by Nadene Goldfoot
Why do people populate the earth? What is the meaning of our lives? Our religion, Judaism, tells us that we are here to appreciate G-d. What does that mean to me? I don’t just eat, sleep and play and call that a life. I appreciate the world I live in, the majesty of mountains and the wonder of space. I think about how everthing came to be and try to figure out who created G-d or how this great he, she,or a blend of both forces came to be. Our bible starts with such wonderment with Genesis, telling how the world was created. Granted, it is in a short and simple description, but probably pretty awesome for people to read in its time of writing. First of all, it’s a wonder that people created writing in the first place.
As many Christians have found out, Jews do not believe that Jesus is G-d’s son. I see that most of the time Christians even pray to Jesus and do not use the term G-d, so that it seems like Jesus is G-d to them. Jesus saves Christians and does not save anyone that does not believe in him. To Jews, he was a teacher and exceptional, but not G-d or G-d’s son anymore than we all are. Some of us doubt that he even existed, but was just a myth like the other Roman myths.
Jesus was born, so the story goes, to a Jewish woman. This was in the days of the Roman Empire, and Romans believed in many gods and even gods who were born to a human woman and a man-god. They were half gods. Their religion follows this line in that this is how Jesus came to be.
As we all face that horrid bit of knowledge that we will die, we have great fears. Jesus’s role is to save Christians and give eternal life. Jews took on this responsibility for themselves to do. We are to live a good life and do good deeds for each other. The more good deeds, the higher a level we reach. Whatever happens to the dead is a part of G-d’s plan of creation, and we trust that He knows best in what to do with us. We do not dwell on afterlife but on the here and now when we have a chance to live the exemplary life.
Each year we have time at a holiday called Yom Kippur to confess our faults and ask G-d directly for forgiveness with the goal of not repeating our actions. This act reminds us of who we are and why we are here. It relieves our minds in that we are planning a better course of action for our future and gets rid of that gnawing guilt we may have. We have bothered to go to the synagogue with our peers and pray together for forgiveness, a great feat, whatever the year may be. This group dynamic is profound and memorable with the ram’s horn playing as part of the
We believe that after we die at some time we will again be revived and exist. I’m beginning to wonder if our dna will be used by G-d to recreate us like in the movies. Then I think of time, and how according to certain physicists time has a different meaning to them than to us, and that things have already happened in time.
The book "The Bible Code" is a good example. Some mathemetician in Israel found out that by skipping every five words and taking the next word consecutively, a message appears and is most profound, most often dealing with a part of the bible’s message that is obvious in its original
message. Usually it is prophesizing something. It’s pretty amazing. Many intelligent people were of course scoffers and tried out the same method using Moby Dick. It worked. That contained codes, also.
No one bothered to realize that this in itself is absolutely amazing. I wondered about this fact and concluded that this is a part of the plan of G-d. It’s already decided in that realm of time what’s to be written, using words in an order that will reveal things like this. No one pondered that what was found in the bible was far more important as far as the future or prophecy than what was found in Moby Dick. That the method works for other books is just as amazing! Here, mathematics is pertinent in understanding life.
To me, if I am to find favor in G-d eyes, I am to honor him by my actions and even thoughts. It’s not easy to live without stepping on anyone’s toes, but being very human, I have tried.. Jews took on this task and made a covenant with G-d long ago. It’s mindblowing to realize that we have lasted as long as we have with all the pressures of others to give up our religion. Enough of us have managed to survive each generation to keep us going to the present when other religions and cultures have died on the wayside. That is a miracle, too.
It’s not in the scope of things that we should depend on someone to save us. We alone can save ourselves. We’re intelligent beings on the highest level of life and know right from wrong. It’s already in G-d's plans that we stick with our contract. It's up to us to save ourselves.