Emunah is not something you inherit from your parents, it doesn't just automatically appear as we age and getting it requires conscious effort.
In some ways, developing a relationship with God is a life-long enterprise with no easily discernible finish line. As a Jew matures, this relationship must steadily deepen. The simplistic childhood "we keep mitzvos because God told us to" is only a tiny first step - and can't possibly sustain us through the complexity and confusion of adult life.
How could a thinking person not ask questions?
How do I know we're right?
How do we identify and develop emunah?
I've got so much painful stuff going on in my life: should I even bother trying?
We're aware of policies and practices in some frum schools and communities which deny many Jews the opportunity to ask their questions. We've also recently heard about the catastrophic consequences.
This project is an attempt to open up the discussion for anyone who feels the need to participate. If you're desperate to discover or deepen your relationship with the God of the Torah, you're among friends.
This project is guided by the belief that there is no single approach which will satisfy everyone, but that everyone - if he searches honestly and diligently - can find great satisfaction under the broader umbrella of Torah. We also believe that many of these issues don't lend themselves to quick and easy black and white solutions. It's often not simple (there's a reason that Chazal, under normal circumstances, forbade us from entertaining heretical opinions...). But it is possible.
Please don't misunderstand us: while things may be subtle and complex, there are limits. Some approaches really do go too far. After all, no umbrella can keep everything dry!
We'd love you to explore what we've got and then to react. By all means, feel free to offer your two cents' worth.
Challenge, discuss, add.
Rabbi Boruch Clinton
The Emunah Project
The most logical place to start:
(I've organized what I consider to be the key challenges to contemporary emunah into these three categories:)
By this I mean problems rooted in the human world (rather than difficulties with ideas found directly in the Torah) like suffering, corruption or misapplied religion.
Apparent conflicts between Torah literature and the archaeological or historical record.
Torah claims vs. science and philosophy. (I will note that over the past years, some aspects of this subject have become politicized. For this and other reasons, we will therefore avoid too explicit a discussion.)
including "what is a proof?" and "are proofs necessary?" Naturally, proofs for God and Torah are also important tools for acquiring emunah. However, I thought they deserved their own distinct section.
- The wrong way
The problem of well-intentioned but irresponsible misrepresentations of emunah and Torah principles, and flawed assumptions about the real world.