Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

If you are a Jew, and are not observant, are you still a Jew?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Religion/Theology Donate to DU
 
MicaelS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:45 PM
Original message
If you are a Jew, and are not observant, are you still a Jew?
A co-worker and I discussed this, and I want to see what people here think.

Hitler, the Nazis, and other Anti-Semites claimed that Jews were a race, not a religion. I think history has proven they were full of shit.

So that leaves Judaism as a religion. So if you were born a Jew, attended Temple as a child, was observant depending on whether you were Orthodox, Conservative or Reform and got Bar-Mitzvahed. But then once you became an adult, you rejected your religion. You quit going to Temple, quit being observant, went so far as claiming you are an Agnostic, or even an Atheist, are you still a Jew?

I say no, because the central tenant of religion is you must be observant to whatever religion, or sect you belong. You could say you are a lapsed Jew, or Christian or Muslim, but that is all.

The reason this issue came up is some Orthodox Catholics have been pushing the Pope to excommunicate any Catholic politician in the US and Mexico who publicly supports abortion. Or at the very least deny them the Sacrament (Communion).

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&pwst=1&&sa=X&ei=CI00TZ3MCcT0gAeAlIjDCw&ved=0CBMQvwUoAQ&q=pope+should+excommunicated+those+who+support+abortion&spell=1&fp=b482372c12256793

So this got me to thinking about the issue of non-observant Jews.

What do you say?

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think you forgot culture. And yes, I think someone can be non-practicing
and still a Jew. Who am I to tell someone who identifies as Jewish that they're not really Jewish?

And who are you to do that?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. Sure. There are Jews who are athiests and are still Jews...it's not a "religious"
category like a church membership. Ask my wife, she will tell you (She's jewish...)


mark
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. This is bound to go well. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. lol
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hayu_lol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. If your mother is Jewish...
then you are Jewish, observant or not.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MicaelS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
17. I'm not trying to sitr up shit, I reaaly want to know. n/t.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
5. The word has two meanings
one is ethnic, and the other is religious/cultural.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dennis4868 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
6. If your Mother is Jewish....
Edited on Mon Jan-17-11 01:51 PM by dennis4868
then you are Jewish no matter how observant you are or are not....and no matter what other religions you practice....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FLPanhandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. My mom is Jewish, but I'm not.
My Dad Southern Baptist. Raised as atheists.

I don't consider myself Jewish, Baptist, Catholic, Hindu, etc. In fact, I would resent someone telling me otherwise. I don't go for these artificial groupings designed to keep people apart.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. the point is, that you get to decide that and define yourself.
If someone else who is not observant identifies as a Jew, that's up to that person, right?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FLPanhandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Absolutely.
The world could use fewer barriers/groups/divisions though, especially made up ones.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dennis4868 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #16
25. According to Jewish Law....
if your mother is Jewish then you are Jewish no matter what you consider yourself....this is Jewish Law talking and I am not saying it is right or wrong....that's for each individual person to determine....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #16
51. In case you ever decide to move to Israel, however...
...you've got useful credentials, should you decide to use them. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #16
54. Boundaries that divide also unite.
People confuse culture and ethnicity, language, citizenship.

They're all distinct.

The Ottomans confused them in some ways, so Xian was an "ethnicity". We have bits of it, but have the conceptual framework to tease them apart even if we lack concise ways of expressing it. Sometimes we like the ambiguity--it's nicer to say "French youths" were rioting than to say that all the rioting "French" speak bad French, good Arabic, and are Muslims with Tunisian and Algerian parents, even though we all know that the use of the citizenship term would be taken to indicate culture or even language.

You're not Jewish. But you are. Just like the Hungarian in my grad program--born in Hungary to Hungarians--was dubbed a Latina by the university because her married surname was Catalan, it doesn't matter. If you have a sister, her kids, whatever they think of themselves, are also Jewish. Just as you can be Hindi and Jewish, you can be Jewish and Hindu.

