Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Letter to G-d

Dear G-d,
I’ve got a lot to say.  Some of it I’m scared to let out.  It’s ungrateful.  It’s mean. It’s even vulgar.  Some of it is apologetic.  Some of it is beautiful.  But it’s all so bottled up in me I’m not sure how to distinguish the angry from the hurt from the love from the beauty from the tears.  It’s all here.  It’s all here.  It’s all in here and it needs to come out.

I hurt.  G-d I’m in pain all the time.  And You created pain.  You created my pain.  And I want You to comfort me.  I want You to take this pain away.  Physically, I am far from ideal.  You gave me three beautiful children.  G-d, they’re so beautiful it makes me cry.  Those tiny bodies, that fit in my arms so well, contain entire lives.  Worlds.  Souls.  Months, or years of experiences that are shaping the rest of their lives.  It’s so big.  And they are so small. So fragile.  How have they gotten this far?  What were You thinking when you trusted these lives into my stupid, clumsy, clueless hands?  Thank You for keeping them alive and not letting my thoughtlessness or ineptitude be the end of those incredible lives.

Do You see how entangled everything is? My gratitude is so intertwined with my pain, I can’t find the end of one or the beginning of the other.

My pain.  My pain is not just physical exhaustion.  Although that’s there too.  My pain is the dissatisfaction of this life.  It isn’t ideal.  Yes G-d, I know how naïve that sounds.  But I want my ideal world, damn it.  And, yes, I’m swearing.  But I’m sitting in a coffee shop and I can’t cry here, so I’m swearing instead.  I don’t want to compromise my ideals for this world You created.  I don’t want to tell my children to be wary of strangers because that guy they smiled at in line at the store may actually make a habit of kidnapping, raping, and killing other people’s children.  I want them to smile and trust.  I want to smile and trust.  What the hell? How do You explain that?  What do You have to say for Yourself?!

G-d, the pain is deep.  It’s so deep.  And sometimes it feels it will swallow me whole.  But what pulls me through is deep connections with other beautiful people.  But sometimes I forget how to reach out.  And I feel so alone.  Alone.  Lonely.  Lost.  Treading water in an endless ocean.  And in that moment I know that You are saying, “Tovahle, I made your precious little body to float.  Lean back, darling.  You can float if you just lay back.”  But I can’t hear You, G-d, I’ve got water in my ears and I’m working too hard to stay alive to take the time to lean back.

And this city living.  It’s Your favorite joke, right?  Put all these people close together and watch them be more separate than ever.  Hahahaha.  No, it’s not for me. I want to be intertwined with those beautiful souls You created.  Not standing next to them on the curb, waiting to cross the street, wanting to smile, connect, hug, but looking dead ahead and minding my own business.  As if my business were so different from everyone else’s that they just wouldn’t understand.  On a level, I’m not sure which one, but on some level, we all understand.  We’re all here.  We’re all doing it.  This life thing. 

And it hurts that I’m trying and all I can see are obstacles.  Money. Really?  That’s the best You could come up with?  Have them struggle with money and somehow that is part of the plan that helps us grow?  Come on, G-d.  I’m building this community.  I’m going to share my beauty and my pain.  And You’re putting money as my obstacle.  Well, maybe You’re not invited then.  No, that’s my resentment talking. Please come.  I can’t do this without You.  I can’t do anything without You.  I am so lost without You.  Sometimes I’m lost with You. 

Like here I am.  An orthodox Jew.  With my five sets of dishes, two sinks, expensive kosher food, hard to find modest clothes, time consuming activities.  All for what?  Does it make me better than my neighbor?  Will I get a better reward when I die? Is that why I’m doing this?  I should spend so much money on all this that I have nearly nothing left to give to the starving man on the corner?  Really? 

Rabbi Hillel said that the entire Torah can be summed up like so, Don’t do unto others as you wouldn’t have done unto you.  Something like that.  So, nu? Why can’t I do that? I can be nice.  I can be really nice.  I can be that person that’s almost annoying because they’re so nice.

But I can also be a bitch.  Mostly when I don’t sleep.  Which is kind of always now.  Because I keep having these freakin’ beautiful, amazing kids, that wear the crap out of me and don’t let me sleep.  Oh G-d, I REALLY want to sleep. 

G-d, what do You have to say?  I could go on for one hundred more pages, but I know my husband is home wondering when the hell I’ll come home and help out with those beautiful, needy, exacerbating, incredible children. 

My life could be so much worse.  I know that.  I am thankful for everything You have given me.  Just read my GoodList.  But, if You wouldn’t mind, could You please write me back?  I need connection.  I need to not feel so alone.  I want support, love, help, comfort.  I want You.  You know my email, right?  Well, of course, You know everything.

Lovingly, resentfully, thankfully, painfully, beautifully Yours,

1. This time with You
2. A possible money making oppurtunity
3. Sunshine
4. Connection


  1. What your write makes me cry! Isnt it amazing how we can resent and love,want and reject, demand and deny the same god? I always think about how I believe in god cuz I simply need someone to blame...but do I remember to thank him when all goes well? Your an inspiration Tovah!!! Your a kick ass jew, mom, person and friend!!

  2. Thank you so much, Naami. I'm feeling so raw, and your words are so lovely! I wanted to send my hubby to help out on Sunday, but he got the stomach bug going around. I hope it went well. Would it be helpful if you guys came to us this Shabbos?

  3. Tov, you've broken my heart wide open. This is incredible. I respect and support your journey completely. Keep going.

  4. Tovah,

    Love your open, raw vulnerable self. Keep writing...
    To me, this is prayer.

    I am awed and honored to have you as a friend.

    With love,

  5. (and Naami, loved your response!!!)


  6. TAlk about speaking truth to Power!
    God can hold it
    Yasher Koach for embracing all of it
    I love you so much