Would anyone be willing to enighten me about the Jewish faith?

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  1. peeples profile image93
    peeplesposted 10 years ago

    My mom was Jewish, but I was not raised Jewish. I know almost nothing about the faith. Anyone here Jewish who could give me some facts about the Jewish faith?

    1. janesix profile image60
      janesixposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      try wikipedia.

      1. peeples profile image93
        peeplesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I was hoping to get something that wasn't basic wikipedia. I'm not that new to the internet.

    2. wavegirl22 profile image51
      wavegirl22posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      what would you like to know .. if you could be a bit more specific I think I can help you a little.

      1. peeples profile image93
        peeplesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        What is the family life like? I wonder if it changes the dynamics of relationships with family or people who are not jewish.

        1. wavegirl22 profile image51
          wavegirl22posted 10 years agoin reply to this

          I recently read a book called "The Committed Life" by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis.

          It is a truly inspiring book that draws on the timeless wisdom of the Torah in a way that any and anyone can learn from. These days with the world in such an angry atmosphere high on entitlement and bitterness and low on kindness and generosity we find more and more people empty. This book though written by a wife of a rabbi speaks to all humankind as a source of strength and her stories she shares are truly inspiring.

          1. peeples profile image93
            peeplesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks for the tip. I will look it up.

    3. ReuVera profile image82
      ReuVeraposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I think it is very nice of you to be willing to learn more about your Jewish heritage. I as well as others here will be happy to help you. For the start, you might want to check "Jewish" hubs here, there are plenty. I have a lot of hubs about Israel and Jewish Holidays.  Wavegirl  has amazing hubs about Jewish holidays too.

      1. peeples profile image93
        peeplesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks I will check yours out.

    4. profile image0
      Sophia Angeliqueposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      In the Jewish faith, if the women is Jewish, then the children born to her would be Jewish. You would be considered Jewish even if you don't practice the religion. With it comes the right to aliyah to Israel (that's the right of return).

      If a child is born to a Christian woman and  Jewish father (as I was), then the child is not considered Jewish. I had to go through a process of conversation. However, my child was raised as a Jew because she was born to a Jewish mother (me) after I converted.

      Jews have many different beliefs. It's part of the orthodox and hassidic school of thought that there is a messiah. Reformed/ and liberal Jews are just as likely to be atheists and Buddhists. That's because being Jewish is more than a religion. It's a nation of people. So just as Americans can have any religion, so, Jews, while mainly following the Jewish faith, can also have other faiths.

      Essentially, when Jews speak about the being the chosen race, it means chosen to bring light, i.e. education, good living conditions, works of charity, etc. to the world.

      Mystic Judaism (Kabalah) came about 600 AD. Orthodox about 18th Century. It has always been a religion that adapts to changing times. At one point, the people who protected Jews from Christian persecution were the Muslims.

      Like the Muslims, Jews are a semetic race, i.e. not caucasian.

      What else would you like to know?

      1. peeples profile image93
        peeplesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Wow, sounds like being jewish is everything Christianity was not for me. So if I ever decided to convert I wouldn't have to because of my mother? Would the fact my father was Hispanic change anything?

        1. Brainy Bunny profile image91
          Brainy Bunnyposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          No, if your mom is Jewish then so are you, according to all denominations of Judaism. However, you may want to take a conversion class anyway to learn about basic Judaism, or study privately with a rabbi to see if identifying as Jewish and/or becoming ritually observant is the right thing for you.

          Read up on the different denominations online, or visit local synagogues to see which one feels welcoming. Judaism is all about community, so take your time finding the right one.

        2. profile image0
          Sophia Angeliqueposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          No, you don't have to convert. You're Jewish simply because your mother is Jewish. This came about at the time of the Roman empire. If a women had a child as a result of a Roman solider who raped her, the child was raised as a Jew. I've forgotten why the children of Jewish father's aren't permitted to be Jewish. However, that changes in the modern day with Reformed and Liberal Jews. In both these, regardless of which parent is Jewish, the child is accepted as Jewish provided s/he goes to shul (synagogue) and has a Bat/Bar Mitsvah.

