Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Divine Spark On Oaths & Obligations

כ"ו שבט תשס"ט
Imbolgen 26

Gavrielah (Thoughts Of A Jewitch) is a convert to Judaism interested in Jewitchery, but she has a concern regarding an oath she made at her conversion:

I accept Judaism to the exclusion of all other religions, faiths and practices and now pledge my loyalty to Judaism and the Jewish people under all circumstances.

She is wrestling with the idea that incorporating practices of other earth-based spiritualities into her Judaism might make her an oathbreaker. She writes:

Item #3 [quoted above] is the problem and makes me wonder if in stepping outside of recognized Jewish practices I'm an oathbreaker. Many rabbis and Jews would say yes including probably the ones who created that oath and the rabbi who oversaw my conversion but how much should that really count for?

Well, if Gavrielah has ever gone to a Kol Nidre service on Yom Kippur following joining up with the Jewish people and recited the Kol Nidre prayer, she is free to be any kind of Jewish person her neshamah leads her to be, including a Jewitch kind of Jew. Both Judaism and Witchcraft recognize that one's obligation to his or her unique Divine Spark supercedes to nullify her obligation to and liability for 'breaking' any religious oath to any set of religious practices, including those of Judaism.

May a vow never become a prison for your soul. Wherever your path may lead, may you be free to go.

Related entries:

Judaism's View On Religious Vows
Witchcraft's View On Religious Vows


Gavrielah said...

I really appreciate you pointing this out - it has been so liberating and I kicked myself for not remembering it. One thing I do note though and why I may not have interpreted kol nidre in this way is that the language is directed towards the future - any vows etc. that may be made in the coming year. OTOH the intent is obviously there to annul all vows - is there any situation in Judaism today where vows are held as binding that you know of? Just curious.

Myfanwy said...

All vows are generally binding until made obsolete by subsumation under a greater obligation - as that obligation to one's Divine Spark, for example. The prayer, in my opinion, is not license to abdicate responsibility to one's word, but is a prayer to come face to face with that greater obligation (which annuls all vows before it).

Dare to be true to yourself.