Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our Tacoma Talmud answers - Question 3

What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself?  Who is our neighbor?

- You treat yourself nice so treat other people nice.
- I believe to love a neighbor as yourself is simply put, treat others the way you want to be treated. "neighbor" doesn't literally mean someone who lives near your, but is any human on earth.
- Treat your neighbors how you want to be treated. Everyone is your neighbor.
- Loving your neighbor as yourself means that self-love is consistent with neighbor love. Genuine self-love pursues our wholeness, holiness and integrity and flourishing and these are the very things we want for our neighbor.  Our neighbor is any human whose face we encounter whether in person or in our mind. Are animals our neighbors?
- The Rabbis might say anybody can be a neighbor. For example: family and friends, pets and other animals, people from other places. When Jewish people say love your neighbor as yourself we mean: treat other people how you would like to be treated. For example, if somebody is being mean to you don't be mean back.  If you treat someone mean how would you feel if they did that to you!
- Your neighbor is any other human being and you should treat them as kindly as yourself.
- It means to respect everybody and be kind despite people's differences.
- This law implies to treat everyone with the kindness and respect that you would like to be treated by all people.  You must treat everyone in this way no matter how much they may have wronged you..
- Our neighbor is any Jew or good person we meet and we treat them the way we want  to be treated ourselves.
- To love your neighbor is to treat them not only as you would yourself, but how you truly should, and everyone is your neighbor.
- Your neighbor doesn’t literally mean your neighbor in the house community.  Neighbors are people, human beings. Love your neighbors refers to be nice to everyone until you have a reason not to be nice to 'em.

Our Tacoma Talmud answers - Question 2

Why be Jewish?  What are the reasons for continuing to live a Jewish life in the 21st century?

- Being Jewish is cool. You're different and interesting.
- There needs to be more than one religion because people have different opinions.
- I like what Judaism teaches, that is why I am a Jew – respecting others, respecting life, respecting nature, respecting earth, loving others.
- Rabbi Kadden says Judaism encourages us to ask the most challenging questions and argue with each other as we respond to the questions.  We are a welcoming community without being aggressive in inviting others to join us. Judaism offers a way to live our lives in community and encourages us to improve the world.
- To be "Jewish" you must believe that you are Jewish,. If you don't understand Judaism it's hard to celebrate the religion in your own way .By continuing the lifestyle you get to have new ideas and be different.
- I'm Jewish because we can come together to clean up the world and donate money to poor people.
- Just because the world ages doesn’t mean the path Hashem laid out for us has changed.
- It lets you question and struggle. You are not forced into being Jewish but are given the option to question what it means to be Jewish, which leads back to why be Jewish.
- You should continue to live a Jewish life because you get 8 days of presents on Hannukah, you get yummy food, and because if you go to synagogue you get to learn stuff other than boring math.
- It is good to be Jewish. It can be helpful too. Mitzvahs and more! You also believe in G-d, with all your heart.
- We should be Jewish because G-d chose us to be with him and carry on his dream. We were chosen to be Jewish because we are special and capable of great things.  God has talked to us before and has told us to heal our world before we can't . G-d created mitzvahs and commandments for us to do and follow. WE can choose to follow one road or another. We are gien the ability to help and care for others and our earth. We are gvien lives we should live and we were told to tell others who don't see that. Jews were given eyes for the blind,
- To believe in what you want and I believe in Judaism.
- Being Jewish is awesome because it's a deep and interesting religion.
- Because it makes you different. You get to be the one to inform other people about it. Continuing to live a Jewish life in your future is important to keep the religion going.
- I am Jewish because my parents are Jewish and that's what I believe in.
- To be part of a community. Also, enjoy the food.
- So that you may be about to connect with G-d. and help the earth to be a good place to live. In Judaism we learn to help  save the earth and other people. Even a small thing, that we may do it may affect the world as we know it. I think we should be Jewish so that we believe in G-d the one true G-d. Thank you.
- To apply old principles to new problems.  Judaism has something to say about global warming, technology, and other issues of the 21st century.
- We should continue to be Jewish because our ancestors never gave up. G-d freed us from Egypt, so we should at least continue to thank and praise Him.  G-d has done everything to deserve our praise, so why not praise Him?
- We are different in our world with the Hebrew alphabet and living in time. And different places like school, Sunday School on Sunday with different kids than home school. Sometimes that happens.
- If you are deciding on what religion to have, chose to be Jewish. At Temple there is a community that are just like you. You may feel different than colleagues that are Christian, but consider yourself special. It is simple yet complicated to be a Jew, but that is good, for then it takes a lifetime to learn.
- One reason to be Jewish, at least in Reform Judaism, is because Judaism is extremely open and encourages question-asking
- Sandra says be Jewish if Judaism means something to you. Never take it for granted or be Jewish without feeling.
- Because the stereotypes may look good on your resume, and its virtually the only religion who has not committed a massacre in the name of G-d.
- For many generations Judaism is still alive even after all the murder we're still strong and its kept us going but now we have other ??? and we barely pay attention to what we started with.  Also in the 21st century we have some more logical thinking of where we came from so people aren't believing.
- Judaism is just another way to get through and live your life. Some people party and others play. You find whatever suits you best eventually.
- I'm Jewish because that is how I was raised/Judaism has unique principles that you do not find in other religions.
- Because we are the best wrestlers! We are encouraged to question, make and remake meaning.  We are called to bring the world back to wholeness through our actions.

