Friday, September 07, 2007

Thoughts for Elul

It's Elul, that last month in the Jewish year before Tishrei and Rosh Hashanah and time for introspection.

There's a grain of truth in the observation that Judaism is more about practice than belief, but it's no more than a half-truth. World Jewish Digest recently sponsored a forum with four authors on the question, "What Do Jews Believe?" All four responses are worth reading, but the response of Niles Elliot Goldstein is the best, getting right to the center of the issue and clearing away a lot of confusion. He coins a phrase, "skeptical theism," that captures Judaism perfectly. He also the only one of the four respondents to get the all-important distinction between faith and belief right. And he doesn't sidestep the question with that cliché about "Judaism is practice, not faith." As they say, read the whole thing.

L'shanah tovah!

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