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What is a Jew?

gavin.ogden
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12/9/2010 4:26:22 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I have had several conversations with members of DDO, and even people of my own faith(Judaism), and I still am undecided on whether Jews can be considered an ethnic group. Using certain definitions, I think we certainly could, but according to some, we are not.
All opinions are most welcome, and thanks in advance for any feedback.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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12/9/2010 4:42:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 4:26:22 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:
I have had several conversations with members of DDO, and even people of my own faith(Judaism), and I still am undecided on whether Jews can be considered an ethnic group. Using certain definitions, I think we certainly could, but according to some, we are not.
All opinions are most welcome, and thanks in advance for any feedback.

Sem·ite   
[sem-ahyt or, especially Brit., see-mahyt] Show IPA
–noun
1.
a member of any of various ancient and modern peoples originating in southwestern Asia, including the Akkadians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs.
2.
a Jew.
3.
a member of any of the peoples descended from Shem, the eldest son of Noah.

Yes.
gavin.ogden
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12/9/2010 5:14:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:07:13 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
Not necessarily, Ren. :P

There's non-semite converts.

Moreover, Jews are not the only semites, therefore, that does not establish a JEWISH ethnic group. That would make us part of the Semitic ethnic group, right? My question is, do Jews make up their own ethnic group?
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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12/9/2010 5:18:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:07:13 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
Not necessarily, Ren. :P

There's non-semite converts.

You mean, in the religion?

Yeah, I know, but the question was whether it's an ethnicity. It is. Can every person who follows Judaism claim to be ethnically Jewish? Of course not. But, Judaism is one of the oldest religions that still exists. Back in the day, before mass communication and media as well as global travel, it's how all religions were. A certain ethnicity corresponded with a certain religion.
gavin.ogden
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12/9/2010 5:21:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:18:46 PM, Ren wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:07:13 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
Not necessarily, Ren. :P

There's non-semite converts.

You mean, in the religion?

Yeah, I know, but the question was whether it's an ethnicity. It is. Can every person who follows Judaism claim to be ethnically Jewish? Of course not. But, Judaism is one of the oldest religions that still exists. Back in the day, before mass communication and media as well as global travel, it's how all religions were. A certain ethnicity corresponded with a certain religion.

Please elaborate. I really like where you are going with this. It's bringing a whole new point of view into my mind.
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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12/9/2010 5:22:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:14:05 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:07:13 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
Not necessarily, Ren. :P

There's non-semite converts.

Moreover, Jews are not the only semites, therefore, that does not establish a JEWISH ethnic group. That would make us part of the Semitic ethnic group, right? My question is, do Jews make up their own ethnic group?

I was literally just discussing this with somebody else today and I personally believe it does. Upon converting you're entering not only a religion, but an ethnic group as well which is why I think they put so much emphasis on teaching new converts everything before they will even be accepted.
gavin.ogden
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12/9/2010 5:28:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:22:19 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:14:05 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:07:13 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
Not necessarily, Ren. :P

There's non-semite converts.

Moreover, Jews are not the only semites, therefore, that does not establish a JEWISH ethnic group. That would make us part of the Semitic ethnic group, right? My question is, do Jews make up their own ethnic group?

I was literally just discussing this with somebody else today and I personally believe it does. Upon converting you're entering not only a religion, but an ethnic group as well which is why I think they put so much emphasis on teaching new converts everything before they will even be accepted.

Very nice sentiment, INH. I must be honest, I don't believe converts are ethnic Jews, even if such a thing exists. When using the actual meaning of the word Ethnicity, they would not qualify.
InsertNameHere
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12/9/2010 5:37:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:28:34 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:

Very nice sentiment, INH. I must be honest, I don't believe converts are ethnic Jews, even if such a thing exists. When using the actual meaning of the word Ethnicity, they would not qualify.

Well of course they can never truly be ethnically Jewish, but they're still entering into a distinct ethnic group and will be treated as any other Jew by outsiders such as Anti-semites. I doubt people like Hitler cared if Jews were converts or not.
InsertNameHere
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12/9/2010 5:49:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:47:27 PM, THE_OPINIONATOR wrote:
A Jew is an individual who belives in the Old testimant of the bible

By that definition, almost every follower of all three Abrahamic religions would be Jews.
Koopin
Posts: 12,090
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12/9/2010 5:49:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:47:27 PM, THE_OPINIONATOR wrote:
A Jew is an individual who belives in the Old testimant of the bible

By saying that, you are saying that I am a jew.
kfc
gavin.ogden
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12/9/2010 5:49:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:37:31 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:28:34 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:

Very nice sentiment, INH. I must be honest, I don't believe converts are ethnic Jews, even if such a thing exists. When using the actual meaning of the word Ethnicity, they would not qualify.

