Rabbi Michael Safra

Rockville, MD

Rabbi Michael Safra is Senior Rabbi of B’nai Israel Congregation in Rockville MD, where he has served in various roles since 2002. He holds Rabbinic Ordination and an MA (concentration in Bible) from the Jewish Theological Seminary and an AB from the University of Michigan (concentrations in History and Judaic Studies).

God Isn't Perfect, So Why Should I Be?

9:00 PM Eastern

We "know" God is incorporeal, beyond human, and completely perfect. Following Maimonides and other great thinkers of the Middle Ages, we discount the passages in the Torah that describe God with human characteristics - the Torah is written in the language of human beings. But what if we could learn from the human depictions of God in the Bible? In the Torah, God has bodily characteristics, God walks, God changes God's mind, and God GROWS. To whit, when the people sin in the time of Noah, God destroys the world and soon discovers this was a bad idea. When the Israelites sin with the Golden Calf, God wants to destroy them as well, but Moses convinces God to do otherwise and God relents. In the time of Jonah, God forgives the Ninevites and Jonah gets upset; this time, God teaches Jonah a lesson God learned from Moses. What if we could emulate God's ability to forgive? What if we could emulate God's ability to grow and change? What if we could learn from God that "perfection" is not a state of being, but rather a continual process?