Letter To the Editors

By: Chesky Kopel  |  May 20, 2013

Dear Editors,

I appreciated Hannah Dreyfus’ recent analysis of our community’s discomfort with discussions about God. This is a subject that I have thought about a great deal, and I usually emerge with fewer answers than Ms. Dreyfus provided. I would like to make two suggestions, though, with which to approach the immense “Why?” question animating all the angst of this article.

First, almost any observation about Jewish tendencies in the late twentieth or early twenty-first century can well be confronted through the lens of the Holocaust, and this case is a prime example. Maybe we don’t talk about God because our parents and teachers didn’t talk about Her all that much, and they didn’t do so because their parents witnessed and/or experienced such horrific things that they’re frankly doing God a favor by leaving Her alone.

Second, I’ve come across enough articles and speeches with some form of this topic (a recent Jewish Week interview with Rabbi Rick Jacobs of the Reform movement comes to mind, http://goo.gl/lxdCs) to conclude that discussing “Why don’t Jews talk about God?” is just the way Jews seem to talk about God: the paradoxical way.


Chesky Kopel

YC ’14