HomeCalendarFAQSearchRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Jewishness is a State of Being

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4
AuthorMessage
Dena

avatar

Posts : 678
Join date : 2011-09-05
Age : 35

PostSubject: Jewishness is a State of Being   Tue May 22, 2012 2:20 pm

First topic message reminder :

Jewishness is not a belief, a feeling, a conviction or a lifestyle. It is a state of being - Rabbi Aron Moss

The quote is in reference to a born Jew who considers himself an atheist, married a non-Jew and isn't at all religious. What do you think of the statement? Do you think it applies to converts, just born Jews, both or neither? I'm asking for your opinion, not what you think the author intended.
Back to top Go down

AuthorMessage
tamar

avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Northern Virginia

PostSubject: Re: Jewishness is a State of Being   Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:39 pm

As long as Judaism is a religion one inherits through birth you are born Jewish so you are Jewish no matter what you believe.

That is why a person who finds out they had a Jewish grandmother, or mother is a Jew even if she were raised in another religion.

That question came up in a class I took and the rabbi asked the class if a person could be an atheist and still be a Jew.

I said yes because when you are born to a Jewish mother you inherit your Jewishness and you are part of a religion and a people. If you choose to not be religious you are still part of the Jewish people and she agreed.

We are part of a people where our Jewishness is inherited.

mikedoyleblogger wrote:
tamar wrote:
The Jews I know who are atheist absolutely are cultural Jews and that is how they see themselves. They are Jews because they were born to a Jewish mother. They are secular but they absolutely see themselves as Jewish, and part of the Jewish people.

I don't see the problem with that. To be Jewish is to be part of a people and part of a religion. If you disavow yourself of the religious part you are still part of the people and still Jewish.

To me, the problem is that it's hypocritical. Such a person allegedly disavows all religious aspects of Judaism--except that, very conveniently, they don't. Because as I said, to truly do that would mean giving up the halacha by dint of which they're Jewish in the first place. It's a little like saying anyone can become Jew just by saying they're a Jew without the need to convert in some halachic manner. I agree, Judaism has religious and peoplehood aspects. But I do not agree at all that you can have one without the other.
Back to top Go down
Dena

avatar

Posts : 678
Join date : 2011-09-05
Age : 35

PostSubject: Re: Jewishness is a State of Being   Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:57 pm

I would imagine "cultural" Jews think of themselves as Jewish just the same as the child of Italian immigrants thinks of themselves as Italian. It has nothing to do with Jewish Law for them. It's just the obvious the a child of Jewish parents would be Jewish. That being said I don't know of anything who refers to themselves as a cultural Jew. I know Jews who are not observant in any way whatsoever but they just call themselves Jewish.

I think I agree with Tamar. Being Jewish is being a part of the people. The religion of the people is Judaism but even if one is not religious...they are still a Jew.
Back to top Go down
tamar

avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Northern Virginia

PostSubject: Re: Jewishness is a State of Being   Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:07 pm

Dena wrote:
I would imagine "cultural" Jews think of themselves as Jewish just the same as the child of Italian immigrants thinks of themselves as Italian. It has nothing to do with Jewish Law for them. It's just the obvious the a child of Jewish parents would be Jewish. That being said I don't know of anything who refers to themselves as a cultural Jew. I know Jews who are not observant in any way whatsoever but they just call themselves Jewish.

I think I agree with Tamar. Being Jewish is being a part of the people. The religion of the people is Judaism but even if one is not religious...they are still a Jew.

Exactly!! If we didn't have Halacha that says they are Jewish by being born to a Jewish mother then we would see the religious establishment stripping all those who they deem not religious stripped of their Jewishness. They celebrate the Jewish holidays and send their kids to Hebrew school and see them selves as Jewish but they are secular or atheists and don't believe in G-d. They are very proud to be Jewish.
Back to top Go down
Dena

avatar

Posts : 678
Join date : 2011-09-05
Age : 35

PostSubject: Re: Jewishness is a State of Being   Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:12 pm

tamar wrote:


Exactly!! If we didn't have Halacha that says they are Jewish by being born to a Jewish mother then we would see the religious establishment stripping all those who they deem not religious stripped of their Jewishness. They celebrate the Jewish holidays and send their kids to Hebrew school and see them selves as Jewish but they are secular or atheists and don't believe in G-d. They are very proud to be Jewish.

