Through the conversion process thus far, while I’ve enjoyed learning about Judaism, the parts that have been the most meaningful to my fiancé and me are the aspects that go into our personal views about faith, in general, and Judaism, in particular.
In our last session, we were supposed to talk about the High Holidays, but the rabbi told us he had a different idea. Instead of discussing the High Holidays, he asked us to draw our conception of G-d. Then he handed each of us a sheet of paper and let us get to work. We put the book we were studying between us so we couldn’t cheat and copy off each other and started drawing.
It was kind of a nerve-wracking exercise. Even though we knew there was no right or wrong answer, it was a difficult question that took time to think about and figure out what to draw. It was also a bit overwhelming to conceptualize something that could fit on a single sheet of paper that was about half the size of a regular 8.5 x 11 piece of paper.
What’s crazy is that when we removed the book and the drawings were finally revealed, they were strikingly similar to each other. I drew a pair of eyes in a sea of clouds, with the words “eye in the sky” and “all seeing, all knowing” (drawing on the right). My fiancé drew a giant eye overlooking the Earth with the words “benevolent” and “force in nature and in human beings” (drawing on the left).
I actually had considered drawing eyes and the Earth, as well, but didn’t. I think we were both surprised at how similar our drawings were. We may not agree on everything, but at least we agree on what we visualize our overall conception of G-d to be.
I think this was an important revelation in our relationship. The experience was something that made us think and elicited conversation long after that session with the rabbi was over. Since then, we have continued to talk about and reflect on the exercise. This is not to say that if we had drawn completely different things that would have impacted our relationship negatively, but the fact that we drew similar depictions did impact our relationship positively.
I know this is only the beginning of conversations like this, in which we explore our relationship and our future through the lens of, and in relation to, Judaism, but I’m excited to continue these discussions.
How do you think you would depict G-d? Think about it. You might learning something about yourself or those who are important to you.