God Listens

Jacob W. ('23), Contributing Writer

Judaism runs in my blood and through my veins. As a Rabbi-Cantor’s kid, from the time I was five years old I claimed my space at the top of the bimah, singing songs of praise, joy, and healing. 

The words of Hashkiveinu extend throughout the community as I stand there, tall and proud.

My feet slide along the dance floor as Israeli dance music plays on a warm Friday evening on Shabbat.

My Judaism stretches all the way from my synagogue to my Jewish high school, from my B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) community – stretching all across the world — to my Jewish sleepaway camp.

My Judaism comes with me wherever I go, in my values, in my friendships, and in many of my local communities. It seems as if I’m bound to my Jewish heritage in an inextricable way. It is foundational to who I am and to the man I aspire to become.

The Jewish experience offers a different level of excitement and opportunity. Whether it is dancing at camp, singing at temple, or cheering at a BBYO convention, I am all for it.

Jewish camp is a sacred place of safety and happiness for me. There is never a time at camp when I feel lost or even disconnected. 

This connection is a testament to my love and communication I share with God.

I can’t imagine a world without God or a world where God is not there to talk to. God is not a person, or a place or a thing; God is a feeling. He makes you feel something or some type of way. When I speak with God, he talks back, calms me down and brings me back to my center of gravity. 

God listens. God loves. God even laughs. God is listening to help you on your path.

If you believe in something, stick to it and stand by it. I believe in my religion. I have faith in culture. I believe in God. He is always listening throughout the night, keeping us safe, and watching over us.

Does God make decisions for you? No way! God is there for the aftermath, the recollection, and the afterthoughts. Critics may ask, “How can God be listening to everyone? He only has two ears.” Who said God has ears? God is whatever he needs to be to listen. God is an open book. God is a burning bush. But God is a team player. God cares about the whole team.

At the end of the day, we are all connected: through one human race, through our beloved religion, and through our shared beliefs.