Who is a Jew?

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    (Original post by moshe015)
    You are jewish if your mother is jewish or if you undergo an orthodox conversion to Judaism. No two ways about it.

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    The studies I have cited in this thread clearly show that it is not that simple. Being Jewish is not merely about religion.

    More importantly, Orthodox Judaism is just one denomination of many. Just because the rabbinical courts in Israel are Orthodox does not make Orthodox Judaism the 'correct' form of Judaism. That's like saying Jihadist denominations of Islam are the 'correct' forms of Islam.

    I find it ridiculous that you ignore the vast wealth of evidence and scientific facts that show being Jewish is much more than mere religious adherence to Judaism (Orthodox or otherwise).

    I reiterate the fact that matrelineality is a value-based judgement from some denominations of Judaism. If either parent is Jewish, you are at ethnically Jewish in part, just like if either parent is Asian, you are ethnically Asian in part.

    Just because Orthodox Judaism determines that one is automatically Jewish if their mother is religiously Jewish does not make it true. It has no scientific basis whatsoever, and is based solely on their interpretation of the Torah and Talmud.

    Ethnically, I am half-Jewish, and that is a fact.
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    You can be half-Jewish ethically or have Jewish ancestry of course. But to be a Jew according to Jewish law then your mother must be a Jew or you must have converted. This is agreed by all Jewish communities except the reform community who have 'reformed' Judaism. So according to true Jewish law and tradition then the above is correct.

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    (Original post by moshe015)
    You can be half-Jewish ethically or have Jewish ancestry of course. But to be a Jew according to Jewish law then your mother must be a Jew or you must have converted. This is agreed by all Jewish communities except the reform community who have 'reformed' Judaism. So according to true Jewish law and tradition then the above is correct.

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    He was told it already many times. The problem is that he doesn't care about Jewish law and Jewish traditions. He cares only about his DNA. Waste of time.
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    (Original post by jambojim97)
    No. Because Catholics do not have a history of living together in isolated communities like European Jews do. Historically, there has been much less intermarriage due to Jews being persecuted and as a result isolated and ethnocentric.

    Please refer to the sources - studies of European Jewish genetics - of this wikipedia article for clarification:
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    "In an ethnic sense, an Ashkenazi Jew is one whose ancestry can be traced to the Jews who settled in Central Europe. For roughly a thousand years, the Ashkenazim were a reproductively isolated population in Europe, despite living in many countries, with little inflow or outflow from migration, conversion, or intermarriage with other groups, including other Jews. Human geneticists have argued that genetic variations have been identified that show high frequencies among Ashkenazi Jews, but not in the general European population, be they for patrilineal markers (Y-chromosome haplotypes) and for matrilineal markers (mitotypes).[104] Since the middle of the 20th century, many Ashkenazi Jews have intermarried, both with members of other Jewish communities and with people of other nations and faiths.[105] A 2006 study found Ashkenazi Jews to be a clear, homogeneous genetic subgroup.

    Strikingly, regardless of the place of origin, Ashkenazi Jews can be grouped in the same genetic cohort – that is, regardless of whether an Ashkenazi Jew's ancestors came from Poland, Russia, Hungary, Lithuania, or any other place with a historical Jewish population, they belong to the same ethnic group. The research demonstrates the endogamy of the Jewish population in Europe and lends further credence to the idea of Ashkenazi Jews as an ethnic group. Moreover, though intermarriage among Jews of Ashkenazi descent has become increasingly common, many Haredi Jews, particularly members of Hasidic or Hareidi sects, continue to marry exclusively fellow Ashkenazi Jews. This trend keeps Ashkenazi genes prevalent and also helps researchers further study the genes of Ashkenazi Jews with relative ease. It is noteworthy that these Haredi Jews often have extremely large families.[10]"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashken...s#By_ethnicity
    So Scottish islanders should be considered a race?
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    Jewish is not a race, it is a religion.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    So Scottish islanders should be considered a race?
    No, because race is an unhelpful taxonomic classification and a social construct.

    However, like Ashkenazi Jews, Scots are a recognised ethnic group. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotti...ps_of_Scotland
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    (Original post by AperfectBalance)
    Jewish is not a race, it is a religion.
    Correct, Jews are not a race, but the Jewish people do comprise of ethnic groups genetically distinct from the general European population who share common ancestry, customs and culture. The most common being the Ashkenazi Jews.

    Judaism is a religion, and the denonym of Judaism is the same as that of the associated ethnic groups.
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    I can't believe that people are still IN DENIAL of Jewish ethnic groups, despite the studies cited in my posts on this thread.
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    (Original post by admonit)
    He was told it already many times. The problem is that he doesn't care about Jewish law and Jewish traditions. He cares only about his DNA. Waste of time.
    Why should I care about Halakckic law? It is not universal among all Jews. Halackic law is not universal, and is NOT an objective definition of Jewishness. Thus, 'Jewish law and Jewish traditions' have no objective definition, as they differ between denominations.

    Just because Orthodox rabbis take a dominant role in Israeli politics doesn't make Orthodox Judaism 'correct.' That would be like saying that Conservatism is 'correct' because the British cabinet consist of Tories. Furthermore, if you told the British Muslim community that Jihadism is the 'correct' form of Islam, they'd be up in arms!

    And for the record, I don't 'just care about my DNA', I also take part in Jewish religious festivals such as Hunnukah and strongly identify with the Jewish people.
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    (Original post by moshe015)
    You can be half-Jewish ethically or have Jewish ancestry of course. But to be a Jew according to Jewish law then your mother must be a Jew or you must have converted. This is agreed by all Jewish communities except the reform community who have 'reformed' Judaism. So according to true Jewish law and tradition then the above is correct.

