You warned me; I really shouldn't have any complaints. Right from the beginning You said it clear: I am who I am. You said You were beyond understanding. You told me that I wouldn't be able to comprehend You with my limited mind. I don't think You were trying to hide anything.

Until recently I thought I heard what You were saying, too. I thought I had a good grasp of what You were trying to tell me. And I thought that I could live with that. I didn't think it would interfere with our relationship. And, up till now it hasn't.

Here's what I thought I heard you saying:

I thought I heard You saying that You were beyond understanding because You were so grand, omnipotent, omnipresent, vast and incomprehensible in Your greatness and limitlessness.

When You told me that You were who You were and warned that I not try to make You into anything else or have any false expectations of You, I thought You were talking about how powerful You were. I thought You were referring to Your ability to create and transform. I thought you meant that You were everything and that nothing was without You. I thought You were warning our enemies that You could not be defeated, assuring our people that You could and would do anything for their safety and redemption.

But I didn't think you were preparing me to one day accept Your involvement when a one-year-old child is killed by Palestinian sniper fire. Or that You would be implicated when whole families are wiped out, when parents are slain leaving seven and eight orphans, or when grief stricken mothers and fathers fling themselves on the graves of their children in an attempt to keep them from returning to dust and ashes just yet, G‑d forbid.

I didn't think You might one day be accused of causing modern day G‑d-loving Jews and their families to be killed in traffic accidents. Or that scores of mothers and fathers would be taken from their children at too young an age by cancer and heart attacks — mothers and fathers that I know, people from our community. G‑d forbid.

I didn't think that I am who I am meant that You were these things, too. And if I did somehow briefly entertain this possibility in my ego driven mind of intellect and logic, I didn't know it in my gut like I do now living in Israel during these days of suicide bombers and child killers, of Palestinian mothers who, in their hatred of Jews, proudly cheer their children to their graves. G‑d forbid.

When the Twin Towers fell, was I to suspect anyone else behind this act but You? Did Bin Laden come from other than Your will and hand? Did You think I would let You off the hook? Does someone else run the world?

But you know what? I got it. Somehow I have moved to a place (or at least the corner of a place) in which I have some acceptance.

I see that You are who You are. It is all You and You are all. I see a swarming, humming, alive, pulsating mass of creation in which You are life in all its wonder and gore. It is clear to me that You are unknowable and beyond understanding, beyond my comprehension, beyond anything that can contain or limit You. You are so powerful and all encompassing as to leave me standing open mouthed with eyes bulging, heart bursting, blood pounding, eyes weeping, brain hurting, small and helpless, fragile and vulnerable. Insignificant, like dust.

I am in awe of You and of Your unlimited, unbridled potential. Of your total unpredictability. Of Your willingness to be all, Your insistence to have the all of who You are completely known, despite the fear and shock and sorrow that might be entailed, despite the realization that none of us can never embrace the whole of who You are.

In the face of this I am afraid. In shock and astonishment, I have a vision of You that is both magnificent and horrible, tolerable only in Your completeness, bearable only when I remember or occasionally glimpse that in being All, You also blend dark and light and in doing so create harmony and elegance. In Your ability to be All-Embracing, You enable everything to be part of the Whole that is, while infusing soul and purpose in life and death and in everything that sustains these.

But how do I reestablish intimacy with You in the face of Your greatness and horror? How do I once again make You my companion, my confidant? How do I joke with You and complain to You? How do I offer my pettiness for Your indulgence, as I once did?

Do I worship you as King and play with you as friend? Do I offer praises to your darkest manifestations and dance with you as my Beloved? Do I believe in Your goodness as my heart breaks, as fear and anger overcome my liver and spleen?

How do I grow expansive enough to accept You, trust You, love You, fear You, worship You in Your full grandeur and horror?

Or is the question reserved not only for you?

When I look at myself and those whom I love, are we not the same? Do we not ask, insist, of each other the same? Do we not possess the black and white, light and dark, good and bad of life? Are we not capable of horror and destruction, too? Yet we insist on being loved.

Do we not stand screaming in anger and hurt, our faces contorted in rage and hatred from some slight hurt or injustice, forced to admit that this too is me? And yet we insist on being loved.

We journey to the edge of our sanity, forced to confront the enormous, untapped, unlimited, unpredictable, uncontrollable inferno that is at our core. Yet we insist on being loved.

We beg for love and acceptance in spite of our shadows. We demand of each other to see within the ebb and flow of our many selves a core of goodness, of transcending Divinity waiting to be seen, recognized, affirmed, revealed

We — each of us - are like You and You are like us, it seems to me. We are what we are. We stand legs apart, spine erect, chin thrust forward and we say to the world: I am who I am. We challenge the world to discover us. And, at the same time, You and the world challenge us to reveal the all of who we are. "Reveal yourself!", I hear You command. "I have filled the world with angels and monsters charged with the task of evoking from you the fullness, the completeness, the power and compassion you contain."

And You? Have you filled the world with us — angels and monsters - to evoke from You the fullness, the completeness, the power, the compassion that You contain, as well?

"I am who I am," I hear you say. Love Me. Accept Me. Dance with Me. Play with Me. Worship Me in the full awe and dread of who I am, I hear you say.

And if you do, perhaps then you will be able to accept and love the "I am who I am" of each other.

Learn to love Me, I hear you say; then you may even learn to love yourself.