Dear Rabbi Malka Drucker,
I am a fifteen year old Bat Mitzvah student. My Bat Mitzvah will be held on June 21st 2008 and my torah portion will be “Shelach Lecha.” In the portion God says to Moses “…how long will they (the people) have no faith in me?” (14:11). I am doing research on the different branches of Judaism and how expression of faith varies between them. I hope that you will be willing to take the time to write to me and share with me what faith in God means to you as a Non-denominational Jew and how faith plays out in your daily life or in the life of your community?
Thank you for helping me.
Thank you for your letter and your important question. Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of life is showing up. Faith for me is showing up no matter what, because I have a sense that if I do things will be all right. Showing up means that even if you’re in a terrible mood, you come to the minyan, because they need you to make a minyan. Faith gets easier for me as I’ve gotten older. I have memory of God watching my back for so many years that I trust I can count on God to be there for me. The good thing about being a transdenominational Jew is that I don’t have to figure out how this fits in with any one denomination. I know this: I need connection, relationship with God, and this isn’t easy to do with an invisible partner. So I work at it by daily contact, i.e. Showing up by praying each morning. Faith means to me that my practice of prayer, study, and good deeds is for more than my benefit; there is One who calls me to draw near by behaving with lovingkindness to others. Since I can’t see or hear, only feel (as I feel love) the presence of God, I call that feeling faith.
Mazel Tov! Lech Lecha! Moadim lSimha!
Rabbi Malka Drucker