What makes one a Jew?

Discussion in 'Judaism' started by LincolnSpector, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. LincolnSpector

    LincolnSpector Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    1
    A Christian is someone who believes in the Christian religion. Same with a Muslim, Hindu, etc. Being a Jew is a lot more complicated. It's an ethnicity and a religion. I like to compare it to being an Irish Catholic. You can be a Jew the way someone is Catholic. But you can also be a Jew the way someone is Irish.

    That's why someone who is not born Jewish has to go through conversion to be considered Jewish--to be counted in a minyan and so forth. But if you're born Jewish, with a Jewish mother, you're Jewish, no matter what you believe or how you behave.

    Consider me. My parents were both atheists. My father was raised atheist. We observed no holidays and only went to synagogue for someone else's wedding or bar mitzvah.

    But there was never any doubt that we were Jewish. The most Orthodox Jew in the world would have counted me, my father, and my brothers as Jews.

    My first wife was born and raised Methodist. At a very young age, she married a Jew (not me), and eventually went through a Reform conversion. Years later, that marriage over, she and I visited a Conservative rabbi about getting married. The rabbi had two problems.

    First, he didn't recognize the Reform conversion. She'd have to undergo a Conservative or Orthodox one. She was willing to do so.

    The second problem at first seemed more difficult. She and her first husband only had a secular, state divorce. The rabbi didn't recognize that. She needed a get (Jewish divorce). In those days, a Conservative get required the husband's permission, and she wasn't on talking terms with her ex.

    Within a few minutes, the rabbi came up with a solution. Since he didn't yet consider her a Jew, he didn't consider them married. Problem dissolved.

    She went through the conversion and we got married.

    btw, when we got divorced, we mutually agreed to get a get, which we did through a Reconstructionist rabbi. It was a beautiful and healing experience, that involved us apologizing to each other in front of witnesses.
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,162
    Likes Received:
    1,660
    Seems you mentioned all the varieties of Jew I know of except Ultra and Renewal.

    I like your discussion so far and agree completely as what I know of Judaism from the Jews I know (both born and converted) seems the converted are more dedicated Jews..than the average born Jew I know.

    Can you continue with how you see the various denominations? Boundaries etc.
     
  3. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,807
    Likes Received:
    61
    "... the converted are more dedicated Jews..than the average born Jew I know."

    --> This is true of most religions, Buddhists, Hindus, you name it.
     
  4. LincolnSpector

    LincolnSpector Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    1
    Actually, there isn't an official branch called Ultra. Very orthodox Jews are casually called ultra-orthodox.

    I'm completely at ease with Renewal Judaism. In fact, the last large synagogue I belonged to is renewal. And I spent this last Yom Kippur at another Renewal group.
     
  5. LincolnSpector

    LincolnSpector Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    1
    That seems like a separate discussion. Maybe I'll do it in another thread.
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,162
    Likes Received:
    1,660
    thank you....

    look forward to it.
     
  7. Shibolet

    Shibolet Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    No wonder Prophet Isaiah referred to them as those whom are given names better than sons and daughters. (Isa. 56:1-8)
     
  8. donnann

    donnann Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    True about being a jew
    I had my dna checked and it said I have jewish in my dna
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,162
    Likes Received:
    1,660
    What? Semetic?
     
  10. waggindraggin

    waggindraggin Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    8
    Hi, I'm not a Jew, but genetically speaking I am. Everyone is, because they're so thoroughly genetically mixed. I mean, they will just mate with anyone. For all I know I'm 120% Jewish genetically speaking, maybe even 130%. (That is an exaggeration.) Really, Jewish people have no boundaries when it comes to picking a mate. Color, size they have no freakin' care, so I'm not sure I buy the argument of the 'Jewish gene', not even the argument of the Cohen genes. I'd have to look at the information very closely myself both data and findings. It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I'm sure there are genes that many Jews today have in common with some ancient Jews, but I don't think there are any 'Jewish' genes.
     
  11. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,179
    Likes Received:
    120
    I'm not Jewish either, but I think you are dragging the wrong argument. 1st off, the bigotry aside (they** being the biggest giveaway) 100%+ is impossible. Mathematically speaking. 2nd, to my knowledge there is no one claiming a Jewish Gene. Genetic coding is used to link ancestors by analyzing genes that are dominant and recessive in certain DNA strands to show that the person has a common ancestry. Nordic, Celtic, Chinese, Russian, etc all have common genes that are not sequenced the same as the others. Once mixed these sequences are mixed but still distinguishable. That is how we know most of Europeans have Neanderthal ancestry mixed in. Semitic Ancestry can be shown between both Arabs and Hebrews. Hebrew ancestry can be split later as well showing other branches of the Hebrew Semitic backgrounds.
     
  12. waggindraggin

    waggindraggin Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    8
    I follow most of what you are saying, but the point is that genetics have noting to do with Jewish identity, which is the topic. Point taken, that it may be possible to statistically analyze genes to find commonalities. I meant no bigotry and am not sure why you thought so, but please except my assurance that was not my intent.
     
  13. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,179
    Likes Received:
    120
    I will "ACCEPT" it.


    Sorry I just had to...
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,162
    Likes Received:
    1,660
    Yes...this jew race...it doesn't exist....

    there is a jewish religion....

    and in that Jewish religion there is a belief that jewish blood is transferred from the mother....

    that belief does not coincide with any genetic belief that I know of...
     
  15. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    89
    Jewish blood?

    Not really.
     

Share This Page