I'd Like To Buy A Vowel
Recently an old friend of mine found religion. Back when I knew her well, she wasn't really all that in to her spiritual side, but she always had what I'd like to refer to as a "religious episodes". Now as you know, every religion comes with certain rules and restrictions. Even if the rule is there ARE no rules and restrictions, that, in essence, is still a rule.
The friend in question was raised Jewish, but I'd hardly call her a practicing Jew. She never went to synagogue and she did not read in Hebrew or anything else semi Jew-riffic. Instead she was one of those "eat matzoh on Passover" type Jews. I can say this diplomatically because I'm the same type of Catholic, minus the matzoh.
But she went a bit further with her religious status by picking and choosing exactly what parts of her were Jewish and which were not. You know the type. They treat religion like they do if they're putting together an outfit. Accessoring when necessary and simply discarding what is not needed. The only problem with this is that you can't just choose to say complete a quarter of your studies in college and be expected to graduate. Religion is tricky this way too. In my book, you're either religious or you're not. And no when I say my book I'm not talking about the bible.
For instance, there was one holiday when I suppose the ruling is you're supposed to obstain from using any electicity. I'm assuming the reasoning behind this is an effort to have man sacrifice in the name of religion. But the problem was she could never tell me why she did it, which reminds me of something else that hits home see:Catholics and meat. What I say is, if you're gonna do something in life willingly, you might as well at least know why you're doing it.
So my friend wanted to honor this particular religious request- but not in a way that would be an inconvenience. So for a few weeks during this particular holiday, my friend would watch tv and then ask ME to shut it off for her. If I left a room, she'd as ME to shut the light. You get the idea. Now to me, this is a perfect example of man ruining a biblical intention by opening it up to a man-made interpretation. A colossal, confusing game of telephone if you will.
I told her that while I knew I was not Jewish and I knew I could be wrong, but I don't think that purpose of the refrain is to have someone else do it for you- it's the refrain itself from said activity- period. She argued that it wasn't. I then asked her how she got the tv on in the first place without my being in the room. This, finally, shut her up.
Fast forward a few years and this friend has grown much more religious. Our relationship is a distant one now, and so we keep in touch via email. But everytime I get an email from her she somehow, someway mentions God, actually G-d.
My question is this- can someone please tell me why there is a need to drop the o? I mean really, does God, excuse me, G-d, really get offended by the use of that extra letter? From the little bit of research I've done this is out of respect. But I still don't get it. It is her or his or its name, right? And with human beings it's actually less respectful to get someone's name wrong. Does it have something to do with writing it down because I don't think the omission is even possible to make when you're speaking. Think about it. Have you ever seen someone try to say God without the o? If you had, you would remember because it would most definitely seem nonsensical, and or you would assume something was wrong with this otherwise normal human being with a selected speech impediment.
My second frustration is this- if you have issues, whatever the reason, with putting God's name in print, then why oh why do you have to do it so often? Make no mistake- I write emails all the time. I even blog all the time. But I do not have a strong urge to reference God every time I write.
Thinking back, I believe every single correspondence I have received from this girl since she found religion (big shout out to REM for helping her find what she lost!) has included frivolous and arguably unnecessary G-d references. The same goes with another mutual friend of ours. Why God why!? Or, to translate, Why G-d why?
Now you might all think that I am making fun of my friend and religious folks like her in a way, ok, I'll give you that. But many times people make fun of what they do not understand. Guess what? I don't understand.
I just pray someone out there has the answers. G-d willing, they will.