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Started by Cecilia. Last reply by Freethinker31 9 hours ago.
Started by jlaz Jun 2, 2013.
Started by Diana D. Last reply by Alan Perlman Apr 15, 2013.
I wonder if there are any Israeli humanist/atheist groups or activities here. I haven't found any...
Interesting, Sophia! When I was still a believer, I lived in Japan and married a Japanese man who converted to Judaism (even though I never asked him to do it), and we were married at the Tokyo Jewish Community Center in Tokyo by Rabbi Marvin Tokayer, who is quoted in that article. There were still a good number of Jews in Tokyo at that time (1970), who had escaped from the Nazis. I remember having lunch after the morning Shabbat service, and listening to them singing the old songs they had brought from Europe. However, they were making sure that their children managed to get to the US, if at all possible, or else Europe or Israel, so I'm sure that the escapee Jewish community there is dying out if not already dead. On the other hand, there must surely be Israelis who work there, and probably Lubavitchers (you find them EVERYWHERE), so maybe the community center is still there.
David, I'm so sorry you had that experience. Fundies are fundies, no matter what their religious roots, and are NOT known for any concept of the basic humanity of all people, let alone respect for anyone but their own group. I shouldn't hate anyone, but I do hate fundies of any stripe, primarily because they insist on forcing their views on the rest of us :-(
I have had contact with Chasidic groups in Los Angeles, in Katmandu, Nepa, and in Grodno, Belarus, and they have no problem considering me Jewish -- first off, they want money from me, and second, if I would follow their ways, they would be only too eager to marry me off to some schmuck. Neither proposition is acceptable to me!! LOL!!
David, who do they consider to be Christians? Although the real issue is non-Jews, not specifically Christians. Not me, because I was born of a Jewish mother. Halacha, the Jewish law they practice, says anyone born of a Jewish mother is Jewish regardless of the father. On the other hand, if the mother is NOT Jewish, the child is not, either, even if the father IS Jewish. If the mother converts before the child is born, then the child IS Jewish.
This interpretation is a very old tribal custom from the Torah, and written down as much as 3000 years ago, although it was probably practiced much earlier.
As for me, I don't care what they think of me -- I know who I am, and where I came from, and what parts of Judaism are acceptable to me, and what parts I reject. I am unacceptable to them for reasons of practice, not birth, and they would be only too glad to bring me into their fold, if only they COULD!!! LOL!!
But you have to admit it's EASIER to have one national language. In the countries you mentioned, most of the time, the speakers of minority languages must invest hundreds or thousands of hours into learning the majority language (Canada is officially bilingual, but in most of those other countries, there is an official national language, which is what is used in education to the exclusion of all others). Of course, I'm an Esperantist, and believe in a (relatively) easy world second language for all, so that we can all communicate on the equal plane of using an acquired rather than native language. And yes, I'm a hopeless idealist, and I was supposed to outgrow that a long time ago.
My reason for believing that I have Semitic roots is that I come from a Cohen on one side and a Levi on the other, and these have been genetically proven to be truly Semitic. (I'm gonna get you to spell that right one of these days! :-) ) But even if I didn't, Jewish history onward from before the time of Jesus is well documented, and there is no reason to think that we DON'T have Semitic ancestry. The history and culture are continuous. Looks don't indicate anything after a few generations -- yet my grandfather, an aunt and an uncle and cousins on my mother's side look VERY Middle Eastern, and so did my grandmother on my father's side. So I don't see any reason to deny what the history says.
Also, did you know that population studies have shown Ashkenazi Jews to be more similar to Arabs than to Europeans in several factors? ABO blood groupings, for example, show different percentages from European populations. There are others which I can't quote.
In sum, I acknowledge the European Christian and Turkic (possibly Muslim) and earlier pagan sides of my ancestry, but I'm really not interested in that part of it, and AM interested in the Jewish part of it, and where they came from. The history is there, it's in writing, and I don't have the language skills to read it, but I find no reason not to believe what the scholars are telling me.
(And parenthetically, my son is half-Japanese, and he's not interested in either the Jewish side, OR the Japanese side -- he's an atheistic American!!)
Again, you are free to explore whatever part of your heritage that interests you -- in the end ALL human heritage is ours to partake of!
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