Tikkun or Quick Fix?
I anticipate no quick fix for American religion or American Judaism or Christianity. It has been two thousand years since the dividing of the ways.
We will not create a hybrid ecumenical practice in a day.
I pray religion moves out of politics and back into the private domain. This is the first Tikkun, and one contingent on elections. The American Evangelical Years of American politics will not be remembered as our finest hours as a nation. Keeping church and state separate is a moral absolute in my moral universe.
Tikkun in the private domain will also not be a quick fix.
Tikkun does begin with soul searching that is intensely personal. What is a Catholic to do if they are in love with a Protestant? A Jew? A Hindu? How do you maintain your personal identity and integrity in relationship? Where do you worship? What do you teach your children. Your heart tells you that love is the highest religious value, so you become engaged. Your mind demands structure and facts. How exactly do you make this all work?
American Judaism offers the quick fix of conversion, which often is no Tikkun at all. A Reform Rabbi will officiate your wedding if you sign a piece of paper that you will raise your children Jewish. By this they mean reform Jewish which is not considered Jewish by more conservative and orthodox denominations. If you convert to Conservative Judaism you are still not Orthodox. To join an orthodox synagogue with full rights and privileges you will need an orthodox conversion.
At which point, we pray, it will be understood that ones status must rely on self definition. If you are a couple lighting Shabbat candles and celebrating a Sabbath perhaps you are Jewish enough. Of course, in comparison to most American Jews, perhaps you are too Jewish.
Begin with self definition: I am a Catholic married to a Jew and I honor my parents by not abandoning the religion of my family of origin.
Our children contain genetic material from both parents so we will hyphenate them.
Our home will be a domestic-church-jewish home. The tug of war will stop right here, in my home.
The Tikkun begins.
This brings us to the Tikkun of the Home as a Sanctuary.
Your Tables are Altars and your meals sacraments.
The script for your table service is the liturgy of Temple Shabbat Shalom,
The Alpern Seders
The liturgy is opensource and I guide you on how to individualize.
The Tikkun continues with study that is worship. When you have children you will be their primary teachers of religion. You will help lead all rights of passage of your children.
When your children are ready for confirmation or Bar/Bat Mitzvah your family will lead a liturgy that you help create. No Temple Board will tell the non Jewish partner that they must play the role of second class spiritual citizen because they did not convert. How could anyone ever think of paying dues to such an institution?
The role of the Rabbi is to mentor couples and families so they may create a plan to be independent of broken religious institutions. This will not be a quick fix. The Tikkun begins the moment you take responsibility for your spiritual life.