Beyond Belief Resources

The Jews are not a historical people
And not even an archaeological people, the Jews
Are a geological people …
And what about God? Once we sang
“There is no God like ours,” now we sing, “There is no God of ours”
But we sing. We still sing.

 poem by Yehuda Amichai, from “The Jews”
(click here for entire poem in Hebrew and English)


Belonging, not believing, is the bedrock of Jewish existence…Below are the topics and resources for conversations (throughout the year) with ancient and modern texts that explore Jewish identity beyond belief.

From The Book of Ezra to Brother Daniel

Beyond belief there is belonging. But how do we measure belonging?  This conversation with prophets, poets, and Israeli Supreme Court Justices explores the question:  In what ways do we believe in belonging?

Beyond Belief:  The Year Is Hesitant This Year 

This conversation is about words and images that we can use to renew the year. Amichai says: God, close your houses, let the world rest. Why didn’t you forsake me? The year is hesitant this year. The traditional prayer of Unetaneh Tokef tells us that a great shofar is sounded and a still small voice is heard…


Beyond Belief:  Belonging Among the Worshipers and the Transgressors

This theme is especially appropriate, occurring during the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur — a time when religious rhythm and language shape our identity, pushing us into traditional categories with which we have to make our peace, even if we don’t accept them.


Beyond Belief:  Belonging and Behaving in Light of Hanukkah

This theme coincides with the holiday of Hanukkah. It leads us to consider Jewish identity formed from within and also imposed from beyond the Jewish community.

Beyond Belief:  Questionable Miracles and Dependable Stories

Beyond Belief:  Does God Prefer Behaving or Believing?

The theme of this conversation finds God crying out, “If only they would leave me but keep my Torah!” Would God prefer behaving to believing?

Beyond Belief:  Opening the Passover Family Album

The theme of this conversation coincides as Passover approaches, when we consider how we appear in one of our oldest–and newest–family albums, the Passover Hagaddah.

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