Reconstructionism: Believing | Reconstructing Judaism

Reconstructionist Judaism

Believing

Reconstructionists hold diverse ideas about God, but we share an emphasis on Godliness—those hopes, beliefs, and values within us that impel us to work for a better world, that give us strength and solace in times of need, that challenge us to grow, and that deepen our joy in moments of celebration. Recognizing that all descriptions of God are metaphor, our prayerbooks offer images of God that go far beyond “king of the universe.”

    Talking About God

    Reconstructionist Judaism offers ways of thinking about God that speak to many contemporary Jews. How can we relate to God as a force rather than a being? These resources explore Reconstructionist theology in depth.

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    God in Metaphor: A Guide for the Perplexed

    Rabbi Toba Spitzer explores the obstacles to prayer posed by stale language about God, and suggests new language that may ease our way in finding connection.

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    News and Blogs

    Gathering Together

    As we continue to develop new ways to build community across time and distance, we must also continue to find ways to “be there” for one another.

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    Why Belong?

    Why belong to the Jewish people? Why belong to a synagogue? Why belong to the Reconstructionist movement? These are some of the most important questions that I am asked and that I, along with all of us at Reconstructing Judaism, strive to answer powerfully and convincingly.

    News
    News and Blogs

    Does The Torah Require Us To Publicize Names Of Sexual Abusers?

    What does Judaism teach us about how to respond to accusations of harassment or assault?

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    Moses' Encounters with God

    Rabbi Maurice Harris examines the Torah’s treatment of Moses’ up-close encounters with God.

    Spoken Audio

    "Where Was God?" - Lesson Plan On Natural Disasters and Parashat Noah

    During disasters and their aftermaths, many people wonder about God’s role in their suffering. This lesson seeks to explore God’s role in tragedy from a Jewish Reconstructionist perspective. This lesson is intended for children ages 8-12.

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    How Can Reconstructionists Pray?

    How does a non-supernatural notion of God fit together with the practice of prayer? Rabbi Jacob Staub explores their intersection. 

    Article

    If God Is Good, Why Do Pain and Suffering Exist?

    The question is an old and venerable one: If God is good, and God is all-knowing, and God is all-powerful, then why is there so much pain and suffering in the world? Rabbi Jacob Staub explores this longstanding question. 

    Article

    Shavuot: The Harvest Festival of Torah

    Reconstructionist Jews believe that the Jewish people created the Torah and the Torah, in turn, has created and recreated the Jewish people throughout history. Shavuot, the festival of giving and receiving the Torah, should be central to our communal life. 

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    Finding Holiness in Everyday Experience

    In this award-winning High Holiday sermon, RRC student Elyssa Cherney explores where holiness resides.

    Sermon

    Theology Through Jewish Civilization

    In this text study, Rabbi James Greene examines diverse ideas of God throughout the evolution of Jewish civilization. 

    Document

    Yigdal: A Reconstructionist Examination

    Yigdal, one of the most beloved of the medieval piyyutim (liturgical poems) summarizes the thirteen principles of the Jewish faith as formulated by Moses Maimonides (RaMBaM; late 12th century C.E.). Reconstructionists often proudly assert that when we pray with a Reconstructionist siddur, we feel that we can 'say what we mean and mean what we say,' because our liturgical language reflects Reconstructionist theology. How might a Reconstructionist interpret the words of Yigdal in this way?

    Document

    Exploration of God Beliefs: A Teen Program

    This pilot program for Jewish teen education provides several activities for exploring and sharing beliefs about God. 

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    When You Say God, What Do You Mean?

    When we say “God” what do we mean? Ideas of God have changed dramatically over Jewish history. These Powerpoint slides explore some of that evolution. These slides accompanied Rabbi Maurice Harris’s talk from the Global Day of Jewish Learning, 2010.

    Document

    Changing the Equation: A Reflection On God

    Rabbi Toba Spitzer offers a reconceptualization of our image of God through the vehicle of process theology.

    Sermon