Yours truly the eppylover was neither born of a Jewish mother, nor do I ascribe to any organized religion, including Judaism itself.
However, I somehow feel closest to the Secular Humanist Jewish mindset (meanwhile beating my head against the Wailing Wall, trying to come to terms with the Israel thing).
Unfortunately, the aforementioned two "qualifications" seemed to negate any chance of "belonging" for me.
Until I found this paragraph:
We Jews have a moral responsibility to welcome all people who seek to identify with our culture and destiny. The children and spouses of intermarriage who desire to be part of the Jewish people must not be cast aside because they do not have Jewish mothers and do not wish to undergo religious conversion. The authority to define "who is a Jew" belongs to all the Jewish people and cannot be usurped by any part of it.If I am not a child or a spouse of intermarriage, but still feel that I somehow "belong," does this cast me aside?
International Federation of
Secular Humanistic Jews
October 1, 1988
Yehuda Bauer, President
Or can I be anything I want to be, just because I strongly feel that's what I am?
I think, if you're going to "label" my beliefs (or non-beliefs), Humanistic Judaism may come the closest.
One of the sources I came upon was The Humanistic Judaism Homepage
We can define this group, in comparison to the other basic beliefs:
Again from this page of The Humanistic Judaism Homepage ~
Today, theology provides six alternative beliefs with regard to God:Humanistic Jews do recognize the importance of gods and God in human and Jewish history. The deity is the projection of the first and most intimate human experience, the dependence of the child on the parents. Patriarchy, monarchy, and traditional religion go hand in hand. Just as the family requires a father-leader and the nation requires a father-king, so does the universe require a father-God. (In matriarchial cultures, "mother" can be substituted for "father.")
1. Theism: believing in a Supreme Being, a supernatural creator-God who responds to prayer and worship and intervenes actively in the lives of people.
2. Deism: believing in a Supreme Being, a supernatural creator-God who cannot respond to prayer and worship and who does not intervene in the lives of people.
3. Pantheism: believing that God and nature are one and the same, or that God and some part of nature, such as life, are one and the same.
4. Agnosticism: not knowing whether or not a Supreme Being exists.
5. Atheism: believing that a Supreme Being does not exist.
6. Ignosticism: finding the question of God's existence meaningless because it has no verifiable consequences.
Humanistic Judaism is incompatible with theism. There is no evidence that a supernatural conscious being exists who responds to the personal problems of human beings and who deliberately intervenes in the affairs of humanity in response to prayer or to ensure justice. Most liberal God-believers vigorously deny that they believe in such an anthropomorphic God.
Humanistic Judiasm can be compatible with deism, if the deist finds no need to worship a creator-God and if the deist attributes no moral authority to that God.
Humanistic Judaism is incompatible with pantheism. Calling nature God is verbal confusion. Just call it nature.
Humanistic Judaism is compatible with agnosticism. Many, if not most, Humanist Jews would describe themselves as agnostics.
Humanistic Judaism is compatible with atheism.
But it is not compatible with aggressive atheism. Aggresive atheism assumes that denying the existence of God is of ultimate philosophic and social significance. Humanistic Jews assume that affirming human power, responsibility, and dignity is primary.
Humanistic Judaism is compatible with ignosticism. Many Humanistic Jews find the question of God's existence meaningless and therefore avoid God-language.
Modern individualism and democracy negate this view of society and the universe. The belief in God derives much of its emotional energy from the historic attachment to the authoritarian family. Humanistic Judaism is a reflection of the fact that this historic attachment is no longer appropriate or useful.