Sunday, July 31, 2011
Humanistic Judaism: religion or philosophy?
I always liked the Humanistic Jews—in DC, the Machar people—but this is mealy-mouthed nonsense. Humanistic Judaism is not, as far as I know, traditional Judaism. The latter is unequivocally a religion; the former, I would think, depends on the individual perspective of the participants. But people should be clear about what they're advocating and not engage in mystification. If everybody's Jewish values were Einstein's, we'd now be in a better world, but "Jewish values" are not metaphysically given; they're no more than what you make them, especially when you're selective about the ideas you have extracted from tradition.