Casey’s Imaginary Friend

Hyper-educated goy Casey blogs:

One of my ten best friends (she wouldn’t have guessed she was in the top ten; but so it goes…) has been doing these ridiculously entertaining "Torah Talks" on a — how to describe it? — unpredictable website called They’re covering everything awesome in this latest talk — from the nature of G-d to the nature of sex to close readings of Genesis and so on.

I really recommend you watch some of these videos, but I want to focus briefly on the last one (scroll to the bottom of the page). In the video, Monica’s making a superstar point about how knowledge can bring melancholy — Luke, our moral leader, asks the question: "Like which knowledge has been the most… unhappiness-giving?" Here’s Monica’s reply (starting around the 2:10 mark in that last video on the page):

The more I learn about religion, the more I learn about Judaism, the more I learn about the Hebrew Bible, the more I study it – it’s kind of a paradox because in many ways I feel closer to G-d, but in other ways I feel farther because I learn so many things about like the construction of the text and so on and so forth that, like, I don’t know any more, I don’t know the answer. I don’t know… what G-d is anymore. I don’t know. I mean I know—I know the Hebrew Bible, that I know, but I don’t know what that means… I think that… that’s just, it’s scary, I mean there’s something liberating about it, but I think it can be kinda frightening too. Like it’s easier just to know – that’s what’s so easy about Christianity… it’s… just, Jesus is [inaudible]. That’s so easy.

My favorite part of this learned discussion is when Monica refuses to choose between Judaism and Christianity because that would be binary:

My whole thing about being confused does, in fact, stem from my being pulled in both directions. My history is in Christianity, and I can’t deny this because it is what led me to do what I do today, and it is what compelled me to love the sacred texts as much as I do. But it is Judaism that opened them up for me in a new way and showed me a way to love G-d again in the wake of (what I experienced as) Christian legalism and hypocrisy. Whenever my Bible as Lit students used to ask me whether I was Christian or Jewish, I would say "Both, and neither." And that’s complicated, but for me it’s more authentic than choosing one side of a binary religious construction. But, then, as I implied, sometimes it would just be easier to pick one…

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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