Do You Believe In God?

I don’t remember a rabbi ever asking me if I believed in God or what I believed about God or, in fact, what I believed about anything religious.

When I asked the editor of a Jewish newspaper if he believed in God and in choseness, he told me it was not Jewish to ask such questions.

In 98% of Jewish life 98% of the time in my experience, it’s considered inappropriate to question Jews about their religious beliefs.

By contrast, I’ve often had rabbis inquire about my work, my housing, my healthcare and other practical matters where they wished to be of help.

Rabbis probably ask their congregants “Are you looking for a new job?” or “Do you need a doctor? or “Do you need an apartment?” one hundred times more often than, “Do you believe in God?”

I grew up a Seventh-Day Adventist Christian. The clergy I knew rarely asked me about my practical needs. They were much more concerned with my heavenly salvation, my relationship with God, and whether or not I had the correct theological beliefs.

About Luke Ford

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