Three rabbis, all prisoners in Auschwitz and witnesses to the daily death machine of the Nazis, decided that it was time to place G-d on trial.This story appeals to me, in all my not-knowingness and all my frustration. The idea of a group of people realizing that G-d has really not done a very good job in the situation of the Holocaust, yet praying to G-d anyway; it's just fascinating, and well, just so Jewish.
They formed a rabbinic court (Bet Din), and conducted the trial completely in accordance with Halakha (Jewish Law). They gathered evidence against G-d, building a strong case against the “Holy One Blessed Be He.” The trial lasted several days, with the judges giving all those who wished a chance to speak their minds. Witnesses were heard, painful personal testimonies were given, and in the end, none of the witnesses even remotely defended God.
It was time to issue a ruling, and the rabbinic court pronounced a unanimous verdict: “The Lord God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth – guilty of crimes against creation, against humanity and against His own Chosen People of Israel.”
Soon after this painful judgment was pronounced, the rabbi presiding over the rabbinic court looked up to the sky, saw that the sun had set, and that the darkness of night was upon the world. This rabbi, who had just indicted G-d and pronounced Him guilty of crimes, looked towards the silenced crowd and said “Come, my friends, we have a minyan – it is time to pray Maariv (the evening prayer service).” The other members of the rabbinic court, together with the witnesses and the onlookers, all gathered around the rabbi to join in their evening prayers to G-d.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The trial of G-d
I was waiting in a doctor's office this week (so what else is new?) and I came upon this story in a yoga magazine. It fascinated me. I found a version of the story online, and I copied excerpts of it here. Turns out the original story is actually a play by Elie Wiesel. The article that I read was very close to the version I've copied here.