For a definition of “Spiritual Helicopter,” please go to this link.
Today I was late to Rosh Hashanah services. I mean, I was LAAAAAAATE, okay? I misread my ticket and thought that services started at 11:00. I showed up at 10:40 and they were just getting to the Torah reading.
Oops. Services started at 10. It’s Yom Kippur that starts at 11.
I got into the sanctuary, into the way-back-in-the-back with the temporary seating in the social hall, and tried not to cry. For about five minutes. Beating myself up for making a mistake – again. Beating myself up for being late to shul ON ROSH HASHANAH, of all days.
Beating myself up.
Oh. Wait. Didn’t I say, just this morning, that I was going to stop beating myself up for small mistakes? Was anyone else going to care that I made this mistake except me? Was God really going to be offended because I wasn’t on time when I spent at least ten minutes hunting for parking (there’s no parking lot at our shul), really? Did something this minor really matter?
And that’s when the spiritual helicopter showed up. I swear this is not me hallucinating. It didn’t come in words, exactly, but more of a sense. A sense that communicated this:
My son, the God you were told about when you were a child is not Me. I won’t hit you for making a simple mistake.
I suppose I’ve been told to put my (spiritual) money where my (spiritual) mouth is, nu?
Because then I did cry. Not much, but I did cry – the tears of someone who’s been under pressure after the pressure is lifted.
I have to remember that God is not a spiritual bully. My mother was, but He isn’t.
2 responses to “Another Spiritual Helicopter”
There’s a guy I went to high school with. We smoked a lot of weed and dropped a lot of acid together, back when Lyndon Johnson was president. While I followed the obvious path to degeneracy, he went on to become an orthodox Jew, and now he’s somewhere in Israel, writing books about the work of the Ramchal, also known as Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto, who died in 1746. Every now and then my friend and I write to one another, and somewhere along the way he told me that the Ramchal is credited with telling a young Jewish apostate that “The God you don’t believe in, I don’t believe in either.” Knowing a good thing when I see it, I stole it. I’ve said the same thing many times since, to many atheists, hardly ever crediting the Ramchal, who doesn’t care. I might even have written it to you, in some other Internet comment, back when you were an atheist. But yeah!— God is not a spiritual bully.
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God Is not a bully it’s humans that are. Take for example today at Taslich, I was on JST (Jewish Standard Time) 10 minutes late, I got caught up even more talking to people as they were leaving, by the time I got to actually do it, I have mere minutes before the next shul was arriving and they’re rabbi was saying something like “it’s time for the next jews to repent” or so,etching like that I wasn’t paying attention to him. I gave a fake half smile to him and continued my own repentance and threw in an extra piece for my thoughts on this rabbi pushing me to finish. On the way to my car his congregants were like “where you going it’s only starting, don’t listen to him take your time, come pray, sing, join us. It was as if every one around me knew I needed to do it properly except this rabbi, they (the rabbi’s) get so caught up sometimes in making sure it’s all on time and don’t want to piss off their most critical congregants, when it’s truly all about God and our relationship with him.
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