Actually, I was thinking of those who do not celebrate Jewish holidays, do not go to seders, do not go to services on Yom Kippur and don't send their kids to Hebrew school. But they call themselves Jews. I see no issue with it, either. They are Jews.

If we were just talking about atheists who participate in the Jewish community then goodness yes, they are still Jews. A Jew can be religious and atheist at the same time.
Back to top Go down
tamar

avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Northern Virginia

PostSubject: Re: Jewishness is a State of Being   Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:19 pm

Dena wrote:
tamar wrote:


Exactly!! If we didn't have Halacha that says they are Jewish by being born to a Jewish mother then we would see the religious establishment stripping all those who they deem not religious stripped of their Jewishness. They celebrate the Jewish holidays and send their kids to Hebrew school and see them selves as Jewish but they are secular or atheists and don't believe in G-d. They are very proud to be Jewish.

Actually, I was thinking of those who do not celebrate Jewish holidays, do not go to seders, do not go to services on Yom Kippur and don't send their kids to Hebrew school. But they call themselves Jews. I see no issue with it, either. They are Jews.

If we were just talking about atheists who participate in the Jewish community then goodness yes, they are still Jews. A Jew can be religious and atheist at the same time.

I don't see an issue with it either but the Jews I know who don't believe in G-d do want their children to understand Jewish culture, and ideals of justice. How to be a mensch. But yes I also agree that those who don't celebrate the holidays are still Jewish.
Back to top Go down
Dena

avatar

Posts : 678
Join date : 2011-09-05
Age : 35

PostSubject: Re: Jewishness is a State of Being   Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:25 pm

My husband has a particular friend who never attends services, won't do anything "Jewish" except light Chanukah candles and is letting his wife raise their daughter Catholic. As far as I know he isn't an atheist. I do know they seem to have gotten angry with the Rabbi because he wouldn't officiate their wedding. Well..duh, I don't know why they even asked him in the first place. I don't live in their home and he spends a lot more time with my husband then me but from where I sit it doesn't appear he cares if his daughter knows much about Jewish culture. But, he still considers himself a Jew. So do I.
Back to top Go down
tamar

avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Northern Virginia

PostSubject: Re: Jewishness is a State of Being   Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:40 pm

Dena wrote:
My husband has a particular friend who never attends services, won't do anything "Jewish" except light Chanukah candles and is letting his wife raise their daughter Catholic. As far as I know he isn't an atheist. I do know they seem to have gotten angry with the Rabbi because he wouldn't officiate their wedding. Well..duh, I don't know why they even asked him in the first place. I don't live in their home and he spends a lot more time with my husband then me but from where I sit it doesn't appear he cares if his daughter knows much about Jewish culture. But, he still considers himself a Jew. So do I.

I think that happens to alot of people. Something happens and they get angry and walk away from religion. in my unaffiliated chavurah I am a part of there are so many intermarried couple who for one reason or another are a bit angry with Judaism. So the chavurah I am a part of takes great pride in being a diverse place and welcoming to all, Jew and non Jew.

Back to top Go down
Dena

avatar

Posts : 678
Join date : 2011-09-05
Age : 35

PostSubject: Re: Jewishness is a State of Being   Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:52 pm

tamar wrote:

I think that happens to alot of people. Something happens and they get angry and walk away from religion. in my unaffiliated chavurah I am a part of there are so many intermarried couple who for one reason or another are a bit angry with Judaism. So the chavurah I am a part of takes great pride in being a diverse place and welcoming to all, Jew and non Jew.


I don't think he was involved before that particular incident anyway. It's a very large congregation and some people do consider them a little..snooty. I don't know. I just attend services or classes but haven't tried to make friends. I know a few people and that's it. I considered asking his family to go to a seder with me and some friends from my other congregation. They are all very down to earth, not fancy by any means (one of his complaints is that his mother just puts on a show at her seder) and very welcoming. Maybe I'll invite them next year.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Jewishness is a State of Being   

Back to top Go down
 
Jewishness is a State of Being
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 4 of 4Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
 :: Jewish Fundamentals :: Conversion Discussion & Issues-
Jump to: