Really God?! Teshuva, Tefillah, Tzedakah make it better?

Because if this is better, if this is a lesser Decree, I dont’ want to know what the other end is like.

I sit here today, one day out of the days of repentance feeling a bit angry, and a bit alone. I’m not sure I understand the world in any sense. And don’t get me started on belief in God.

We just spent the last 10 days beating ourselves up, fasting, repenting, striking our chest as we confessed to all the times we have missed the mark in our life. I spent time thinking about all the things I’ve done that i wish to do better in the coming year. i am really really trying, really trying to change, to grow, to be a better person. But sometimes I wonder what God tries to do. Does God try to improve? Because right now, at this moment I am angry with God, I am angry with the way the world is playing with my emotions. Why should I work to better myself, beat myself up and praise God when it seems that so many awful things happen in the world.

This is much bigger than the question of why bad things happen to good people. I said over and over again that God is the decider of each person’s fate- who will live and who will die, who the length of their days and whose life will be cut too short. And i say the words and I am angry.

I have always loved the High Holy day liturgy, the beautiful melodies that seem to pierce my soul, the feeling of change, of a clean slate. I was forever looking forward to the reminder of my mortality. I didn’t have much of a problem praising God, I believed in a fair and just God. I believed that if i really tried, that if people really tried, if people did Teshuva, tefillah and tezedakah, the decree would be lessened, God wouldn’t be so harsh to good, genuine people.

And then my dad died, and all those times i said the Amidah and prayed for healing felt like they meant nothing. I prayed for a while, not loosing my faith, until we got to Rosh HaShannah and all i felt was anger- how could i pray the words of the unetanetokef prayer and praise God. I can’t do it, i oculdn’t do it. it makes me angry. Why does God make these decisions, why does this happen, why did a future colleague and wonderful guy that I never met die from a broken hip in perfect health at 27? Why did my dear friend, the father of 3 young boys die? I have a hard time believing in a God that decides this. And having just spent a lot of time looking at a text that gives God the ultimate power in these decisions, i have a hard time believing in that God.

Teshuva…. does it really work? is this any better? any different?

I believe in God, in a higher power because this pain that I feel is not a human pain, it is much deeper. I don’t think i will ever feel this much hurt by human hands. But I don’t know which kind of God I believe in. Today it is a God of anger, of rage, of pain.

One day I’ll be able to forgive God, one day I’ll believe in a nicer, more civilized God, but today i am feeling anger and confusion. Today I’m not such a fan of God. I still believe, I’m just not happy with that divine force.


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