Getting past the me

[This post on self-labeled Flexidox Judaism really pinpoints how little any of these denominations, or any denomination has to do with the Torah or with the change in mindset that our fathers instigated thousands of years ago.]

What was the initial spark of Judaism? Seeking God. Avraham sought and found God. He believed in God, he put his faith and trust in God. He put his life in the hands of God. How did he accomplish the jump from seeking out God to putting his life on the line in the name of the very same God he discovered?

Avraham's search began in a rational understanding of the world. According to one understanding, he saw that everything in his immediate surrounding was the result of something else. Sometimes one thing, a person for example, or the rain for another, would initiate many things. Following his logic to its most elegant end, he determined, there must be something that initiated everything else. Simply, if each thing has a source, then every thing must have a source. Avraham desired to connect to the source of all things.

But according to another understanding, it wasn't order that drew Avraham to God, it was disorder. He saw that nothing made sense, the world was like one big city burning up in smoke. It was only when Avraham arrived at the realization that there was no purpose in anything that God actually revealed to Avraham that there was a purpose and logic behind the development of the world.

Both of these perspectives are valuable and fundamental to Judaism. There is an order and a structure to this world that we live in, but structure for its own sake is of no use at all. There is a chaos, an underlying turmoil to the world that keeps us moving, that keeps undermining the structure. Avraham survived the fiery pit for one reason alone, that it was God's will; but he jumped in for two reasons:
  1. The world was full of false structure, false truths.
  2. If the world was just chaotic, there was no point in being in it.
Instead Avraham, by choosing the cauldron over idolatry, said that there is a fundamental real purpose and structure to the world, and its sole purpose is to serve God. Fire only burns to do God's will.

Judaism is founded in iconoclasm and unrelenting optimism. We bind ourselves to the truth of God and to nothing else. When we start to identify with denominations, sects, congregations and trends, we are buying into the false structure of the world, we are buying into the chaos. It isn't to your denomination that you need to answer on your day of judgement. It isn't to your parents or the principals of your schools. It is to your creator. If you are more concerned with fitting in to any group of people at all, instead of bridging the infinite gap between you and your creator, you are wasting precious time. Sure, God will forgive us for our faults, will judge us in the best possible light. But how stupid will we feel if when we get there he needs to come up with a good excuse for why we spent years of our limited lives focused on how to 'define' ourselves when all he really wanted was for us to get to know him?

The us is the barrier between us and God. Throw the 'you' in the furnace and start to explore the infinity of God in his creation. You don't have to, life will do it for you anyways, God made it that way; but why wait when you can take control of your own destiny(literally).


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