Rabbi Mark Biller, spiritual leader of Temple Gates of Prayer in Queens, New York, led an insightful three-part series, called “God Is Imperfect . . . and So Are We!” The series, which was free and open to the public, was held at noon on Tuesdays, June 4, 11 and 18, at the Morris County Library, 30 E. Hanover Ave., in Whippany.
Rabbi Biller’s series, which was free and open to the public, was coordinated by our Section’s Our Jewish World program. Our Jewish World is co-chaired by Ilene Dorf Manahan and Melanie Levitan.
The rabbi conceded that “That’s a shocking title coming from a rabbi. But all is not as we were taught as children in the Book of Genesis . . . or in the world.”
Rabbi Biller pointed out that “The Kabbalists (Jewish mystics) tell us that we study God to learn about how we should be. If God is just, we should be just; if God is charitable, we should be charitable, too.”
“But what are we to make, exactly, of this God of Creation? Things seem to keep going wrong—with Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, with the first brothers, with the coming of the Flood, and more. Can this be the work of an All-Knowing, Perfect God? And what do these seemingly successive failures mean to us, living out contemporary bent-on-perfection lifestyles?”
Many joined Rabbi Biller to examine Genesis’s portrayal of God, and looked into what lessons might be waiting for us in our must-do, must-be, stress-filled culture.
Rabbi Biller specializes in the art of storytelling, and counseling Jews of all ritual levels looking to find meaning in both modern life and rich Jewish traditions. The spiritual leader of synagogues in his native Canada, as well as in Alabama, New York and New Jersey, the rabbi received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also studied BiblioDrama with Peter Pitzele at the Union Theological Seminary, and completed a two-year Spiritual Direction course at Elat Chayyim, designed to help participants teach others how to identify and follow their own spiritual paths.