The God Squad Session 1: Ani Ma’amin: I believe

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The God Squad

Session 1: Ani Ma’amin: I Believe

Materials created by Amy Greenfeld

Creating a Personal Theology

-USYers will create a personal theology and determine their current relationship with God. Those that feel doubt or insecurity with the God concept will be able to explore this as well.

-USYers will determine that their relationship with God is an ongoing struggle that changes and evolves through one’s life and is determined by faith and circumstance

Step 1 : From Emet V’emunah Youth guide

Think in your head of a positive or negative experience you’ve had with God. What or when is God to you? What do you believe?

Ask USYers to stand if they agree using the “I believe” questions

Materials: Pg. 13-14 “I Believe” and pgs 8- 9 (faith interview, use “doubt slip” if not Shabbat)

Step 2: Analyze and debrief:

Were these easy to answer? Did you find yourself wavering between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ for some of them? Do you think these decisions are based on what’s “happened” in your life? Are you confused by some of these statements? Which ones stuck out in your head?

Step 3: Explain theology. People aren’t comfortable talking about God because they feel they may be alone in experiencing doubt or lack of faith. Religion however, gives us space to search, to inquire, to doubt and question. God belief is a spectrum from doubt and fear to absolute unquestioning belief. The Conservative movement’s definition of God is that there is a God but doubt, fear, wondering and questioning is normal. Not having all the answers is what theology is all about - acknowledge your own struggles as evolving.
Step 4: Share your questions and doubts

In partners, perform the “faith interview” of page 9 in Emet V’emunah Youth Guide. Try and be as honest as possible with each other. There are no judgments and no right or wrong answers.

Step 5: Debrief the shared experience
Step 6: Shabbat:

Hand out copies of God Images (PDF attached). Ask USYers what a metaphor is or what it is used for (use metaphors to explain that which cannot be said, a symbol that explains a concept).

Choose an image as your metaphor or if you don’t relate to any of the images, invent your own metaphor. How do you see God? What does God want from us? Why is there suffering? What does God do? What is my relationship with God right now?
Once Shabbat is over, explain that we will be writing metaphors for God. Choose either a picture or something you decide on yourself to compare God with something.
Examples: God is pen ink as the thoughts and expression of human beings flows through ink…God is a family memebr, because like with most of my relatives, I go through good times and bad…

Session 2: OMG! What if God Were One of Us?

An Email Correspondence with God
Review last session: What do you believe?
Ask 5 USYers to volunteer to be the following 5 concepts:God and Mitzvot-

What I do as a Jew is because of (rank in order):

  1. Family

  2. Friends

  3. Community

  4. Torah

  5. God

Have those 5 stand in a line and have the USYers rank them in order

If weekday- hand out papers and pen and have them write a sentence or phrase to fill in the following:
Right now, my relationship with God is ___________

Something I do that embodies my relationship with God is…

Saying brachot such as Birkat Hamazon suggest we think God is…

More or less of a Shabbat observance means that God is…

Saying Kadish after a loved one’s loss, even if painful implies that…
These responses will change over time. Like a bouncy ball, your relationship with God will bounce up and down. Sometimes, you’ll appreciate the wonders of the world and love God. Other times, you’ll be angry, frustrated and bitter at God. Your relationship with God, like any relationship, is complex. Most of the time, if you have questions or frustrations with someone, you can talk it out. What if God was one of us and you could talk it out?
Ask for 2 volunteers to act out scene from “Oh God,” a movie where George Burns plays a human form of God. The man in the film has a difficult time believing that “God” is communicating with him and present.
(attached PDF)
Hand out attached texts of Job and Psalm 136 – Reflection of the complex nature of love and anger for God (its okay to be angry, to doubt, to question, to demand)
Read through the texts. Explain that these texts, the story of Job and Psalm 136 reflect two common images of God- an angry, wrathful, vengeful God that allows (or causes) bad things to happen and a loving, peaceful God we praise with kindness. As humans, we have a complex relationship with God. We blame God when bad things happens to us and say “oh thank God” when good news occurs. What if
If God was one of us, like in this film, and you had God’s email address and could write to God, what would you say?
Shabbat: In partners, pretend you are in email correspondence with God. One person plays your role and the other plays God. Role reverse for the next statement

Weekday- hand out paper and pens and have USYers do a reflective exercise. Write out your responses to yourself

Role plays to call out:

  1. It is 1941 and you are in Auschwitz. You are walking toward the gas chambers and raise your hands in the air and say “Why me God?”

