I'm not sure about God, but I do believe in holy people – Jesus was one – and insofar as I have a book, it is the Kabbalah, the mystical and spiritual writings of unknown Jewish mystics hundreds of years ago. Many were believed to be women.
The Kabbalah speaks to my heart and my kind of faith. There is almost nothing in it that I can't love and relate to, even the cherubs sailing through the universe, stinging the cheeks of the cruel and the greedy and those who despoil the earth and ignore the poor.
Tonight, I was reading in the Kabbalah the story of how the world was created only by virtue of the action of the righteous. God contemplated the good deeds of the righteous – yet to be created – and this act of thinking was enough for the very thought to be actualized, to come into being. There were good deeds, there were holy people.
This idea of God was really light drawn from within himself and he delighted and celebrated himself with holy people, like those who would eventually walk the earth in search of good deeds and acts to carry out.
This joy created the very birth of creativity, and the greatest delight in human beings. In the bliss of contemplating the righteous, and of imagining the good deeds of truly holy people, the power to create was born in human beings.
And here we are, I love that story very much, and that idea about the birth of creativity. I believe this is somehow my story, I have faith in that, it is my belief and it sustains me and drives me.
I have realized recently that there is a difference between good people and righteous people. You don't have to be good or perfect or saintly to perform the good deeds of the righteous, sacred people in the God of the Kabbalah. You only have to wish to do good.
In the Kabbalah God is a generous but clear-eyed deity. And he has limited patience. He works against ignoring the creative spark.
He cautions the people of the earth that they must give hope to the poor and take care of the earth, his great child, while he looks away. If this does not happen, he promised, he would return and abandon his failed people, and leave them to destroy one another and the planet.
Sometimes, I think this prophesy is beginning to be true, but then the light, which I worship, appears outside the window in the morning and I return to myself. This, I belief, is the light within.
I am very much drawn to this idea of the good deeds of the righteous. I am seeking to live this kind of life in a time of conflict and dehumanizing technology and great greed and callousness to the poor and the needy, who are given no hope and even turned away from our doors.
I am not a particularly religious man but somehow, I have great faith born of despair, and when I am discouraged or feeling weary, I close my eyes and think of the light pouring forth from this idea of God, this energy and light coming from the good deeds of the righteous.
Somehow, I feel this idea is true, and it does reveal the origins of the power to create, which includes the power to hope and to create a better world and give home and nourishment to the vulnerable.
Joy to the people who create, for they are the righteous seeking to do good. You don't have to be good to do good.