I haven’t prayed much since my can­cer diag­no­sis. Not that I ever prayed much. God was fic­tion, a com­fort for crea­tures addict­ed to rea­son. It’s fun­ny how humans use reli­gion to com­fort the ill and jus­ti­fy their ill­ness, per­haps the per­il of leav­ing a human cre­ation in human cus­tody. Yet I yearned for prayer. What else can you do but pray when vil­lain­ous muta­tions silent­ly stalk your body from with­in. As I opened my sid­dur, the phone rang — my doc­tor with biop­sy results. Rab­bi, it seems your immune sys­tem killed the can­cer. It’s hon­est­ly a mir­a­cle, an act of God.”

This piece was pub­lished by NuRoots in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Jew­ish Book Coun­cil as part of NuRoots’ Awe in a Flash project for In Awe — sev­en weeks of vir­tu­al gath­er­ings and D.I.Y. expe­ri­ences that explore a sea­son of expan­sive­ness, reflec­tion, and aston­ish­ment. See the oth­er pieces here and here.

An ini­tia­tive of the Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion of Greater Los Ange­les, NuRoots mobi­lizes and inspires peo­ple in their 20s and 30s to cre­ate mean­ing­ful Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty across L.A.

Alex is a Los Ange­les rab­bi that loves hip hop, cof­fee, and jus­tice. Check out his Hip Hop High Hol­i­day project RAP-ENTANCE at alexkress​.com.