Objects of Faith

bible picture on tableI am reading a Chaim Potok novel I only recently found out about. I thought I had read them all, including Wanderings. Then a young lady in my synagogue told me about The Book of Lights.

Kabbalah is a strong element in this novel as it follows the life of a young rabbi who begins reading kabbalistic texts for academic study.

In scene I just read this morning, the young rabbi is now a chaplain in the far north of Korea just after the Korean War. He has come to a place so dreadfully cold the fuel lines freeze at night and the soldiers wake in freezing quarters. The cold literally drives men insane.

Having just arrived to this posting, the young chaplain is approached by a spokesman for the six Jews attached to this company. The Jews are thrilled that their new chaplain is a Jew as well.

This spokesman begins plying the new chaplain with two requests and the young rabbi finds his ire rising. The chaplain

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3 Responses to Objects of Faith

  1. robyndevorah says:

    Two things. First, this post is absolutely wonderful. Second, Potok is my favorite author. I haven’t yet read The Book of Lights, but it’s definitely on my list now.

  2. musicofrain says:

    He won’t let me miss my signs. Those are the words of Amy Carmichael, one of my hero’s of faith. She never wrote of road maps (at least not that I can recall). When my body could still take a night of sleeping on the ground, there was a compass in my pocket to keep me facing the right direction and the markers of those who walked the steep and narrow path before me. Subtle signs that let me know that this was the way, one foot fall at a time, one switchback at a time. Hard yet beautiful. My life of faith has been like that. Scripture is my compass. Deeply emotional and not always brilliant happiness. Joy is still my strength but even that comes from my Messiah in the mist, just ahead on the path. I have to stop and listen, sure at times I am not going the right way because the crowd has filled another road that seems to make more sense. But he whispers my name and leaves me a sign, assuring me that this is, oddly enough, the way. Follow Me.

  3. dansangelflew says:

    This post was very insightful..it makes reflect on believers in my past. Believers who hold convictions that I no longer hold too, but yet they themselves hold their own unique and intimate relationship with the Creator. I must not judge God’s grace in another person’s life, nor seek to “encompass” God. This is humbling. Thank you for provoking conviction and reflection.

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