- I make this affirmation as I enter the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people, the children of Israel.
- I choose to become a Jew of my own free will.
- I accept Judaism to the exclusion of all other religions, faiths and practices and now pledge my loyalty to Judaism and the Jewish people under all circumstances.
- I promise to establish a Jewish home and participate actively in the life of the synagogue and the Jewish community.
- I commit myself to the pursuit of Torah and Jewish knowledge.
- If I am blessed with children, I will rear them as Jews.
Most of it isn't a problem and in fact a joy; of the sticking points though, #6 appears to be a moot point and #4 was entered into with good intentions but some things just don't work out. Even when we moved up here to the middle of nowhere we chose this piece of nowhere partially because it has a beautiful synagogue and appeared to have a Jewish community to participate actively in - look for another post on my views about that. I therefore consider myself absolved on that count since moving is not an option and the nearest synagogue we feel comfortable with is 4.5 hrs away. Between my unpredictable inability to travel distances due to the fibromyalgia and seizure disorder and the fact that Dad isn't really able to maintain the house for a day in winter, which is effectively half the year, we just don't get down there more than a few times a year. One of my real regrets of living up here.
Item #3 is the problem and makes me wonder if in stepping outside of recognized Jewish practices I'm an oathbreaker. Many rabbis and Jews would say yes including probably the ones who created that oath and the rabbi who oversaw my conversion but how much should that really count for? I know at least one rabbi, Gershon Winkler of the Walking Stick Foundation, that would applaud my wrestlings and might even affirm my decision if I decide to take on practices that I find meaningful say from Wicca. Knowing him though he'd point out the things in Judaism's own earth based mystery tradition that would cover whatever need I'm trying to cover by drawing from other earth based religions; unfortunately he's not readily accessible for me and I don't have access to the resources he draws from so I'm kind of on my own there. Another rabbi that might support my meldings is Rabbi Jill Hammer co-founder of Tel Shemesh a site I use frequently as a resource. I'd dearly love to study with her and possibly engage in the Kohenet training program but between the economy, the fibro, taking care of dad and the distance I don't see how that's happening but I digress. Even knowing that there are leaders of the Jewish community who would be supportive doesn't make this isssue much easier as it is something I have to square with myself. The language in #3 is pretty clear on not adopting the practices of other religions so that raises the question of what is the essence of Judaism in regard to how and what it can absorb from other cultures?