Is Judaism a Race, Religion, Family or Nation?

What defines the Jewish People?

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Comments (13)

(11) Ronaldo Rede Miranda, June 14, 2019 6:26 PM

My name os Ronaldo I am descendent off Jude Tankays of canal

(10) Alex oyenmuwa, May 31, 2018 7:58 AM

Great lesson

I love be a part of your student

(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.

(4) Leah, January 4, 2018 4:05 PM


Thank you. It is am interesting question and an excellent answer.

(3) Anonymous, January 4, 2018 3:42 PM

Are Jews an ethnic group?

Interesting viewpoint, but since Ancestry and 23andme can determine a connection to Ashkenazy Jews and that genetics can detect the Jewish male Y chromosome in certain African communities claiming Jewish ancestry, tracing them back to the Hebrews, it seems like that is a good case for Jews to be an ethnic group besides a general belief system.

Janice, January 4, 2018 7:01 PM

Whi is Jewish

Excellent point! Why didn’t I think of that in my comment? Duh!

(2) Jim Wherry, January 4, 2018 2:27 PM

Roman Relationship to Judaism

It was interesting to learn that at one time, nearly 10% of the Roman Empire was Jewish. It was one of the "eastern religions" that had caught on in many parts of the Empire. When Hadrian began to persecute Jews - I believe it was Hadrian - some of those Jews had been so for generations. Some may have chosen to convert to other religions, but many had joined the faith and would be for thousands of years.

(1) Anonymous, January 1, 2018 2:48 PM

None of the above.

We, the Jewish people, are in a relationship with our husband in heaven. That's it.

Malka, April 14, 2019 6:52 PM

You mean Father

He is our father, our King, and He isn't in Heaven; He is all around


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