looking to Judaism as a place to belong.
And so it happened….maybe, maybe I could become a yes to G-d. Certainly I was a no to religion and Judaism. That would not be my way.
This was quite a quantum leap for me who had believed all those years that those who believed in G-d were lucky but (please excuse my arrogance)… foolish. I fancied myself smarter than people who couldn’t or wouldn’t see past the wishful thinking that I thought a belief in G-d required. If only I could be so simple I arrogantly surmised. I was jealous. But it was a condescending jealousy.
I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the single most important step.
Simply a desire