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Elul Reflections: 26 Elul 5780

Some of the most troubling episodes in the Torah portray God as having a wide range of nasty traits: dictatorial, vain, manipulative and even genocidal. But that's not my God.

My God is generous enough to make sure that I always have what I need. My God forgives even the worst in me and gives me another chance, and another, and yet another, unfailingly and without end, even beyond death.

My God tells me that these things don't necessarily come easy, that I might have to work for them, and I need to take the time to do that. My God tells me that if I take that time, so it will be.

When my God spoke to Cain after he killed his brother it wasn't just to scold and punish, but to remind him of his humanity. When my God spoke to Abraham, saying “Lech l'cha”, it was to show him his path. When my God spoke to Moses at the Burning Bush it was not just to assign a mission but to give him reassurance, to show him that he was more capable than he knew. When my God sent Elijah a still, small voice it was to ease his fear and loneliness and sense of being abandoned. 

That is my God – the God who gives understanding and meaning and comfort and reassurance, the God who loves us and wants us to be loving.

-- Cantor David Bentley, Temple Shalom, Gold Coast

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