The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

© Mrs Aginoth. The right of Mrs Aginoth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988

Monday, February 27, 2006

Challenging thoughts

Jewish atheist has challenged any pilosophical bloggers out there to an "opposites day" - to wirte a post explaining the opposite view from what we believe and usually post/comment about. Although I don't write much about my religious beliefs (well, lack of them) here, I do like to hang around those that do in an attempt to understand people a little bit better, so I'm throwing my glove to the floor....

Why I am a Liberal Jew:

Judaism was the original religion to understand the concept of one God watching over his people on Earth. That simple over-riding belief is the one truth running through nearly every religion practised in the world today, and is so wide-spread that it is only logical to believe the idea has been given to us by God himself.

Judaism follows the word of God as written in the Torah This is the real bible - "the old testement" as I have heard it described, was written for God's chosen people, and all those who do not follow it's teachings are casting themselves out of his salvation. Most other faiths are perversions of Judaism, where people have found the teachings difficult to follow and have re-written them for their own ease.

For Jews, God really is our father - in his wisdom, love, anger and dissapointment, we can understand our role and our purpose in life. He is there for each one of us, guiding me through my life, but giving me the opportunity to stand on my own two feet and find my independance. I can talk to God at any time, and I know he will listen, and help me do the right thing. I do not need inanimate objects, other people or a special place to assist with this dialogue, I know he is there watching me all the time.

As a Jew, I am not "at war" with science. I can accept the world in all it's glory and with all it's flaws. I try to live my life as best as possible, because I know that is what I should do. I know that punishment is there as an option if God wishes to use it, but I follow the laws because I do not want to disappoint him, not because I fear retribution or dream of fantastical rewards to come. We have free will to decide what and how God expects us to follow his teachings in the Torah, and as an individual I am able to make that decision for myself. I can be a good Jew, and a good scientist/nationalist/politician (mostly)/teacher or anything else.

My Jewishness is more than my belief, more than my culture, more than my nationality, more than my philosphy. It is all these things together. It is my life. everything I do is part of being a Jew. When i eat my dinner, I am being a good Jew. when I wash my car, i am being a good Jew. when I go to the shops, I am being a good jew. It supercedes every other identity I have, and combines with them, to make me into a better person.

Jews have survived more turmoil and persecution than any other race or religion, and we have come through it stronger and more sure of our faith. We have dispersed accross the whole world, both voluntarily and by force, and we have come through it with our faith stronger and more cohesive. Millions have died, knowing that if they recanted their faith - or even just broke a few rules, they could save themselves. Jews from multitudes of different backgrounds, speaking different languages, knowing different cultures, have come together in Israel and made a home country, a nation, out of nothing. Anything that strong, must be the truth.

My Jewishness is integral to my life. It is integral to my children's lives. It is not there to make life easier, or to offer me solace, or to provide sustenance - it is just there. all the time, and forever. I can no less stop being a Jew than i can stop being a human being. they are one and the same. Those who deny their Jewishness are denying their very existance.

Comments welcome:-)

BTW this was supposed to explain why I believe as i do, not to argue against atheism. It's a pointless argument: atheism is not a single belief system. Nor is Theism. All we can do is explain what we believe and hope others understand why and how to reach the right place in their hearts and minds.


  • At Monday, February 27, 2006 9:38:00 pm, Blogger Sadie Lou said…

    That was really an interesting perspective. Did you find this assignment difficult?

  • At Monday, February 27, 2006 9:44:00 pm, Blogger Juggling Mother said…

    I found it very strange:-) I had a tendancy to drift into social essay and had to keep dragging myself back into personal perspective. but it was interesting to do - more for what I couldn't manage than for what I could. I had originally intended to do a christian post - I know a bit more about it - but I just couldn't! I couldn't get into the mindset!

  • At Monday, February 27, 2006 10:11:00 pm, Blogger CyberKitten said…

    Mrs A said: I had originally intended to do a christian post - I know a bit more about it - but I just couldn't! I couldn't get into the mindset!

    That's why I didn't take up the challenge. I just can't think that way.. It's just too alien for me.

  • At Monday, February 27, 2006 11:14:00 pm, Blogger Dave said…

    That was very wierd! Good effort.

  • At Monday, February 27, 2006 11:17:00 pm, Blogger Sadie Lou said…

    cyberkitten--can't or won't?

  • At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 12:41:00 am, Blogger Stephen (aka Q) said…

    Sadie Lou:
    Cyberkitten can't. I knew he wasn't capable of it when I saw JA's challenge.

    Mrs. Aginoth:
    This is quite well done. You express many of the things I admire about Judaism. Because I do admire it, a great deal. It tugs at me sometimes — as if I should consider converting to it, or at least to a Jewish form of Christianity.

  • At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 7:00:00 am, Blogger Juggling Mother said…

    CK/Sadie - it was weird that I couldn't argue for liberal christianity, which is probably the religion I know most about, but also that I am most accepting of in others. But when I started, the arguments just sounded totally ridiculous - I guess I'm just too used to seeing th other side:-)

    Dave - it was an interesting challenge to do. But I have a feeling that most atheists have a reasonably good understanding of most theists. If anything, this might help thesists understand other theists a bit better, but I don't think it will do much for atheist/theist understanding. Of course I can counter everything I wrote in the post. I might do that next:-)

    Q - Thanks, but don't convert!:-) I've met a few converted Jews in my time - it's very hard work, time consuming, and lets be honest, painful (for men)! They are also never quite accepted properly, and even your extensive knowledge of the old testement might not be enough! I'll have to do a follow up post to counter this one I think:-)

  • At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 8:58:00 am, Blogger craziequeen said…

    I like your postscript, so many people don't understand the simple theory behind 'explanation' :-)


  • At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 10:24:00 am, Blogger debambam said…

    I'm an agnostic, I don't believe or disbelieve anything because I think you can't prove or disprove anything! Sometimes I think I should have been born in ancient greece. They believed in many gods, and each one respresented a different part of human nature, so at different times in your life you would turn to the god that you needed at the time. At least that is how I like to think it went!
    Very well written piece. An interesting idea that, presenting the other side of your own beliefs. Not sure if I could do it as well as you did!

  • At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 11:03:00 am, Blogger Juggling Mother said…

    CQ - that is exactly the probolem with a lot of theist and atheist blogs I come accross. They are only interested in arguing against others, rather than stating their beliefs and thier personal reasoning behind them. Most often if I leave a comment questioning something said I either get a personal attack or a sermon about how God wrote the bible!

    Debambam - Monotheism is a total anathema to me. It aptently doesn't make sense to say there is one all-powerful God responsible for everythng, because the world is such a screwed up place! A fallible human could've made a better job of it:-) Polytheism, with warring & bickering God factions sounds much more sensible to me if you want to have higher beings of some kind. I never really understood why it is considered primitive.

  • At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 12:19:00 pm, Blogger CyberKitten said…

    Sadie Lou said: cyberkitten--can't or won't? *wink*

    Q said: Sadie Lou: Cyberkitten can't. I knew he wasn't capable of it when I saw JA's challenge.

    As I said - Christianity is just too alien a concept for me to do a fake 'Why I'm a Christian' post. Quite simply I don't understand it & didn't really see the point of making a half-hearted half-assed attempt at it.

  • At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 1:07:00 pm, Blogger RCA said…

    I think it's an a very interesting challenge.

    Also is nice to see variety, not just Christian and atheist perspectives but jewish and maybe even Hindu, Muslim or Buddhism if a few more entries are received.


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