Value of faith is in community, support


Ethan Glick photographed by Isabella Kneeshaw.

Ethan Glick, Entertainment Editor

My spirituality and ideas regarding faith are complicated. I’ve always believed in some force or being that is higher and greater than myself. However, I’m not sure I believe in the traditional Judeo-Christian idea of God. I have consistently questioned how a loving God could tolerate or allow such obvious evil to run rampant through the world. 

If I’m supposed to blindly follow something that is – for all intents and purposes – invisible, it would be easier to do so if the world the “loving God” presides over wasn’t full of war, disease, famine, terrorism, hatred, bigotry, exclusionism and corruption. 

I feel further distanced from the traditional idea of God because it is the only aspect of our lives in which we are expected to have faith and blindly trust in something without any sort of evidence to validate that faith. If we order something online, we don’t just trust that the package will be delivered. We have GPS tracking and text alerts telling us where our package is every step of the way. Perhaps I would have an easier time with the idea of blind faith if the “thoughts and prayers” that are given every time there’s a school shooting actually seemed to have an effect on the frequency of them. How many times can we raise our voices to the heavens praying for salvation and have our prayers fall on deaf ears?

I was raised and consider myself to be Jewish – not because of the religious tenets as I described above, but because I find my spirituality lies in community. I adore the culture and community that comes with being Jewish, and I have made many lasting friends through Sunday school, becoming a Bar Mitzvah and my youth group. I look forward to gathering around the dinner table for brisket and latkes at Hanukkah, and laughing in the glow of the candles on Shabbat. 

My skepticism and doubt surrounding the existence of a deity have never detracted from my connection to fellow Jews and the sense of community that is present at my Temple. I think that if we were to view religion not as a set of rules that you have to follow, but as a support system and a community of like-minded individuals, then perhaps subscribing to a faith would become a healthier and more accessible lifestyle.