Theology | Reconstructing Judaism
Theology

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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.

Rabbi Jacob Staub reflects on the difference between welcoming others and seeing through their eyes.

What is the place of the Messiah in Reconstructionist Judaism? Rabbi Jacob Staub reflects. 

Theology, Pursuing Justice

How do you ask for help from a non-supernatural God? Rabbi Jacob Staub explores.

Rabbi Jacob Staub brings Hasidic thought to bear on a contemporary spiritual question.

Religious Experience, Theology

When you stop believing that God is the cause of everything that happens to us, you don’t necessarily stop believing in the presence of the divine that infuses all things.

Religious Experience, Theology

An act of consent lies at the heart of the whole rabbinic Jewish enterprise. The rabbis understood the covenant at Sinai to be the foundational moment of the ongoing relationship between God and the Jewish people. In order for the covenant to be valid, Israel must have agreed to it.

Theology, Ethics and Values

When good people suffer, where is God? In this influential piece, Rabbi Harold Schulweis grapples with deep questions about God's role in the world and in our lives. 

Theology, Reconstructionism

How do we address life's tough questions from the Reconstructionst framework of a non-supernatural God? 

Reconstructionism, Theology
D'VAR TORAH
Leviticus 16:1-34; 18: 1-30

Since Reconstructionist Judaism affirms a conception of God as a force, power or process — but not as a supernatural Being who can be addressed and can respond — what happens to the notion of sin? Rabbi Richard Hirsh argues that Reconstructionist theology makes it more, not less, important that we take on the responsibility for judgment, atonement, apology and repentance

Fuchs-Kreimer describes how respect for interfaith colleagues led her to re-examine Jewish beliefs she once dismissed out of hand. 

Waxman asks if it is “possible to believe that all people are created equal and to believe that Judaism is superior to other religions.”

Staub recounts his spiritual biography and offers ideas about how to build a personal relationship with God. 

How are we to understand the traditional claim that the Torah is divinely revealed? And what exactly is the Torah that was revealed? Rabbi Jacob Staub examines Reconstructionist theology through the lens of the holiday of Shavuot. This article is excerpted from the Guide to Jewish Practice. 

What is "process theology"? Rabbi Toba Spitzer argues that it offers ways to think and talk about God that make sense in a modern scientific framework, that resonate with Jewish texts and traditions, and that promote wise and ethical behavior.
Theology, Reconstructionism

"Love of the Creator, and love of that which G!d has created, are finally one and the same," wrote Martin Buber.  Defending this divine creation in an era of climate change is a Jewish (and social, political, and moral) imperative.

This symposium among eight Reconstructionist leaders explores the interface between environmental activism and Jewish spirituality. Originally published in Winter 2001/2002 issue of Reconstructionism Today, this discussion remains relevant and valuable. 

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

Theology, Reconstructionism
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.
Theology

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

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?

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

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

Spirituality, Theology
D'VAR TORAH
Exodus 19:1-20:23

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. 

Shavuot, Theology

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. 

Theology, Reconstructionism

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

D'VAR TORAH
Genesis 6:9-11:32

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.

This excerpt from The Guide to Jewish Practice delves into the holiday's meaning and message. 

Our first session of Reconstructing for Tomorrow, led by Rabbi Deborah Waxman, began the difficult and exciting task of grappling with the history of the Reconstructionist movement and the questions of Jewish peoplehood in the future.

In our second session of Reconstructing for Tomorrow, we were led in a discussion about the spiritual and tangible ways we can integrate ecological values into our Jewish lives.

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

Theology, Textual Sources

Our third Reconstructing for Tomorrow conversation with Rabbi Deborah Waxman focused on unpacking the ideological and practical differences between the Reconstructionist and Reform movements.

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.

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.

Reconstructing Judaism has just rolled out Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations with the intention of hosting difficult, groundbreaking conversations that are nevertheless mutually respectful and supportive. We invite you to visit Evolve and to join the conversations!

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