  2. You are a parent who has just learned that your 9 year old has a malignant brain tumor that cannot be operated on. You stare straight ahead and say “what now God?”

  3. You have just been accepted into your top college. You really didn’t think you had a chance but now…you’re in! You’re so nervous that you don’t think you’ll cut it. You lie awake and night and say “God, what should I do?”

  4. Your parents are getting a divorce and you’re caught in the middle of it. You’re frustrated and angry but know it will soon be over and normal life will resume. You deal with it by asking God _______

  5. You are a Jewish refugee and arrive in Israel to begin life anew. You disembark from the plane and say to God _______

Discuss the experience

  • How did this feel?

  • Was it awkward, a bit confusing maybe? Did you struggle to find words to express yourself? Sometimes there are no words for these situations. We use prayer, art, movement…etc. to express ourselves when we just don’t know how else

  • Can you think of any situations in your life when you’ve questioned ‘why’ or been so thankful and relieved and couldn’t find the words to thank God for it?

  • Why do you think its so easy for us to blame God when bad things happen but no as easy to be thankful when good occurs?

  • Do you think people in the above situations did ask God ‘why’?

  • Was it easier to play the human role or the “god” role? Did “speaking with” God help you understand the situation at all

TRY THIS: Next time you’re in a difficult, painful or exciting situation, try this exercise by yourself or with a friend. Try to imagine God’s response when you ask ‘why’ or express gratitude.

Conclusion: Conservative Judaism and God
Hand out Quotes on God:
Do any of these this resonate with any of you? Did your “emails” reflect this?
Humans have a hard time dealing with theology and believing in something that cannot be proven to exist. Jews are no exception. However, we understand that God involves questioning and doubt and our relationship with God will forever evolve and change over time. There’s no one way to approach God and your own feelings of insecurity, doubt or absolute belief are completely normal. As long as you keep thinking about it and grappling with the idea, you will be dealing with God in a very Jewish way.

Quotes on God

In line with the Conservative perspective to continuously be searching for God in different ways, Joseph Telushkin writes:
1. “Judaism’s attitude has a most common contemporary sentiment about God: doubt”
Other thoughts:

2. “God’s existence as it really is, the human mind does not understand and is incapable of grasping or investigating…” – Rambam, Mishneh Torah

3. “When God packed up and left the country, He left the Torah with the Jews. They have been looking for Him ever since, shouting, ‘hey, you forgot something, you forgot.’ And other people think shouting is the prayer of the Jews. Since then, they have been combing the Bible for hints of His whereabouts as it says ‘Seek ye, the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near.’ But, He is far away.” - Yehuda Amicha, Patu’ach Sagur, Patu’ach (Open Close Open)
4. a) We believe in God, but we understand God in different ways

b) It is normal and acceptable to have moments of doubt in one’s faith and to ask searching questions about Judaism geneally and about God in particular. One is not supposed to accept beliefs passively on faith – or ignore the subject altogether.

c) Some within the Conservative Movement picture God as a supreme, supernatural being; others understand God to be a presence and power that transcends us but not the universe.

d) for both views, God is evident whenever we look for meaning in the world and when we work for morality and future redemption – Emet V’emunah: Principles on Conservative Judaism

Do you agree with or relate to any of these statements? Did your “emails” reflect this? Is your relationship with God dependent on timing? Circumstance? Fate?

