I hate the term "Cultural Jew"
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24-07-2016, 06:07 PM
RE: I hate the term "Cultural Jew"
(24-07-2016 05:47 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(24-07-2016 05:41 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Please excuse my ignorance , but being Jewish...is that nationality or religion? Or kind of both Consider ?

If it's just nationality then you can be Jewish atheist or Jewish Christian or Muslim or whatever. Right? Is that possible?

If it's a religion, then you can not be both atheist and Jewish.

If it's both...and you are Jewish but an atheist ,then you are a...cultural Jew?

It's a nationality and a religion. You can be Jewish without believing in G-d, just as you can be American without being patriotic. Yes, if you're an atheist and a Jew, you might identify yourself as a cultural Jew.

Thank you for the clarification.

But let me entertain few more ideas on the subject....

If , let's say, I convert to Judaism...would that make me a Jew?

But then , if, after some time being Jewish I become an atheist again , could I then refer to myself as a cultural Jew?

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24-07-2016, 06:25 PM
RE: I hate the term "Cultural Jew"
(24-07-2016 06:07 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  
(24-07-2016 05:47 PM)Aliza Wrote:  It's a nationality and a religion. You can be Jewish without believing in G-d, just as you can be American without being patriotic. Yes, if you're an atheist and a Jew, you might identify yourself as a cultural Jew.

Thank you for the clarification.

But let me entertain few more ideas on the subject....

If , let's say, I convert to Judaism...would that make me a Jew?

But then , if, after some time being Jewish I become an atheist again , could I then refer to myself as a cultural Jew?

Correct. We'd still regard you as a Jew. It's just the same as becoming a citizen of a new country. Regardless of how you become American, once you have citizenship here, you're 100% American until the day you die, even if you later move to North Korea and become a communist.

I managed to offend a bunch of atheists on this site a few months back by suggesting that Jews consider converts to be the exact same as a natural born Jew, as such that if you choose later become an atheist, we would still regard you as a Jew. You could call yourself a cultural Jew, or a Jew, a non-Jew, or an atheist, or anything you want. Really, no one would be keeping tabs on you. Smile
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24-07-2016, 06:26 PM
RE: I hate the term "Cultural Jew"
I'm going to throw a spanner in the works.

Judaism isn't a nationality. Although there is a country in which the majority of the population is of Jewish descent, that country is now called 'Israel' and the nationality of its inhabitants is described as 'Israeli' rather than 'Jewish' because there are also Christian Israelis, Muslim Israelis etc.

Judaism is definitely a religion, but it is also a culture for there are many things we can describe as being 'typically Jewish' which have nothing to do with the religion itself. Even more interesting is that even if Israel were still called 'Judah' and Judaism were a nationality, most of those cultural aspects of modern Jewry have nothing to do with the origins of Judaism in the Middle-East but are holdovers of the diaspora in eastern Europe.

So how do we describe someone who identifies with those cultural aspects but no longer practices the religion? The most common descriptions are 'secular Jew' or 'cultural Jew'.

FWIW, when people ask me if I am Jewish I tell them that I grew up in a Jewish family but am an atheist, for I neither practice the religion nor live my life as a cultural Jew.
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24-07-2016, 06:53 PM
RE: I hate the term "Cultural Jew"
All good points

But as for how we describe people who embrace the culture but not the religion as cultural Jews i still think the title is unneeded and ultimately negative when the term Jew itself is enough without further need to explain or justify ones self

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24-07-2016, 06:54 PM
RE: I hate the term "Cultural Jew"
(24-07-2016 06:26 PM)crocdoc Wrote:  I'm going to throw a spanner in the works.

Judaism isn't a nationality. Although there is a country in which the majority of the population is of Jewish descent, that country is now called 'Israel' and the nationality of its inhabitants is described as 'Israeli' rather than 'Jewish' because there are also Christian Israelis, Muslim Israelis etc.

Judaism is definitely a religion, but it is also a culture for there are many things we can describe as being 'typically Jewish' which have nothing to do with the religion itself. Even more interesting is that even if Israel were still called 'Judah' and Judaism were a nationality, most of those cultural aspects of modern Jewry have nothing to do with the origins of Judaism in the Middle-East but are holdovers of the diaspora in eastern Europe.

So how do we describe someone who identifies with those cultural aspects but no longer practices the religion? The most common descriptions are 'secular Jew' or 'cultural Jew'.

FWIW, when people ask me if I am Jewish I tell them that I grew up in a Jewish family but am an atheist, for I neither practice the religion nor live my life as a cultural Jew.

Judaism considers itself to be a culture, a religion and a nationality (but not a race).

"Judaism can be thought of as being simultaneously a religion, a nationality and a culture."
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsou...ation.html

"The traditional explanation, and the one given in the Torah, is that the Jews are a nation."
http://www.jewfaq.org/judaism.htm

"The Jews (/dʒuːz/;[11] Hebrew: יְהוּדִים ISO 259-3 Yehudim, Israeli pronunciation [jehuˈdim]), also known as the Jewish people, are an ethnoreligious group originating from the Israelites, or Hebrews, of the Ancient Near East. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews
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24-07-2016, 06:58 PM
RE: I hate the term "Cultural Jew"
(24-07-2016 06:54 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(24-07-2016 06:26 PM)crocdoc Wrote:  I'm going to throw a spanner in the works.

