Saturday, December 31, 2011

So Far

It's been about two months since I discovered Humanism. I'm not even sure how it happened. I think it had to do with podcasts. I started listening to scientific podcasts and all my favorite scientists (like Neil DeGrasse Tyson) seem to be Humanists. So I decided to check it out, and it was on The Humanist Hour that I first heard about Humanistic Judaism.

When I found out that a) there was a positive term for those who believe that people are what change the world, not God, and b) I could be a Humanist and still be Jewish, I felt like I had finally found what I'd always been looking for.

Only one problem: there aren't any of them here.

I scoured the internet. I wrote to the Humanistic Jews (who are very friendly, by the way.) I persuaded Mr. Jewess to help me found a congregation. And then I talked to my mother.

My mother is a wise woman, but she likes her mysticism. She likes a good, theatrical religion with lots of miracles in it. So she isn't a fan of my new bent. But she did have good advice, which was to talk to all the Rabbis I can find.

So far, I talked to my Reform Rabbi, to my former Rabbi who runs an unaffiliated congregation, and to the local Reconstructionist Rabbi. I'll write a post about each conversation over the next few days.

My next plans are to reach out to a Humanist Rabbi in New York City. That's close enough to go for a meeting or two, but not close enough for us to join. I've also found some Humanists who meet once a month nearby, so I'm going to check them out. And I'm still wondering if I can find a role within Reform Judaism that will satisfy what I'm looking for.

Already it's an interesting journey, and I thought bringing it to the internet might help me find some other people in the same boat, or someone who has some great advice, or people with more questions to send me in more interesting directions. Who knows?