In my final year of Rabbinical school at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, my Rabbi, teacher, and mentor Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson gave our class an assignment: "to articulate the credo by which you move in the world, find your center, and radiate the authentic Torah as only you can". After years of study, self-reflection, and deep conversation with my Rabbis, I am proud to declare my credo to the world.
The following precepts are the foundation of all that I believe:
- There is nothing that can be done which God cannot do, nothing that can be known which God does not know, and no goodness whose source is not God.
- God interacts with humanity and the world every day, both directly and indirectly.
- God is at the core of Jewish life, and must be considered with every action.
- The five books of Torah are a gift given directly על פי ה׳ ביד משה. Within the universe there exists two Torot: The first is the “cosmic Torah” which contains every word spoken על פי ה׳ complete with God’s intentions. The second is the physical scroll we read from today: the product of ביד משה and the countless scribes who followed. The rabbinic task is to attempt to bridge the gap between these two Torot through Agadah, Halakhah, Parshanut, and physical observation of the world.
Torah provides insights into three categories of information:
- The origin story of the Jewish people
Morality of humanity
- Being a good person is a baseline for being a good Jew. While being a good Jew sometimes has nothing to do with morality, one is never being a good Jew while acting immorally.
Structures for maintaining Jewish continuity
- Through the actualization of mitzvot, Jews maintain their covenanted relationship with God and with one another - “אשר קדשנו במצותיו”
- Only through transparent, accessible, and honest study and interpretation of the text can we understand the relevance and importance of the Torah in every day of our lives.
Through these unwavering beliefs I will strive to live my best self, constantly searching for God’s will as it pertains to my actions and the actions of the community around me.Last Updated: May 3rd, 2019