Earlier this week, I received a comment from a Rabbi Yisroel, whom I never met, with a website link to his site Jewish Paths. When I went to his website, I found a list of affirmations that seemed to come directly out of early 1990’s New Age. We each have a uniqueness and personal connection. We have to respect ourselves and heal ourselves. God loves us. Religion is concerned with the cessation of universal suffering along with a oneness of mankind and all life. Here is an ostensibly Neo-Haredi person entirely enmeshed in the new age. There are many many Orthodox teachers out there offering similar spirituality. While Green-Landes is the official public debate and that many think there is an official Orthodox theology, in reality there are many forms of local theology and local knowledge.
Check out the wiki New Age. Here are similar versions from a non-Jewish School of Metaphysics and A Spiritual Counseling Center and Jewish Lights -Kerry Olitzky’s Jewish Paths Toward Healing and Wholeness.
Looking over the list, it seems to owe not a small bit to Rabbi David Aaron’s new age religion.
Connect with your Soul
Statement of Beliefs
* We believe that every person must find their personal connection with life.
* We believe that happiness and an optimistic outlook are essential in
attaining positive growth and fulfillment.
* We believe that everyone can find the voice of their soul which will help
guide them through their journey.
* We believe that each of us has our uniqueness that defines our mission in life
and our unique contribution to the world.
* We believe that everyone has a responsibility to identify their personal
weaknesses and work truthfully and diligently to overcome them.
* We believe that Tikun HaOlam (repairing the world) is predicated upon
Tikun HaNefesh (repairing oneself).
* We believe that we have an individual and collective responsibility to create
a world free of hunger, suffering and political and religious oppression.
* We believe that we are here to respect ourselves, one another and the fragile
* The G*d that you do not believe in, we do not believe in either.
* We believe that G*d is loving, kind and patient.
* We believe in the Oneness of G*d, the Universe, Life and Mankind.
On first glance, the spiritual emphasis is on healing, the emotions, and getting in touch with oneself. This is not to be confused with our Evangelical Orthodox rabbis. Using the Albans Institute criteria, this is a spirituality of emotions. If you want to contrast it with other spirituality types, Aish Hatorah (usually) and the Kabbalah Centre is about understanding the deep intellectual connections between things, the rules of reality. 12 Step, Chabad and the Purpose Driven Life are action centered.