I have a god. The God of Abraham and Sarah, of Yitzchak and Rivka, Of Yaakov and Leah and Rochel. I share a God with Moshe and Tziporah, with the prophets and the judges and the kings, with the scholars and scribes and merchants and warriors and seafarers, with the farmers and the shepherds, with the priests, the philosophers and the artists. My god whom we call Hashem is one that created the two faced intersex being Adam and their companion Lilit, and split Adam in half. My god is a single, neutral, distant god, all seeing and all powerful, but aloof, ever watching but ever distant. My angels are single minded automatons of every shape and size. My satan is a heavenly prosecutor whose job is to fail at temptation.
I follow in the footsteps of my ancestors and foresters, us who have journeyed with our possessions on our backs and our songs in our hearts. Avraham, who sat in the desert, who watched his siblings burnt alive, who survived the flames himself, who pondered the natural order as a child and set out on a journey across the land, into a mystery. Avraham, who engaged with radical action and logical analysis by destroying his fathers idols. I follow the path of Sarah, the dutiful woman, the housekeeper, the explorer, the skeptic and the wise. I follow my the way of my ancestors by always having an open door and room for company.
It is no coincidence that Judaism is heavily tied to nature and the supernatural, and our greatest leaders were all meek and strange. They performed magic, honest magic. They were outcasts. Avraham who fled his fathers house with Sarah into a new land, Yitzchak who was bullied and cast aside, who only succeeded in the end because he listen to the wise advice of his mother the prophetess. I am like rivka, who lived with a treacherous family and was gifted the strength to move boulders, who took care of strangers animals and who also gladly left what she knew behind in exchange for freedom and truth. Like Yaakov I have visions in my sleep and wrestle with myself, I live in a continuous cycle of conflicts and duality. Like Leah I fear what may become of me and like Rochel I try to only do what’s right. Moshe was a shepherd, an exile, who burned his tongue, who cut his hair and wandered in the sand and dust, who was a stranger taken into the house of Yitro, who gazed upon the flaming bush and removed his sandals, who argued with God and with the people, who fought with all his soul time and time again, who pleaded and begged and judged and wrote and died. King David was a musician, wild and strange and eccentric, most at peace left in the pasture with a harp.
My God is one that puts honey inside a dead lion, that speaks through a flaming shrub, who cracks open the sky, who truncates space and stops time, the one who uses spiders and scorpions to protect the scholars from invading armies, a God who gives the wisest one wisdom but also gives the wisest one doubt and anxiety.
My Judaism is the sort that relies on the forces of nature and the universe, the sort that calls its text like water, water that carries baby Moshe to safety, which splits to allow the people through, which can be calm or relentless. My Judaism is like the flame of a bonfire, or of the Shabbat candles, the menorah, the flickering, roaring lights of the sky, the fire and ice descending on the Egyptians, the fire of that bush, the fire of the furnace in Ur, the fire of the alters in the temple. It is like the earth, the loose sand of the deserts, the strong mud and clay of the bricks used to build, the caverns of the ancestors, the ground under which countless generations lie, the mountains which collapse around the armies that seek to destroy us. My Judaism is like the purple dye of the snail, it is the leather and parchment which incase the words of blessings and stories, it is like the stone splitting worm, it is like the crystals upon the chestplate of the high priest.
My Judaism is one of mythos and wonder, of connection and isolation, cycles and changes and permanence. It is the darkness and the light, the differences and the unity. My Judaism is a call to action. My Judaism is a cry of awe, both in the awesome sense and the awful sense, the temple lit and shining in wonder, and the temple ablaze and burnt in horror. Two sides, one coin. My Judaism runs through everything. It IS everything.
I am proud to be a Jew, even if I may not be the same sort of Jew as others, I am a Jew and a Jew is a Jew. I am a witch, in tune with the magic currents that run through this reality, with the occult and the mythos, the serpents, the tar-fire, the jawbone of a beast and the tablets upon a mountain. My Judaism is divine and peculiar, righteous and anxious, thoughtful and hopeful.