Tuesday, May 29, 2007


An article at Beliefnet outlines beliefs. Among the more surprising:

- Under belief in Deity, nonbelief or questioning belief is acceptable.
- Genesis is treated symbolically.
- Some believe in reincarnation
- There is no original sin.
- God forgives all, there is no hell, salvation comes through works.
- Human life begins at the first breath. Abortion is required to save mother's life. There is a long history of support for homosexual rights.

Since Reform Judaism is in a constant stateof flux, the Principles are periodically spelled out. The latest statement of principles--The Pittsburgh Principles--set out the official specific beliefs of Reform Judaism at present. They can be read at the website of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Some statements from the website:

- The great contribution of Reform Judaism is that it has enabled the Jewish people to introduce innovation while preserving tradition, to embrace diversity while asserting commonality, to affirm beliefs without rejecting those who doubt, and to bring faith to sacred texts without sacrificing critical scholarship.

- We affirm that Torah is the foundation of Jewish life.

- Partners with God in (tikkun Olam), repairing the world, we are called to help bring nearer the messianic age.

- we reaffirm social action and social justice as a central prophetic forus of traditional Reform Jewish belief and practice.

- We pledge to fulfill Reform Judaism's historic commitment to the complete equality of women and men in Jewish life.

- We are an inclusive community, opening doors to Jewish life to people of all ages, to varied kinds of families, to all regardless of their sexual orientation, to...those who have converted to Judaism, and to all invididuals and families, including the intermarried, who strive to create a Jewish home.

- We are committed to..the State of Israel, and rejoice in its accomplishments.

- We are committed to promoting and strengthening Progressive Judaism in Israel.

- We are committed to furthering Progressive Judaism throughout the world as a meaningful religious way of life for the Jewish people.

How does Benedict propose that we are to find common ground with these principles one wonders?

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