I’m curious about the boxes we put ourselves in as Jews. Reform, Orthodox, “Half-Jewish,” “Not religious.”
Some labels refer to our associations with other Jews and I get that – it signals belonging to a more particular community. But some labels I feel create binary where there need not be one, and in a place where a binary actually holds us back from exploring our own spirituality.
For example, so many times in my work I have either a child or adult say to be, “I’m Jewish but I don’t believe in G-d.” Well, that’s all fine and good but is it that simple? There are one million questions I could ask when someone tells me that.
- 1. What you do mean by G-d?
- 2. What do you mean by “believe in?”
- 3. What do you believe in?
- 4. Why did you need to qualify your Jewishness with that added statement, like a disclaimer?
I think the idea that there are only two orientations towards G-d, believing or not believing, stifles our spiritual growth, on both ends! And particularly as Jews, isn’t the idea not necessary to just believe wholesale, but to wrestle? To question ourselves anytime we are too sure?
Believing in G-d, being religious or even being Jewish, I wager are not fixed concepts but more dynamic. More importantly, when they are more dynamic, Jewish life can open itself up to us in new and mysteriously delicious ways.
Join me as we discuss, unpack and debate these questions together. Excited to learn with you!