As Jews celebrate Passover now, those of us who aren't Jews might do well wishing more of the world would adopt American Jewish values.
What are those values? A new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute provides an answer.
High on the list: Seeking justice and caring for the widow and the orphan.
Also way up there the concept of "tikkun olam," or repairing the world, along with welcoming the stranger.
If these sounds like biblical values, it should be no surprise.
No one is arguing that Jews have perfectly lived up to these values for all of Judaism's nearly 4,000 years of existence. But the values, if lived out fully, would surely make this world a better place.
As you will see if you read the full survey, it also deals with political judgments, attitude toward Muslims and much more.
It offers us a pretty good picture of American Judaism today, though one almost certainly should say American Judaisms and one also ought to recognize that's a moving target.
By the way, my friends over at ReadTheSpirit.com were a day ahead of me on this survey and published this summary yesterday.
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BACK TO THE BEGINNING
Are you a "reverter" in religious terms? That's someone, like me, who walked away from the faith of his or her childhood but eventually returned. It's an intriguing phenomenon, and Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today does this account of that group.