Ron Rosenbaum reflects in the New York Observer on a recent biography of Isaac Bashevis Singer, suggesting that the beloved author held a position offensive to believers and nonbelievers alike: “Contrary to the atheists, Singer believes in a God, but, contrary to the theists, he doesn’t believe in a just, loving or merciful God; he believes in a God who doesn’t deserve worship, a God who deserves our condemnation.”

Rosenbaum’s friend Errol Morris, playing on Singer’s story of Gimpel the Fool, proposes a fourth position: “One can consider Him a kind of Divine Schlemiel who tried His best but just didn’t do a good job of Creation. Whose ‘best of all possible worlds’ just wasn’t very good at all—not because He was deliberately bad, demonic in the way that some Gnostic sects have portrayed the Creator, but rather because He was just divinely mediocre, supremely inept.”

To know what’s actually going on with Singer you probably need to learn Yiddish. I don’t, but it still seems to me that his imagination was unduly constrained by the assumption that if there are any gods there must be only one.