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Is Judaism a Race, Religion, Family or Nation?

What defines the Jewish People?

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Visitor Comments: 10

(9) Anonymous, January 9, 2018 3:58 AM


In addition, I believe we are a "people" because of our DNA and our blood. Those who convert are welcomed as Jews, but they will be considered as part of the Jewish religion, not as part of the people

(8) Anonymous, January 4, 2018 10:00 PM

Enjoyed it, Thank you

haRav Hirsch described Judaism as a "theonomy" which surely answers the actual question Rabbi Becher asks,
All "-isms" find a base in some way inside Judaism as the Divine way of living has no ONE human system which encompasses it.

(7) George Matyjewicz, January 4, 2018 8:27 PM

Is Judaism a Race, Religion, Family or Nation?

Before I become Jewish, I used to argue with my sister-in-law who said we were a nation. Well a nation as we know it today has borders, and Judaism does not. You answered the Race question. Family is good, but I would like to add one more - a Tribe. We are a tribe - we may not know from which of the twelve tribe do we belong, but still we are a tribe. The Oxford dictionary define "tribe" as: "A social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader." Our leader is Hashem, everything else fits. (Note that I use Oxford rather than Miriam-Webster dictionary.)

(6) Carolyn A Stewart, January 4, 2018 7:00 PM

Who We Are as Jews

This is an excellent video summarizing who we are as Jews. The presentation was clear, concise, and comprehensive.

(5) Anonymous, January 4, 2018 6:59 PM


What a wonderful explanation. Thank you. I have had many discussions on this theme with friends, family, and colleagues. Why in so many discussions in which different nationalities are mentioned, “Jewish” is included, but Catholic, Protestant, or Muslim is not? As in - “ an Irishman, an Italian, and a Jew walk into to a bar...”

As an atheist I still consider myself a Jew by culture. I still think that a person who converts, is a Jew by religion, but can never become Jewish by ethnicity. I am probably more “Jewish” than a convert who is religious. I am extremely proud of my heritage, proud that we are represented among so many Nobel Pride winners, a vast majority of whom are of Ashkenazi ethnicity(?), and many of whom are secular Jews, and almost none of whom are Orthodox or Hasidic.

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