Thursday, November 17, 2016

#322 / Our Transgender Deity

Rabbi Mark Sameth (pictured) has recently stepped down as the Rabbi of a trans-denominational Community Synagogue in Westchester County, New York, known for  its commitment to "Joyful Judaism."

In an article that appeared in The New York Times on Saturday, August 13th, Sameth asks the question, "Is God Transgender?"

Biblical accounts often depict God as full of wrath (a behavior pattern often associated with the male gender), while at other times the Bible portrays God as supremely tender and merciful (characteristics that are typically said to be associated with the female gender). Sameth, though, is not basing his suggestion about the nature of God on the way God is portrayed in the Bible. He has been doing a close reading of Biblical texts, and has decoded the Tetragrammaton, the four-letter name of God, generally spelled as "YHWH."

According to Sameth, there is a "secret" in these four letters, and he lets the cat right out of the bag: "Israelite priests would have read the letters in reverse as Hu/Hi - in other words, the hidden name of God was Hebrew for "He/She."

I liked Sameth's article. Click this link to read it for yourself. Click right here for another blogger's thoughts "About God's Name."

The results of Sameth's research, if you think about it, though based on ancient texts, actually outlines an approach that closely conforms to our modern understanding of the nature of reality.

Sameth's view of God, in other words, is pretty much the way that Heisenberg or Schrödinger might have thought about Him/Her!

Speaking of cats, that is!

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