Our Tacoma Talmud answers - Question 1

What is Judaism?  Is it a religion, nation, race, civilization?  Do any of these words adequately describe Judaism?

- Judaism is a religion, however in some context it can be considered a race.
- I think it is a religion because we have one God.
- Judaism is whatever you want it to be to yourself. If all you want from Judaism is a religion, then that is all it is.  For it to be more you have to want it to be.  Judaism is more than something to be categorized but you are still able to take only a part of it away if a part is all you want.
- Judaism is all of these and more. It is a religion by having worshippers, a nation by owning Israel, a race because of its ancestry and a civilization because of the temples. But none of these describe Judaism enough.
- Judaism is a race and religion.  It’s a race because it has its own people.
- Judaism is both a religion and a race. Judaism is always transforming, just like any culture or tradition, it grows and changes.  You can be a part of Judaism as both a member of its religion and/or it race. Judaism's origins were racial starting from the nomadic Hebrews and when we lived together w/out connections to the outside worlds in shtetls and ghettoes.  In that way Judaism is a race or ethnicity.  But Judaism also is a religion that you can convert to and believe in.
- A race and a religion worshiping our God and praying.
- Judaism is a religion because you celebrate Jewish holidays.
- Judaism is a way of life, and a system of beliefs. More than just religion. None of these words describe it.
- Judaism is d: all of the above, none of the words describe Judaism singly, you need all of them to get a good idea.
- Judaism goes back to a time when there was no difference between a nation, a religion and a people.
- It depends on the person. It is different for everyone!
- It is not just one of those nor all of these.  It depends on who you are what Judaism is to you in your life.
- Some rebitzens say it is a culture that is passed down from generation to generation. And we still have it today because we learned from our ancestors and it's our job to teach it to our children. It's  like a line that never ends. Judaism is a religion, however it doesn't completely define what it is.  Judaism can be any race.
- Judaism is more of a civilization. Since it's based on mostly tradition there's no pressure to believe in God.
- Judaism is a 1. Nation in the way that it is a collected group of people with a followed set of laws, 2. Race in the way that our "family" has been able to pass down certain recognizable traits/features, 3. Civilization in the way that it has recognizable and specific culture that ony Judaism provides, 4. Religion in the way that it provides explanation, for things otherwise not understood, in a  supernatural way….so all 4.
- None of these words will do! We are a people that transcends national boundaries. Race is a social construct with no biological reality. We have religious and non-religious Jews….SO….We are a people with a common history, religion, language, and ruach!!
- Judaism is all of the above, the meaning of it is whatever it means to you on a personal level.
- We Jews are a religion which has contributed to civilization – so we are a civilization also. Being Jewish often leads to an inquisitive mind.
- Judaism is a religion. That is self-explanatory. I would argue that it cannot be a civilization because there has never been a wholly Jewish land, not even Israel by a long shot. I consider the race to be Hebrew. I would say that in a certain connotation, it can be considered a "nation" of sorts, not in the way like a civilization, but that Jews all over the world represent a scattered nation.
- It is a complete community, not just a religion or a way of life. As a convert in process, I've wanted to be Jewish since age 12. I've always been drawn to the people and how accepting they are. I want to be a part of the Jewish family. Being a Jew is not just a religion, it is a family.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

#3 What does it mean to 'love your neighbor as yourself'?

Tacoma Talmud question #3:

What does it mean to 'love your neighbor as yourself'?  Who are our neighbors?

What do you think?  Respond in a comment.

We request that all responses be respectful.  Thank you for participating!