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Author: Urban123 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 22717  
Subject: Confused re:mapletree3 Date: 2/14/2002 10:33 PM
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So, are you an Atheist, or a Jew, or is there some middle ground I am missing here? Can one truly accept their lineage to the 12 tribes but utterly reject the existance of the Almighty?

Way confused.
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Author: mapletree3 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 710 of 22717
Subject: Re: Confused re:mapletree3 Date: 2/15/2002 10:26 AM
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So, are you an Atheist, or a Jew, or is there some middle ground I am missing here? Can one truly accept their lineage to the 12 tribes but utterly reject the existance of the Almighty?

Way confused.


Personally, I'm agnostic rather than atheist. If you had to pin me down I'd say humanist. Perhaps that does count as middle ground. Here's a link to the Reconstructionist FAQ which should answer some of your questions.

http://www.jrf.org/edu/faqs.html

Specifically, one CAN be a Jew and an Atheist. Jew is a culture and a religion; if your mother was Jewish and you were raised Jewish then you are a Jew unless you convert to another religion, I think all the movements agree on that. Even if you decide God doesn't exist and eat shrimp & lobster for every meal. You'd just be a bad Jew.

I know some of the posters on this board don't consider me properly Jewish (although they've been kind enough not to point it out to me directly, for which I thank them) because I did not convert with an Orthodox rabbi. I don't know whether it would be OK for an Orthodox convert to not believe in God or not.

-mapletree

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Author: Silencer2480 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 711 of 22717
Subject: Re: Confused re:mapletree3 Date: 2/15/2002 11:12 AM
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Specifically, one CAN be a Jew and an Atheist. Jew is a culture and a religion; if your mother was Jewish and you were raised Jewish then you are a Jew unless you convert to another religion, I think all the movements agree on that. Even if you decide God doesn't exist and eat shrimp & lobster for every meal. You'd just be a bad Jew.

If your mother was Jewish, no matter how you are raised (though, depending on the circumstances you may not be responsible for fulfilling the mitzvot) or even if you convert away you are Jewish. Period. And if you eat lobster, it makes you less observant, not "bad." IMHO.

I know some of the posters on this board don't consider me properly Jewish (although they've been kind enough not to point it out to me directly, for which I thank them) because I did not convert with an Orthodox rabbi. I don't know whether it would be OK for an Orthodox convert to not believe in God or not.


None of us are fit or arrogant enough to psak the halachic nature of your conversion. Your last comment is an interesting one... usually converts do so b/c they are very interested in the religion/believe it fully. This is not usually something that changes. I think an orthodox convert could revert to his/her pre-conversion ways while still being Jewish, but would fully liable as a knowledgeable jew who does so. Of course, there are halachich authorities, as i alluded to earlier, who are of the opinion that most jewry has the status of "kidnapped children" and are thus not truly liable in halacha.

Silencer


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Author: mapletree3 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 712 of 22717
Subject: Re: Confused re:mapletree3 Date: 2/15/2002 11:49 AM
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If your mother was Jewish, no matter how you are raised (though, depending on the circumstances you may not be responsible for fulfilling the mitzvot) or even if you convert away you are Jewish. Period. And if you eat lobster, it makes you less observant, not "bad." IMHO.

Sorry, I should have qualified that one with a smilie.

I believe you've stated your views on the permanency of Jewishness before. Do you disagree with the 'Father Daniel' decisions regarding the Law of Return? Logically, your position doesn't make sense to me - if one can convert INTO a Jew, surely one should be able to convert away from Judaism in the same way?

-mapletree

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Author: Silencer2480 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 713 of 22717
Subject: Re: Confused re:mapletree3 Date: 2/15/2002 1:47 PM
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I believe you've stated your views on the permanency of Jewishness before. Do you disagree with the 'Father Daniel' decisions regarding the Law of Return? Logically, your position doesn't make sense to me - if one can convert INTO a Jew, surely one should be able to convert away from Judaism in the same way?

Maple,
Judaism is like a citizenship, though much more so. If you are born in America, no matter how much you may disagree with or even hate the country, the fact will never change that america is your place of birth. In some sense you will always be an American, even if you move.
Judaism is more than a religion or a race. It is a state of being. No matter how much the Jew wants to or tries to distance himself from his heritage, a break can never truly be effected (if you want some good material on this, the Tanya of Shneur Zalman of Liadi deals with it). A jew can never stop being a jew, though he could become an apostate.

