Individual and collective Judaism

 “My Judaism” and Judaism

The Torah says that the humans were created in the image of God who is a unique “individual”. Therefore each of us the Jews has to be a unique Jewish individual with his/her own unique understanding of the essence of being Jewish tailored to unique individual’s life circumstances. That translates to having “my Judaism” by each individual. My life circumstances are shaped by my analytical, scientific mind-set. Therefore “my Judaism” is an analytical validation of the traditional Torah-based beliefs – validation by both spiritual and material facts. The entire Judaism for the Jewish people is a spiritual totality of “individual Judaism’s” put together by sages and great rabbis.

Below are major concepts of my individual Judaism analytically validated through the prism of my mind-set.

Judaism and God

The absolute majority of humans, including the ultra-orthodox and ultra-atheists, agree that some Supreme Power over us the humans exists. This majority realizes that our world operates under the laws created by this Supreme Power. However there is no agreement on the image of this Supreme Power named God – the suggested images are varying from a caring and loving Father to Nature or Big Bang. Putting aside the disagreements on the image of God, the acknowledgement of the existence of One God is of fundamental importance since it unites many peacefully competing human groups into the human majority under the same set of moral rules.

Creative power of God transferred to the humans

The Torah presents the fundamental feature in the image of God – He is the Creator; He created our world and us the humans in this world. He created us the humans by introducing into “body with scalp and bones” the intellect – the intellect, not the body with scalp and bones, makes us the humans. He created our world as a permanently changing one – changing along the lines of spiritual and material laws creating by Him. Everybody among us the humans is a creator – creating a small piece of a constantly changing (improving, evolutionizing) world, based on his/her own understanding of the Torah-based grand design of this world, to continue the God’s creative work.

Creative power of God transferred to the Jews with additional mission of the Chosen

The true creative work requires cannot be done without competition of different ideas, and to encourage the competition the Free Will was given to the humans. The competition produced many interpretations of God’s guidance on continuing His creative work under the banner of various religious denominations as well as political and social movements. Knowing this will be the case, God provided the Jews with His guidance in the Torah and assigned to the Jews the mission of proving, in a peaceful competition, the superiority of Torah-based design.

The success of the Chosen’s mission in creating a better world

The human efforts in continuing the God’s creative work we the Jews call “building a better world for everybody”. This better world is being built by introducing and enforcing the unifying spiritual concepts, better educational systems, better technologies, better architecture, better political and social structures, and many other better things that make human life more purposeful, enjoyable and peaceful. The leading role of the Jews in most of those areas is undisputable proof of Jewish success in performing the Chosen’s mission for the last about three thousand years.

The Torah: genetic and educational guidance

The Jews are led genetically to do what they are doing as the Chosen, and it is plausible to assume this genetic arrangement was created at Mount Sinai by God Himself. That’s why to be a true Jew one has to be born a true Jew. Since genetic recombination is of probable nature, a person with Jewish genes can be born even to a non-Jewish family, and some among the Jews may not have Jewish genes. Since the Jewish actions are genetically driven, there is a hope that a Jew who is formally leaving Judaism may genetically follow God’s Torah-based guidance independently of new religious or secular rituals. When we are dealing with the God’s genetics, the Jewish education, although enormously important, becomes secondary in creating “Jewish soul”. One cannot become Jewish just by attending Jewish schools and studying the Torah – the studies provide you with the knowledge of history, texts, rituals, etc. but not with internal spiritual feelings which are of genetic nature.

Doing over praying

Spiritual guidance of the Torah on what to do is more important than its ritual guidance. God doesn’t need our prayers and rituals – God demands our creative work to continue the creative work in His world. The rituals are the tool for better understanding of the God’s guidance – some people need them, some not – and that is the reason why only minority of the Jews belongs to Orthodox synagogues.

Jews and Christians

The spiritual realm of the USA is called the Judeo-Christian one since the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution are based on Torah/Bible spiritual concepts. Not everybody can be a Jew but everybody is supposed to follow the Torah guidance – and Christianity had become the avenue for non-Jews to follow God’s Torah-based guidance – of course, with all Christian modifications. The Jews have to work hard for enhancing this Judeo-Christian collaboration – not to be scare of it.

Jews and anti-Semitism

The implementation of the Chosen’s mission is forcing the non-Jews to change their tradition, beliefs and habits. Naturally, the non-Jews are resisting the change, and this resistance is at the core of anti-Semitism. Thus, anti-Semitism may be considered as acknowledgement of successful work of the Jews as the Chosen. Anti-Semitism should be fought by demonstrating how the Chosen’s mission is helping the non-Jews to follow the God’s guidance – not just by denouncing anti-Semitism as a sin as we are doing now.

In the image of God – not in the image of my rabbi or any other human authority

Rabbis are teachers who are helping the Jews in tailoring the Torah guidance to individual life circumstances. They should not become authoritarians. They have to teach how to make individual Torah-based individual decisions tailored to individual life circumstances.

About the Author
Vladimir Minkov graduated from the Naval Engineering Academy in the former Soviet Union, served in the Soviet Navy and there received his Ph.D. At the end of 1970s he immigrated to America where democracy and the Judeo-Christian spirituality of this country made it possible for him to actively defend both his scientific and spiritual ideas. In the USA he has found the place for his scientific public work in the spiritual realm of One God and Torah.
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