Israelis who have until now viewed themselves as "secular" in the rigid Israeli dichotomy between "religious" and "secular" are finding new ways of creating communities of meaning that connect to Jewish sources and yet stay aligned to values of pluralism and humanism.
These communities that do not follow the letter of the halakhah are developing in highly "secular" environments such as Tel Aviv and Nahalal and create Shabbat and holiday services combining live music, traditional prayers, and newly created prayers. By doing this, they come nearer to finding a closer echo and a truer mirror to their concerns and spiritual searches while, at the same time, finding spiritual expressions to their deep longing for connection to Judaism. Beyond the services and the communities that are forged, a new identity that bridges aspects of secularism, humanism, and spirituality is being created.
The article analyzes the reasons for this relatively new phenomenon in the context of Israeli religious and political life, and the existential crisis that has evolved as a result. The article also describes in detail two such communities as examples of this development.