I asked Aaron about what they did in Religious School yesterday, the first day.
“We talked about what God is and isn’t,” he told me. Wow, they start with the big stuff. I felt proud of us Jews, starting off with a bang.
“So what did you say?” I asked, hoping he’d be in the mood to tell me.
“Well,” he said, thinking back to yesterday afternoon, an eternity ago. “I said, ‘God is not fat. And he is 12 feet tall.’ I can’t remember what else.” As I stood there trying not to laugh, and wondering what I’d say to that, he asked me the other big question. “Do you believe in God mom?”
Our first disagreement about God was going to have to do with his height? Or the fact that I don’t think God has any height to speak of, unless we’re talking about the size of the universe perhaps. How to describe the abstract notion that God isn’t a body of any kind at all? Especially when the stories this time of year have to do with a guy taking notes in a book about your behavior.
“I believe in God,” I said. Let’s start with a positive before I start throwing out my caveats. “But not a god that looks like a person. I think God is . . . well, you know that little voice in your head that tells you what’s right and wrong? That’s what I think God is. And also, how roses are so beautiful but they’re also so smart to have those sharp thorns to keep the snails off? I think that’s God, too.”
He was quiet, thinking about all this. Then he offered, “Jessie said, ‘God is not a stick of cheese. He thought some more. “Or a piece of a pumpkin.”
Hmm. Hard to argue with that. Unless we’re talking pumpkin pie, because I’ve had some awfully good pie . . .