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What Is a Jew?

Are we a religion, a nation, a race, or something else altogether?

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Published: March 29, 2014

Produced by Dovi Halpern and Michael Tintner, founders of Sinai Speak.com a Jewish initiative dedicated to uniting the best speakers in the Jewish world to spread their wisdom through short, inspirational videos on the same common platform.

The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 52

(38) joseph Ergas, August 11, 2015 9:12 PM

the jewish family

exelent! now I have a answer to all the questions!!!!

(37) Barajas, July 21, 2015 6:26 PM

A JEW IS NOT A NATIONALITY, BUT A MISSION!
.We do not yet feel this crisis to such an extent, but we already understand that we have no leverage to correct it, and are not able to control it. Humanity is helpless before this crisis and cannot cope with it. This is the crisis of the family, of a person’s relationship to the world, to his neighbor, to his children, and to nature.

This is a crisis of nature itself, of climate. We are losing hope for life, the form of our existence, its purpose. People are gripped by such despair that they don’t understand what to live for. And here, there is an opinion, gradually formed in the world that the whole problem is in the Jews, and namely in Israel …

This hatred of the Jews, the usual anti-Semitism and the newborn “anti-Israelism,” will not stop, but will only increase. One must understand that these grievances against the Jews come from nature itself. Therefore, we must examine them and find out how “fair” they are.

If we refer to the sources with this question, i.e., the wisdom of Kabbalah, which is the true Torah, the basis of the nation of Israel, its creation and organization thousands of years ago, we will see that the grievances are correct.

Kabbalah explains why the nations of the world hate Israel. After all, it should be a light to all the nations, it should shine to all seven billion. It is his duty, for which it exists on this earth.

There is no such nationality as “Jew”! There are French, Spanish, Russian, British, but the people of Israel are no ordinary people. Anyone in the world who wants to convert to Judaism and join the people of Israel, becomes a Jew. He supports unity (Ehud) and hence is called a Jew (Yehudi).

(36) Anonymous, July 20, 2015 3:27 PM

Judaism is an Individual Inheritance of Torah and Philosophy

Rabbi, with all respect, I think you need to re-examine your conclusion.
We learn from the Torah that being a B'nai Yisroel is a Yerusha, an inheritance. We inherited the Torah and Philosophies of our forefathers given by H'shem. This is an important difference from just a "family" because, like with things you inherit, each individual gets to chose whether to accept it or not (free will). For those who chose to accept their inheritance, we call them practicing Jews and for those who chose not to accept, we call those non-practicing Jews (or Apacorsim).
Of course, non-Jews have a choice as well regarding the Laws of Noach, or if they choose, they can accept the yoke of Torah and join those who serve H'shem together with other Jews. Their descendants will then share in our Yerusha as Jews. If, however, a "convert" then chooses not to continue to accept the inheritance, unlike non-observant heriditary Jews, then their status may return to that of a non-Jew and, unlike an adopted child, they are no longer consider among the B'nai Yisroel.
I hope this might help clarify our status as Jews.

(35) Lea, July 19, 2015 4:52 PM

urgent needed: repair

What a misser!!
You got stuch with the needle at Bne Yisrael? If you read a bit more you will arrive at the words Am and Goy Kadosh and Mamlechet. That means we are first and foremost a NATION, derived from a family. With a nation belongs a country: a specific country only and a specific language only. You got stuch with your needle in the grove of the galut, the diaspora, a temporary punishment fot he jewish nation. Please repair your needle and your tune

(34) Anonymous, January 15, 2015 2:42 AM

Made me cry!

Excellent!!! Made me cry, so well put!
- a 'non-religious' member of the 'family'

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