As part of the last weekend’s festivities, we went to Friday night and Saturday morning Shabbot services for my nephew.
To be honest, I am not a good person to go to an organized religion session. I am WAY too cynical. Friday was not bad except that we had missed the 3 pm ferry (because there was a Mariners game and the ferry was overbooked) and that was supposed to be my nap time. I then developed a fever and nearly passed out at temple. I am digressing. I am agnostic. I believe in a creator. I just don’t believe this creator really wants to be worshiped and have people kill over him/her/it. I rather think of it as a big old friendly guy (yes, the sexist view of gods has gotten to me) who sits back on the beach, drinking a Bacardi breezer (the WINE cooler, not the malt beverage) and watching what he created move.
Saturday’s service was 1.5 hours of praise to this guy. Praise of the wonders of the universe, praise of all of our human qualities. Praise of everything. Then the Rabbi talked about how we need to have humility and be respectful of G-d and how thinking too much of ourselves is bad. In my mind, all I could think was "But, all we are doing is telling G-d how great he is. Wouldn’t that give him a swollen head too? If people are made int he image of G-d, then our weaknesses are his weaknesses and well, he is just as vulnerable as we are" (see? I am too cynical) To watch the choir go full force got me really in a tizzy as all I could see in my head was the guy on the beach shaking HIS head saying "dudes, go out and help others, don’t sing to me!"
I asked Jay how he felt about all of this. Why go to temple to praise G-d, when Torah really talks a great deal about being good to others? His interpretation is that he needs temple to remind him how to be good to others. That he isn’t kind or good enough on his own.
I understood what he meant. I could see he believes it. But I can’t. I will still help those when I can. I will make mistakes and not be good to some people, but I don’t need a religion to tell me what I am doing wrong. I can tell by the hurt look in people’s eyes.
I really am too cynical for religion. I think I need to go get a Bacardi Breezer.