Went to the ol’ childhood synagogue tonight with my dad and father in law to kick in the first night of Rosh Hashanah—the Jewish new year.
It was, I must say, a warm experience. There were old faces from boyhood; a rabbi with a pretty voice; a small clubhouse with a very comfy and welcoming feel. As the service moved along, I was reminded what I love about Judaism. There’s never (like, never ever ever) a mention of heaven and hell; of gays rotting in fire; of sexual lust and the devil’s lair and all that jazz. My temple is a peaceful, groovy place, with a strong emphasis on love and, come the new year, redemption.
And yet …
I was moving alone, doing quite well, when I found this in the GATES OF REPENTANCE prayer book:
Creation did not begin with a single human being. We know this because we are, relatively, intelligent, and scientists have more than confirmed that dinosaurs (and other genres) roamed the earth long before people ever came to be. I mean, it’s not a guess, or a projection, or a hope. Dinosaurs first, humans second—indisputable fact.
To believe the religious texts, however, is to believe that science is wrong; that God, literally, made man before Barney. Oh, I’ve heard pious folks try to explain it away; a day to us could be 1 million years to God. That is, of course, ludicrous. People take the Bible literally. Yet here, when it’s awkward, they don’t?
I love being Jewish; I love being a Jew.
But it’s all a hard sell.
PS: Just looked up the whole animal-man-woman thing. Inexplicably, it seems, Genesis 1 has God creating animals, than humans. Genesis 2 has it humans, then animals. Hmm …