Penguin, the mothership of my publisher, Hudson Street, asked me to file a blog post in advance of the upcoming Jewish New Year. Given my predilections, I suppose it’s no surprise it included, among other things: Maimonides, perplexity, meditations on the curvature of ram horns, serial qualifications, and bad jokes. A taste:
I’m not a fan of this term, by the way. I have faith in a great many things—death, taxes, the futility of man and the Mets, the rain in Spain falling primarily in the plain—but “faith,” strikes me as an indeterminant word used in service of a vague state.
Better instead to say only that we believe in the God in which we believe, in the way we believe in Him (or Her or They or Buddha or the wind or a circle of stones in England), be the godhead’s proper name or pronoun capped or no; that we locate or adopt or adhere to our belief in the manner that seems to us most sincere or reasonable or likely or unlikely or inarguable or scientific or hereditary or miraculous or brave or foolhardy; that that we do so in cooperation with or resistance to or in dismissal of different or competing beliefs and modes of beliefs and motivations for belief—and leave it that.
Perhaps we should go with faith at that.