I'm not sure if there's enough Jewish holidays this month. Lemme see ... the New Year, Day of Atonement, this weeklong Eat-in-a-Hut holiday, and next week is Happy Bible Day and some others with names I can't translate.
None of this would've mattered back in my assimilated heathen days, all of a month or so ago. Whose idea was it to get so religious all of a sudden?
Oh yeah, mine.
I have a brand new friend who was raised in the Ethical Cultural Society, informally known as secular humanists. This year she attended New Year's services for the first time at a college Hillel (a campus fellowship for Jewish students and faculty). She came home energized. Being Jewish is cool! G-d is great!
Then came Yom Kippur and that whole idea of G-d penciling in your year in advance. This is someone who endured hellish fertility treatments, repeated miscarriages, etc. before finally having twins.
Deflated, she said: "My idea of G-d isn't one that micromanages."
I also find it hard to imagine that this time last year G-d sat there thinking, "a tsunami for this one, a hurricane'll get that one, and too bad this one's living on a fault line in Pakistan."
Doesn't He have other things to worry about, like, say, universal entropy? Quick, catch those galaxies before they spin awayyyyyy...
But there I was on a rainy Monday watching water cascade off palm fronds atop a sukkah, the hut we're supposed to build to commemorate something or other about wandering in the desert and eating sand. Er, citrus.
The rabbi was chassidic, so he wasn't letting us off easy. We had to wait until the rain cleared, the tarp was lifted off the flimsy thatching and the tables toweled off. It was a pleasant dinner, the prayers weren't too tedious and the rabbi's kids are an easygoing, funny lot, eager to tell you how they kick tuchus at basketball. They play jokes on each other by swapping skull caps. Hah! Such clowns, these chassidic kids!
Back to G-d and the whole micromanaging thing. Tonight I'm going off to the Reform synagogue for a picnic in their sukkah and a brief "Tot Shabbat" or Sabbath service for kiddies. You know, where we set traditional prayers to rock tunes and the cantor sings into a microphone. On the Sabbath.
Does G-d care? Does he care that I'll be dressed in jeans tonight and not a long skirt?
I don't know. I don't have answers. Heck, really smart rabbis who spend their whole lives studying this very sort of thing give conflicting answers. At least I've started asking about it. In my tiny, insignificant, speck-of-dust life, this is a big step.
I don't expect G-d to ever answer, not with the Andromeda galaxy headed our way and certain doom a mere 3 billion years off.