What makes Jewish literature so Jewish, anyway?

Rabbi Rami's manifesto

Rabbi Rami Shapiro has written A SimplyJewish Manifesto (subtitled "toward a second American Jewish revolution") which I think is really worth reading.

Here are two of my favorite bits, one from near the beginning and the other from near the end:

We recognize Judaism as the Jews' ancient and on-going effort to effect tikkun through teshuvah, repairing the world to wholeness by continually returning our attention to God and godliness...

...We recognize all beings as manifestations of God, all religions as attempts to articulate the Ineffable, and all scripture as sources of Truth. We reject all notions of chosenness and uphold the equality of all beings in, with, and as God.

I've been a fan of Rabbi Rami's for some years now. Back in 1997 I participated in an online Torah discussion forum which he moderated; it was reasoned and reasonable, which felt like quite a rarity at the time! I also like his book Minyan. If memory serves, that was the first place I encountered the notion of nondualistic Judaism, which was fairly eye-opening for me.

And I like his manifesto a great deal. The principles he articulates fit neatly with my understanding of my tradition. Some of what he says may strike my more traditionalist readers as controversial, but I think the manifesto is worth reading regardless of where you fall on the denominational spectrum. To me, this reads as a very Jewish Renewal document, though I don't know whether he would characterize it that way himself. (In any event, it's a lovely encapsulation of why I feel so at-home in Jewish Renewal.)  It's short and sweet, and packed with good ideas. Read it here.