Jewish Journal


March 11, 2013

Doubting G-d’s Existence



By Yeshaia Blakeney

I want to share a story about this very difficult concept we call belief, or faith. These are tough concepts. I'm not going to get into them fully now, I just want to share a story to illuminate some of these ideas.  So there's a game called stump the rabbi.  It's when a bunch of people get together and try to get a rabbi to admit that he really doesn't believe in god.  With my keen philosophical mind, I'm pretty adept at this game.  So one day about a year ago, I cornered our Rabbi Mark Borovitz in front of a small crowd and said:

“Rabbi, do you BELIEVE in G-d?” “Yes,” he replied.

“Do you agree that inherent in belief is doubt?” “Yes,” he replied.

So, do you ever doubt the existence of God?

The room went silent, I felt I had done it, I was even afraid I might have pushed him too far, there was no way out.  The Rabbi was finally going to have to admit the truth of his own faith, I wanted to run and hide; morph into a fly on the wall even though I was already there.

And then he said this amazing thing.  “No.”

How can that be? He just admitted he had doubts! He then said, “I sometimes doubt G-d's intentions, but I never doubt the existence of G-d.”

It took a whole year since then to fully grasp that simple statement. That it was an elevated struggle, not struggling with belief in G-d but really wrestling with G-d's intentions inside of ourselves and in the world.  It was about his relationship to G-d not G-ds existence.

So my hope this week is that we all can elevate what we struggle with, so that we can struggle with higher and higher things!

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