Judaism, Jewishness and everything you were never taught in school about it.

I've been hanging around for a while, and the amount of ignorance and misinformation abounding around Judaism, Jewishness (not the same thing), and Israel just astounds me.

Because we are an ethnic group that just happens to have a religion attached to it (much like the Japanese) it is entirely possible to be a Jewish atheist -- and I don't think I'm the only one here, although it seems to me that others may be unwilling to come out, because of the rampant hostility that I have seen expressed against us.

I think that this hostility comes from ex-Christians truly not understanding the difference between the definition of a Christian and a Jew, much less the profound cultural differences that exist. Americans in general, which mostly means Christians, haven't a clue about Jewish history, nor approaches to philosophy, nor how we have evolved, nor our world-view. 

So I have a lot of topics in my head to write about -- but I'm also VERY interested in genuine questioning, just so some of you can understand before you attack.

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Replies to This Discussion

1) I addressed the use of the word "goy" in a previous post, so please read that.

2) The meaning of the word "ethnic". The Oxford American dictionary defines it thusly:

  • 1relating to a population subgroup (within a larger or dominant national or cultural group) with a common national or cultural tradition: ethnic and cultural rights and traditions leaders of ethnic communities
  • relating to national and cultural origins: pupils from a wide variety of ethnic origins
  • denoting origin by birth or descent rather than by present nationality: ethnic Indian populations

Jews certainly fulfill those characteristics: except when the Jews lived in their own land, they have always been a subpopulation of other countries, as have the Roma (Gypsies), Native Americans after colonialization, the Ainu in Japan, Muslims in China, etc. Jews certainly have shared national and cultural (and genetic) origins, regardless of what country they live in. And to be a Jew is defined by birth and descent, except in the case of people who intentionally convert -- that can be done in other groups too -- a non-Japanese can take Japanese citizenship, although it is difficult to do. And anyone who would want to convert to Judaism is crazy, but some people do.

Your little screed about them murdering and taking virgin girls and genocide is based on a culture that no longer exists, because it has evolved WAY away from that (and it may be myth to begin with) and has nothing to do with the ethnicity of Jews.

The use of the word "Hebrews" is a Christian way of distancing the people of Biblical times, whom they wanted to respect from modern Jews, whom they have historically hated, although there was a period of time, around WWII when Jews tried to use the word Hebrew to defuse the derogatory nature of the way the word Jew was being used (ex. "to Jew someone down, which is still common in places like Nebraska). My parents' military dogtags said "Hebrew" on them.

My military dog tags said 'Protestant' on it - which really pissed me off - I wan't even close to being a god-damn Protestant. I was in Salt Lake City and that asswipe of a 'recruitor' wanted me to put Mormon on my tags...and I refused....that was none of his frickin business - and that was my only response when asked that question way back in 1965. They all can take a hike then and now. Christians just have this deep seeded hatred and 'power' within them that says something 'religious' MUST be placed on these frickin 'tags'.

My military 'service' didn't begin well from the beginning - and I never adjusted to the constant religious implications that seemed to pop up all the time. I spotted them - when others didn't have a clue.

Of course, then and now, any person in the military should have the right to put anything they want to on their dogtags as far as religion or lack thereof. I'm sorry you had that horrible experience. And I'm sorry that religious people (mostly Christian, because that is the extremely dominant religion in this country, but not restricted to Christians) have infringed on your basic human rights. :-(

// Except when Jews lived in their own land //

And how did that all come about? If you're speaking of Joshua and his shock troops swarming across the River Jordan and killing and murdering entire civilizations 'because God promised this land to us'...is that what you're refering to?

While you dismiss 'that was a long time ago and no longer matters'...you're not pulling the curtain over my eyes. Jews teach those stories in their classes - it's a very important part of their 'teachings'....they know it and so do I. The 'HOLY LAND' is one of the biggest and most carefully crafted ideas in all of Jewish culture. Right along side and fighting tooth and nail are those Christians and those Muslims. Land that is pure crap - dirty and desert - made half way decent by modern day peoples of course - but to fight and murder each other over that crappy piece of real estate - the 'reasons' are based in that old Holy Book - and completely is based on religious beliefs.

Yeah, Stephen, but literally every culture that has ever existed has exterminated and/or exploited other aboriginal inhabitants of the lands which they later claimed as their own.  Every war that is started in modern times progresses through various planning stages, but strangely enough, those plans always seem to favor attacking a people who just so happen to sit on a piece of real estate that the other side wants for one natural resource or another.

  If there wasn't oil in the Middle-east our own military and oil companies would have absolutely no interest in "peace processes in the Middle-east".  So long as Afghanistan sits on top of gold-rich land and more opium than anywhere else in the world, they will never know peace.

