By Rabbi Mark Borovitz
I have been thinking and talking about a new movement called Just Jewish! This movement is based on my personal and professional experience living a Jewish Life. My premise is that we all have different ways of living Jewishly and instead of being in competition and comparing ourselves, let’s embrace our own paths and the paths of others. This movement is to learn and teach and practice a Jewish way of Living Well in the ways we believe and be open to learn and practice the ways of others as well.
Judaism is an internal and external path to fulfilling God's ultimate question to us. As stated by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, this question is: “What is life getting out of you?” The Just Jewish movement is a way of redeeming our internal and external compass to be more in line with the Divine.
To redeem means to regain possession of something. We need to regain the spiritual, moral and emotional ways of living Jewish, I believe. I am and have been in deep conversations with myself, God, and others to redeem my life and my Judaism. I see my flaws and work hard to change and repair and redeem my errors. I don't always succeed and, today, I realize that this doesn't make me less; it enhances me and my living.
I am dealing with my own insecurities and foibles. I have told myself the lie that my way is part of my charm(?). While there is truth in this, I also see how I have, at times become a caricature of myself. I have let others disapproval of me define me in a defiant way, rather than improving myself at times. I have to redeem my authenticity each day. I have to redeem a Jewish way of living well that is defined by my relationship with Torah, text, and God.
The Just Jewish movement is being designed to do this. It is a movement that will help each person define themselves and their Judaism authentically, spiritually and morally. It will assist all of us to be more tolerant, respectful and embracing of everyone's way of living well through Jewish Spirituality. It will be a movement that helps each individual define and live their lives from the inside out, helping to fulfill the words of Maimonides: “what is in the heart shall be on the lips.” In other words, our inner and outer selves will be the same.
I am asking all of you to join me and help me better define Just Jewish so we can all become Addicted to the Redemption of Judaism, our authenticity, and our world!