In this week’s Torah portion we are told: “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.” But one of our sages declared that “there are times when we must act as if there is no god!” When his students questioned how he could make such a blasphemous statement, he explained that when it comes to uplifting the fallen, giving strength to the weak, and reaching out to the needy, we dare not rely upon God to do those things.
Yes, Judaism has always taught that we human beings are the language through which God speaks and acts in our world. When we are kind and generous toward one another, then is God’s presence felt in our world. And when we are cruel and selfish, then it might just as well be that God does not exist.
I believe that God is the “enabler” behind life and all existence. I believe, as Albert Einstein declared, that “either nothing is a miracle, or everything is a miracle.” For me, perhaps the greatest of all miracles is our human capacity to take that concept of being “created in the image of God,” and understand it as a timeless challenge to rise up to the best that is within us. .