I’m, in general, a happily practicing orthodox Jew. Obviously some aspects of halacha are more inconvenient than others, but I find meaning in many of them and am willing to do the rest both because someday I may discover their meaning for me, and because I’m willing to accept package deals even when I don’t understand the point of every frill.
I believe in a benevolent Higher Power.
I feel a tremendous fondness for and loyalty to the Jewish people.
So far, so good. I just find it harder and harder, of late, to believe in Judaism the orthodox way, that God granted us the Torah word for word in its current form, that our conception of God as described in rabbinical sources is correct, etc. I’d say there are two key issues that stand out amidst a cluster of others:
- Many people find beautiful depth and meaning in the Torah, and I enjoy learning what they have to say — I just don’t really believe that the depth and meaning was there before they invented it. More and more I look at the Torah and see a man-made, not Divine, document.
- I find it difficult to reconcile many traditional ideas about God with the idea of God being benevolent, and I find it difficult to reconcile the idea of God being benevolent with many traditional ideas (if this sounds like saying the same thing twice, in the first, I read a traditional source and it doesn’t seem to come from a benevolent God, and in the second, I start with the premise of a benevolent God and attempt to come up with justifications for the traditional sources, but it feels like weak, strained apologetics that I don’t find more convincing than simply discarding the traditional source entirely– you can perform mental gymnastic to attempt to make it work, sure, but why bother.)
This doesn’t affect my day to day life very much. I still keep a relatively high standard of kosher, still keep shabbos, etc etc. I figure my beliefs will come around, or they won’t. However, it does bother me. I am also concerned it will become a bigger issue once my kids are older.
Anyone else deal with something similar and have advice?