I was watching a video where Dennis Prager interviewed Jordan Peterson.
Peterson said he has difficulty with the question, “Do you believe in G-d?” commenting, in effect, that if you say that you do truly believe, it would mean you were living a transformative life, both for yourself and those around you, and who among us can lay claim to that? I had another thought on this matter, however, which was that a person who truly believed in G-d would never be asked such a question.
We Jews are lucky because, whether we believe or not, we get a ticket into the next world. If we truly mess up, we have to go to Gehinnom (as bad as hell, if not worse), but for a maximum of only one year. While there, we experience a painful dry-cleaning of our souls, so to speak, but afterward enter a sublime world to come. But that world to come, although stress-free, is kind of boring. Our souls up there wait impatiently for the Messiah to come, whereupon they will be brought back to earth and assume a physical form as our bodies are resurrected in the Land of Israel. You see, the action is here, not up there, since the soul’s purpose is to highlight or extract the spiritual spark in everything physical, and to obey G-d’s many commandments, but it can only do so in partnership with a physical body on planet earth.
Still, the question of what it would be like to truly believe in G-d does arouse interest. My faith begins with the people who live in Israel. I see G-d in them. A young family who lives next door includes four children that I do not believe could have grown up the way they did and be who they are anywhere else. How to describe them? High achievers yet humble, sure of themselves yet respectful of others. The seven-year-old boy, especially, has a great future in front of him. Possessed of a regal bearing, the other neighborhood kids his age look up to him and follow his lead. What distinguishes Israelis of any age is their laser-like focus on the matter at hand and extreme honesty; I find these qualities to be divine. Interestingly, the kids in the family next door go to a religious school even though, while the mother is observant, the father is not.
Whenever I visit the central bus station in Jerusalem, I also see G-d — in the soldiers who are milling about, sitting down for coffee and a snack, waiting for a bus. Such joy and love of life, humility, respect, knowing so much yet still full of innocence. Plus, they would sacrifice their lives for me. And, in a sense, the civilized world depends on them.
I am curious if anyone reading this would be willing to answer the question in the title. Of course, if you are already a true believer, you would perhaps be willing to enlighten us as to what your life of true belief is like.Published in