Authority! This is the single biggest problem for Jews, Christians,
Who is the BOSS? Who is the deciding factor in so-called “moral decisions”?
And HOW did they become such authorities?
If they ARE authorities, how to they make their decisions? What is their intellectual process? What are the VALUES which govern their individual process? What is their AGENDA? Everyone has an agenda! Everyone!
And is authority for moral decisions merely an intellectual process? If not, then
can any human being determine the heart of another, let alone the heart of an
entire group of people, a nation, Israel, or any other.
The excess of classic Judaism (and other traditions) has been that rabbinic authority is the mediator of Authority, and that is a lineage that is, if you look in Pirke Avot, that extends from God to Moses to Joshua, and eventually to the rabbinate. The assumption, a spiritual one, is that there is a true lineage, a true sm’cha or ordination, which continues, unbroken from the Sinai experience.
But what do we do when, today, contemporary people, knowing the archeology, no
longer maintain that the revelation at Sinai WAS the Torah (5 Books of Moses)?
What constitutes a spiritual lineage?
It is the question that Jesus asks throughout the gospels. Who’s the Boss?
Pharisees? Which ones? Sadducees? How can they be, if the High Priest is
an appointee of an invading Roman government?
That is the issue: What is the SOURCE of any spiritual-authority? Who is the BOSS?
For Universal Judaism it is God. It is not religious authorities. It is not ordination.
It is not the mere claim, in faith, of some kind of lineage. It is a LIVING lineage, which has “at its top”, some kind of Direct Relationship with The Source, the Unity.
That God, which is Unity-Goodness-Truth, and which, shaped through human consciousness, and our material minds, is the inspiration and source of all knowledge for human history!
To worship ecclesiastical structures, or “faith”, or just “memory” is not Authority!
There are clergy today who wear robes, but what is the robe? Is authority formal?
And there are non-clergy today, who are inspired, and breath-takingly participating in the Mystery that surrounds us.
We either establish a living relationship with the TRANSCENDENCE, as the
SOURCE, or, we cannot heal our broken lineages! No amount of “group agreement”, no “religious conventions”, no “intellectual covenants” will ever
be sufficient. The Source of All, including Thought, the Order of All, is beyond
Authority, TRUE AUTHORITY, begins with humility. Deep humility!!!
As you might notice from the website, Universal Judaism is open, very open. It requires no rituals, or rituals of conversion or other formal-identifiers of religious-identity, unless these are meaningful to you.
The reason is that Universal Judaism is foundational. Here, Christians out there, and certainly Muslims as well— as well as secularists, humanists and atheists, who practice a spiritual-ethic based upon the Hebrews— might be interested: Universal Judaism, again, is open.
Western civilization, undeniably, is Christian in its thrust! But, it has not always interpreted Hebrew teachings correctly. I believe that is a big reason the world is in such trouble (and many Jews, losing the meaning of their own teachings, joining “the modern world” are part of the problem.) See our website for more.
Universal Judaism teaches the core SPIRITUAL (not religious) foundation to Hebrew thought. This is foundational to all good and noble faiths!
If one removes (or better, QUALIFIES) some of the difficult doctrines of Christianity: Revelation, the Divinity of Jesus, the Virgin Birth, and the authority-system based upon these, one is left, very much, with a core Hebrew viewpoint.
This core Hebrew viewpoint is as needed by Christians who are seeking the meaning of their faith, as by Jews or others.
This Reality here, is, for lack of a better world “spiritual”. It is organized in a specific way for spiritual evolution and advancement. There are rules-of-the-game. There are ropes-to-Life. “How Reality works!”
These rules-of-the-game and ropes-to-Life are necessary or, one cannot have a living experience of God, what a Christian might call “Spirit”. Indeed, once you engage this journey in faith, such rules-of-the-game and ropes-to-life, just “pop” out of the experience. They are not formal rules. They are living laws!
The core viewpoint taught by Universal Judaism (and I apologize for the word Judaism, but I’ve racked my brain for an alternative; perhaps you have one?)— is not a “religious law”. It is, truly, a law-of-Life, that is built into a correctly-engaged, spiritual Life!
The laws we read in the Torah are transcriptions of the learnings of these rules and ropes. But, we become disconnected to the Life experience, and then, attempting to learn from the books, we go about “conditioning” ourselves by what we “think” the books mean.
This is what creates religion. This is what creates the difficulties in Christianity and other so-called “branches” of Judaism, or any FORMAL teaching of authority, even a secular, democratic government, by the way.
It’s, in a way, trying to learn how to make love by reading it in a book. You get all the “have to’s”, but they’ve been sterilized!!! The book can be helpful, but, ultimately, the real approach to the rules must arise out of Life experience! That’s when it gets exciting too!! Religion is sex by rule-book, all too often!!
Well such a Life experience IS Life experience!!!! Jews cannot own Life Experience. Covenant cannot be said to be exclusively Jewish, if it arises from God’s Order (i.e the commandments/rules/ropes by which this world is organized). Covenant arises from within Life!
Do you see?
That is why I cannot legitimately as a rabbi—- let alone a human being— consider excluding anyone from the teachings of Universal Judaism. And, rituals— if they ARE meaningful to you— must BECOME so, through the spiritual process of being alive. No one can force meaning. That’s a cult!
I know many a Christian who, after learning what I teach, became MORE Christian, because finally, it has meaning to them. Of course, the same can be said for Jews, or secularists, or atheists. The same rules/rope apply, because they are built-into Life!!!
And the most astonishing thing happens: Once you engage the Life process— one begins to understand, intuitively, the meaning of the texts, and one can actually OWN and re-own, one’s own scripture, and, in a very real sense, become an AUTHORITY over your own religion, or at least a contributive-authority, i.e. a “thinking person”!
This is a democratic age. What does that mean? Everyone has his/her own religion, in a sense. Yet, there are common elements of Reality, and so, it is never just “our own”. All our viewpoints are variations on a theme. The theme is the experience of Life-God-Whatever-You-Call-It. Yes, even “Christ”! That’s not a dirty word to a Universal Jew.
Welcome Christians. Welcome everyone!!