Well of course they can never truly be ethnically Jewish, but they're still entering into a distinct ethnic group and will be treated as any other Jew by outsiders such as Anti-semites. I doubt people like Hitler cared if Jews were converts or not.

I don't believe there was much conversion to Judaism back then, INH, but the point is really that there doesn't seem to be an actual ethnic connection between many Jews.
gavin.ogden
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12/9/2010 5:54:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:47:27 PM, THE_OPINIONATOR wrote:
A Jew is an individual who belives in the Old testimant of the bible

I'm a Jew, and I do not take the OT literally. I do, however, truly love the Jewish culture. I even attend synagogue, but I'm not foolish enough to believe in obvious fictions. Adam and Eve? Come on, about 7 or 8 generations in, our species would have devolved into something primitive and gross. I'm a still a Jew even though I don't believe in fairy tales.
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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12/9/2010 5:56:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:49:34 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:

I don't believe there was much conversion to Judaism back then, INH, but the point is really that there doesn't seem to be an actual ethnic connection between many Jews.

Probably not, but I was using it as an example. I think conversions to Judaism are pretty recent. Regardless, the point I'm trying to get at is once you become a Jew you get pushed into that same label that born Jews are under by non-Jews. Jews are really the only ones who would make any distinction.
InsertNameHere
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12/9/2010 5:58:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:54:41 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:47:27 PM, THE_OPINIONATOR wrote:
A Jew is an individual who belives in the Old testimant of the bible

I'm a Jew, and I do not take the OT literally. I do, however, truly love the Jewish culture. I even attend synagogue, but I'm not foolish enough to believe in obvious fictions. Adam and Eve? Come on, about 7 or 8 generations in, our species would have devolved into something primitive and gross. I'm a still a Jew even though I don't believe in fairy tales.

lol, my bf is like that. He's ethnically a Jew, but is religiously an Atheist. He still participates in all the Jewish customs regardless though.
gavin.ogden
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12/9/2010 6:05:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:56:49 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:49:34 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:

I don't believe there was much conversion to Judaism back then, INH, but the point is really that there doesn't seem to be an actual ethnic connection between many Jews.

Probably not, but I was using it as an example. I think conversions to Judaism are pretty recent. Regardless, the point I'm trying to get at is once you become a Jew you get pushed into that same label that born Jews are under by non-Jews. Jews are really the only ones who would make any distinction.

Yes, but I believe they would be persecuted for their religious conversion, not ethnic.
gavin.ogden
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12/9/2010 6:07:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:57:48 PM, THE_OPINIONATOR wrote:
hmm intreging THE_OPINIONATOR thanks you for your kind answer

I was not trying to be unkind, I was simply trying to prove a point. I apologize for the undertone there, it was unintentional.
gavin.ogden
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12/9/2010 6:08:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 5:58:29 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:54:41 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:47:27 PM, THE_OPINIONATOR wrote:
A Jew is an individual who belives in the Old testimant of the bible

I'm a Jew, and I do not take the OT literally. I do, however, truly love the Jewish culture. I even attend synagogue, but I'm not foolish enough to believe in obvious fictions. Adam and Eve? Come on, about 7 or 8 generations in, our species would have devolved into something primitive and gross. I'm a still a Jew even though I don't believe in fairy tales.

lol, my bf is like that. He's ethnically a Jew, but is religiously an Atheist. He still participates in all the Jewish customs regardless though.

That kind of makes an argument for the ethnic side of Judaism, doesn't it?
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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12/9/2010 6:10:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 6:08:49 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:58:29 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:54:41 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:47:27 PM, THE_OPINIONATOR wrote:
A Jew is an individual who belives in the Old testimant of the bible

I'm a Jew, and I do not take the OT literally. I do, however, truly love the Jewish culture. I even attend synagogue, but I'm not foolish enough to believe in obvious fictions. Adam and Eve? Come on, about 7 or 8 generations in, our species would have devolved into something primitive and gross. I'm a still a Jew even though I don't believe in fairy tales.

lol, my bf is like that. He's ethnically a Jew, but is religiously an Atheist. He still participates in all the Jewish customs regardless though.

That kind of makes an argument for the ethnic side of Judaism, doesn't it?

