God's Voice: A Review of God's Prayer by Michael Kagan

By Adam Segulah Sher

There are so many books about God, so one might wonder why there are so few books by God. Why should revelation have ceased some hundreds or even thousands of years in the past? According to Michael Kagan, God has much to say to us today. Perhaps the voice of God never fell silent, but we've failed to listen. Reading God's Prayer, it's easy to imagine why we find it so difficult to hear God's message for us. Yes, the language is eloquent and moving, even poetic in it's evocative imagery and sensuous cadence. Yes, God's insight into our current planetary situation is enlightening, and yes, God's understanding of the root of our religious impulse and it's expression in diverse cultural forms is penetrative and insightful. We would expect as much. But God's rebuke and stern reprimand, God's vision of the horrors we face, God's ruthless exposure of our human weakness - is all but too much to bear. And though there are touching passages of love and kindness and encouragement throughout this book, as a whole it is a bitter pill to swallow. Should it be anything else? Would we want God to sugar-coat the extent of our peril? Ultimately, God's Prayer is that we listen to God's voice, to God's message for all of us. In the end, we are the ones who answer God's prayer with our ears to hear and open hearts - and that may be the greatest revelation of all.

A Review of God’s Prayer: A Sacred Challenge to Humanity

By Netanel Miles-Yépez

One day, several years ago, Israeli scientist and Jewish spiritual teacher, Michael Kagan, sat down to pray, carefully laying his tefillin, just as he had done on so many other days. But as he was about to take up his prayer book on this particular day, he suddenly heard the words—“Are you ready?” Ready for what? he thought. “Ready to write,” came the response. Somewhat bewildered by this ‘other voice,’ he argued that it wasn’t appropriate to write while wearing tefillin. But the voice insisted, “Write!” What could he do? He found a notebook and began to write the words that immediately poured through him from a voice protesting our abuse of God’s creation, of the planet and our fellow human beings. It carried a reproving message for the three children of Abraham—Jews, Christians and Muslims—and called upon these siblings of the same Divine Parent to stop their fighting and come together to fulfill their purpose on Earth, to complete God’s “perfectly imperfect” creation as true partners in God’s plan! Whose voice was it really? Who can say? Kagan himself does not claim to know. But what is clear is this—its message is uncomfortably compelling, utterly necessary today, and as difficult to ignore as it is to hear. This is not a book to be reviewed, but a message and a challenge to be shared and contemplated:

Children of Adamah, know this:
If you disappear off the face of the planet,
no one will grieve for you.

The birds will sing free,
the forests will grow back;
The seas will be renewed,
the fish will repopulate the seas.

Those creatures that
you have enslaved will suffer,
but that is the way of the enslaved.

No one, no thing, will grieve your passing.
Do you hear that, O false kings and queens?

But I will cry.

You are My partners.
I love you.
If you fail, I fail.
But the world will live on.