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Jewish Atheists

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

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Started by Freethinker31. Last reply by Freethinker31 Sep 19, 2014. 4 Replies

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Comment by Ralph Dumain on January 13, 2011 at 11:06pm
Unless you're concerned about what diseases you are genetically susceptible to, what does it matter what your genetic lineage is? You know, that old theory about the khazars was circulating in the 19th century, if not before. And so?
Comment by Michael Pianko on January 13, 2011 at 3:18pm

Sholem moT.  As for being Semetic, I don't think I am.  I think my ancestors were probably slavic speaking peoples or possibly turkic speaking peoples who got converted to Judaism in E. Europe sometime between the 800's and 1300's.  Then, as German speakers migrated east, these Jews language got mostly relexified with middle high german words and a little bit relexified with Old Hebrew words, and retained some Slavic words and the original underlying slavic grammar or language structure and aspectual system. 


The term Ashkenazic is occasionally used to refer to the ethnic group that originated in E. Europe and historically spoke a secular language called Yiddish and followed the Jewish religion (which contained/contains some customs and superstitions that were actually borrowed and adapted from the neighboring slavic peoples).  


Ben Yehuda revived modern Israeli Hebrew because him and some Jewish intellectuals hated the idea that the jews were living outside Israel, and the needed to revive Hebrew in order to use it to transform the Jews into a semetic people who belong in Israel and not in Europe.  There were some Jews native to the muslim countries, and also about 18 different Jewish dialects in existence, which probably each correspond to a historically separate, genetically unrelated ethnic group that got converted to Judaism.  But before WWII, 2/3 of the Jews in the world were Ashkenazic.  The second biggest group were the ones that had a langauge called Ladino (similar to spanish from around the 1400's -1600's, with some Old Hebrew words replacing spanish words, and written in a Hebraic derived alphabet).  


I don't think most Jews are Semetic.  A few might be, but just a few.   

Comment by Michael Pianko on December 27, 2010 at 9:29pm
And another thing, what nobody seems to want to acknowledge, is Jewish ritual infant penile mutilation, which should not exist and this should have nothing to do with being Jewish, because it is just WRONG to cut off or damage in any way your son's genitals just because you are afraid not to because the virus of Judaism says to do this.  Now, when I finally manage to get a girlfriend (who hopefully will not be Jewish, because in case I have a son I will not allow him to be circumcised or hurt in any way), I will realize I shouldn't have even bothered with her, because my penis is too skinny because I was circumcised, and my glans have no sensation, and I'm missing over half the nerve endings in my penis that men are supposed to have.
Comment by Michael Pianko on December 27, 2010 at 9:24pm

If I say I'm Jewish, people might think I believe in the religion, so if people ask about my religion or ethnicity, I now say that my family is Jewish but I'm an atheist and I don't do any part of the religion.  If I don't say I'm an "atheist" I still say I I'm not religious and don't believe in a god or that i know god is imaginary. 


I may be less interested in Jewish culture than the Humanistic Jews, just because I don't have or know I should have no guilt whatsoever about not doing anything Jewish, and I don't think I have to invent new secular reasons why the old meshugas, time-wasting rituals are somehow still necessary to do, and I know god or HaShem doesn't care what I do because god is imaginary. 


Just last Dec. 24, at the grocery store I work at, food was provided in the break room for the employees, and I ate half of a shrimp and a few bites of ham, just to see what i had been missing and just so I could tell people what I ate and boast that 'see, I ate treyf nothing bad happened to me, god is imaginary', not that saying this to my fellow ethnic Jews and family is polite.   

Comment by Ralph Dumain on December 27, 2010 at 8:59am
In the USA, most active in the USA are ex-Christians, and they tend to be as provincial and ignorant as they were when they were Christians.
Comment by Prog Rock Girl on December 27, 2010 at 8:56am
I'm reluctant to tell people that I am a Jew and an atheist b/c I've so often gotten lectures about how I'm not really a Jew if I'm an atheist. Really gets on my nerves b/c I've also been lectured by relatives by saying I'm not Jewish.
Comment by Ralph Dumain on December 27, 2010 at 1:02am
Sounds like some folks were more rigorously religiously indoctrinated than others and feel a greater need to rebel. Primarily, Jews are an ethnic group or supergroup of ethnic groups. That's how one can remain a Jew and be an atheist. But as for Jewish culture, this varies wildly on age and circumstance. In the USA, no ethnic culture is what it was 40 years ago, & even less like what it was 60 years ago. Ethnic identity and certain appurtenances like cuisine persist generations after the cultural content that made it distinctive has evaporated. Ultimately, who you feel you are and where you want to be is what will matter to you, whether it fits wholly or partly or nont at all into an ethnic pattern.
Comment by Michael Pianko on December 24, 2010 at 4:39pm

Another thing: I don't do Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur, and I certainly don't fast.  I skipped hanukah this year, because nobody was going to see me light candles, and I know god does not care because HaShem is imaginary.  I can read prayerbook Hebrew but I can't speak any Israeli conversational Hebrew.  I do have a degree in Yiddish literature.  i don't really care about Isrel, and I think my ancestors were turkic or slavic speaking psople who got converted to Judaism in E. Europe, somewhere between the 800's and 1300's.  Later, their language got mostly relexified with Middle german and a little old Hebrew vocabulary but retained the original grammar of whatever slavic dialect they spoke.


Every so often I eat treyf on purpose just to remind myself that the idea that there really is a god, especially a god who cares what we eat, is totally imaginary.  Today, for example, at the grocery store I work at, there was food provided for the employees in the break room, and I had a shrimp and a little ham.  I've also tried scallops, swordfish, and oysters, just so I could call my brother and see his reaction when I told him I ate treyf.     

Comment by Michael Pianko on December 24, 2010 at 4:30pm

I'm not even sure I care about a Jewish culture (even) without god or religion.  I really thought I was the only ethnically Jewish person who realizes that god is imaginary and davening is a bizarre waste of time. 


The thing I hate most about being from a Jewish family is that my genitals were damaged in that Jewish ritual infant penile mutilation ceremony called a bris done to myself and most other Jewish boys (and without our permission!) on our 8th day.  I want genitals like those of a completely un-circumcised man.  I want nothing to do with a culture that hates sexuality and actually does penile reduction surgery to its sons.   

Comment by Jeffrey Falick on September 21, 2010 at 2:05pm
Hi there! I'm a secular humanistic rabbi and author of the blog,! Please visit it when you get a chance!

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