Hanukah / Judaism

“A mature adult faith demands that we take in difficult, painful facts and allow them to become part of our understandings of God, our language of faith and connection”

A mature adult faith demands that we take in difficult, painful facts and allow them to become part of our understandings of God, our language of faith and connection. Hanukah is not a holiday about innocence. Neither is Purim, actually–Jews did some slaughtering there, too.

Part of adult faith is being able to look truth in the eye, to take responsibility for it, and to not get stuck by the fact that it’s not an easy story.

It certainly requires us not to take our frustrations on God. I know too many people whose faith was seriously shaken by Biblical criticism–as though God changes just because our understanding of history might.

As though God weren’t bigger and far more expansive than that. As though it’s God’s fault that we’re just getting some new information.

As if it’s God’s fault that human beings sometimes behave in ways that are unforgivable. As though God’s Divinity might not shine through texts written at different times and places, for different reasons.

An adult relationship to our tradition has to include the facts of bad human behavior and culpability, and yet also maintain the awe and reverence that God Godself deserves.

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, Facebook post (4 December 2018) [https://www.facebook.com/danya.ruttenberg/posts/10155858786362409]