Progressive Judaism doesn’t speak in terms of “faith” as do Christianity or Islam. Judaism understands faith in God to be an enduring principle as in the manner in which we accept God’s existence.


However, there are no doctrines in Judaism that one must follow to be accepted into the religion. Unlike Christianity, one does not have to make a “profession of faith” or in Islam, accept the “five pillars of Islam.”


To be certain, for someone who chooses to convert to Judaism there is a period of study and an examination by three rabbis to determine if the candidate has sufficient knowledge, is making this choice voluntarily, and believes in the basic principles of Judaism, before being accepted into the covenant of the Jewish people. And, on the wide spectrum of Jewish practice there is room for a broad array of beliefs and understandings of faith. 





Consider

Faith vs. Traditions

Traditions are those rituals we have come to associate with the practice of our religion. Sometimes the lines between faith and tradition are blurry and it’s hard to tell when one ends and the other begins. And, sometimes, traditions are wrapped up in emotion rather than faith. Examining your traditions through the lens of your core values offers you a place of safety and comfort to begin exploring the differences between faith and tradition and making decisions about what will work for your family.

WHICH OF THESE ACTIVITIES ARE FAITH AND WHICH ARE TRADITIONS?


  • DECORATING A CHRISTMAS TREE
  • SETTING THE TIME AND DAY OF YOUR WEDDING
  • ABSTAINING FROM PORK AND SHELLFISH
  • EATING GEFILTE FISH
  • HAVING HAM FOR EASTER DINNER·      
  • SAYING BLESSINGS BEFORE MEALS     
  • SAYING BLESSINGS AFTER MEALS   
  • GRANDMA’S STUFFING AT THANKSGIVING
  • THE ORDER OF THE PASSOVER SEDER

You might be starting to get the idea. Now, make your own list to bring with you to your next session.