Spiritual Seeking Within Judaism

Hillary requested a blog entry about my Jewish identity. Perhaps it will help her find words to articulate her ideas as well.

I was born and raised in a Jewish family and community. Judaism is simply my natural habitat. The foundation of my mind is made of Jewish languages, literature, music, food, and holidays. Jewish culture, along with American culture, has given me a basic vocabulary for thinking about everything.

By nature, I am a spiritual seeker. Everything I experience seems to me to be a hint or a gateway to a larger reflection about life. Always, I feel there is “more.” And I know this “more” is what a lot of people mean when they talk about God.

Religion is a well-developed part of Jewish culture. Jewish religion offers so many resources for exploring God and the “more.” We have prayers, which are mostly great poems and songs; Bible and Talmud, anthologies of stories, poems, proverbs, history, and philosophy; Kabbalah, ancient “new age” metaphysical teachings about the cosmic energy of the universe and how to become aware of it; and more.

The Hebrew Bible itself teaches us, from the very first page, to use it as a resource for exploring spiritual and metaphysical questions. Read about that here.

Many cultural traditions offer religious resources. I am not afraid to explore them. They do not bring me to question my Jewish identity – nothing does. Instead, other traditions help me understand the universal spiritual questions and experiences that so many people struggle with.

— Image: broadneck.info

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