I admit I’m a fair weathered God fan, when things are good I sing his praises and when things are bad I reach out to him for a spiritual hand. The rest of the days I’m just thinking about what to make for dinner. I think of my communication with God as coming from a limited reserve that I don’t tap into unless I really need to, and I don’t make a deposit of gratitude unless I have an overabundant supply.
2020 however has been a year of God-talk for me so far and I think many others are seeking solace in faith and spirituality as well. From the weekly arrival of Shabbat each Friday night (no matter what disruption the previous week has brought), to the nighttime shema prayer ritual I sing with my children before bed, I’m finding comfort in the routine traditions that have always marked my days. I’ve also felt the support of my extended Jewish community through virtual experiences and even phone calls from our Rabbis and Jewish preschool family to check in on us. In a world of required isolation Jewish life has given us a touch of contact.
When faced with your world (or in this case THE world) coming crashing down it can create a spiritual turning point – does all the pain ‘prove’ there is no God or is it the perfect atmosphere to grow your relationship with the idea that somewhere somehow someone is watching over you or at least there to listen and share in your worries.
In the Torah during the story of Moses and the burning bush God defines himself as ‘I am who I am’ or in Hebrew אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה which really doesn’t have a perfect English translation and is maybe better defined as ‘I will be what I will be’. Perhaps God is being elusive on purpose, because we’re allowed to define our own relationship with God and allow it to ebb and flow just as we change and grow throughout our lives.
When I launched my YouTube channel about being a Jewish mom I never expected the flood of messages I would receive from people looking to figure out their complicated relationship with God and even from those considering conversion. This summer I started a ‘Jewish Conversion’ series on my channel to help collect resources in one place. You can check out my summer series on conversion here:
Maybe when this time in history is studied we will have data on how it affected our spirituality but I believe now is a turning point for faith, one way or the other.
Marion Haberman is a writer and content creator for her YouTube/MyJewishMommyLife channel and Instagram @MyJewishMommyLife page where she shares her experience living a meaning-FULL Jewish family life. Marion is author of, ‘Expecting Jewish!’ She is also a professional social media consultant and web and television writer for Discovery Channel, NOAA and NatGeo and has an MBA from Georgetown University.