Psalm 136 God as loving and kind

1. O give thanks to the Lord; for he is good; for his loving kindness endures for ever.

2. O give thanks to the God of gods; for his loving kindness endures for ever.

3. O give thanks to the Lord of lords; for his loving kindness endures for ever.

4. To him who alone does great wonders; for his loving kindness endures for ever.

5. To him who by understanding made the heavens; for his loving kindness endures for ever.

6. To him who stretched out the earth above the waters; for his loving kindness endures for ever.

7. To him who made great lights; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

8. The sun to rule by day; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

9. The moon and the stars to rule by night; for his loving kindness endures for ever.

10. To him who struck Egypt in their firstborn; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

11. And brought out Israel from among them; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

12. With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm; for his loving kindness endures for ever.

13. To him who parted the Red Sea; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

14. And made Israel pass through the midst of it; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

15. And overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

16. To him who led his people through the wilderness; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

17. To him who struck great kings; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

18. And slew great kings; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

19. Sihon king of the Amorites; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

20. And Og the king of Bashan; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

21. And gave their land for a heritage; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

22. A heritage to Israel his servant; for his loving kindness endures for ever.

23. Who remembered us in our low estate; for his loving kindness endures for ever;

24. And has redeemed us from our enemies; for his loving kindness endures for ever.

25. Who gives bread to all flesh; for his loving kindness endures for ever.

26. O give thanks to the God of heaven; for his loving kindness endures for ever.


When bad things happen to good people

God as unforgiving and vengeful

1. There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God, and turned away from evil.

6. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.

7. And the Lord said to Satan, Where are you coming from? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

8. And the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God, and turns away from evil?

9. Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Does Job fear God for nothing?

Have not you made a hedge around him, and around his house, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions are increased in the land.

11. But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.

12. And the Lord said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.

13. And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house;

14. And there came a messenger to Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them;

15. And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you.

16. While he was still speaking, another also came, and said, The fire of God has fallen from the sky, and has burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you.

17. While he was still speaking, another also came, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you.

18. While he was still speaking, another also came, and said, Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house;

19. And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you.

20. Then Job arose, and tore his robe, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and prostrated himself,

21. And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

22. In all this Job did not sin, nor did he lay a reproach on God.

Revealing God/Revealing Ourselves - How God's Revelation at Sinai can Influence Our Personal Revelations.

1. Opening Experience: Is Seeing Believing?
Ask everyone to pair up. Ask them to describe what they see (most will mention physical traits).
Next, ask them what they do not see. They may have difficulty answering this compared to the first question.
2, Discuss the experience:

  • Why is it so easy for us to believe only what we see in front of us and not see people on the inside? What we see doesn’t always reflect what’s truly there. Additionally, actuality can be subjective.

  • How does this relate to the Revelation at Sinai and the receiving of the Torah?

Interpretation, multiple perspectives, Bnai Yisrael wasn’t sure what they were witnessing.
3. Hand out texts on Revelation and Modern and Rabbinic Midrash sheet
Read through texts and questions and ask for responses. What actually happened at Sinai?
4. Next, read through modern midrash. Imagine yourself at Sinai. How would you have interpreted what you had seen? What exactly did God reveal of God’s self? What was God on that day? Was Moses divinely inspired to act in a Godly way? Do people act in God’s way? Does giving God human traits more the God concept more tanglible?
5. Hand out Traits of God sheet. Ask them to read through it. Although ambiguous at Sinai, God reveals himself as possessing human traits throughout the Tanach (or vice versa). What do we learn from this about ourselves? When do you conceal these traits and when do you reveal them?
6. In partners, think of an incident from you life when you revealed one of two of these traits and should have concealed it and then vice versa.
Ask class to share examples.
7. Advice from Jewish sources: an instruction book for how we live our lives. What do Jewish sources teach us about revealing and concealing ourselves through God? Hand out source sheet Revealing Ourselves through the traits of God

8. Sikkum: What do you learn from these texts on presenting the true you and concealing and revealing in connection to God?