Yep.
gavin.ogden
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12/9/2010 6:15:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 6:10:17 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 12/9/2010 6:08:49 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:58:29 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:54:41 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:
At 12/9/2010 5:47:27 PM, THE_OPINIONATOR wrote:
A Jew is an individual who belives in the Old testimant of the bible

I'm a Jew, and I do not take the OT literally. I do, however, truly love the Jewish culture. I even attend synagogue, but I'm not foolish enough to believe in obvious fictions. Adam and Eve? Come on, about 7 or 8 generations in, our species would have devolved into something primitive and gross. I'm a still a Jew even though I don't believe in fairy tales.

lol, my bf is like that. He's ethnically a Jew, but is religiously an Atheist. He still participates in all the Jewish customs regardless though.

That kind of makes an argument for the ethnic side of Judaism, doesn't it?

Yep.

Hear me out on this(not literally, of course). I believe Judaism may not be an ethnicity, but simply a culture, and a damn fine one at that. I love all the cultural aspects of Judaism, therefore, I've stuck around since I stopped believing in fairy tales.
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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12/9/2010 6:17:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 6:15:31 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:

Hear me out on this(not literally, of course). I believe Judaism may not be an ethnicity, but simply a culture, and a damn fine one at that. I love all the cultural aspects of Judaism, therefore, I've stuck around since I stopped believing in fairy tales.

So you're an atheist then?
gavin.ogden
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12/9/2010 6:40:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 6:17:55 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 12/9/2010 6:15:31 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:

Hear me out on this(not literally, of course). I believe Judaism may not be an ethnicity, but simply a culture, and a damn fine one at that. I love all the cultural aspects of Judaism, therefore, I've stuck around since I stopped believing in fairy tales.

So you're an atheist then?

No, I believe in G-d. I also believe our ancestors were much more ignorant about the world around them. Modern science, to me, makes logical sense. Therefore, I can not possibly believe that many of these tales actually occurred, but I do believe there is a common energy that connects all of us. While my defenition of a higher power, or G-d, may be different than other Jews, I am still a Jew.
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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12/9/2010 6:43:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 6:40:12 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:
At 12/9/2010 6:17:55 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 12/9/2010 6:15:31 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:

Hear me out on this(not literally, of course). I believe Judaism may not be an ethnicity, but simply a culture, and a damn fine one at that. I love all the cultural aspects of Judaism, therefore, I've stuck around since I stopped believing in fairy tales.

So you're an atheist then?

No, I believe in G-d. I also believe our ancestors were much more ignorant about the world around them. Modern science, to me, makes logical sense. Therefore, I can not possibly believe that many of these tales actually occurred, but I do believe there is a common energy that connects all of us. While my defenition of a higher power, or G-d, may be different than other Jews, I am still a Jew.

Actually, I think there's many people who are like that. They believe in a higher power, but don't necessarily believe everything scripture says, although scripture was certainly inspired by that higher power whatever it may be. I probably fit under that category.
gavin.ogden
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12/9/2010 6:51:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 6:43:53 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 12/9/2010 6:40:12 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:
At 12/9/2010 6:17:55 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 12/9/2010 6:15:31 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:

Hear me out on this(not literally, of course). I believe Judaism may not be an ethnicity, but simply a culture, and a damn fine one at that. I love all the cultural aspects of Judaism, therefore, I've stuck around since I stopped believing in fairy tales.

So you're an atheist then?

No, I believe in G-d. I also believe our ancestors were much more ignorant about the world around them. Modern science, to me, makes logical sense. Therefore, I can not possibly believe that many of these tales actually occurred, but I do believe there is a common energy that connects all of us. While my defenition of a higher power, or G-d, may be different than other Jews, I am still a Jew.

Actually, I think there's many people who are like that. They believe in a higher power, but don't necessarily believe everything scripture says, although scripture was certainly inspired by that higher power whatever it may be. I probably fit under that category.

This still allows for the positive feeling, and energy of prayer, while freeing the intellectual mind from being bogged down with scriptures of a less knowledgable time in history. It also allows the mind to absorb new information without walls that ancient scripture erects in our minds.
gavin.ogden
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12/9/2010 8:05:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 7:47:41 PM, twsurber wrote:
Jews are an ethnicity as well as a members of a faith be it Orthodox or Messianic Judaism.

Mesianic Jews are not actually Jews at all. This was originally a movement to convert Jews to Christianity, but was not successful. Instead, it simply served as a way for a few Christians to move closer to what they considered Judaism.
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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12/9/2010 9:13:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/9/2010 6:51:25 PM, gavin.ogden wrote:

This still allows for the positive feeling, and energy of prayer, while freeing the intellectual mind from being bogged down with scriptures of a less knowledgable time in history. It also allows the mind to absorb new information without walls that ancient scripture erects in our minds.

Yes, most definitely.