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    I reiterate, Halackic law is a value-based judgement. When you remove the religious numbojumbo, you also account for CULTURE and GENES as counting towards Jewishness. In terms of ethnicity, Halackic law is obsolete, because it could only really be seen as 'universal' when Jews only lived in Ancient Israel. Since the fall of Ancient Israel, Jewish communities have settled far and wide, developing into distinct ethnic groups with distinct genetic markers, alongside variations of Judaism and Jewish culture.

    Also, as I have already said (yawn), Reform Judaism is not the only denomination of Judaism that rejects matralineality.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    The short answer is that Jews are an ethnoreligious group.

    The long answer is that ethnicity is a fairly fluid concept, which is intersubjective and depends on the value attributed to it by various people and institutions. They can diverge, change and merge over time as a result of events. Initially religious divisions can become ethnic ones. For example, in Germany whether you're Catholic or Protestant is a purely private matter, and conversion is easy. In Northern Ireland, 'Catholic' and 'Protestant' don't really refer to religious observance but rather to community background.

    While Judaism was to some extent a proselytising religion in the past, for a long time now it's been very rare, with conversion only really used for the non-Jewish spouses of Jews, or for those of Jewish heritage who identify themselves as Jews but are not halachichally Jewish. So it became, de facto, a religion on passed down kinship lines. When the rise of nationalism came about, and the issues of who was authentically a member of the 'nation' became a major political issue, there arose a dispute on the status of Jews relative to the 'nation' - were they ethnic Englishmen/Frenchmen/Germans/etc who merely happened to practice a minority religion; or were they a separate people who merely happened to reside in the same country as the aforementioned groups?
    With regard to your final point, yes, they were ethnically English/French/German, because when a group of people live together over many generations and share similar customs and culture, they develop distinct genetic markers. Although I'd argue that they are less genetically distinct from eachother than Jews as the Jewish people go back way further than modern Western European nations.
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    (Original post by queen-bee)
    How does one convert to Judaism?


    Why is somebody only considered to be Jewish if their mother is a Jew but not the other way around? I could be wrong so do enlighten me
    It is theoretically impossible, but some arrangements take place. The Jews are supposed to be the "chosen people", therefore they cannot admit conversions (although in the beginning, some people converted).

    The choice of matrilineage is to avoid men spreading their genes around, so the number of Jews remain under control.
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    (Original post by Josb)
    It is theoretically impossible, but some arrangements take place. The Jews are supposed to be the "chosen people", therefore they cannot admit conversions (although in the beginning, some people converted).

    The choice of matrilineage is to avoid men spreading their genes around, so the number of Jews remain under control.
    Absolute rubbish: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religi...nversion.shtml
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    (Original post by jambojim97)
    No, because race is an unhelpful taxonomic classification and a social construct.

    However, like Ashkenazi Jews, Scots are a recognised ethnic group. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotti...ps_of_Scotland
    I have to admit I'm confused by the purpose of this thread. There are thousands of ethnic groups on the planet, including much of the European population.
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    (Original post by jambojim97)
    Correct, Jews are not a race, but the Jewish people do comprise of ethnic groups genetically distinct from the general European population who share common ancestry, customs and culture. The most common being the Ashkenazi Jews.

    Judaism is a religion, and the denonym of Judaism is the same as that of the associated ethnic groups.
    I'm not sure if you've actually travelled Europe much, but customs vary wildly within it. But sure, keep telling yourself Jews are somehow any more different than anyone else.
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    Mate, Jewish law dictates who is a Jew. You can identify with Judaism all you like. You can 'feel' Jewish and act Jewish but fact dictates that unless your mother is a Jew then you are not. Judaism is a religion not a race so being 'half-Jewish' doesn't exist. And please stop comparing jihadist islam to orthodox Judaism. The comparison just doesn't exist and is probably offensive to Jews.

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    (Original post by moshe015)
    Mate, Jewish law dictates who is a Jew. You can identify with Judaism all you like. You can 'feel' Jewish and act Jewish but fact dictates that unless your mother is a Jew then you are not. Judaism is a religion not a race so being 'half-Jewish' doesn't exist. And please stop comparing jihadist islam to orthodox Judaism. The comparison just doesn't exist and is probably offensive to Jews.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    No, Jewish law is a set of value-based religious judgements with no scientific underpinning. The fact is that the Jewish people are a set of ethnic groups originating from Ancient Israel. Thus, ethnically one can be half-Jewish. Jews have lived in isolation for centuries, with a separate culture and customs. Thus one can be half-Jewish.

    And as I've said many many times in this thread, matralineality is not universally accepted among Jews - it depends on the denomination.

    I am not 'comparing' Orthodox Judaism to Jihadist Islam, I am simply exemplifying that in all religions there is no 'correct' denomination.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    I have to admit I'm confused by the purpose of this thread. There are thousands of ethnic groups on the planet, including much of the European population.
    Because European Jews are a distinct ethnic group and anybody with Jewish lineage should be recognised as partly Jewish by ethnicity.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    I'm not sure if you've actually travelled Europe much, but customs vary wildly within it. But sure, keep telling yourself Jews are somehow any more different than anyone else.
    Not really, the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe expanded far and wide, but still remained a homogenous ethnic group with the same religious customs and culture.

    Jews are unique because despite not having their own nation for many centuries, Jewish culture and Jewish communities still remained intact.
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    (Original post by moshe015)
    You are jewish if your mother is jewish or if you undergo an orthodox conversion to Judaism. No two ways about it.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    There have been similar responses on this thread so please scroll back and read my replies as I can't be bothered to repeat myself.
 
 
 
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