Transcendence through Community by Rabbi Miriam Jerris
Humanistic Judaism is an innovative philosophy in Jewish life. Many of us were drawn to its honesty, its boldness, its openness and its creativity. The philosophy brought us to our congregation, but it is our quest for community that compels us to stay. We want to associate with others who share our vision -- our view of Jewish identity. We want to share our ideas and feel the warmth of their acceptance.
The opportunity for communal acceptance is greater than what we receive from our local congregation. There are Jews outside of our area who share our Jewish outlook. They are Humanistic Jews and they celebrate their identity in ways both similar to and different from what we do in our local communities. In learning about the Society for Humanistic Judaism and the other congregations, there arises the promise of new friends, fresh ideas, different music, and diverse perspectives. This enriches us, enables us to deepen our knowledge of Humanistic Judaism and enhances our ability to celebrate our identity.
Beyond North America is the world of Secular Humanistic Judaism. Secular Humanistic Judaism in Hebrew, Italian, French, Russian and Spanish is a mind boggling and exhilarating experience. Each country contributes their particular point of view and unique expression of our basic philosophy to our collective understanding. What we share is the passion of our viewpoint. New worlds are opened to us.
We are strengthened by this expansion of our vision. We are no longer only a local congregation, no longer only a North American Society. We are a worldwide movement. We feel the excitement that this realization affords us. We are something greater than our individual selves.
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