I'm Irish American. My ancestors all immigrated before the Civil War. They were monolingual English-speakers when they immigrated. No connection with Ireland. I'm not Irish, dammit. So, what am I? "American"? No. I'm Irish by ancestry and since we don't like the hegemonic views implicit in claiming that there's an American "ethnicity" (how assimilationist) therefore I must be Irish. Eh.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MicaelS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
27. So Judaism is based strictly on matrilineal descent? n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
34. A Lubabvitcher Rebbe and I had a passionate discussion about this.
He asked me if I'm Jewish. I told him no, I'm an atheist.
He asked me if my mother was Jewish. I told him she was an atheist too.
Mother's mother. Sorry, also an atheist.
Mother's mother's mother. Same thing. I'm a fourth generation atheist.
What about my mother's mother's mother's mother? I shrugged. Probably Jewish.

Aha! He proclaimed that made me Jewish. The chain doesn't break no matter what you believe according to certain orthodox principles.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MicaelS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. That is very interesting thanks! n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. You're welcome. Now, I don't know if THIS is true, but the theory behind this goes
that the matrial lineage is "built into" the beliefs to prevent "The Chosen" from being assimilated in times of war where you have kidnapping, rape, and/or coerced cohabitation. That way, the children would be Jews no matter who the father was.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MicaelS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. Maker perfect sense, also...
It gives some power / rights to the women. It prevents males from spreading their seed any place they want to, and claiming their offspring are Jews.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dennis4868 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #41
53. the theory behind it is from...
a sentence in the Old Testament that has been explained in detail by the Talmud (the Oral Law)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cleanhippie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #6
52. Why is that?
Edited on Mon Jan-17-11 05:24 PM by cleanhippie
Never mind, I see you already answered upthread.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FLPanhandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. You'd have to define race
Genetically, I doubt you'd see any difference between a Jew and a Muslim.

Much of the culture is bound up in the religious traditions. Some don't even observe those.

Probably not.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. actually....
<snip>

Genetic studies indicate various lineages found in modern Jewish populations; however, most of these populations share a lineage in common, traceable to an ancient population that underwent geographic branching and subsequent independent evolutions.<44> While DNA tests have demonstrated inter-marriage in all of the various Jewish ethnic divisions over the last 3,000 years, it was substantially less than in other populations.<45> The findings lend support to traditional Jewish accounts accrediting their founding to exiled Israelite populations, and counters theories that many or most of the world's Jewish populations were founded entirely by local populations that adopted the Jewish religion, devoid of any actual Israelite genetic input.<45><46>

DNA analysis further determined that modern Jews of the priesthood tribe"Kohanim"share an ancestor dating back about 3,000 years.<47> This result is consistent for all Jewish populations around the world.<47> The researchers estimated that the most recent common ancestor of modern Kohanim lived between 1000 BCE (roughly the time of the Biblical Exodus) and 586 BCE, when the Babylonians destroyed the First Temple.<48> They found similar results analyzing DNA from Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews.<48> The scientists estimated the date of the original priest based on genetic mutations, which indicated that the priest lived roughly 106 generations ago, between 2,650 and 3,180 years ago depending whether one counts a generation as 25 or 30 years.<48>

Although individual and groups of converts to Judaism have historically been absorbed into contemporary Jewish populations, it is unlikely that they formed a large percentage of the ancestors of modern Jewish groups, and much less that they represented their genesis as Jewish communities.<49><44>
Male lineages: Y chromosomal DNA

A study published by the National Academy of Sciences found that "the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population", and suggested that "most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighboring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora".<44> Researchers expressed surprise at the remarkable genetic uniformity they found among modern Jews, no matter where the diaspora has become dispersed around the world.<44>

Other Y-chromosome findings show that the world's Jewish communities are closely related to Kurds, Syrians and Palestinians.<47><50> Skorecki and colleague wrote that "the extremely close affinity of Jewish and non-Jewish Middle Eastern populations observed ... supports the hypothesis of a common Middle Eastern origin".<47> According to another study of the same year, more than 70% of Jewish men and half of the Arab men (inhabitants of Israel and the territories only) whose DNA was studied inherited their Y-chromosomes from the same paternal ancestors who lived in the region within the last few thousand years. The results are consistent with the Biblical account of Jews and Arabs having a common ancestor. About two-thirds of Israeli Arabs and Arabs in the territories and a similar proportion of Israeli Jews are the descendants of at least three common ancestors who lived in the Middle East in the Neolithic period. However, the Palestinian Arab clade includes two Arab modal haplotypes which are found at only very low frequency among Jews, reflecting divergence and/or large scale admixture from non-local populations to the Palestinians.<51>

<snip>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews#Genetic_studies
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #13
43. So interesting and that blows Sarah's Identity Christian theory all
to pieces. They insist that the Jews living in Israel now are not the same as those living there before the dispersion.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. I consider myself culturally Catholic though I believe in nothing now.
You can't just cast off your childhood experience and family traditions that easily.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
9. Have you ever met any Jewish people?
Because a question like this suggests that you haven't.

