Jews

Discussion in 'History' started by arauca, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    I should note, there are plenty of practising Jews who openly admit the absurdity of seeking more evidence for the reliability of a used car than for an invisible omnipotent being on whose basis they're making long-term lifestyle choices. There are plenty of people amongst all the faiths who go through the motions but are really sitting on the fence with their own doubts, perhaps some of them simply don't care to know either way.
     
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I haven't seen the assertion but if someone has statistics I wouldn't doubt it. It's hardly remarkable.

    It's time to remember that Judaism is a religion of laws, not doctrine. Keeping kosher, respecting the Sabbath, honoring the dead in the prescribed ways, observing the most sacred holidays like Yom Kippur, and practicing the other rituals such as having a mezuza by the door to kiss... any member of the community who does these things more-or-less reliably is counted as a Jew. If he does not believe in supernatural creatures and other phenomena, this is simply a matter for spirited debate... as long as he doesn't do something outrageous like standing up at a Friday night service and shouting, "You're all idiots, God is imaginary!"

    So atheism or agnosticism does not automatically disqualify one from being counted as a Jew. It may, however, result in frequent visits from the local rabbi to try to convince one by logic and reasoning that God exists.

    Refer back to my earlier post with the three definitions of "Jewish." Israel is a Jewish community and embraces people who satisfy any of the three definitions. Although Zionism was founded by people who satisfied the religious definition, this was largely overwhelmed by the postwar refugees, who only needed to satisfy the ancestry definition to have been targeted by the Holocaust--and a garbled version of that definition to boot.

    My Jewish great-grandparents did not lose their religious faith due to education. They abandoned their cultural identity in order to become members of a community who welcomed them and treated them as equals. Few of us alive today in the USA (well those of us who have light skin, anyway) and other more-or-less modern Western countries can imagine what life was like for Jews in Europe 150 years ago, so we can't imagine what it felt like to set foot on Ellis Island and be matriculated by a government agent who didn't give a damn about their ancestry or religion.

    My conversations with people who attended Jesuit universities indicate that their view of religion is more akin to that of the Reform Jewish rabbis: justify it by logic, not just faith; and please put more effort into being a good citizen than a good Catholic--after all, isn't that what Jesus wants anyway? We now have the first Jesuit Pope, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out on a larger canvas.

    Yes, at least by what I see as the relevant definition of "Jewish." They allow anyone to claim citizenship who satisfies the Law of Return (must have a Jewish mother), and do not ask questions about faith or politics. Mrs. Fraggle went there as a tourist (long before I met her) and they were constantly pleading with her to emigrate. Her mother was Jewish by ancestry but not by culture, religion or choice of community. She was raised Episcopalian and is now a Buddhist.

    It's usually transliterated tefillin, plural of tefillah. In older, scholarly works you might see it as tephillin since the letter Fe in Ancient Hebrew is transcribed as PH rather than F, same as Greek phi.

    Estimates vary since polls are unreliable, but very roughly five percent of the U.S. population identify ourselves as atheists in private polls. Since atheism correlates highly with level of education, and since the Jewish community taken as a whole has a high average level of education, I would reasonably assume that a considerably larger fraction of that population are atheists.

    Nonetheless, remember that one can be a member in good standing of almost any American temple (surely excluding the Chassidim) without having to believe in the supernatural aspects of the Jewish religion, but merely obeying the Jewish laws. So there are surely a large number of Jewish atheists who don't keep a high profile since they love latkes and gefilte fish.

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    Having known a few Israeil expats, I'd guess more.

    No, but "Catholic" is strictly a religious identification, not an ethnonym or demonym. "Jewish," as I explained at greater length in my earlier post, is a confusing name with three overlapping definitions. After all, there is a large population of Muslim Israelis--so many that the Jews worry (based on simple mathematics) that they will become the majority in another generation or two.

    Originally, "Jewish state" meant nothing more or less than a place where Jews (by any definition of the word) would always be safe from persecution. (If not from attacks by hostile neighboring states and by the people who thought it was their homeland.) That is, after all, the reason for its founding. The Europeans were so profoundly sorry for the way they had treated the Jews for 2,000 years, culminating in the Holocaust, that they were willing to do anything to apologize. Anything, that is, except let them move back into their own countries. So instead, the British gave them someone else's country, in a gesture that I refer to as "The moribund British Empire's final extended middle finger to the rest of the world," as we now have one refugee population fighting with another and virtually everyone else taking sides.

    Jews aren't the only people, of whom many casually identify with a religion because of family, community or culture, without devoting much serious thought to it.
     
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  5. arauca Banned Banned

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    The Jew with out religion is bound to extinction !!!!!!!!!!! It will become like the 10 lost tribe that vanished
     
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  7. spidergoat Venued Serial Memberlist Valued Senior Member

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    So what? Who cares?
     
  8. arauca Banned Banned

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    Come, If they become extinct , there will not be mazoball, blinze , Mogan David wain , Mazo and other traditional goodies , there will not be Klezmer music . Yo are just a bak kaik
     
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Many Jewish elders say that the greatest existential threat to Jews today is assimilation. The fragmented history of China's Jewish community supports this fear.

    From time to time, a group of Jews in the Diaspora traveled east and ended up in China. They had the virtually unprecedented experience of being accepted unremarkably. This was due to the fact that they believed in cleanliness, taught their children to read, obeyed the laws, paid their taxes and ran their businesses competently and fairly. As far as the Chinese were concerned, they weren't much different from themselves. China was already a rather cosmopolitan empire, so there was no discrimination, no enmity toward this new group. Their neighbors treated them just fine and they were accepted as colleagues and friends.

    Within a few generations, they intermarried with the Chinese and disappeared as a distinct community, leaving behind only a few traces of their existence, such as a re-purposed synagogue here and there, or a great-great-grandchild with a very un-Chinese-looking nose.

