Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
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18-08-2013, 04:57 AM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(18-08-2013 12:15 AM)Dena Wrote:  
(17-08-2013 12:41 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Also, Jewishness (yes I'm making up the word) is passed from the mother.

I don't know if it's a real word but it's used all the time. I myself use it.

Anyway, I don't consider myself "de-converted" as I still appreciate many Jewish values and ideals. I actually even keep kosher. It's quite easy since I gave up meat but I eat on dairy plates, don't eat shellfish or catfish. I'm also a member of two synagogues. I simply don't believe in the existence of any gods, including the Jewish god.

I find it interesting that the OP sits in services and feels annoyed that everyone else actually believes what is written in the Hebrew Bible as truth. Unless you are attending Orthodox shuls, I doubt many of them really do. And up to what point do they believe it? What is their actual perception of god? Do they think of him as the god portrayed in the Hebrew Bible? No, many do not.

Hi Dena, which "Jewish values" do you appreciate? Are they not derived from scripture? If they're not, are they "Jewish," or just what Jews do?
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18-08-2013, 06:54 AM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(18-08-2013 12:15 AM)Dena Wrote:  
(17-08-2013 12:41 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Also, Jewishness (yes I'm making up the word) is passed from the mother.

I don't know if it's a real word but it's used all the time. I myself use it.

Anyway, I don't consider myself "de-converted" as I still appreciate many Jewish values and ideals. I actually even keep kosher. It's quite easy since I gave up meat but I eat on dairy plates, don't eat shellfish or catfish. I'm also a member of two synagogues. I simply don't believe in the existence of any gods, including the Jewish god.

I find it interesting that the OP sits in services and feels annoyed that everyone else actually believes what is written in the Hebrew Bible as truth. Unless you are attending Orthodox shuls, I doubt many of them really do. And up to what point do they believe it? What is their actual perception of god? Do they think of him as the god portrayed in the Hebrew Bible? No, many do not.

Why do you keep kosher?

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-08-2013, 02:23 PM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(18-08-2013 12:15 AM)Dena Wrote:  
(17-08-2013 12:41 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Also, Jewishness (yes I'm making up the word) is passed from the mother.

I don't know if it's a real word but it's used all the time. I myself use it.

Anyway, I don't consider myself "de-converted" as I still appreciate many Jewish values and ideals. I actually even keep kosher. It's quite easy since I gave up meat but I eat on dairy plates, don't eat shellfish or catfish. I'm also a member of two synagogues. I simply don't believe in the existence of any gods, including the Jewish god.

I find it interesting that the OP sits in services and feels annoyed that everyone else actually believes what is written in the Hebrew Bible as truth. Unless you are attending Orthodox shuls, I doubt many of them really do. And up to what point do they believe it? What is their actual perception of god? Do they think of him as the god portrayed in the Hebrew Bible? No, many do not.

Well, to respond to this...

Regardless of whether they believe or not, the people that surround me in services ALL teach their children of the Jewish religion and ideas of God in a literal sense. As a (very young) child, attending Jewish preschool and kindergarden, concepts of God and the stories of the old testament were taught to us in the same manner that all other subjects including basic sciences were taught to us. There was no way to distinguish fact from fiction. I have a very big problem with that.

More specifically, I have a problem with people attending services and praying to a God if they don't believe in it. It just propagates the lies and immoral teachings of the Old Testament. It may stem from peer pressure or uncertainty...But really, if you are a true nonbeliever, why waste the time and energy going to services and praying? I recognize that this makes me a bit of a hypocrite, because I do attend services with my family once or twice a year...but I'm not yet in a good position to come out to my parents as an atheist, so I go along with it (however I do emphasize to my siblings to read the english translations of the Torah and be skeptical). I really do ache to just be honest with them, but I'm not sure if it's worth the potential consequences because I need their support at this time in my life. I'm pretty happy with where I'm at as a human being today, but I always wonder how much better of a child, teenager, and even adult I might be if instead of wasting hours and hours of my youth praying (in Hebrew, which I didn't understand), I was instead guided to be charitable and volunteer with that wasted time. Jewish people preach about being charitable to those less fortunate, but as a child, me and my "hebrew school" peers were shown by example that many people consider it moral enough to talk the talk without actually walking the walk.

Does that help explain my point of view?
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18-08-2013, 03:09 PM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(18-08-2013 02:23 PM)Recovery Wrote:  More specifically, I have a problem with people attending services and praying to a God if they don't believe in it. It just propagates the lies and immoral teachings of the Old Testament. It may stem from peer pressure or uncertainty...But really, if you are a true nonbeliever, why waste the time and energy going to services and praying?

