Mystery and Faith
Questions of faith arise during times of challenge. Last night, as I browsed the TV stations, I chanced upon a talk show on JBS, Jewish Broadcasting Service. It happened to be an interview my father, Rabbi Charles Sherman, participated in almost ten years ago with Rabbi Mark Golub, and the topic was faith.
Faith is at the forefront of our society and the Jewish community.
Every day, our children ask, “When will coronavirus be over?” “Why do I have to wear my mask?” “Why is God doing this to us?”
While we wish we had answers, the Jewish response must be to ask more questions. “How many friends and family members have we reached out to?” “How many meals have we sent to those who cannot leave their homes?” “How sensitive have we been to the needs of others?” “How have we supported communities that will only survive with our help?”
As the show concluded, my father echoed these words, “I try to live in the mystery of faith.” It is easier to live in a world of black and white. But as Jews, we live in a world with many shades of grey. Just two nights ago, we sat on the floor and read the book of Eicha, Lamentations. Yet, just three days later, we recite the haftorah of comfort. Nachamu, nachamu, ami; “Comfort me, comfort me, My people.” This is not a cry of the people asking for God to comfort them. In fact, it is God crying out for the people to bring comfort to God.
This is our task. Giving up on our people and our community cannot be the choice. Rather, giving in is what we are called to do. Today, we live in the world of mystery. We often cannot predict what will happen tomorrow, but we can shape what our community can look like.
Let us embrace mystery, recognizing the sparks of faith that lie within.