Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Another stab at a creed

My creed...

I believe in the God of history, the God of nature, the God who created us all with a word, and set the finished world in motion to develop contingently, with the promise that what He had made would always be "very good."

I reject seclusion, and draw strength from what Samson Rephael Hirsch wrote: "the righteous ones must be the ones who fear God not only in the safety and privacy of their homes, but in the midst of the city -- playing a prominent part in public life and exerting their influence against evil forces."

I condemn all superstition and wish to see Judaism made clean of irrational beliefs like amulets and other segulot. There are no powers outside of God.

I do not hold with those who say that truth is the only fundamental, because truth is fleeting and can be known to us only in part. Instead, basing myself on Hillel who said: "That which is despicable to you, do not do unto others: This is the whole Torah," I insist that love is the highest value, because it is only through tolerance, respect and the give and take of self -confident conversation, that the truth can be apprehended.

I affirm that all Jews, and the righteous of other nations, too, have a place in the world to come.

I believe, finally, that heaven and earth once intersected at Sinai where God made a revelation to Moses, a revelation that over time has developed historically and contingently with the fingerprints of Sages and laymen alike appearing on it to this day. I declare my acceptance of the authority of the Sages and Rabbis to make Jewish laws, while simultaneously confirming the view of our Rabbis who said that the science and history contained in the rabbinic writings are not part of the revelation and are subject to correction as new facts are discovered.
(This is a modification of something I wrote in 2006)

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