A Few Thoughts About Jewishness

Being Jewish is odd at times. For instance, one can be a BuJew (Buddhist-Jew), but a Jew for Jesus is out. Once there were Muslim Jews, but they were anomalous and eventually absorbed by Islam. The first Christians were all Jews, but then there was the decisive split and they went their separate ways.

But can one be a Muslim Christian, or a Hindu Muslim? I think as far as Abrahamic faiths go, at least, you can’t be two things at once. How about a Jewish-Christian-Muslim? “Y’know, I think they all had it right!” What a felicitous thought.

One factor that appears unique to Jewishness is the Jews-as-a-people/ Jews-as-a-faith paradigm. This is confusing not least of all to Jews. I don’t believe in YHWH, God, or supernatural authority in any guise, yet I am still Jewish. I find no contradiction there, though perhaps if all Jews were atheists Jews would eventually disappear. But one cannot force oneself to believe what one doesn’t believe simply because it may be a “historically conscious” choice. What to do?

Each must in the end follow his or her own conscience. The memes will take care of the rest.

About Marc Alan Di Martino

I'm a skeptical poet, blogger, columnist, occasional cartoonist, atheist, kvetcher and all-around lovable mensch - in precisely that order. I live in Italy, a country in serious need of skeptics and secularists who will challenge the status quo. Kind of like the United States and most places on earth.
This entry was posted in Identity, Judaism, Miscellaneous, Religious Faith and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Few Thoughts About Jewishness

  1. Rachel says:

    My family calls Bu-Jews “Jewddhists.”

    Nice piece.

  2. Marc says:

    Catchy, but a bit too close to Judah-ists. With all the negative historical baggage that Christianity has attached to the name of Judah (“Judas”), I’ll stick with Bu-Jews. Silly as it sounds.

  3. Jew With A View says:

    I think it’s easier to understand if we define Jews as a *family*. And the faith attached to this family is Judaism.

    If you’re born to a Jewish woman, you’re Jewish, and you remain part of this Jewish family unless and until you change faiths. Incidentally, I would disagree with the comments about Buddhism; I appreciate that the remarks were meant in a lighthearted way but the reality is, no Jew can embrace another faith and still define themselves as Jewish.

    This is made very clear in the Tanakh itself.

    As for “jews4jesus” – remember that 99% of them were NEVER Jews to START with.

    I’ve written about “jews4jesus” and other Messianic Christian groups in two articles, check them out if you get a minute :)

    On an entirely different note:

    I’ve had to relocate my blog at http://www.ajewwithaview.com

    Would you be kind enough to update my entry in your blogroll? Thanks so much :)

    I’m just adding links to the new site and am just about to include yours in several of the lists :)

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