The Torah tries to instill in us direction toward being our best selves. Through the ambiguity of Revelation and the array of human traits displayed by God, we learn how we can be our best selves by revealing and concealing at the right moments. We learn not to judge a book by its cover as others choose to conceal and reveal their true selves as well as learning to present our best inner selves on the outside.

Apply to a new concept:

For further inquiry into this topic, feel free to apply these ideas to the image of Israel in American eyes. The media has given Israel a major challenge in PR and promotion. How to turn guns and violence into beauty, history, innovation, culture and fun? How can Israel show the world what it’s truly made of? Is image everything?

TEXTS on REVELATION: Visible or Invisible – You decide

Shemot 19: 16-18
טז וַיְהִי בַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי בִּהְיֹת

הַבֹּקֶר וַיְהִי קֹלֹת וּבְרָקִים וְעָנָן כָּבֵד עַל־הָהָר וְקֹל שֹׁפָר חָזָק מְאֹד וַיֶּחֱרַד כָּל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר בַּמַּחֲנֶה: יז וַיּוֹצֵא מֹשֶׁה אֶת־הָעָם לִקְרַאת הָאֱלֹהִים מִן־הַמַּחֲנֶה וַיִּתְיַצְּבוּ בְּתַחְתִּית הָהָר: יח וְהַר סִינַי עָשַׁן כֻּלּוֹ מִפְּנֵי אֲשֶׁר יָרַד עָלָיו יְהוָֹה בָּאֵשׁ וַיַּעַל עֲשָׁנוֹ כְּעֶשֶׁן הַכִּבְשָׁן וַיֶּחֱרַד כָּל־הָהָר מְאֹד: יט וַיְהִי קוֹל הַשֹּׁפָר הוֹלֵךְ וְחָזֵק מְאֹד מֹשֶׁה יְדַבֵּר וְהָאֱלֹהִים יַעֲנֶנּוּ בְקוֹל:

And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightning, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the sound of a shofar exceedingly loud; so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.

17. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the lower part of the mount.

18. And Mount Sinai was altogether in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount trembled greatly.

19. And when the voice of the shofar sounded long, and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice.

Did God actually speak, or was this a fantastic fantasy story?

What a dramatic scene! Was this a scene set up to experience God?
Were the people terrified by weather or about to experience interaction by the Divine (“meet with God”)

Do we have any comparable experiences today that we don’t even notice?

Devarim 5:3-4

 לֹא אֶת־אֲבֹתֵינוּ כָּרַת יְהוָֹה אֶת־הַבְּרִית הַזֹּאת כִּי אִתָּנוּ אֲנַחְנוּ אֵלֶּה פֹה הַיּוֹם כֻּלָּנוּ חַיִּים: ד פָּנִים ׀ בְּפָנִים דִּבֶּר יְהוָֹה עִמָּכֶם בָּהָר מִתּוֹךְ הָאֵשׁ:

3 The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, who are all of us here alive this day.

4 The Lord talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,

“but with us” – the responsibility is on all generations past and present
“face to face” – does giving God human qualities make it more tangible?

Devarim 29:11-14

 לְעָבְרְךָ בִּבְרִית יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וּבְאָלָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ כֹּרֵת עִמְּךָ הַיּוֹם: [שני] יב לְמַעַן הָקִים־אֹתְךָ הַיּוֹם ׀ לוֹ לְעָם וְהוּא יִהְיֶה־לְּךָ לֵאלֹהִים כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר־לָךְ וְכַאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב: יג וְלֹא אִתְּכֶם לְבַדְּכֶם אָנֹכִי כֹּרֵת אֶת־הַבְּרִית הַזֹּאת וְאֶת־הָאָלָה הַזֹּאת: יד כִּי אֶת־אֲשֶׁר יֶשְׁנוֹ פֹּה עִמָּנוּ עֹמֵד הַיּוֹם לִפְנֵי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר אֵינֶנּוּ פֹּה עִמָּנוּ הַיּוֹם:

11. That you should enter into covenant with the Lord your God, and into his oath, which the Lord your God makes with you this day;

12. That he may establish you today for a people to himself, and that he may be to you a God, as he has said to you, and as he has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

13. And not with you alone will I make this covenant and this oath;

14. But with him who stands here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him who is not here with us this day;

Join the club, become a “member of the tribe”

  • Was Revelation a pact between God and people?

