just finished reading this book by jonathan rosen. auntie d. left it for me at pesach, and i just opened it yesterday. inside was a post-it note written in her handwriting: "a folk saying based on a saying in the talmud. a rabbi whose congregation does not (want) to drive him/her out of town, isn't a rabbi; and a rabbi they drive out of town isn't a man(woman)!"
well, i'm still here.
meanwhile, on p. 142, i read the following:
"... he realized how rudimentary his religious thoughts and feelings were; he had ignored them for so long. He had once written an article about art therapy for the elderly and one of the therapists had explained that you only draw as well as the last time you drew. For most people, this was in childhood, so most adults draw like ten-year-olds. Perhaps his religious life was like that, undeveloped and childish."
is it so for many people? that the last time they really believed in god it was the god they were shown as children: a white old man with a beard on a big throne up in the sky who knows if you've been bad or good and responds accordingly?
then you grow up and realise there is no santa, no tooth fairy and your parents screwed you and the whole world up so there is nothing left in which to believe except what you can hold in your own two hands.
has my religious life grown and matured since i was ten years old? at first i think that i had more faith then, because i believed in happy endings. on the other hand, having some small knowledge of how the world is, and all the evil and horror in it today, perhaps it is a greater sign of faith to remain within it, rather than to run screaming into the dark cloud. my father believed in the thread of gold that is the harbinger of the dawn to come. and he experienced the dawn, surviving the nazi peril and continuing to become a husband, parent and teacher. i'm still waiting.