/SPECIAL FOR THE AJT/
I just read a back issue of the AJT in my car and still have my raincoat on as I’m writing this letter. That’s because even though a storm is brewing outside in Atlanta, and I need to gather candles and flashlights, it’s more important for me to respond to a Jan. 31st article “Is It Time for a New G-d Image?”
Since the column is titled “One Man’s Opinion,” the author may have the right to express his personal views. And because he’s a Holocaust survivor, I cannot tell him what he should or should not believe, but he doesn’t have the right to assume that “most people” believe as he does. He states that “To most people” his grandfather’s image of G-d, which he grew up believing in his childhood, is perceived as primitive today. How does he know that “most people” believe that?
What’s more, the writer is misinformed about the practices he saw in Talamas as being Jewish. I’ve never heard of Jews, in the month of Adar, attaching a dead bat to their doorpost as a “magic object of luck.” In fact, the Torah explicitly states that we shouldn’t be superstitious nor connects with soothsayers (fortune tellers) and others dealing in magic. I could see attaching a gragger on the door for fun or maybe a mask to suggest that G-d is hidden in the Purim story, which occurs in the joyous month of Adar, but a dead bat?
When the columnist states, “We do not need a renewal of the Old Chassidism even with a kabalistic bent…,” he’s misinforming others. Readers who are unfamiliar with Chassidic thought might not know that Chassidic writing, based on two thousand year old kabbalistic teachings, have been found by contemporary thinkers to be way ahead of their time in understanding and mastering the human psych – and no wonder, since these teachings are Divinely inspired. Courses in Chassidic thought are popular today because kabbalah is increasingly seen to be relevant to modern man as he struggles to retain his connection to his soul in the face of assaults on his spirituality.
But the writer is correct when he asks, “Who can accept a view of G-d as an old stern bearded and angry king sitting on his throne ruling the world…” because that’s inaccurate. Yes G-d, as the Creator of the Universe, rules the world but with love, more love than a parent has for his or her child. Even when we don’t understand things, G-d loves us unconditionally, and He has a plan for the Jewish people, and the world.
After 40 years of becoming an observant Jew, I’m still groping for answers, but I know that the G-d of our forefathers exists. And that He is the One and Only G-d. I also know that the only way I can continue to grow spiritually is through Jewish education whether it’s kabbalah with Rabbi Karmi Ingber at the Kehillah, classes at the Atlanta Scholars Kollel (ASK), lectures at Intown Chabad or articles on Aish.com. I recommend these and other Jewish sources to the columnist of this article and anyone else seeking the light of truth.
Sincerely, Ruby Grossblatt