Faith! Nothing is more confusing! Sadly, Jewish teachings have become
thought of as a “faith”.
But, what do we mean by FAITH.
There is the FAITH that is “faith in a BELIEF”, such as “The Whole of the Oral
and Written Law was giving to Moses at Mt. Sinai.” Or, “Jesus Christ rose from the
dead and ascended to the right hand of God”.
There is the FAITH that is “trust in the unknown”, i.e. what is happening, step by step, although it may not, at the present time, be comprehensible.
There is the FAITH that is, related to the above, “scientific faith”. I must assume
Unity and Truth, expressing through coherent results, or science is not possible. I can
seek the possibility of an “atom” existing, even though I do not know it exists for sure.
There is FAITH in terms of the belief in prophetic visions, and their ultimate fulfillment.
There is FAITH in terms of obedience of moral laws—- such as paying attention to
the teaching of scripture and tradition.
But—- most importantly for Universal Judaism—- there is also Faith in terms of OBEDIENCE—- SHAMAH in Hebrew—- for “hearken” i.e. hearken-obey, obedience coming from the Latin from “to hear”. There is a living spiritual obedience, that is part of the spiritual experience, and which the spiritual experience engenders.
All these, and more, are “faiths”. We must be very, very careful what we mean by FAITH. Moreover, because of the cultural and religious imperialism of the previous
Christian era, we have often been reduced to being a “faith” amongst other “faiths”. This
became, I think normative, after the Napoleonic Era, and it was his way to bring some
kind of order to religious warfare.
But in Universal Judaism, we are not speaking of FAITH. We are speaking of
EXPERIENCE. We need no blind faith, because as we engage the principles of
Universal Judaism, faith becomes sighted and clear. We actually experience the
workings of God-Life-Reality-Existence through our very personal lives, and we
come to understand, directly, “How Life Works”. We then can go back to our scripture,
no matter where this scripture originated, and we can notice that our very personal
experiences are recorded—- though the descriptions and the language are often
differently- framed for a different era and different “categories of thought” (as the
philosopher Kant termed the “format” by which we understand , to use computer language).
This is why there is TRUTH in secular life!!!! Secular Life reflects the same Reality
upon which religion is based.
When such experience takes hold, religious conflicts are seen not just as doctrinal
differences which must be defended, at the cost of blood. Religious conflicts are often
seen as God’s presenting us with a difference of opinion, exactly in the area of blindness
that our own opinions currently have. And when this extraordinary spiritual insight
is gained (not unlike the ancient prophets such as Amos and Hosea)— one realizes that
there is a far bigger Reality here than our so-called “faiths”. And indeed, the
AUTHORITY upon which our so-called “faiths” are based is a far-cry from something
The rest is a certain specialization, for each “faith” has a certain mission to anchor
a certain kind of knowledge in this world, a specialization, which makes competitiveness unnecessary, though competitiveness is often a way of faiths growing, improving, and embracing the more Sublime Reality which underlies them all.
If you are tired of religious bickering it is because you are intelligent. A God that is
One is not a God of bickering, unless the bickering is purposeful for the ascent of
Truth (which one often sees in the Bible).
But, such bickering, however purposeful, is not necessary for such an ascent, and is
often transitional, until the various forms of blindness are expunged, and the spiritual experience refines.
There is a spiritual methodology that Universal Judaism teaches that can help and aid
all spiritual seekers. Conflicts are not needed!!!
My schedule was so busy this past month, that I did not have the opportunity to
wish everyone a Happy Passover or Easter or, for that matter, “Springtime”, since
“human-holidays” always tend to correlate, over time, with “God’s holidays”, i.e. the
Please re-think your thinking by putting God-experience first, and tradition second.
If you wish to do differently, then Universal Judaism is not for you. There are other
blessed approaches that unveil the mystery through tradition. I believe, for this era,
in teaching the Living experience first.
Know yourself, as Socrates says. Each person IS a faith unfolding!!!