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Jewish Atheists

For Atheists of Jewish origin and others interested in Jewish history and culture.

Members: 82
Latest Activity: 34 minutes ago

Discussion Forum

Am I Still Jewish?

Started by Cecilia. Last reply by Mordekhai ben-Yosef 34 minutes ago. 20 Replies

Letting go of Israel, or The Self-Loathing Jew

Started by Diana D. Last reply by Alan Perlman Apr 15, 2013. 21 Replies

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Comment by jlaz on December 30, 2013 at 1:12am

Michael, I do think it's possible to meet girls who share common interests and who are either outright atheists or who do not care about religion.  In my view it's perhaps a matter of keeping an open mind to a variety of interests, and perhaps also availing yourself of atheist-specific socializing and dating sites.

Comment by Michael Pianko on December 26, 2013 at 12:02am

I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in the north west Detroit suburbs. Now I live on east side of the northern Detroit suburbs. Sometimes I go to meetings of an atheist group which meets in a room they reserve in a restaurant. The last Jewish event I went to was in August 2010. Now how am I going to find a girl who is compatible with me and doesn't care that I don't pay attention to religion? 

Comment by Alan Perlman on December 15, 2013 at 8:56pm

Michael, I don't find you offensive, and your question is a good one.  In the past few years, I've had nothing to do with Judaism (easy in New Hampshire) and have not missed anything.

Comment by Michael Pianko on December 15, 2013 at 2:34pm

I suppose there is no way to say this without seeming so flippantly offensive that you will wish I would die, but I am actually Jewish according to heritage due to pure genetic accident, so why would I want my life to revolve around something that is only due to pure genetic accident? In addition I am one of the few circumcised men who really actually realizes what I am missing. I consider rape a combination between something sexual and violence. So Judaism is my rapist. Now why would I want to go to celebrations or holidays sponsored by my rapist? But the reason you understand that female circumcision should not exist is because it is done is somebody eltses culture. And then you get all hostile and offended at me because I am making you feel guilty about yourself.

Comment by Natalie A Sera on April 15, 2013 at 4:29pm

As far as the assignment given by the NY teacher to defend the proposition that Jews are evil, using Nazi arguments, it makes my blood boil, because had I been one of those kids, I wouldn't even have been able to approach that assignment, because all I could think about then, and now, is that had I been born in a different place and a different era, it could have been ME. You don't EVER ask a student to write about why they, themselves, are evil and should be murdered! And therefore, you don't ask them why any other ethnic group is evil and should be murdered, either. This teacher shows not a lick of common sense, not to speak of empathy, or ethics. There are MANY subjects on which one could write a persuasive essay -- it was totally unnecessary to use this as a topic. I am truly disgusted by the whole affair, and I DO hope the teacher is fired, because someone as thoughtless as this shouldn't be teaching anyone.

Comment by Alan Perlman on April 15, 2013 at 4:20pm

Debra/Brandi,

For 12 years, I was a member of Rabbi Sherwin Wine's founding Humanistic Congregation, in suburban Detroit.  I took his courses, listened to his brilliant sermons -- quite a guy. 

I guess in recent years my increasing skepticism and commitment to truth have led me away from holidays and Judaism in general.  The Passover story simply didn't occur, so all the reworking of the holiday is based on a story. 

The reworking is a modern overlay, something the ancient Hebrew shepherds would not have understood.  But that's OK.  I just think these are things worth thinking about all year.  BTW, many of the same ideas are to be found in Zen and elsewhere.  Check out the Secular Wisdom tab in my blog www.jewishatheist.us .

I've done a lot of Holocaust reading and have many opinions, as, I'm sure, do A/N Jews.  I may start a thread.

 

shalom,

Alan

Comment by jlaz on April 14, 2013 at 11:08pm

Regarding this story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/13/nyregion/albany-teacher-gives-pro...
Students Told to Take Viewpoint of the Nazis
By  JESSE McKINLEY
Published: April 12, 2013


Some decades ago I attended this public high school as a freshman and sophomore.  I liked it, and the teachers, and when I attended a very expensive prep school after, I thought the teachers at Albany High held their own.

On the questionable assignment, I probably would have refused to do it also.

Comment by Grinning Cat on March 25, 2013 at 1:54pm

Some thoughts on Passover and its Four Questions, from Mark Hurvitz's A Growing Haggadah: (emphasis added)

Questioning is a sign of freedom, and so we begin with questions.

To ritualize only one answer would be to deny that there can be many, often conflicting answers. To think that life is only black and white, or wine and Maror, bitter or sweet, or even that the cup is half empty or half full is to enslave ourselves to simplicity.

Each of us feels the challenge to search for our own answers. The ability to question is only the first stage of freedom. The search for answers is the next.

Can we fulfill the promise of the Exodus in our own lives if we do not search for our own answers?

Does every question have an answer? Is the ability to function without having all the answers one more stage of liberation? Can we be enslaved to an obsessive search for the answer?

Many people have reclaimed the holiday in a godless way. A couple of humanist haggadahs I've found:

http://uuja.org/holidays/lit/Humanist_Haggadah.pdf (from Machar -- the Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism)

http://www.eszter.com/Haggadah.pdf (adapted by Eszter Hargittai from the haggadot of Machar and of the City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, New York City)

Comment by sammy on November 15, 2012 at 8:19pm
I would just copy and paste your comment Leila.
Comment by Leila Cook on November 15, 2012 at 7:51pm

I don't really think this group is the place for me.  Sorry to have disturbed you so much Michael with my opinions. 

 

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