Father Daniel is a good case. for those who don't know, Father Daniel was born of jewish parents, but b/c of the holocaust and the nazis (yimach shemo) was raised a catholic and became a priest. He applied for Israeli citizenship and was denied it under the law of return. It is a interesting case, and Father Daniel certainly seems a good case of "tinuk she'nishbah" (the "kidnapped child" dealt with in the Talmud). His attempt was denied. Where do I stand on it? Father Daniel is without question Jewish; as mentioned above, this is something which a Jew can never discard. I'm not sure that an ordained catholic priest should be taken back under the right of return. It is an interesting question that i will have to think more about. To my knowledge, he did settle in israel and was eventually naturalized, but I may be wrong in this. as always, none of my opinions are binding in any way.
This is noted that this creates an interesting situation, whereby orthdox/halachic law may recognize someone as jewish whereas the less stringent movements may not (usually it's the opposite). Father Daniel is jewish according to halacha, but would probably not be recognized as such by other movements.

I can clarify any other positions further.

-silencer

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Author: corse Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 716 of 22717
Subject: Re: Confused re:mapletree3 Date: 2/19/2002 5:57 AM
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One of the interesting things about Judaism is the fact that it's always a subject for discussion. Which is why, by the way, there are so many interpretations as to who is a Jew.

I assume that the Almighty new what he was doing when he chose the Jews,
so either we we are the WINNERS, after all WE"VE BEEN CHOSEN.

So to all those who don't have piece of mind as to what is Judaism or who is a Jew, take note..............You can always convert.Judaism was never a Faith for the weak minded nor was it ever ever a Faith that made compromises as to who is a Jew.
Corse

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Author: mapletree3 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 717 of 22717
Subject: Re: Confused re:mapletree3 Date: 2/19/2002 1:20 PM
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So to all those who don't have piece of mind as to what is Judaism or who is a Jew, take note..............You can always convert.Judaism was never a Faith for the weak minded nor was it ever ever a Faith that made compromises as to who is a Jew.

I agree. If you can't handle the fact that there are different factions within Judaism that have different opinions about important subjects - like women in the rabbinate - perhaps it would be best for you to convert to a more monolithic religion such as the Jehovah's Witnesses or Southern Baptists.

-mapletree

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Author: wellergroup Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 718 of 22717
Subject: Re: Confused re:mapletree3 Date: 2/20/2002 10:37 AM
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If you can't handle the fact that there are different factions within Judaism that have different opinions about important subjects - like women in the rabbinate - perhaps it would be best for you to...

I think that the reason that the Reform movement came into existance was just that; they had a different opinion and so created a new movement WITHIN the basic tenents of the religion.

Isn't there a difference between having an opinion and demanding that some of us change, perhaps weaken our observance of mitzvot, because of your opinion.

Anything that results in people leaving the faith is bad.

Sandy

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Author: corse Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 723 of 22717
Subject: Re: Confused re:mapletree3 Date: 2/21/2002 9:23 AM
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Sorry to disagree with you.But it's because people think that there are different factions in Judaism, that we have al those problems....................Women Rabbis for one

Corse

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Author: dovbaer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 724 of 22717
Subject: Re: Confused re:mapletree3 Date: 2/22/2002 1:18 PM
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Shalom Chaverim

Been away for a while, thought I would add $.02.

Women are ordained in every branch of Judaism as Rabbis except the Orthodox, and with people like Blu Greenberg, it's only a matter of time before some Orthodox communities allow women Rabbis as well. Some Orthodox communities will probably never allow it.

I think women should be allowed to be Rabbis because it is an expression of personal freedom for them, and perhaps just as importantly, they have something to contribute that will enrich Judaism.

As far as different factions in Judaism, this has been going on since Biblical times. Juast ask the Karaites. The Orthodox have no Halachic monopoly.

What about the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes? Which of those were the 'real' Jews. How about the Hasidim? They were excommunicated by the Mitnadgim for a century in the late 1700's. Are Hasidim not real Jews?

How about the Lumba tribe in South African. It seems they carry the Kohain gene in the same proportion of their population that the rest of worldwide Judaism does. This is strong evidence that they are directly descended from Aarons family, and even though they are as black as night, they keep kosher and have many traditions that are clearly Judaic in origin. They converted to Christianity centuries ago. So here you have a group of Africans who are arguably biologically Jewish, who are also Christian.

The Falashas of Ethiopia are another example.

And there is no uniformity within the Orthodox community on many issues. What about the Satmars versus the Lubavitchers? Which one of these groups have the authority over Halacha?

Judaism has survived over the centuries because it has managed to be adaptable. In the Talmud, Hillel usually wins over Shamai. So, although we need to guard our heritage, no Jewish group in history has had an eternal monoply on defining who is a Jew, and none ever will.

Dov Baer



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