Hatikvah For Secular Jews

PRINCIPLES OF HUMANISTIC JUDAISM
This is a supplemental page to the innovative, new web site,
HATIKVAH FOR SECULAR JEWS.

[The following list of the Principles of ‘Humanistic Judaism’
are taken mainly from Wikipedia, but we will leave
you to do your own, more complete searches
.]

1.  A Jew is someone who identifies with the history, culture and future of the Jewish people.
2.  Judaism is the historic culture of the Jewish people, and religion is only one part of it.
3.  People posses the power and responsibility to shape their own lives independent of any supernatural authority.
4.  Ethics and morality should serve human needs and choices should be based upon consideration of the consequences of actions, rather than pre-ordained rules and commandments.
5.  Jewish history, like all history is a purely human phenomenon.

Note that the history of the ideology becoming an organisation in recent times was largely influenced by Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine who established the ‘Jewish Humanistic Society’ in 1963. While they are Jewish people with common interests as Jews, they are ‘non-religious.’

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Some notes about Secular Humanism, a non-religious philosophy.
To understand this philosophy we submit some beliefs and definitions of Secular Humanism:
Knowledge is only by human beings finding truth by reason and logic by observable evidence.”
Optimism. Humanism features an optimistic attitude to other people’s capacity for good, but does not believe human nature (of every person) is capable of living up to the ideals of rationality and morality. They agree it requires ‘hard work’ and ‘the help of others’.”
Philosophy – (Generally speaking), “That all life forms are equal and have survived by evolution”. Some humanists (e.g. Peter Singer) state that all species of life forms are equal, and it is the -“ruthless exploitation of other sentient beings” - that has caused the world’s great problems. In other words it is human ‘sentient’ beings that are responsible for the world’s disasters!
Sentient’ from ‘sensations’ means:

1) the facility of sense perception.
2) experiencing sensation or feeling.

[This is the only quality that supposedly unites all breathing creatures according to Secular Humanism. This web site would disagree with that statement – we believe Human beings were created superior.]

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Jewish Humanism
Jewish Humanism is only one stream of a broad category of ethical philosophies, which appeal to “universal human qualities.” There are 3 large Humanistic Jewish Organisations, with an estimated 50,000 members in 13 countries. The ‘New Age Philosophy’ – a form of secular humanism, is a popular one for many Jews.

Polls in Israel show about 74% of Jews identify themselves as ‘non-religious’ or non-religious- cultural Jews, otherwise called ‘Secular or Humanistic Jews’. As there are approximately 15 million Jews in the world, it can be estimated that possibly 10 million of them, would consider themselves to be ‘Secular Jews’.

[Please be sure to read our special
‘NOTE’ at the end of this page.
]

Relationship to Israel by non-resident Jews. Among Jewish people a proportion are keen Israel supporters, (‘Non-religious Zionists’) but there are a proportion that are relatively unconcerned with Israel or Israeli life.

In Israel there is growing support for movements like ‘Birth-right’ and Nefesh B’Nefesh - that seek to encourage a more active awareness of Israel, even to encouraging ‘Aliya’ among young Jews, especially and more from ‘western nations. Generous financial help is offered to assist this. [For meanings of Hebrew words click
here.]

Of the various Religious streams of Judaism, the Reform Movement is more favourable to individuals making their own decisions, about life and Jewish practice. Inter- marriage with non-Jews is more acceptable. However more religious-practicing Jews are concerned about this.

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MODERN DEVELOPMENT OF THE HUMANISTIC JEWISH TRENDS
Age of Enlightenment’ included Jews – Mid 17th – 18th C. Books and discussion encouraged this.
‘Fiddler on the Roof’ written 1895, – introduced some awareness of the trends in the Play.
The Russian revolution – 1917 First World War (WWI) – 1914 – 1918, possibly encouraged changes to more open-minded thinking, but also doubts about long held beliefs and convictions.
Book – ‘What is Enlightenment’ by Immanuel Kant 1784 ‘ the freedom to use one’s own intelligence’, became popular.

Organisations for Secular Jews
Society of Humanistic Judaism’ was founded by Rabbi Sherwin T Wine, 1963.
The Congress of Secular Jewish organisations – ‘International Federation of Humanistic Jews’ (3 Organisations combined.)

Founded 1986 – estimated membership = 50,000 in 13 countries.

They have 5 Affirmations of Philosophy or beliefs – as given by Society for Humanistic Judaism.

Also see ‘Branches of Judaism’ – available from here:
http://judaism.about.com/od/humanisticjudaism/Humanistic_Judaism.htm

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NOTE:
As the sponsors of the new website, ‘
HATIKVAH4SECULARJEWS.COM’, we have included these notes to show that we have done our research, so as to understand the situation for such a large number of Jewish people, called ‘Humanistic Jews’ ~ possibly some 10 million out of 15 million.

Also to offer, (as we have said), alternative ideas, and facts that you may not have had the chance to learn about. This is as honestly as we know how to say it ~ to prepare Jewish people for the great global changes that we believe from the Tanakh are coming soon to this world. Sadly, many of these are not as good as they might seem after investigation. Please see our website
here.

We have the opposite point of view to many Christians and even New Age people, for ISRAEL. This is ~ that while the WORLD will have a bad time, it will be ISRAEL’S time to have amazing blessing and success and real peace in their own land of Eretz Israel. Just image that!

Here is a verse from the Tanakh for ISRAEL ~ for you to think about what it might mean
:

Arise, shine! For your Light has come, and the glory [Shekinah] of ADONAI rises on you. See darkness covers, [the rest of] the Earth and thick darkness is over the Peoples. But ADONAI rises upon you, and His glory appears over you.”

This is from Isaiah/ Yesha-yahu chapter 60: 1 – 3, in the Tanakh/ O.T. but we would like you to read this wonderful chapter for yourself and go over every word carefully! You will be blessed! The Tanakh offers far better concepts, and philosophies for true Jewish people!

Now we invite you to return to our Home page
and look at articles numbered 1, 2 and 3.