Showing posts from March, 2011

Thinking about God

I love it when people try to connect religion and science.

Whenever there is a natural disaster there are always those who announce loudly that it is the will of God or that God is punishing us. Jon Stewart points out that there are those who are just as quick to proclaim miracles. Either way, it seems people can't help but imagine that God is acting directly in their lives.

Scientific American blogger Jesse Bering writes about why people make that connection; in essence, experiments seem to show that once we hit a certain age our brains are more likely to interpret random occurrences (a picture falling, or lights flickering) as signs of supernatural existence. (You can read the article in its entirety here.) I'm not saying there's isn't a God, if you know me or have ever taken a class with me, you know I am quite vocal about my belief in God -- just that not everything that happens is because of God's direct involvement.

It's not surprising that people see God…

God is not in the earthquake

The earthquake in Japan yesterday and the tsunami that followed it were devastating. Here in California we are not strangers to the destruction caused by earthquakes — though our thoughts are with the people of Japan, for many of us the destruction was a reminder that what we were watching on our TVs and on the web could also happen here.
The world can be a scary place. As much as we understand about earthquakes, we are far from being able to predict them. So what do we do? We prepare our emergency kits and try not to let our fear paralyze us.
For many of us, there are questions. “Where is God in all this?” “How can God allow such destruction?” Unlike the man-made tragedies in Africa — tragedies that organizations like Jewish World Watch are able to address and fight — there is nothing we can do to stop earthquakes or tsunamis.
As always, we seek answers in our tradition and in our holy writing. In the Book of Kings we read about Elijah. He is standing on the mountain before God:
And Adon…