Southern Jewish Life, June 2020

Page 46

rear pew mirror • doug brook

Exclusive Interview: God

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In the extraordinarily interesting times in which we live, there is extraordinary need for time spent not being livid. With that in mind, this column presents the most exclusive interview with the least controversial character in creation, whether you prefer the Creation story in Genesis chapter one or two. Me: I’d thank you for being here with us today, but you’re always everywhere. G: Sometimes I’m in some places more than others. Me: Let’s cut right to the chase. Do you really exist? G: Do you? Me: I think so. G: So do I. Me: You think that I exist or that you exist? G: You’re talking to me, aren’t you? Is it any more likely that I’m imagining your half of this conversation than you’re imagining my half? Me: Okay, okay. Why do you let bad things happen to good people? G: Why do you? Me: Why do you let good things happen to bad people? G: Why do you let bad people happen? Me: If people are created in Your image, how do you explain bad people? G: People seem to assume that being created in my image is like making a Xerox copy. What if you’re created in my image? Imagine a very large three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. Imagine that you’re a tiny dot on one of the many, many pieces within the vast puzzle that is my image. Me: Whoa. G: I know, right? Me: What do you say about when people should return to in-person synagogue services? G: I had almost nothing to do with what you call services today, and I gave everyone free will. All I can do is suggest that anyone gathering in person too soon, for minyan or more, can skip straight to the Mourner’s Kaddish. Me: When do you think is too soon to have minyan? G: Before 8 a.m. Me: Okay, I have to ask. What is up with 2020? I mean, the year started with the government as it’s been lately, which was more than enough of a struggle. Then Coronavirus. Murder hornets lurking, waiting for their cue. Heightened racial discontent. Shelter-in-place lifting that’s leading to a second wave. Why have you let so many horsemen in at once? G: There once was a man in a great flood, trapped on the roof of his house. The radio had warned to evacuate but he stayed, saying I will provide. A guy in a boat comes by, but the man refuses to get on board, saying I will provide. A helicopter comes, and the man refuses, saying I will provide. The man arrived in heaven and asked why I let him down. I said I sent a warning, a boat, and a helicopter. What else did you need? Me: But there you sent good things. 2020 is full of bad things. G: Are all of them bad things? Are they solvable? People need to collectively learn to take a hint. Me: Will you get involved in the 2020 election? G: No. I’m not a politician.

We have it on the highest authority…

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June 2020 • Southern Jewish Life