    Today's Jewish elders in the United States fear the same thing. As I noted in another discussion, my grandfather's parents were Jews in Europe, but when they landed in the USA and were matriculated by a government agent who wasn't even remotely interested in their ancestry and religion, they immediately started speaking English and attending a Christian church. Many American Jews have similar experiences, although not so abrupt. Why make a big deal out of being Jewish in a place where nobody seems to care?

    Intermarriage is common, keeping kosher and not working on the Sabbath are honored only in the breach, and many American Jews only see the inside of a temple during Passover and Yom Kippur--very much like American Christians who only go to church on Easter and Christmas.

    The Melting Pot accepts everyone... eventually.

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    Many Americans absolutely hated the Irish immigrants in the late 19th century--even though, unlike virtually all other immigrant groups, they were native speakers of Englsh. Yet 80 years later, one of our most beloved Presidents bore an almost comically stereotypical Irish name: John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

    We already have a President of African ancestry. Some day we'll have a Jewish President.
     
  10. spidergoat Venued Serial Memberlist Valued Senior Member

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    None of those are the Jewish religion. We would still have all that stuff.
     
  11. arauca Banned Banned

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    Next candidates would be NY or Chicago mayor
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Michael Bloomberg is Mayor of New York right now. Ed Koch served 1978-1989. Abraham Beane 1974-1977. Fiorello LaGuardia, 1934-1945, was Jewish on his mother's side (making him "Jewish" by the rule of ancestry and identifying him as such to many Americans in that benighted era) but was raised in the Episcopal church.

    Rahm Emanuel is currently mayor of Chicago and Eric Garcetti (who is Jewish on his mother's side and attends religious services) is currently mayor of Los Angeles. America's three largest cities already have Jewish mayors.
     
  13. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    My graduate school girl friend and I were close with jewish classmates who decided to wed, Jewish style (break used wine glass under the canopy with rabbi officiating etc.) We were poor so as our gift we made gefilte fish for 50 under supervision of his mother, then served the dinner and sat down to eat it too. I bugged out - did not stay to wash the rented plates.

    I'll tell you this: It is a hell of a lot better than lutefisk, which is also called "lyefish" as soaked in lye for at least a month, that my Norwegian wife made me at least try to eat at Christmas.
     
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I thought your wife was brasileira, so you were eating all those delightful beef dishes!
     
  15. spidergoat Venued Serial Memberlist Valued Senior Member

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    Jewish cooking is pretty bad in my experience, except that which has been influenced by the Arabs. I mean all those stupid rules are kind of limiting. And no pork! If there is any animal on Earth that seems made to be eaten, it's a pig.
     
  16. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Current wife is. Was born in Sao Paulo, but we are too health conscious to eat much red meat. It veggies, fruits, pasta, fish and chicken for us. Sugar is a No NO, except a little in high coco Chocolate. Beer a day, max in summer for me. Occasionally I stir-fry onions, all the veggies in the ice box, some chicken bits, and Chinese bean noodles ups in my wok.
     
  17. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    You must be thinking of the Jews of Kaifeng. It's a dubious story, not much genuine evidence to back it last I heard, and it's being milked for tourism more than anything else, although it seems Israel's buying into it mostly as another gateway for trade and relations with China. On the other hand it's pretty well known that Jewish populations settled in India going back more than 1000 years ago, and some communities still exist there.
     
  18. arauca Banned Banned

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    You like Arab food ? they don't eat pork. Hy have you been in Israel ? if not you should go, you will feel at home among family.
     
  19. spidergoat Venued Serial Memberlist Valued Senior Member

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    I do like Arab food, as a baby, my mother used to buy me falafels from the souk in Kiryat Yam. That's in Israel. I didn't even have all my teeth yet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  20. andy1033 Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    What a rubbish thread. Do you not think catholic church has not had the biggest impact on western society?

    All the stuff about jews is pure rubbish. Uk and usa loved them so much, that they took part in the holocaust in ww2 with germany.

    What ever.
     
  21. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    *Your post helps prove your point.
     
  22. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    Well I do have to say that if anyone thinks Jews had a bigger impact on human history, violence and governance than the Catholic Church, they need to plug their ears before any remaining gray matter falls out. The only counter-argument you could put forth is that the Catholic Church emerged from Christianity, which in turn was originally concocted by Jews in its early days, and that would be like crediting the Romans for every achievement and crime in French history.

    What upsets me about much criticism of Israel and Jews is that they're treated as if they've done something worse than practically every other ethnicity on this planet that has ever had something to lose, when it's an indisputable fact that the opposite has nearly always been true. In 70 years Israel hasn't done nearly as much harm to the Arabs on the whole as the Arabs have done to themselves in the last 3 in Syria alone, nor as much as Arabs have done to Jews in the 20th century and prior (nearly 1,000,000 Jewish refugees were exiled from Arab countries after 1948), and then we haven't even gotten to all the disgusting Muslim and European pogroms, ethnic cleansing and territorial conquests that went on for the last 1500+ frigging years and are still being whitewashed to this day.

    Anyone criticizing Israel's right to exist should be marking off that giant chunk of Germany and Poland they think the Jews should have for their independent sovereign state instead, along with the sovereign, contiguous Arab territories Jews will receive as compensation for what's been taken from them throughout the Middle East. American Jews are probably happy to assimilate into America because that's what their ancestors came there for in the first place, doesn't mean Israelis see it that way, no more than Italians want to go emigrate to Little Italy so they can eat stale bleached American bread that's been sitting on a 7/11 shelf for 2 months, with crappy processed cheese that looks like molten plastic and smells like vomit.
     
  23. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    Got to love the sense of entitlement and arrogance in that last paragraph
     

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