:rofl:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MicaelS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. No I have not, and that is why I asked. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tishaLA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
10. I don't observe...like at all. And I still consider myself a Jew
because Judaism in its contemporary incarnation is as much about culture and history as it is about avoiding leavened foods during Pesach or fasting on Yom Kippur.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mojambo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
12. To quote David Cross: "If your mother's vagina is Jewish, you're a Jew."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
14. You see Jewish heritage, Jewish race, Jewish law, Jewish culture
Jewish nation, Jewish ethnicity, etc. etc.

As to your question, I feel people should have the liberty to define themselves and not be defined by others.

For example, who defines observant? Is there a checklist? What about external observances vs. internal beliefs or lack thereof, etc?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Sal Minella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. Think it was Ben Gurion who said, "Anybody is Jewish
who says he is."

Because of the nationality/religious/ethnic/"racial" definitions, I think Ben Gurion is about as close as we can get. Eh?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
21. You are a Jew if you say you are a Jew.
And the same goes for being a Catholic.

Some right-wing Catholics have been pushing for excommunication of others -- and they haven't been succeeding. They are not "Orthodox Catholics" however -- that is a different part of the Church.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #21
40. Nope, you do have to go through sacraments to be an adult member of the church
and the Church can and does excommunicate people, and some officially renounce their Catholicism.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
22. Given that the most conservative in Israel pretty much think
that virtually no American Jew would be worthy of Israeli citizenship, much less Jewish immigrants from elsewwere in the world, that would be an interesting question depending on who you asked.

Not being Jewish myself, I tend to think you are Jewish if you believe that you are Jewish.... But, then that is me.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
23. Jew is not a well defined term.
It can refer to an ethnicity, or to a religion, or to a technical classification under halachic law; many Jews refer to it as a nationality but this isn't really accurate or meaningful in my view.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
24. Being Jewish is a tribal identity.
I learned that from Isaac Asimov's book on the Bible (recommended).

I'm a Jewish atheist. When they round up the Jews, they don't ask what you believe.

--imm
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
26. If one is Jewish based on maternal lineage, is there a consensus on the mitochondrial DNA that would...
define that classification?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
28. Yes, and I see it this way.
There are religious Jews and cultural/Ethnic Jews. I know a lot of 4th generation Italian Americans and Irish Americans. Genetically, they are Caucasian and according to their mitochondrial DNA appear to be descended form one of seven genetic lines (women). There are still ethnic Irish, or ethnic Italian, even though for four generations they've been born here in the America's.

There are ethnic Jews that share a common cultural heritage, including food, a sub-language with it's own words and accents, and a world view. Many of hose do not practice Judaism in its various ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox, conservative, or reform groups.

Judaism is a religion, being a Jew is an ethnic group.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MicaelS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #28
38. That is a very interesting viewpoint, Thank you! n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #28
55. What about someone who is Halachically Jewish but not culturally Jewish?
Like Christopher Hitchens or Elvis Presley?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FirstLight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
29. what if your father is a non-practicing jew?
it is still in the bloodline, no?

I remember when I was a teen and my best friend was Jewish, like from a real practicing family.
I had never been around the culture, but soon realized it was a culture and had strong bonds of kinship.
Well of course I wanted to join the youth group, and since my dad's side of the family was german-jew, I thought I could be accepted.
There was a big stink with the girls and their families because some thought I was not a real jew because my lineage didn't come from my mother, and also since my dad didn't parctice or identify with that part of his heritage, it was awkward.
Eventually I was accepted into the group, and spent 2 years, became an officer with the chapter and my girlfreind went on to hold regional president

- learned alot about not only the religious ideals, but the cultural ideals of tolerance, philanthropy, interfaith relations, etc...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
30. I'm an ex-Jew
I became an atheist decades ago and ceased being a Jew.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DesertFlower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
31. sarah silverman is an atheist, but
she says culturally and ethnically she's a jew.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
32. Estimates are 80% of Israelis are not observant
Somehow I think they are still Jews
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Unvanguard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
33. Jewishness is not a category defined by a religious belief.
If you are born Jewish, you are Jewish whatever you believe.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
UndertheOcean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
35. If your mother is Jewish , then you are even if you refuse to identify as such .
It is basically an old-fashioned part Tribal Identity part Religion that spilled into modern times.

