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12 Elul 5783

Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky

Beit Shalom Synagogue, Adelaide, SA

In these weeks counting down to Rosh Hashanah, I have been teaching from Rabbi Toba Spitzer’s book God is Here: Reimagining the Divine (St Martin’s Essentials 2022). Rabbi Spitzer has uncovered a number of metaphors for God that have the potential to change our relationship with the Divine. This seems to be to be crucial spiritual work as we prepare for our awesome days.

How we see God reflects deeply on ourselves and how we relate to the world. When I see God as Water, as in the Wellspring of Salvation (Is 12:3), I can see myself immersed in God as well as made of godly stuff.

God as Fire — the burning bush (Ex 3:2) as well as the fiery top of Mt Sinai (Ex 19:18) — evokes the holy fire that I feel when I speak out for a more just world. God as The Place, such as Jacob encountered on the night of his dream (Gen 28:16), connects me to the many places where I’ve felt aware of God’s presence. God as Rock (II Samuel 23:3) grounds me at times when my world seems capricious and scary.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are often times of the year when we fall back on metaphors such as God as Father and King. This year, I’m looking forward to the festivals with a renewed and refreshed sense of connection. I’m excited to see what the new year will bring!

See more Elul Reflections