News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Preacher, Where's God? In Israel... Duh!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Preacher, Where's God? In Israel... Duh!

Planning on writing a letter to God? Well, if you're in the US and send that letter in the mail, chances are it'll be filed in the round cabinet, aka the trash. But as this story shows, when someone sends a letter to God there, the Israel post office sends the letter to the Temple wall. (That's the last standing remnant of Solomon's temple, the most sacred site for Jews.) Now that's creative...

The Christian Broadcasting Network reports:

Where exactly is God?

The Israeli postal service has settled on an address. It delivers letters sent to God at Jerusalem's Western Wall.

That's Judaism's holiest site. The chief rabbi there says it's "the first gate for prayers" and hence notes and prayers sent there are important.

The Israeli postal service sorts over 2 million pieces of mail each day. Some of those letters come addressed to the Holy Land, Jesus or God.

Rather than tossing that mail in bins marked undeliverable, postal workers deposit it at the Western Wall a few times a year.

Note: I am going to say "of course, this is simply a quaint, cute way of saying that there's no way to know where God is." By running the story and giving its readers the nice warm feelings of thinking that God resides in Israel, it plays into those biases about God that anyone with a godly sentiment knows to be rank with fake and deceitful sentimentalism.

If there's one thing people of faith know, it's that God does not reside in any one nation or any one place. To play up this story like a fuzzy teddy bear, CBN shows its saccharine sweet vision of God that's really a poison pill.

I think it's quite appropriate to file letters like this into the round cabinet. At least that gesture doesn't give the impression that God's anywhere to be found here there or anywhere that a human eye might think it sees.

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