Eretz - Land
How do these texts tell us that Israel is a “land”?
Where is the “land” of Israel?
What is important about having a land?
What distinguished a land from a state?
How do we “know” that the land of Israel is “our” land?
Am - People
According to the text, where does the name “Israel” come from?
Who was Israel?
How do these texts tell us that “Israel” is a people?
According to these texts, how does someone count himself/herself as a member of Israel?
What does the name “Israel” mean?
How does the definition of “Israel” given in the text reflect what we’re doing in Confirmation class?
Medinah - State
How do these texts tell us that “Israel” is a state?
Does God want the Israelites to be a state “like all the other nations”?
Why or why not?
What are the benefits and drawbacks to being/having a state?
Israel was a state for about 1000 years and then we were in exile for 2000 years. We established the modern State of Israel in 1948. Do those same benefits and drawbacks apply today? Are there different benefits and drawbacks?
Where was the capital of ancient Israel? Where is the capital of Israel today?
Ma'alah - Vision/Ideal
According to these texts how are ideals and values linked to place?
Is it helpful for ideals and values to be linked to a geographic place?
How much of this is literal and how much is metaphor?
How do the texts use the land as a way to encourage us to be good and virtuous?
According to these texts how does the term “Israel” suggest “vision” or “ideal”?
A Statement of Principles for Reform Judaism, 1999
- We are Israel, a people aspiring to holiness, singled out through our ancient covenant and our unique history among the nations to be witnesses to God's presence. We are linked by that covenant and that history to all Jews in every age and place.
- We are committed to the mitzvah of ahavat Yisrael, love for the Jewish people, and to k'lal Yisrael, the entirety of the community of Israel. Recognizing that kol Yisrael arevim zeh ba-zeh, all Jews are responsible for one another, we reach out to all Jews across ideological and geographical boundaries.
- We embrace religious and cultural pluralism as an expression of the vitality of Jewish communal life in Israel and the Diaspora.
- We pledge to fulfill Reform Judaism's historic commitment to the complete equality of women and men in Jewish life.
- We are an inclusive community, opening doors to Jewish life to people of all ages, to varied kinds of families, to all regardless of their sexual orientation, to gerim, those who have converted to Judaism, and to all individuals and families, including the intermarried, who strive to create a Jewish home.
- We believe that we must not only open doors for those ready to enter our faith, but also to actively encourage those who are seeking a spiritual home to find it in Judaism.
- We are committed to strengthening the people Israel by supporting individuals and families in the creation of homes rich in Jewish learning and observance.
- We are committed to strengthening the people Israel by making the synagogue central to Jewish communal life, so that it may elevate the spiritual, intellectual and cultural quality of our lives.
- We are committed to Medinat Yisrael, the State of Israel, and rejoice in its accomplishments. We affirm the unique qualities of living in Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel, and encourage aliyah, immigration to Israel.
- We are committed to a vision of the State of Israel that promotes full civil, human and religious rights for all its inhabitants and that strives for a lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors.
- We are committed to promoting and strengthening Progressive Judaism in Israel, which will enrich the spiritual life of the Jewish state and its people.
- We affirm that both Israeli and Diaspora Jewry should remain vibrant and interdependent communities. As we urge Jews who reside outside Israel to learn Hebrew as a living language and to make periodic visits to Israel in order to study and to deepen their relationship to the Land and its people, so do we affirm that Israeli Jews have much to learn from the religious life of Diaspora Jewish communities.
- We are committed to furthering Progressive Judaism throughout the world as a meaningful religious way of life for the Jewish people.
In all these ways and more, Israel gives meaning and purpose to our lives.