“Even If You Don’t Exist”

People who know little about each other, not even names, can know each other in the way that “Adam knew his wife.” On the other hand, friends can have long-term, close relationships—knowing each other’s stories, predicting each other’s reactions— without this sexual aspect.

I find that knowledge, even when it’s not physical, even when it’s not about a person, can produce a feeling of intimacy. That’s sort of how I feel about the Talmud authors and the Temple, that the way they thought about the Temple seemed almost romantic. Part of what appealed to me about Judaism when I was on the path to converting was that it seemed like the sort of thing that I could know intimately. I don’t mean “know” as in, become an expert but “know” as in to become familiar with, so that connections pop up everywhere within it. That kind of knowledge is a way of feeling close, if not to someone than to something. Something big and never-ending and immortal…

I think my feelings toward God are something along the lines of: “I love You, even if You don’t exist. I love the worlds of Judaism and Jewish community that have grown up around You. Or around the idea of You.”
ASHLEY P. TAYLOR, Lilith Online, October 2023.