"18" is the numerical equivalent for the word chai or Life. Universal Judaism's view is Life-Affirming.

1. Universal Judaism has no creed that you are required to have in order to belong. There is no punishment for failing to believe. No guilt. We have no belief in a God that punishes, nor do we believe there is a hell. We consider this a primitive view or the result of not understanding the human language and imagery from scripture.

2. Universal Judaism seeks to establish and teach how to have a life-affirming spiritual relationship of alignment between each individual and 1) Creation 2) All humankind 3) The One God, Unity Itself, to the extent that this can be comprehended, now and for all future generations. Such a relationship of alignment is what is meant by the ancient word covenant.

3. God is “formless”. This ancient Israelite insight means there is no-thing, no form in any knowable existence which is totally God. Nothing can be totally God. No human being or any being or thing can be totally God or know God totally. No soul is the totality of God. Even if one does not believe in God, the denial that any mere “thing” or “person” could actually be God remains essential, lest religious or governmental authoritarianisms arise.

4. God, if God, must be of necessity Truth, Absolute Truth. Anything else is just a view-of-Truth, a partial-truth. No human being or mortal institution has or can ever be the Absolute Truth, because no one but God, if God, could be God. Therefore, agnosticism, or the uncertainty of knowing whether God exists, is a respected component to Universal Jewish thought.

5. The belief that any mere view-of-truth or partial-truth is the Absolute Truth is idolatry, i.e. the “worship of a false god”. Idolatry, whether religious, scientific, political or personal, is a form of intellectual and emotional arrogance, which prevents one from experiencing a more expanded Universal Truth. Because atheists and many humanists radically-deny many ludicrously-incomplete and idolatrous views, they are honored as valued contributors to Universal Jewish thought.

6. Any and all human beings can have a direct relationship with that Mystery which goes by such words as "Life", “God”, “Truth” or “Unity”. The capacity to have a self-aware direct relationship with God is what is meant by the expressions “being human”, “having a human ‘soul’”, “being an individual” or “having a conscience”. The individual’s direct relationship with God is also the defining spiritual foundation for universal human rights, which, because they are founded upon a direct relationship with the Universal Mystery are inviolable. Indeed, the Constitution of the U.S., and the European Enlightenment philosophy upon which it was based, as is the entire world movement towards democracy, is, to our mind, a rediscovery of essential Universal Judaism.

7. There is no person or agency, earthly or otherwise, which mediates or administrates Truth, absolutely. Therefore, there is no mortal institution, including religions or government, which have absolute authority over human conscience or over any creature or thing in any existence. God does not have absolute authority over human conscience, or, there could not be free will.

8. There is an Order, an organizational nature, to Creation. This Order is good, reflecting the nature of its origin, “God”. The purpose of Life is the expansion of this Goodness, the expansion of God. This expansion is called “happiness” which is the purpose of Life. When human beings do not act in alignment to the good Order, this creates suffering and evil.

9. Biblical Laws are fundamentally recordings of human knowledge about "how Life works". Jewish practices such as kosher are based upon “Natural Law”, in the sense of there being a right and correct alignment of human activity and Nature's design, so it produces GOOD, i.e. "more God".

10. There is no absolute evil, no devil. Any absolute evil could not be created within a Creation which is good, and therefore, cannot exist, absolutely. There are only relative evils, created largely by human ignorance.

11. Suffering, while mostly unnecessary, teaches human beings to become conscious of their actions, so they learn to avoid mistakes; suffering therefore participates in the Goodness of Life, though the miserable extremes of suffering are unnecessary. This ability to make errors and consciously-learn from them is called free will. Learning about God’s Order is therefore also part of the purpose of Life; it is a necessary aspect of creating and expanding happiness and virtue.

12. Rituals are useless unless… 1) they are meaningful to the person 2) they are a language that communicates a Truth that is relevant 3) they are “technological” aids for spiritual advancement 4) they serve as essential reminders of core Hebrew values. Rituals for-ritual's-sake is empty. Compulsion and coercion to perform rituals can become an obsessive-compulsive disorder, which, however well-intended, undermines healthy spiritual integration.

13. All lives are intimately related, and exist as parts of a Living Whole. Therefore, all lives must be respected, because they are inter-active and mutually-dependent.

14. Power should never be used in a way that does not integrate with the Whole of which we are a part. To not do so, would be a violation of covenant. While human beings have dominion over much of the planet, and now beyond, human invention, including technology, should not harm God's Creation.

15. Power does not originate from anything other than THE Power. Power – whether mediated through nature, a creature, a human, a concept, an organization, or even an “angel”, “higher being”, “god”, “messenger”, or “prophet” - originates from the All-One, That Unity, often described by the word "God". To construe that any agency of God is a power worthy of worship unto itself, is idolatry, a dangerous idolatry.

16. Every human action should always seek to increase goodness for the whole and minimize harm.

17. Every human being should seek to release the goodness that is built into their spiritual natures. As we work on ourselves, we can all discover that we are made in the image and likeness of God. This is spirituality, or, the experience of God. This is also the foundation of a correct answer to the ancient question, “What is a Jew?”

18. Continuous improvement and innovation, which is evolution, is the nature of all existence. Evolution is real, living, spiritual, historical, biological and material. Evolution is progress. Evolution is the visible proof of God’s Living Nature.

These are just a few of the teachings in Universal Judaism. Perhaps you already think this way? Welcome.