Understanding God

Thanks to the internet we were able to watch Erev Yom Kippur at s’ Central Synagogue.
The sermon by Rabbi Angela W. Buchdahl  is the best I’ve every heard on the subject of .

Inviting God Back to the Garden Yom Kippur 5776 (September 23, 2015)
Sermon by Rabbi
Angela W. Buchdahl

“I realize that I reference and pray to before this community all the time, but you may have no idea what I mean by . My understanding of ’s existence is rather uncomplicated; I know exists in the same way that I know Love exists. But understanding ’s role in human affairs, reconciling a Good and Jt with all the evil in the world, and figuring out what wants from , that is a lot more complicated. … Judaism has no specific dogma when it comes to . It doesn’t tell what is or what looks like. And without an easy image to see in our minds, most of don’t know how to recognize in our lives. It’s not a natural part of our vocabulary. …

But our inability to fully explain or understand has never stopped our ancient ancestors from trying. was a healer. A parent. A rock. The Sabbath bride. Our Creator. was loving, caring, and protective; and was jealo, angry, and vengeful.   comforted when we were sick, and gave his people the plague. Our liturgy for these High Holy Days refers to as our Judge; but also as Avinu Malkeinu—our Father, our King.

But the problem with all of these words is that they reduce , the Infinite, to something much smaller. We know what a judge or a king or a bride looks like. And how can we in a that wears a gown, or a robe, or a crown?

The problem with all of this imagery is that it attempts to transform the experience of , a divine presence, into a divine being. And that does a great disservice.”

You can view the video, read the text, or listen to the audio here

(Rabbi Buchdahl’s sermon included material not in the text so I recommend viewing the video.)
It’s also on YouTube: