LM_NET: Library Media Networking

Previous by DateNext by Date Date Index
Previous by ThreadNext by Thread Thread Index
LM_NET Archive

> Would someone who has dropped the Jewish religion still consider themselves
> a Jew?

Usually. But again, it depends on whom you ask and the circumstance.

Example 1:
Nonpracticing Jews (ie, non-religious Jews) rarely if ever feel that their
lack of religiosity suddenly makes them not Jewish. I, for instance, am
not religious but I still very much consider myself Jewish. But if you
turned to certain ultra-orthodox Jews and asked them if I'm Jewish, they'd
say no way. In fact, many orthodox groups in Israel view the vast majority
of American Jews, who were raised as Reform or Conservative Jews, as being
not Jewish. If you don't follow the strict rules of Torah, so the argument
goes, you're not a Jew. But such views in the US are pretty uncommon.

Example 2:

Some Jews, for various reasons, have dropped their previous convictions
and embraced Jesus as their savior. These people are sometimes referred to
as Messianic Jews or Jews for Jesus. They see themselves as
faithful Jews who also happened to embrace Jesus - in other words, there's
no conflict of interest. Many other Jews, though, are troubled by this and
see it as a paradox. Since the time of St. Paul, Jews who adopted the
following of Jesus became Christians and were thus no longer Jews. You
were either Jewish or Christian - you believe that Jesus is not the
messiah or he is the messiah. It's a really delicate issue that gets a lot
of Jews very upset, since they see Messianic Jews as distorting the faith.

> How about someone not an ethnic Jew but who converts to Judaism?  Would they
> still be considered Jews?

Absolutely. Conversion to Judaism is pretty rare, but assuming you've
completed all of the strict conversion requirements, you're treated as a
full-fledged Jew as if you had been born Jewish. Sammy Davis Jr and Rod
Carew are famous examples. Neither of them
was born Jewish, but because they legally converted, they became Jewish
and are (or were, in the case of Davis) accepted by the Jewish community.

Andy Carvin                         Senior Associate
                               The Benton Foundation

andy@gsn.org               http://edweb.gsn.org/andy
andy@benton.org                http://www.benton.org
Come Visit The EdWeb Project at http://edweb.gsn.org

All postings to LM_NET are protected under copyright law.
To quit LM_NET (or set-reset NOMAIL or DIGEST), send email to:
listserv@listserv.syr.edu   In the message write EITHER:
4) SET LM_NET MAIL  * Please allow for confirmation from Listserv.
For LM_NET Help see: http://ericir.syr.edu/lm_net/
Archives: http://askeric.org/Virtual/Listserv_Archives/LM_NET.html

LM_NET Archive Home