The God Concept and God Map are why we, Jews, are the people who struggle. As a Diaspora Jew I have struggled with both.
My ‘God Map’ as I have termed it runs the full gamut. As a child I was not conscious that I believed in God. I grew up Jewish. I was part of a large extended Jewish family. Fat women, fat men, girl and boy cousins. Some kept Kosher. At least, in their homes. We never kept Kosher, Thanks to my Mom. We went to Sunday School, attended High Holidays. I was a kid. What did I know?
Then, at age 13 (a really BAD year) my Daddy God died. That night I became so angry with that singular entity ‘God‘ that I denounced the entire God Concept. How could God cause or allow such a depth of personal pain? The night my Father died, God died. Though, it was God in the stars faint lights in the black night sky of my pain and it was God that I yelled at. It was God that I was crying to as I ran away from home that cold February night without a coat. It was cold outside. It was even colder inside.
I denounced the God Concept from then on. My “Mommy God” was, at best, problematic. I struggled with atheism, religion, Judaism. Until, I thought about having children. The God Concept snuck up inside of me. It was like a single poppy-seed that my Dad, Mom, Bubbe, Zaydee, Grandma and Grandpa and all of my family had cooperated to dig the fertile ground to plant the God Concept in my psyche. It waited for decades to sprout.
In my first pregnancy that minute seed began to germinate. With her birth it sprouted. It grew stronger with the birth of my son. It grew strong as they grew strong. The God Concept came into full bloom when at age 4 my tiny blonde daughter asked, “Mom, what do Jews LOOK like?”
I told her they look like me. Lightly dark skin with black hair. Jews look like her Father. White as could be with Blonde hair. I explained they looked like her brother and Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, cousins. That was not enough. I realized my kids needed to start seeing Jews on a regular basis. I enrolled her in our shul’s pre-K class. And we were off.
As an adult I can only define God within my limited understanding. It seems to me scientifically and rationally that electricity is the closest thing to God that can be. Everything has an electric charge. Whether a rock or rock star we are all electric. We talk about the spark of God. Maybe that spark is electricity. Positive and negative parts. Arrraction as well as reppellent actions in every atom. While the atom may be the smallest particle we know of, last time I looked anyway, each atom has these two qualities the push and the pull.
I struggle with the God Concept. I still do. Though, I am actively Jewish. My kids question the whole God Concept now. It is their turn. They will have to figure out what they believe and why.