Religions that evolved from Judaism (Like Christianity and Islam)scrapped the Tribal trappings.

People not from the Middle East have difficulty envisioning the Tribal world view , that is why such questions keep repeating on their part.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
36. Yes.
Your mom Jewish, you are.

Oh and now that antisemitism will be more open, you will soon learn just how much.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
39. Meh... JewISH
Edited on Mon Jan-17-11 02:50 PM by Marr
*making a so-so hand waggle*
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:51 PM
Original message
Abrahams Children in the Genome Era (American Journal of Human Genetics, 11 June 2010)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Motown_Johnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
42. It is up to the individual to identify him or her self as they see fit
So, yes it is possible
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MicaelS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
45. This is getting very interesting, and I want to learn more....
Can anyone recommend some books?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. The article cited in #42 summarizes the question with source references. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MicaelS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. Sorry, I missed that jody, thanks n/t
Edited on Mon Jan-17-11 03:40 PM by MicaelS
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
houstonintc Donating Member (202 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
46. Ethnicity and Religion are one...
In Judaism, for Jews there isn't a separation between the two concepts.

Giving up your traditions and religion and culture does not unJew someone. Though in the eyes of other Jews you might be seen as "lost". Think of it as a Lakota Indian changing his name to Robert Smitherson, adopting Christianity and speaking English back in the early 20th century. Technically the blood line is still there but by and large said person has given up said heritage or culture for a different one.

To us this is anachronistic because religion is often seen as personal, universal and the idea of a tribe set apart with it's own religion and that adopting said religion adds you to the tribe seems strange to us.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ernesto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
49. My grandmother was a native American
Her maiden name was St. John. That is now my middle name. Does that make me a christian?
BTW, I'm a proud atheist.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
houstonintc Donating Member (202 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. Just an example...
Just an example of the idea I was trying to get across. I hope my overall point did get across.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
56. You're still Jewish, but you bump into things a lot. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bad Thoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
57. Cases from the Expulsion
Matrilineal descent is the most obvious way that Jewish is explained. In truth, having a mother who is recognized as Jewish by an orthodox authority is the only clear cut means of recognizing who can be treated as Jewish by a congregation, but it can get messy. Jewish fathers are impelled by their obligations to their children to perform certain tasks that cannot happen until their status is resolved (functionally this means they must have their children convert). Non-orthodox conversions may not be universally recognized, but Orthodox authorities aren't comfortable simply writing them off (a Conservative convert is still required to follow all the negative commandments for instance). And there have been discoveries of African communities that have required rabbincal authorities to be flexible with their definitions, effectively (if not theologically) back-dating communities.

Perhaps issues that followed from the expulsion and forced conversion of Jews from Spain and Portugal reveal the complexity of the issue. Throughout the 16th C there was a phenomena of Portuguese who emigrated to other parts of Europe, suddenly declaring their Jewishness. These were either Portuguese Jews who were forced to convert or Spanish Jews who fled to Portugal before converting themselves. For some time being a Portuguese immigrant seemed synonymous with being Jewish in southern France and United Provinces. This led rabbinical authorities to question whether Jewish law still pertained to forced converts--they answered no. Of course, how could they demand observance under threat of death and where no community existed?

The last century has seen people stepping forward to say that their families have been secretly practicing Judaism for centuries. In many cases the practices are only the barest observances--candles on Friday, restraining from pork, cleaving to the Old Testament. The response has been to allow a special ritual that recognized PATRILINEAL descent. Really,it's the same thing as conversion, just with a few added sentences about the faithfulness of one's forefathers.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Iggo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
58. If you are a Jew, are you still a Jew?
Wait.

What?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat May 18th 2024, 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Religion/Theology Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC