Friday, August 11, 2006

More theological problems, and other grief caused by disbelief

The woman who organized the women’s tehillim (Psalm[-reading]) group at my office has absolutely no doubt that our prayers are efficacious.

I have no such belief. I’m there to be with my sisters as we express our solidarity with the people of Eretz Yisrael/the Land of Israel.

It would be nice to have that absolute faith and confidence that G-d will answer when we call upon Him.

Here’s another one that I can’t believe:

“Keep praying as I am sure you are and we will all merit to see the coming of the Moshiach and re-building of the Bet Hamikdash speedily in our time!

Talk to you soon – Lenny”

I don’t believe in Mashiach (Messiah). I don’t want the Temple to be rebuilt: I'm not big on animal sacrifices, personally—I think that prayer’s a great improvement. When my brother was still Orthodox (he was a baal t’shuva ["returnee" to Orthodox Judaism] for a few years), he used to say that, as long as we’re eating meat anyway, we might as well eat meat as part of a sacrifice. But I’ve never been particularly fond of the idea of vicarious atonement. If I’m going to eat a hamburger, I’d rather butcher it to eat it because I want it than because I sinned. What does killing a goat have to do with making up for something that I did wrong, forgiveness, and/or trying to improve my behavior?

On the other hand, see the next post for more from “Lenny.” His buddy “the Kraz” had a nice fund-raising—and morale-boosting—idea.


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