I was taught than even if you don't get anything out of sitting in services and reciting prayer, the person next to you might get something out of your presence and that is what actually matters (prayer isn't for god anyway, it's for people). Have you heard the thing about, why does Moshe go to synagogue to pray? To talk to God. Why does George go? To talk to Moshe. I'm paraphrasing here but you get the idea. For many people it's about socializing and community. Some like the tradition of it. I read the article a few months ago written by an atheist who tried a humanist congregation. He hated it. He went back to his old conservative place because he liked wrestling with the things he found troubling in their service. He didn't actually realize that until he tried something else. It's not really my cup of tea but I can sorta understand what he means. It gives him something to think about whereas if he agree with it all, there wouldn't be anything to mull over.

(18-08-2013 02:23 PM)Recovery Wrote:  I was instead guided to be charitable and volunteer with that wasted time. Jewish people preach about being charitable to those less fortunate, but as a child, me and my "hebrew school" peers were shown by example that many people consider it moral enough to talk the talk without actually walking the walk.

I'm sorry that was your experience. I do think it's difficult to get people to volunteer for various events because they feel so overwhelmed with daily life already. My congregations have an abundant number of retired persons so there are many volunteers but even so, more would be helpful. I don't notice anyone my age (31) but they are probably busy with their career and children. When I participate in volunteer events I'm usually by far the youngest. Well, actually the other day I helped with our homeless program and there was a girl there about 22 years old but normally, I'm the youngest.

(18-08-2013 02:23 PM)Recovery Wrote:  Does that help explain my point of view?

A little bit, yes.
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18-08-2013, 03:36 PM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(18-08-2013 04:57 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Dena, which "Jewish values" do you appreciate? Are they not derived from scripture? If they're not, are they "Jewish," or just what Jews do?

Jewish values tend to overlap with other values. You don't have to be Jewish to figure them out but since I am Jewish, I tend to think of them in the Jewish context. A few examples...

Tikkun Olam - repairing the world (many things would follow under this)

Bikkur Holim - visiting the sick (I did this as a volunteer for about 2.5 years)

Tzedekah - usually translated as "charity" but justice is a more suitable translation as "charity" leads one to believe it's option. It isn't. Giving money, clothing and donations to the poor would fit under this category.

Lashon Hara - translated as gossip or evil speech which is to be avoided. Something I should keep in mind when I am tempted to go ranting about creationists being dumb fucks who couldn't find their way out of a paper bag.

Shalom bayit - peace in the home. This is uh, sometimes a challenge for married couples but it's a goal. Tongue

Tzar Baalei Chayim - pertains to cruelty to animals. Under this category is a ruling that one must feed their animals before themselves. Different people will interpret this idea based on what they have been taught or experienced. For me, it means not eating meat and only buying humanely raised meat for my husband (I would prefer he didn't eat it but for the sake of shalom bayit mentioned above, I do buy it for him).
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18-08-2013, 09:23 PM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
Hi Recovery, and welcome.

I just finished reading this book by two Israeli archaeologists which you might find enlightening. The essays in the book were actually presentations to a Jewish society in 2005. There were a few points in the book where the authors specifically state that the early Israelite historicity "cited" in the Bible is merely a fictional saga, and that most biblical scholars know and accept this.

One of the authors also cited this article from 1999: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/704190/posts

Additionally, the point they raise, and echoed by Rabbi David Wolpe in his 2001 Passover sermon, that the lack of historicity is unrelated to the message in many of the stories: to have hope in a crappy world.

Also, in my book (link available in my signature line) I have a Hebrew Testament chapter that covers most of the major doctrines/stories and their legitimacy.

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18-08-2013, 10:51 PM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(18-08-2013 02:05 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(17-08-2013 12:41 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  ...
That's also because Jews in general don't actively try to convert people to their religions the way Christians and Muslims will. Also, Jewishness (yes I'm making up the word) is passed from the mother. In other words, a Jewish woman may marry a non-Jew and her children will still be Jewish. If a man marries a non-Jew, his children must be converted -- to be considered Jewish. It's all or nothing.

Also the holocaust did a lot of damage -- I've known a few people who completely renounced their Jewish faith out of fear. They never told their children they were Jewish.
...

Yes.

^^^ My family history.

Didn't know until I was 33 (the day of my wedding).

Shocking

Oh wow! Was it difficult learning that?


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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18-08-2013, 11:21 PM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(18-08-2013 10:51 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(18-08-2013 02:05 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Yes.

^^^ My family history.

Didn't know until I was 33 (the day of my wedding).

Shocking

Oh wow! Was it difficult learning that?

My brother called me to say that my mum's older sister had got a bit tipsy at the wedding and let it slip.
My mother didn't even know (I think she was maybe 2 or 3 year's old when the family fled Austria).

My bro said, gleefully, "Hey, bro! You're Jewish!"

I was like...

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Then I was like...

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and then a thought struck me ...

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But then I remembered I was intact and I was all like...

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