  • Mi dor l’dor – an eternal covenant

  • A commitment, an eternal promise is revealed

Where were YOU? Modern and Rabbinic Midrash on the Revelation at Sinai

We All Stood Together

Merle Feld
My brother and I were at Sinai
He kept a journal
of what he saw
of what he heard
of what it all meant to him

I wish I had such a record
of what happened to me there
It seems like every time I want to write
I can’t
I’m always holding a baby
one of my own
or one for a friend
always holding a baby
so my hands are never free
to write things down

…If we remembered it together
We could recreate holy time
Sparks flying

Written in the early 1980’s, excerpted from Merle Feld, “We All Stood Together,” A Spiritual Life: A Jewish Feminist, p. 205

Song of Songs Rabbah 1:4
When Israel stood to receive the Torah, the Holy One said to them:
I am giving you My Torah.
Bring Me good guarantors that you will guard it and I shall give it to you.
And the people replied:
Our ancestors are our guarantors.
But the Holy One said to them:
Your ancestors are unacceptable to Me,
Yet bring Me good guarantors and I shall give it to you.
Israel then answered:
God, our prophets are our guarantors.
And again God said to them:
The prophets are unacceptable to Me,
Yet bring me good guarantors and I shall give it to you.
The people then responded:
Behold, our children are our guarantors.
And God then gently, and with great hope and love, replied:
They are certainly good guarantors. For their sake I give the Torah to you.
All the generations were present at Sinai, even those yet unborn.

The Torah tells us, “I make this covenant…not with you alone, but both with those who are standing here with us this day…and with those who are not with us here this day.” (Deuteronomy 29:13)

You are part of Revelation. Picture yourself standing at Sinai. What is your experience? Who are you? Are you a mother with a baby on her hip? Are you an older man, struggling to see what is happening? Put yourself in the moment.

“But take utmost care and watch yourselves scrupulously, so that you do not forget the things that you saw with your own eyes and so that they do not fade from your mind as long as you live. Make them known to your children and to your children's children” (Deuteronomy 4:9). You are obligated to carry the torch of Jewish tradition with you through the generations – m’dor l’dor.

Traits/Personalities of God: God reveals the true human spirit

  1. NATURALISTIC: “He makes clouds from the end of the earth. He makes lightening for the rain; He releases the wind from His vaults” (Psalms 135:7)

  1. ANGRY/VENGEFUL: “The House of Israel and the House of Judah have broken the covenant which I made with their fathers.” Assuredly, thus said the Lord: I am going to bring upon them disaster” (Jeremiah 11:10-11)

  1. UNJUST: God threatens to destroy all inhabitants of Sdom for their evil acts. Abraham questions God’s justice and bargains with him by asking if he really is going to “bring death upon the innocent as well as the guilty, so that the innocent and guilty fair alike?” (Genesis 18:25)

4a. COMPASSIONATE: “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make him a fitting helper for him” (Genesis 2:8)

4b. “And the Lord said: I have marked well the plight of my people in Egypt and have heeded their outcry…I am mindful of their sufferings. I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians and to bring them out of that land… (Exodus 3:7-8)
5. SAD/REGRETFUL: “And the Lord regretted that He had made Man on earth and His heart was saddened

  1. VISIONARY/ILLUSORY: “The word of the Lord came to Abraham in a vision” (Genesis 15:1)

Sometimes, the right answer just comes to you or you can imagine the results of your thoughts or actions

  1. JEALOUS: “And where are these gods you make for yourself? Let them rise and save you if they can. In your hour of calamity…why do you call on Me to account?” (Jeremiah 2: 28-29).

