Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thoughts on the Big Guy/Gal Upstairs, The Big Guy/Gal Down Below and other theological musings

Okay, I think I'm turning into an Agnostic, even though I'm Jewish.

Here's the thing, I went to synagogue over the eve of Simchat Torah (Re: Giving of the Torah), and after prayers and food I had a lively discussion with a person who's married, let's name her A.

So, A and I are discussing the bible when I point out that God is almost always referred as male. She said, "No, you have it all wrong, hon. On Shabbat (Re: the day of rest), the schekinah- female aspect of God- takes over."

I have this look of confusion on my face and say something along the lines of, "Then why isn't that aspect praised more often?"

She says, "Just look in the prayers."

Okaay.

Then I pointed out another thing that irked me: "Why- In the morning prayers- it says for a guy 'thank God for not making me a woman'. Isn't that sexist?"

She shakes her head and says, "There's more to it than that. It's not sexist. It's praising the woman. The woman is more spiritual than the man is. And the man has more mitzvahs/ good deeds/ more spirituality to achieve then the woman needs. The woman's already at that level."

I just stood there, equally as confused as before.

So she sighs and says, "When you're married, you'll know what I'm talking about."

I don't get it.

Woman are on a 'higher level' even though they are still regarded as a minority and a submissive party- both in religion and in life.

I don't get it at all.


Do I believe in a God? Maybe.

Is It female? Maybe.

Do I believe in Some Higher Power? Definetely. Just don't know what kind it is, yet.

5 comments:

  1. Interesting conversation. My belief in God is that God has no true form, just a being of ultimate power. The idea that he is usually referred to as a male I thought wrong until I thought about it in a different more mature sense. Or along the lines of "mankind". Its kind of like a general statement. And that all fall under the same category. Like Hu"man". Or even in the same principle of Spanish where the term "father" is Padre and "mother" is Madre, BUT "Parents" is Padres and Not Madres. Grandpa is Abuelo(ending with "o" represents male) and Grandma is Abuela (ending with "a" represents female) but "Grandparents" is Abuelos with the "o". Many languages are similar so religion has the right of also being similar. Seeing it differently I believe is kind of being ignorant and thats where conflict starts and everybody sees the world as sexist or unfair. To me if God was seen more as a female I wouldn't have a problem, I'm not ignorant and don't have a problem with the term "Mother Earth" either. The world just evolved with the term of male being more dominant. But thats just a term, we're all equal and that figure of a High Power is just above.

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  2. "The world just evolved with the term of male being more dominant. But thats just a term, we're all equal and that figure of a High Power is just above"

    I guess you could say that. It's an interesting topic, though. considering the fact I go to an Orthodox synagogue. Where most of the people there are guys and elderly ladies.

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  3. Everyone has their own opinion on religion. I personally don't believe in one religion. I've had a lot of exposure to different forms of christianity because my mom is white form the south and all of her family are different kinds of Protestants, but being raised as Catholic I got that experience. I've also been around a lot of Santeria, so I can't help but filter my beliefs through that.

    Honestly, and this is just my opinion not meant to offend...I don't agree with any one religion. Because, have you ever read something about Buddhism or Islam or any other religion and just felt like something connected with you? I think that there does exist One true God and many different Saints/Angels/or Minor Gods and there does exist an afterlife....if not why would so many cultures and societies throughout history parallel similar beliefs although they are far removed in history and geography? I can't accept the fact that God is Male or Female...God is a spirit that has no gender but since I believe we are made in God's image, God therefore has aspects of female and male that are not so much replicated in him/her but a replica is present is us humans (creation).

    Some people feel more comfortable relating to either the male or female aspect. I too had trouble participating in church (Catholic) because I felt the same way you did. I began to wonder why men were in the hierarchy and why we continually worship a male figure (God the Father and Jesus the Son), which women come only secondary (Mary). I also noticed that most female saints were venerable for their virginity above all else. If you look throughout history, church officials were once able to be married, were paid, had land, and political power...I began to realize or rather question, maybe these religious institutions that we believe without question based on heritage, family origin, family background, similar values, etc. are mere creations or organizations of mankind. What if...just what if the true God/Goddess in heaven is shaking his/her head at us lowly humans who discriminate against homosexuals, crash planes into the twin towers, start holy wars and crusades,and justify slavery by the Bible all in the name of religion.

    I can't speak for the Jewish community because I'm not Jewish and don't really know anyone personally who is...but I can say that the Catholic church is not infallible. Contrary to the garbage they feed you in CCD/Sunday school:

    1.) the Catholic church was not around forever 2.)Christianity/Judaism was not the first religion to believe in One God.
    3.) Jews and Christians are friends now but they both mercilessly persecuted and killed eachother in the past. (New Testament era, Medieval Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, etc.).
    4.) The bible can be used to justify anything (ex. slavery, wife-beating, female submition, hate crimes against gays, tattoos are forbidden, stoning of fornicators, interracial marriage, etc.)
    5.) The bible was written by men and selected books were added by a committee and the Old Testament, I think a lot of it was oral tradition and have been widely translated (all subject to the writer's point of view).

    These are just a few things to think about...Personally I just can't be part of a religion where I disagree with some of the teachings. I know a lot of people who do whatever they want on Saturday night and still faithfully show up on Sunday morning. Maybe I can't be a religious person because I take religion too seriously. I was once told that the only real Catholic is a person who agrees with the teachings 100%. After I heard my pastor recommend who we should vote for in an election and after I witnessed a priest encourage parishioners to pray against gay marriage I knew I didn't want to take part in something that told me how to think, feel, and act. I believe that God gave me free will and I intend to use it to the fullest extent.

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  4. It's ok. It happens to me all the time.

    :)

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