by Michelle Erica Green

Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun wrote an essay challenging readers to articulate ten commitments we could take seriously (lest we should find the term "commandments" too oppressive and hierarchical). His incorporated the framework and ideas of Rami Shapiro in Minyan, so since I based some of mine on his, I am sure mine reflect that as well.

1. There is only one Universal Reality. We all share in it according to our different backgrounds and understandings. I recognize in every human being a manifestation of the Divine.

2. I will not worship anything material, either as symbols of wealth and power or as manifestations of the divine, lest I forget that the spiritual transcends the physical. I will not pray for frivolous or unworthy things.

3. Because I recognize that there are many possible paths to God, I will be respectful of all religious traditions that teach love and respect for one another. I will not call down curses nor scoff at anyone regardless of his or her beliefs or traditions.

4. I will remember to take time out each week to appreciate the goodness of life.

5. I will treat my relatives and ancestors with honor and respect. I will support the elderly to the extent that I am able.

6. I will defend humans, animals and the environment from abuse and mortal threats.

7. I will not betray the promises I have made to those I love, and I will respect the lifestyle choices of others.

8. I will not commit theft of objects or ideas. I will practice generosity and fight inequity.

9. I will not lie, slander, spread gossip or engage in unjust speech.

10. I will not become obsessed with envy or greed, nor allow those feelings to come between myself and my friends and neighbors. I will rejoice in what I have and try to preserve resources for another generation.