How Important Is A Relationship With God?

Having a "relationship with God" makes no sense to me.

It feels like something Christians talk about.

I had an overdose of that God relationship talk when I was an evangelical Christian.

I became Jewish to be hyper-rational and pick up shiksas.

Rabbi Aryeh Ben David’s new book, The Godfile: 10 Approaches to Personalizing Prayer, is so good I read it for the second time in a week today.

Here’s a sentence he repeats: "Everything that is true (vertically) is also true like this (horizontally)."

He means that our relationship with God will affect how we treat others.

Is this true?

I’m skeptical.

I don’t deny it.

I believe God made us. I believe God is interested in His creation. I believe He wants us to relate to Him, our maker. I guess that means He wants us to have a relationship with Him.

Eww, I’m not into that language. But the reality the language symbolizes is true.

In general, I think people who relate closely to G-d will treat other people more ethically.

A friend talked to me over Shabbat about his problems and how they were HaShem’s will.

"Do you really believe that?"

"Yes," he said.

I believe there’s meaning in our suffering. I agree with Viktor Frankl that it provides the opportunity for us to reach higher moral values. That we need to find the meaning in our struggles and I guess there’s only ultimate meaning if there is a God who cares.

So however much it rubs me the wrong way emotionally, I have to bow to this God talk.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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