I found something to think about today, based on some things people have said in the past couple of years and that have stayed with me. If you think about it, goodness and reality are related to each other. I’m not referring to the assumption that reality is good and blessed, etc. What I mean is… to human beings… what is good is what is real. The good things we desire, we don’t want a fake version, we want it to be true and actual.
This made me think that when we see substance in life… things that are real and good and true… that counts for something and leads even biased human beings to a place where they can make a personal choice about what they consider good in their path with God… truly the best way to walk with Him as far as they can know. That’s not to say we don’t need to keep being honest and re-evaluating (but never out of anxiety, only out of stable, real needs to). But we can make a choice of goodness and of substance when we believe we have reached something real and see no other path calling us somewhere further at that time. We should have the humility that we might be wrong, but also the passion to cling to realities and treasures around us.
For me, I see a real substance in the Jewish community; the lives of people as they follow Torah have an unavoidable real thing in it, to me. I see something similar in other religions where people seek God, but in those other faiths, I see it as drawing on what comes from Torah and being mixed in with other things. That is my perspective. It does scare me that maybe, just as my intuitions and experiences about Christianity were shown false, or as I think a Muslim’s feelings about Islam are false, etc., maybe my ‘mere’ feelings about Torah could also not be proof of a reality there? But I have decided and realised that despite the human inability to fully stand on our own understanding, I can approach it from this other angle: of choosing a path based on what is substantial, and therefore can be assumed to be probably both goodness and reality. If I’m wrong then God will help, I truly hope in that from experience. But we can make a personal choice like that, choosing the reality and goodness in front of us, and continuing to walk in where we see substance… meaning truth, goodness, as much as we can ever know… to be existent.
I don’t know everything, but I accept as well as I know how that there is a real reason why I love this faith and even in doubts or questions, can’t get away from it.
Here is a nation that throughout recorded history has had people clinging to, and testifying to, a unique understanding of God, which matches with what I know of Him in the depths of my heart, and in knowledge that the world is dependent and is not all-sufficient or all-worthy. Not only that, but there seems to be a miracle in their survival, and they are really unique, in the kind of claim they make and in many other ways. But in the end, perhaps the greatest witness to Judaism is in the heart of the present generation of observant Jews who have invested their hearts in knowing God. There is no substance like that anywhere in the world that I have known, in any place that measures with possibility of truth in a real way. I want to be part of it so much.
The interesting thing about it is that this is not something you can just say to someone like a logical argument… it’s just a framework for discovering something in one’s own experiences of heartfelt and careful l searching. I like that a lot. It makes sense of some things a bit more, to me.