Judaism isn't a nationality. Although there is a country in which the majority of the population is of Jewish descent, that country is now called 'Israel' and the nationality of its inhabitants is described as 'Israeli' rather than 'Jewish' because there are also Christian Israelis, Muslim Israelis etc.

Judaism is definitely a religion, but it is also a culture for there are many things we can describe as being 'typically Jewish' which have nothing to do with the religion itself. Even more interesting is that even if Israel were still called 'Judah' and Judaism were a nationality, most of those cultural aspects of modern Jewry have nothing to do with the origins of Judaism in the Middle-East but are holdovers of the diaspora in eastern Europe.

So how do we describe someone who identifies with those cultural aspects but no longer practices the religion? The most common descriptions are 'secular Jew' or 'cultural Jew'.

FWIW, when people ask me if I am Jewish I tell them that I grew up in a Jewish family but am an atheist, for I neither practice the religion nor live my life as a cultural Jew.

Judaism considers itself to be a culture, a religion and a nationality (but not a race).

"Judaism can be thought of as being simultaneously a religion, a nationality and a culture."
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsou...ation.html

"The traditional explanation, and the one given in the Torah, is that the Jews are a nation."
http://www.jewfaq.org/judaism.htm

"The Jews (/dʒuːz/;[11] Hebrew: יְהוּדִים ISO 259-3 Yehudim, Israeli pronunciation [jehuˈdim]), also known as the Jewish people, are an ethnoreligious group originating from the Israelites, or Hebrews, of the Ancient Near East. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews

Good sources Smile

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24-07-2016, 09:28 PM
RE: I hate the term "Cultural Jew"
(24-07-2016 06:53 PM)OrdoSkeptica Wrote:  All good points

But as for how we describe people who embrace the culture but not the religion as cultural Jews i still think the title is unneeded and ultimately negative when the term Jew itself is enough without further need to explain or justify ones self

I vehemently disagree.

I think it's desperately important that there are qualifiers. Ideally these should be self-selected.

I have many discussions with muslims (moreso than with christians for obvious reasons) and often run up against that defensiveness that manifests from identity.

I'm a bigot or a racist or an islamophobe or whatever ... depending on how they identify i.e. from a cultural, traditional, ethic or ideological perspective.

If I pedantically state, "Ah no, I can't be a bigot against an opinion; a bigot is someone who is intolerant toward the person holding that opinion", it falls on deaf ears.

Separating these identity elements is key to domesticating this religion. The more cultural muslims there are (mocktail muslims ©) rather than e.g. Sharia-muslims the better but it's a process of self-identification that will do it, I can only highlight the distinctions.

To this end, terms like "cultural christian" and "cultural Jew" are useful thinking tools to help facilitate this.

(24-07-2016 06:54 PM)Aliza Wrote:  ...
"The traditional explanation, and the one given in the Torah, is that the Jews are a nation."
http://www.jewfaq.org/judaism.htm
...

Westphalia be damned!

Fucking Jews!

Censored

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24-07-2016, 11:58 PM
RE: I hate the term "Cultural Jew"
Good Point

But still disagree i still think in the context of Jews having separate titles is unneeded. As for Muslims it think that's a different matter that needs to be dealt with differently .And as i said i think people should be able to self identify if they like but i find it unhelpful in my cultures context .

Again this is just how i see itSmile

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25-07-2016, 05:04 AM
RE: I hate the term "Cultural Jew"
Ordo - I'm an armchair quarterback. I enjoy watching football from the comfort of my lazy boy recliner.

When the guys at work talk about other quarterbacks, I feel slighted because I don't think they see me as a real quarterback.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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25-07-2016, 06:01 AM
RE: I hate the term "Cultural Jew"
(24-07-2016 06:25 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(24-07-2016 06:07 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Thank you for the clarification.

But let me entertain few more ideas on the subject....

If , let's say, I convert to Judaism...would that make me a Jew?

But then , if, after some time being Jewish I become an atheist again , could I then refer to myself as a cultural Jew?

Correct. We'd still regard you as a Jew. It's just the same as becoming a citizen of a new country. Regardless of how you become American, once you have citizenship here, you're 100% American until the day you die, even if you later move to North Korea and become a communist.

I managed to offend a bunch of atheists on this site a few months back by suggesting that Jews consider converts to be the exact same as a natural born Jew, as such that if you choose later become an atheist, we would still regard you as a Jew. You could call yourself a cultural Jew, or a Jew, a non-Jew, or an atheist, or anything you want. Really, no one would be keeping tabs on you. Smile

This practice rubs me the wrong way entirely. It's saying to a person, you don't get to define yourself, I'm going to define you. Some Christians view me as still Christian because I accepted Jesus as my savior when I was 5 and was eventually baptized; I find that position condescending and offensive. If I knew an American who had renounced their citizenship, moved to N. Korea, etc., I would not call that person an American.

I can understand how someone who does not want to be defined by their ethnic or cultural background would be offended by the term Cultural Jew. I don't want to be called a Cultural Christian, and even though there's an argument that this is an accurate descriptor, I would consider it a deliberate insult, if someone refused to stop calling me a Cultural Christian after I had asked them not to do so.
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