  1. DISAPPOINTMENT: “I have resolved to adopt you as My child and I gave you a desirable land – the fairest heritage of all nations; and I thought you would surely call me ‘Father’ and never cease to be loyal to me. Instead, you have broken faith with me.”

  1. TEACHER OF RESPONSIBILITY: “Your conduct and your acts brought this upon you; this is your bitter punishment” (Jeremiah 4:18).

  1. POWERLESS: “Oh God, why do you stand aloof, heedless in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1).

  1. EMTIONAL SUPPORT/PROVIDER: “You turned my lament into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (Psalm 30:11).

12. UNRELIABLE: How long, O LORD, will You forget me for ever? How long will You hide Your face from me? (Psalm 13:2)

Revealing Ourselves through the traits of God

God created the Human in God’s own image…male and female, God created them. (Bereishit 1:27)

Sotah 14a: Revealing God through our selves/Emulating God by doing God’s work
“Follow the Lord your God” What does this mean? Is it possible for a mortal to follow God’s presence? The verse means to teach us that we should follow the attributes of the Holy One. As God clothes the naked, you should clothe the naked. The Bible teaches that the Holy One visited the sick; you should visit the sick. The Holy on comforted those who mourned; you should comfort those who mourn. The Holy one buried the dead; you should bury the dead. Rabbi Simlai taught: The Torah begins with deeds of loving kindness and ends with deeds of loving kindness. It begins with deeds of loving kindness as it is written “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” It ends with deeds of loving kindness as it is written “And God buried him in the valley in the land of Moab.”


Body Image and Modesty: Is how you present yourself on the outside truly reflective of who you are on the inside?
If a person strikes several coins from the same die, they all resemble one another. But, although God fashioned every man in the stamp of the first man [Adam], not a single one is exactly like his fellow. (Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 37a)
Do you reflect your individuality? Does your outside appearance match who you truly are?

We learn: On that day, they removed the guard from the entrance of the study hall, and allowed all students to enter. Until then, Rabban Gamliel would announce, any scholar whose inside is not as his outside -- his internal values do not match his external appearance -- may not enter the study hall.[12] On that day, they added many benches to the study hall; some say, 400 benches, others say, 700 benches. (Brachot 2a)

Revealing God/Revealing Ourselves:
Disucssion questions on Revelation
1. Myth or reality?

    • Do we need to tell stories of shared experiences to give us shared roots? What do myths do for a people?

    • What mythic stories do you know of that give you guidance or teach you lessons?

2. Is seeing, believing?

  • What about inner qualities? How do we know someone is compassionate? We can’t see qualities and traits, but we can see them manifest in action. Is this similar to God? What kinds of actions are Godly? Does God act through people?

  • Did Bnai Yisrael really see God or were they divinely inspired at a moment when it was completely necessary? Did God really appear before the people or were a wandering, lost people in search of guidance, inspired by the awesomeness before them?

3. Revealing Ourselves: Deut 34: 10 “And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face”

Only Moses greets God. He transmits the message to the people.

  • How do we choose who truly gets to see us?

  • Do we share everything we are with everyone like a Hollywood star (Or do we hold back and reveal ourselves only to the most trusted and closest people?

4. Just as each person has their own experience of /interpretation of God revealing God's self at Sinai, we all must make our own choices of what we conceal and reveal about ourselves (both emotionally and physically).

What are the traits of God that we see in the Bible and what do we learn of ourselves from this?

Read through attached “traits of God” and with a partner, decide on situations in your life when you have revealed or concealed these traits yourself. When should you have kept these traits inside (concealed) and when should you have let them be seen and vice versa.


Reveal: I should have acted more compassionately toward my sister when she lost her job, as it was probably harder for her than I realized

Conceal: I should not have been so jealous when my friend lost weight, as he worked to achieve this goal and I shouldn’t have been so resentful that it wasn’t me

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