A friend of mine is taking an online course in Judaism
This person is struggling with faith
In a period of deconstruction, perhaps
Or may reconstruction
In the middle of the class, Rabbi Terlinchamp was teaching what Yisrael really means.
She explained that the Biblical name of the Jewish people
literally means "God wrestlers."
And then she said, "If you aren't wrestling with God and your beliefs, then you aren't being true to the biblical texts."
It is kind of a thing in the Bible
This idea of wrestling with God
It seems like everyone struggles
Adam and Eve, who chose poorly
Abraham, who didn’t quite trust
Moses, who ran away
Jacob, who literally wrestled
Job, who challenged
David, who messed up (time and time again)
Peter, who denied
James and John, who wanted special status
Paul, wretched man
Why is it that so often we are merely to
Just believe what you are taught
Do what you are told
I am sorry
I have questions
I struggle with a lot of what I have been taught
From childhood on
It may just be me!
Maybe I am the master of complication
And overthink everything
There are those strugglers
And I think the Sacred is just too complex
To be boiled down into 10 commandments
And a few formulaic confession
I think what I can affirm is simple
Maybe a little vague
God is love
Jesus is Lord (whatever that means)
I am to love God, love myself, and love those around me
Outside of that?
I struggle with the meaning of the cross
Struggle with the things in the Bible that don’t fit with other things
How does hell fit in with a God of Love?
How does slaughtering your enemies (there is genocide in the Bible)
Fit is with love your neighbor
How does a wrathful, retributive God work if we are called to forgive
70 X 7
Love my enemies?
That works fine until I start thinking about those I don’t like
Who I think are awful human creatures?
Bless Donald? Lauren? Marjory?
Bless and do not curse?
God has me in a headlock
I think that I will never be one of those people
Who simply “rests” in God
(although at times that is nice)
I think I will always wrestle
And limp all the way to the promised land.