if I could choose a culture that most closely matches my personal values, it would be Orthodox Judaism. I would love to figure out a way to raise a good Jewish kid without the Judaism. I wonder if it's possible or if faith is integral to producing a child with that set of values.
Two things: I would say yes to the latter, and yes to the former. Your problem isn't with G-d, your problem is with man. Judaism and Christianity both should be the exact
same expressed faith if you adhere to the teachings of the actual way. The problem you're encountering is with the man-created structures of religion. Religion is not about your relationship with your maker, His creation and your fellow man. It's about power, control and subjugation of others. That is not true Torah, nor is it the true teachings of Yeshua. It should not be top-down authority as most churches do, and some synagogues.What is hateful to you, do not do to your friend. This is the entire Torah. The rest is commentary. -HillelLove the L-rd your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. -Yeshua
Torah and Yeshua's teachings aren't about doing X
to believe, which is how its usually presented. That is what sours most people as it's hypocritical and/or lawless. It should be through the faith that we come to understand the wisdom of doing X
. I don't act on the wisdom of Torah to be a "saved" good person, that way lies madness and condemnation as I fall short. I have faith in my salvation and covering through Messiah and the grace afforded there-in, therefore, I see wisdom in the teachings of Torah in showing me how to better love and be a good steward in more practical matters, guiding me as I learn.
True morality is the teaching of the way, given to us by HaShem. It is valuable, useful, and sweet as honey. Redemption and salvation afforded by Yeshua's sacrifice is the same way. Your problem is not with Him, it is what people have done to twist that message of love and redemption for their own ends. This is the instruction set we've been given to truly thrive and live in this world and the one to come, so do what you should do with all valuable wisdom - embrace it. You want to raise good kids? Understanding Torah, the rest of the Tanakh, and the B'rit Chadasha (New Covenant) will help you do that when done through the perspective of love, defined by justice tempered with mercy. You might even find a few others doing likewise in some Messianic Jewish/Netzari gatherings, though do be careful, there's a lot of wolves in sheep's clothing out there in those groups currently as there are in the rest of the church these days. That sort of faith held in that sort of community will satisfy the yearn of one's soul... but it's harder to find these days as hearts keep growing colder.
I feel your pain, and I sympathize with you, but as I've found myself... the problem isn't the message. You see that yourself given your draw to Orthodox Judaism. You see the value. If you see the value, you see and recognize the wisdom of the divine. Don't let man interfere with that relationship or that ability to learn and grow in His way to its fullest and richest. Of course, you do that, you'll eventually have to make peace with man in love and forgive, but that too can be rewarding.
You can absolutely do this, but you have to embrace these teachings for what they truly are. Fortunately, you already know what they aren't given your current status as secular/atheist. It's okay and perfectly rational to believe in a higher power, it's just not okay to use that belief like most wield it.... those who see the teachings of Torah for what they are and truly follow Messiah Yeshua find themselves unable to do that for the very same reason they believe. It's not about power, it's about love and kindness.