What is God – Part 3: God as a Metaphor

What is God – Part 3: God as a Metaphor

For part 1 go to http://www.sholomchicago.org/blog/what-is-god-part-1/
For part 2 go to http://www.sholomchicago.org/blog/what-is-god-part-2-is-god-a-person/
How hard is it for Jews to think of God in metaphorical terms? After all, we don’t even speak a name for this entity, instead using descriptions like Adonai, Elohim, Shehechinah. Yet, does God really demand that we think of Him as Lord? Or, as one book says about our use of Adonai, “It is we humans who ascribe lordship to God, out of our need for submission. Lordship is a projection from human society onto the mysterious, unknowable, divine Being.”

Our liturgies are filled, abundantly, with efforts to express our experiences of the holy through metaphor. Says a meditation from Gates of Prayer (p. 174):