  Rome didn't just ask people for their land nicely, did they?  Nor did Nazi Germany (although they were allowed to annex the Sudetenland, as a friendly act of concession--you see how that turned out, don't you?).  Come to think of it the Huns and Mongols also could have benefitted from a few lessons in ettiquette (like at least wear a clean pair of underwear to your next pogram, will you fella?  And hey!  Watch out how rough you get with her, buddy-she's going to be one of your wives one day soon!).  And then there was that little snit we had here in the U.S. of A. with those pesky 500 nations of soul-less barbarians-um excuse me-"Native Americans".  BTW the word "barbarian" means "strange one" in Greek and is a referrence to a person being un-civilized because they were non-Greek and I thought the Greeks were supposed to be hospitable.  Great Brittain also wiped out a bunch of aborigines in Australia and in Africa among the Zulus-come to think of it, I'm not exactly sure that South Africans have always been white and spoken the queen's English... 

 

 Yes the entire Bible contains campaigns against specific people or social movements and instructions to wipe them out. (Just read the New Testament, with the fact in mind that the Marcionite Christians were "socially incovenient" to the emergent "Pauline" movement).  But I still think that it's just more in line with Ms. Sera's intentions for this thread to ask questions about things that might open up your mind about a group of people who have dispersed throughout the whole of the Earth and who have held onto a sort of cultural identity that has evolved to adapt so well alongside so many different cultures, rather than to try and hold them accountable for some fault that they historically share with all other succesfully surviving people/organisms.

Hi Patrick,

I was going to write something very similar to this as to how and why Israel was founded. 

And then there was that little snit we had here in the U.S. of A. with those pesky 500 nations of soul-less barbarians-um excuse me-"Native Americans"

I was also going to mention this. The Israel's also demonize the Arabs in the same way and use this demonization as an excuse to murder. Will humans ever change?

"Will Humans ever change?"

 leveni, have you forgotten?

Our earliest ancestors were not homo sapiens who one day misbehaved and were evicted from a garden. Believing that story can make anyone a pessimist.

They were blue-green algae on the surface of ponds. The larger and stronger algae engulfed (ate) nearby algae.

We are changing, s-l-o-w-l-y. There's reason for optimism, unless we are in a hurry.

:)

Well, you can't deny that the Jewish tribe originated somewhere, and it wasn't Europe, or there wouldn't be the abundant archaelogical evidence of their origin in the Middle East. 4000 years ago, EVERYONE was fighting everyone else -- the killing and murdering was not invented by, nor restricted to Jews, so why are you singling them out? You don't think all those other tribes, like the Nabateans, and the Moabites, and the Canaanites, etc. weren't all fighting among themselves, too?

Also, contrary to your belief, there is good, fertile land along the Jordan river. If there wasn't, no civilization would have arisen there. Also, why do you think that Jewish presence in the area started with Joshua murdering Canaanites? Because the victors in this case happened to be Jewish and happened to survive and preserve their version of history? The history of the area was far more complex than you are making it out to be. You don't know about who else murdered who else, because their histories were not preserved, but that doesn't mean that these things didn't happen. And no, Jewish oral history, later written down as the Tanach, was not entirely based on religious belief. Of course, that is included, but there is a lot more to it than that. It's more like a library of a culture and a complex set of cultural laws intended to govern community life, and is certainly not a book intended to push a religious creed. The New Testament fits that criteria, but the Jewish writings don't. The fact that things have changed radically in 4000 years doesn't change the nature of the writings as considered in the context that they originated.

Natalie - This is not a classroom that goes into every single cultural thing known about past history. It's just not that complicated nor complex.

The 'good' things about the Jewish history has nothing to do with any God.

The bad things all have to do with the 'will' of their God.

Since the first writings of Jews - there has been trouble. We don't speak about 'all those other tribes' because Jews apparently wiped them out completely - and if they had 'writings' and we had them...you can bet we'd be dissecting them to expose their 'GODS' also.

Should a find of Canaanite writings be found - we can have a discussion about them...but this thread is all about Jews. What they've done in the name of their God is what I'm concerned about - past and present.

I'd suggest you stop making excuses for the atrocities committed in the name of Jehovah. We can read and we know the history. far and away to many peol;le living on this planet believe these are the very words of God. That's enough for me to ridicule them without mercy. They give me no quarter - and I return the favor.

 

Why is there DNA specific to Jewish people if they have no ethnic basis?

Hi Prog,

Why is there DNA specific to Jewish people if they have no ethnic basis?

I too am wondering about this.

If Jews are Jews because of religion then there would be no DNA specific to Jews.

But if there was a Jewish race, as Natalie has proposed, then there would be DNA specific to Jews. I don't know of any Jewish DNA.

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