December 22, 2014 / 30th of Kislev, 5775
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02/01/2011
Humanistic Judaism: What We Do

A few years ago, Rabbi Moshe Waldoks walked in on a meeting I was attending. We were a group of like-minded friends debating our beliefs in order to come up with a clear message about our brand of Humanistic Judaism.  He said that we were doing nothing less than coming up with a creed and emphatically took us to task for wasting time on such a non-Jewish activity. Thus I discovered that we were engaged in a practice and not a belief. Perhaps not news to many, but to me it was profound.

Since that time, I have come across many tracts explaining what we do and even some who try to explain what a Humanistic Jew believes.  What follows is simply put, called:

What We Do

Humanistic Judaism draws on traditions and wisdom from Jewish culture and history.

We strive to become the masters of our own lives and to achieve our own dignity.

We pursue the truth about ourselves and the world around us through the light of reason.

We are willing to live with uncertainty where evidence provides no answer.

We accept ultimate responsibility to work for justice in the world and to guarantee freedom and equality for all people.

We study the history, culture, and experience of the Jewish people, finding inspiration for our own struggle to achieve personal dignity and social justice.

We celebrate the major events of Jewish history, the great moments of personal development, and the seasons of nature through the holidays of the Jewish tradition, infusing these celebrations with our own convictions.

We connect with the experiences of beauty, nature, and ethical idealism, which give meaning to our lives and become the foundation of our own nontheistic spirituality.

We open ourselves to wisdom and beauty from other cultures and have adopted universal standards of tolerance, pluralism, democracy, and equality of status for men and women.

We support the separation of government and religion, and the pursuit of peace.

We use the creativity of the Jewish past whenever it addresses our needs and convictions, always understanding that the creativity of the Jewish present may speak with equal or greater authority.

Although I have no attribution for this, I know it was sent to me in another form which I modified and use here.

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