Reform Judaism is a unique and accepting branch of Judaism, which prides itself on modernizing and interpreting Jewish teachings, like the countless Jewish sages, Rabbi’s and thinkers have throughout history. The inclusivity of the Reform movement is unparalleled, and with it, comes an openness about practices and even one’s interpretation of what G-D is. In my opinion and observation, Reform Judaism allows the individual the freedom of practice, to find what enhances their individual connection to Judaism, and freedom of what they believe G-D to be. The only caveat I have found is that it is one G-D and one only!
The truth is, all branches of Judaism allow for some sway in one’s personal relationship with Adonai, but Reform Judaism allows for much more wiggle room so to speak. This is exemplified in the point that one can believe G-D to be a force of nature, nature itself, or even on an atheistic level of believing it to be the very laws that govern nature. Meanwhile, the classical interpretations of Adonai, alongside individualistic beliefs on it, are also wholly welcomed. It is the lack of dogma, acceptance of individualism, autonomous spirituality, acceptance of science, and the unwavering commitment to accepting others that draws me and countless others to the Reform movement.
We explore G-D through the entire landscape of Jewish thought and history, we then build a personal relationship with it through coming to an understanding of our own interpretations and beliefs of Adonai through a Jewish lens. This requires a lot of work, introspection, study, as well as discussion, either among the congregation/community or with one’s Rabbi. When there is so much personal work to have that relationship with G-D, to struggle to understand it and how it fits into a suffering world or through life’s obstacles, you realize the depth of the Reform Movement. It would be a lot easier to be told, this is what G-D is, this is how and what you should believe and think of it than to actually come to know G-D yourself on a deeply personal level and to love it wholeheartedly.
There is so much I admire about the Reform Jewish people I am a part of, all of them, from the courage, deep thinking, and strength in their convictions, to the love for one another, gentiles, and of course G-D. I admire the acceptance and love shared amongst the Reform congregants, the way they study Torah in a respectful atmosphere, and acknowledge differing viewpoints on G-D and the Torah.