When I first heard G-d referred to as “Hashem” I was reading a Jewish novel in Lawton, Oklahoma. Over a decade ago. Newlywed. Not even Jewish. I didn’t even mean to pick a Jewish book, funny how a convert can look back and see things like that.
I thought it was very, very weird to call G-d “Hashem.” Not sure why I even continued reading, because coming from a Christian upbringing, I thought it was very, very evil or idolatrous to give G-d another name.
The book didn’t help. I can’t remember the title – maybe someone can help me, for all I know it is Jewish cult favorite or something really famous. I just remember that in the end the main character gets so excited because she gets to meet “Hashem” face to face in the flesh in the attic. And he turns out to be Hitler.
Did your stomach just drop to your toes? Mine did when I read it. What kind of sacrilegious bull-you-know-what am I reading?!
Awwwwwwwwwww man, but I get it now. I get exactly, exactly what that author was trying to say. And as painful and outrageous and probably wrong of her it was to describe it like that… let me try to explain my view.
Hashem is One. He can’t be two (or three). The Oneness of Hashem. He is good. He is evil. Okay, HE isn’t evil, but really there is no evil, because it is ALL Hashem. He isn’t really “both” because both is TWO and He is One! He is One and we are part of His Oneness. Is this getting too existential? I have no idea what existentialism actually is, by the way. Ha.
How can we possibly believe that Hashem was behind the Holocaust? How can we not? How. Can. We. Not. If we believe that He wasn’t behind it, and He just let evil reign for no good reason, what then are we really believing about G-d?
There are rabbis and holy smart people who can explain the specifics of this, and how exactly G-d uses evil people and evil choices to do good and how free will gets involved and doesn’t get involved, and how he uses good people to do good, etc etc etc. I have heard them speak and forgot most of it.
When I asked Hashem, “Who are you?” I was in deep pain. Complete confusion at the circumstances in my life.
I keep writing about “His” answer, because I truly believe it came from a deep Source of truth within me. Not that I’m a navi (prophet), I don’t know how all that works either. I just know the answer came clear from within: “I am the One who put the ocean there, the One who started all the fires, the One who loves you.”
This was a deeply personal message, as I sit and let myself analyze it now. The ocean is my happy place. I love it. Such beauty, expansiveness, relaxation. Except the sand, not so much. Just the water. This part in the Answer about the ocean – it’s a promise of joy and comfort and reassurance. He put the ocean there – for me.
And the fires, I was ON FIRE at the time of my question. I will never, ever be able to write enough words about it for you to understand that fire. So the part about the fires, I needed to hear that the source of all my greatest pain was Hashem. They were not coming from nowhere. They were not for nothing. He took the time to cut the trees, and strike the matches, and light it and poke it and poke it and poke it until it was raging justttttttttt for me.
If we don’t believe He started the fires, we believe in Chaos. Something more evil and unjust and wicked than Chaos, whatever that is. Randomness. Pointlessness. What, He’s just sitting back and letting Chaos make us suffer? For no good reason? I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT OR I DON’T WANT TO BELIEVE IN G-D ANYMORE AT ALL.
Hearing He started the fires comforts me. He started all of them. Not just a few and then some sparks flew out of control and started some more He didn’t mean to happen. All of them.
The One who loves you.
I struggle with feeling unlovable. Do you? Okay, yes, I know I’m lovable, you don’t have to send me a thousand love notes or FB comments. I know it. I struggle with FEELING IT.
But as the story of my life plays out, I see Love more and more. Undeniable Love. And I cannot wait for it to burst into the realm of “I FEEL SO LOVED BY HASHEM AND HUMANITY! WHOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!!”
What is with me and the all-caps?
Anyway I wanted to explore this message, this Truth.
Thanks for all of your encouragement for me to continue writing.
With G-d’s help, I will…
PS – I dare you to ask Hashem, “Who are you?” and really listen. He may have a message just for you.