Would you call me Jewish?

My whole life, when people hear my mothers side of the family is Jewish they all automatically assume that means I'm Jewish or atleast half. The few times I tried to explain to people that Judaism is a religious belief, Jews don't all come from 'Jewland' or Israel or Jerusalem. They always look confused after I say that and some even try to argue back that since my mother was Jewish then so was I, even though my parents were non-religious during my lifetime. My mothers parents are originally from Russia and Austria.

There may have been a time when most Jews shared the same ancestry, but eventually many people could convert into it, so that is not the case anymore. Do I not get a choice on what Religion I can be? Why aren't people being educated on the difference between 'Jewish the race' and 'Jewish the religios belief'. I've even seen Jews be confused with this.

I still have people making Jewish insults behind my back thanks to their ignorance and to my slightly larger than average sniffer! Would you call me Jewish too? Or did you just learn something new?

12 Answers

  • Ocean
    Lv 4
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    It's partly antisemitism and partly Jewish self-preservation that people have made Judaism into a "race." For the anti-Semites, it easier to treat Jews as of another ethnicity so that they can be more easily hated, and for many Jewish elders insisting that you never lose your "jewishness" is a way to avoid losing Jews to other faiths.

    By the way, the word "antisemitic" is bit of a misnomer because all almost genetic studies have concluded that even Spheradic Jews are closer to Turks and Kurds, who are NOT semites and are actually caucasian, than to Arabs who in fact are Semites.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    * u are considered Jewish because of Jewish law (which adolph fails to mention in her insults). The law exists because there are priviledges and responsibilities in Judaism. To be called to read from the Torah, u have to be Jewish. To be buried in a Jewish graveyard, u have to be Jewish. To immigrate to Israel, u have to be Jewish (or close enough for a Nazi definition).

    S*ck it up - that's ur heritage, ur a Jew until u convert to another religion - then u would be a traitor, an apostate

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Oh, please...it's not that difficult to understand it. According to Judaism, if your mother was jewish then you are too. She didn't need to practice her Judaism.

    And, for the umpteeth time, Jews are NOT a race; Jews are NOT a culture; Jews are NOT an ethnicity. If your mother's parents came from Russia and Austria, then that's their ethnicity. And now I'm going to say something you will not understand. Jews are a family and a religion.

    Like a family, we don't always agree with each other. We often argue and criticize each other. We hold each other to the very highest standards, knowing that the shortcomings of any member of the family will be held against all of us. But when someone outside of the family unfairly criticizes a family member or the family as a whole, we are quick to join together in opposition to that unfair criticism.

    When members of our "family" suffer or are persecuted, we all feel their pain. For example, in the 1980s, when Africa was suffering from droughts and famines, many Jews around the world learned for the first time about the Beta Israel, the Jews of Ethiopia. Their religion, race and culture are quite different from ours, and we had not even known that they existed before the famine. And yet, our hearts went out to them as our fellow Jews during this period of famine, like distant cousins we had never met, and Jews from around the world helped them to emigrate to Israel.

    When a member of our "family" does something illegal, immoral or shameful, we all feel the shame, and we all feel that it reflects on us. As Jews, many of us were embarrassed by the scandals of Monica Lewinsky, Jack Abramoff and Bernie Madoff, because they are Jews and their actions reflect on us all, even though we disapprove. The Madoff scandal was all the more embarassing, because so many of his victims were Jews and Jewish charities: a Jew robbing from our own "family"! We were shocked when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was killed by a Jew, unable to believe that one Jew would ever kill another member of the "family."

    And when a member of our "family" accomplishes something significant, we all feel proud. A perfect example of Jews (even completely secular ones) delighting in the accomplishments of our fellow Jews is the perennial popularity of Adam Sandler's Chanukkah songs, listing famous people who are Jewish. We all take pride in scientists like Albert Einstein or political leaders like Joe Lieberman (we don't all agree with his politics or his religious views, but we were all proud to see him on a national ticket). And is there a Jew who doesn't know (or at least feel pride upon learning) that Sandy Koufax declined to pitch in a World Series game that fell on Yom Kippur?

    and if you don't want to be Jewish, then don't. How do people know you are Jewish? Did you tell them? If not, then these idiots think you are Jewish because you have a large nose? Just tell them you aren't and leave it be. If you feel this way about being Jewish, then we, as a family, don't want you to be part of it.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    No one finds it strange than an American mother can give birth to an American child wherever in the world she might reside. Why is it so difficult to understand than a Jewish mother can also give birth to a Jewish child wherever in the world she might reside?

    However, since you might possibly prefer another religion and/or worship idols or dead humans, you forfeit your membership in the Jewish community (excommunication). Since not being a part of the Jewish community isn't a problem for you, why worry your pretty little head about it?


  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 9 years ago

    I'm a jew, and I'll say this to you, you're a jew, and you always will be. Deal with it, embrace it, because it's not going to change, and you're certainly not going to change it. BTW, there is nothing more pathetic than a jew pretending he's not a jew. Without pride, you are an egg without a yolk, just worthless trash.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    You're only jewish by choice.

    If you want to be a Jew you are Jewish.

    It's got squat to do with family. My whole family are Christians - I'm an atheist.

    It doesn't mean I'm a Christian, does it?

  • well theres a jewish culture too, so ppl who arent religiously jewish can be considered jewish in that sense

    Source(s): ur friendly neighbourhood hedonistic atheist
  • 9 years ago

    if your mom is jewish (even if she never practiced) then you are jewish too.

    even if you don't want to be jewish. even if you convert. you will be jewish forever. you will always be responsible to follow jewish law.

    Source(s): i am jewish
  • 9 years ago

    I am white English. I just can't hide this fact.

  • 9 years ago

    *Calls you Jewish* There, I've called you Jewish.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.