There are several kinds of Jews: Athiest, Secular, Reform,
Reconstructionist, Conservative, Orthodox, Ultra-Orthodox, etc.
Into which camp do you feel most comfortable or to whose tenets do you
To answer your question, I choose (A) and (B) from your list.
IOW, I'm a Jew who grew up eating ham sandwiches (made by my mother*).
* Who actually wasn't Jewish herself--well, was by affinity but not by
birth--so therefore I don't qualify as a "real" Jew by some standards,
like those imposed by the state of Israel.
Comment on quaint Usenet customs, from Usenet:
To me, the *plonk...* reminds me of the old man at the public hearing
Er...not exactly "imposed by the state of Israel". Again you betray
your (a) prejudice or (b) ignorance, or maybe both.
First: Some Reform rabbis have ruled that Judaism can be passed on via
the father. So you qualify as a "real" Jew -- if interested.
Second: Your opinion that qualifying as a "real" Jew is a standard
imposed by the State of Israel is quite inaccurate!
These standards are imposed -- to the disgust and fury of most
Israelis -- by an entrenched, geriatric religious bureaucracy that has
a stranglehold on births, deaths, marriages, all life situations.
Some situations are so egregious that the Israeli person-in-the-street
is reaching the boiling point. E.g, an IDF soldier who died fighting
for his country was denied a religious burial by the entrenched ultra-
Orthodox rabbinic establishment because they deemed his conversion to
have been non-kosher.
I don't have a crystal ball to see how this "church/state" situation
is going to be resolved, but it is a profound and troubling question
that has deep implications for Israel, which was founded as a Jewish
state, yet sees itself as a Western democracy.
Where is Solomon, now that Israel needs a workable decision that
preserves its character as a Jewish state!
There's more. Even a "Reform Jew" must adhere to living a Jewish life and
not being a "closet" Jew. That is, identifying with the people of Israel.
Yes. The state defers on matters of "status" to established and registered
religions. These matters of status include marriage, divorce, inheritence,
adoption, death, and a few others. We do that here when the state authorizes
religions to perform marriages.
Huh? It can be, and is, both.
Ah, that's where you miss the target. The most Reform Jew and the most
Orthodox have no trouble understanding that the other is Jewish. As for
character, how true is the mantra: "When you get two Jews together, you get
three opinions." Imagine what it is like with 8 million Jews in one place!
Discord, thy name is Israel.
Nor do you qualify by Judaism as practiced for several thousand years.
According to the received Jewish law, one is a Jew who:
a) Was born of a Jewish mother, or
b) Converted to Judaism according to Halacha (Jewish law).
The Reform movement (and Reconstructionist) movements consider one to be a
a) One parent was Jewish, and
b) The person lives a Jewish life.
Inasmuch as the group decides on its membership, not a supplicant, you are,
therefore, not a "real" Jew in the eyes of the Jewish community. And since
you do not identify with the people Israel, you are not even a mock Jew by
Reform or Reconstructionist standards.
Sorry. You're a Unitarian.
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