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    Looking for God – Rosh HaShanah

    There once was a man who lit a lamp at noonday and went through the market place, looking in every corner.

    People said, “You must be mad! What are you doing?”

    “Doing?” he said; “I’m looking for God!” (Nietzsche)

    On Rosh HaShanah we too look for God.
    Not in the market place but in the synagogue and prayer book.

    Many complain, “It’s an empty exercise.
    God ought to be there in the synagogue, but we don’t find Him.”

    The Talmud can’t believe this is possible. It says,
    “If anyone states, ‘I have looked and did not find what I was looking for’,
    Don’t believe him.”

    Nietzsche looked for God in the market place.
    When he did not find Him, he said,
    “God is dead. We have killed Him!”

    Nietzsche asked the right question but found the wrong answer.
    Isaiah says,
    “Seek the Lord where He may be found”.
    God is not dead. He can be found.
    But where?
    There are two Talmudic answers, implicit if not explicit.

    One says,
    “Abraham found God on a mountain.
    Isaac found God in a field.
    Jacob found God in a house.”

    God is on a mountain – when our vision soars upward.
    God is in a field – when we look at the face of the Creation.
    God is in a house – when we acknowledge our fellow members of the human family.

    The other text says,
    “There are three keys to God –
    In childbirth, in the rains, in resurrection.”

    God is there in childbirth – in the miracle of bright childish joy and innocence.
    God is there in the rains – in the indestructible resurgence of nature.
    God is there in resurrection – in the eternity of the soul and the Divine

    God is in the synagogue too.
    In the building – a sanctuary in space and time.
    In the congregation – human beings who rise above the mundane for a spiritual moment.
    In religion – in sacred events, sacred memories, sacred deeds.

    Nietzsche misunderstood the potential of the market place.
    God really is in market places.
    The market place of ideas, where human minds seek the truth.
    The market place of trade, where human beings struggle for honesty,
    integrity and decency.

    The Talmud is wiser than Nietzsche.
    Nietzsche thought God was absent or dead.
    The Talmud says,
    Find God’s witnesses, and through them you find God.

    Evidence of God is everywhere.
    “Man can not see My face and live,” He says:
    “But you can see Me passing by.”

    You want God to march in with trumpets blazing and banners flying?
    Elijah can tell you the answer:
    God is not the whirlwind or the thunder.
    God is the still, small voice
    That speaks quietly and says,
    “I am the Lord your God!”

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