Moment Magazine asked Rabbi Steinsaltz: "Can there be Judaisam without belief in God?
Rabbi Steinsaltz replied:
The question “What is Judaism without belief in God” can best be answered through similes.
The simplest simile would be that it is like humanity without life: a collection of dead bodies, cemeteries and memorials.
Judaism without belief in God is just like that: a combination of obscure historical notions such as the Shoah, a faint attachment to Israel and wonderful material for Woody Allen movies.
Unlike most of the people in the world, for whom religion is an entity superimposed on an existing nation, in Judaism there has never been anything that makes any sense of the Jewish people.
It was not so in the past, and it is surely not so now, with all the ethnic, social and historical differentiations that exist within our nation.
This is also true about Jewishness in general: When one speaks about Judaism as an idea or a culture, it becomes quite ridiculous.
It is like an attempt to write literature by using only three or four letters of the alphabet.
It can be done as a gimmick, but the result will be neither important nor impressive.
It is true, however, that in many parts of the world, Jews subconsciously define themselves as the void that remained after God had left—namely, empty shells, hollow puppets that continue to talk and preach despite having lost their contents long ago.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From Moment Magazine,September/October 2011