Letter to God


Community members console one another at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School four days after the shooting, in Parkland, Florida, U.S. February 18, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

Rabbi Lori Shapiro, The Open Temple

Dear Ribbono Shel Olam, Sovereign of the Universe,

I am reaching out, as I am unsure that you are there. It’s a time when I feel that You are unknowable — that God is remote and distant, if at all. And when I see the faces of those created in your image forever frozen at 14, I feel compelled in the throes of my existential brokenness to ask You: How can you exist when parents must lose their children and endure eternal pain? When human imperfections manifest evil on this earth?

Am I supposed to close up shop, tell those with broken hearts flocking to Shabbat services that our experiment failed, that You are but a chimera, humanly created for lack of a better explanation for the Mysteries of the Universe?

I’m sorry, but I can’t.  However, I am unsure that I can continue with you so intimately right now. I think that I need to take a break in our relationship. I think that I need to focus on my neighbors right now. As exemplified in your relationships with Abraham and Moses, disagreements between God and humans have restorative potential. And so, I respectfully disagree with your absence right now, and will restore it from exile with the love and care I show my neighbors.

Without you here, my blessing is from one human heart to another: May our love and care for one another heal our brokenness.

Ribbono Shel Olam, can you hear my prayer?

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