          When the State of Israel was created in 1948, as a result of the numbers of Jews that were lost, Ben Gurion allowed the right of Aliyah (the right or return) to anyone who had a grandparent who was Jewish - on either side. It didn't necessarily mean one was Jewish, but you could immigrate to Israel...

          It is advisable, though, that if you want to live a Jewish life that you learn about its history, its way of life and more. There is a lot to learn.

          Jewish wisdom is wonderful. To me, it's the best in the world. The community is very tight knit as well. Study is part of being Jewish - to be a light to mankind. smile Mitsvah (doing good deeds) is also a part of being Jewish.

      2. ReuVera profile image82
        ReuVeraposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        It is more complicated. To be considered Jewish according Halacha law, not only your mother, but also your maternal grandmother should be Jewish. If a woman converted to Judaism before the birth of her child, her child will be considered Jewish, if the child was born before his mother's conversion, he will not be default Jewish. Adoptive non-Jewish children are not considered Jews even if they were adopted by Jewish parents.

        God forbid, Sophia, from what well did you get your water?  Judaism is a Monotheistic Faith. There are different branches, Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox who are the most strict,  have several denominations (like Chasidic, Haredi for instance). Judaism is more than a religion, it is a nation. If a Jew is religious, he cannot be of any other Faith, except Judaism. A Jew can convert into another religion, but in this case he is NOT considered a Jew from the point of view of Halakcha. A Jew can be secular, agnostic or atheist and he is still considered a Jew. But not if a Jew accepted another god. A Jew CANNOT have another Faith except Jewish Faith.

        Semitic has nothing to do with being Caucasian or not. It depends on a Jew and their ethnic background. There are Jews among all ethnic groups.

        White Jews are - Caucasian. Black Jews are - black. Indian Jews are - Indian. Japanese Jews are - Japanese, etc.
        Jews come in ALL shapes, sizes, and shades. Jews NOT represent one unified ethnic group.

        1. peeples profile image93
          peeplesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          As far as I know my mother was born to both parents being Jewish. We did not practice any type of religion growing up. I have never been officially part of any belief (except lack of belief, atheism). Thank you for clearing up my ignorance on the race issue. I was unsure how that would work out if I was to get more involved.

        2. profile image0
          Sophia Angeliqueposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Um, I've been to shuls across the world and I've met Jews (their national identity) who've become Buddhists. I'm an atheist. I'm still a Jew. There are Messianic Jews - Jews who have taken on the Christian faith. I also have a childhood friend who has been a practising yogi (hindu) since about her mid-20s. She is still Jewish.

          In the Reform and Liberal shuls, these people are still welcome. I also know many Israelis who do not have any belief in God and are atheist.

          So, I'm sorry, while to be a Christian, one has to be believe in Chjrist, because being Jewish is as much an ethnicity as a nation and a religion, one can be an Sephardic Jew with Israelic nationality and be an atheist by choice.

        3. profile image0
          Sophia Angeliqueposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Actually, you're mistaken. Semitic is a race apart from caucasion. Check your facts.
          http://words.fromoldbooks.org/Wood-Nutt … races.html

          The lady wasn't asking about  Halakcha Judaism. She was asking about Judaism and, in every respect, I was correct in what I said.

          I am a liberal/reform Jew. I spoke to quite a few Rabbis during the years, and even if one takes on another religion, one does not lose one's Jewish nationality. One still has the right to aliyah and one is still considered Jewish.

          1. paradigmsearch profile image61
            paradigmsearchposted 10 years agoin reply to this


          2. peeples profile image93
            peeplesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks sofia. I read several things yesterday that confirmed you could be atheist and Jewish. Though I'm unclear how that would work for me. Thanks again.

            1. ReuVera profile image82
              ReuVeraposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              Exactly, you can be Jewish even if you are an atheist.... as you are not worshiping any gods... However, if you worship any other god except Elohim, the One and the Only One for Jews, you are not a Jew, even if you consider yourself a Jew.

    5. A Troubled Man profile image58
      A Troubled Manposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      As the older brother of the Abrahamic religions, Jews have had centuries of changing the beliefs of Judaism to suit whatever agenda they want, hence you'll find people calling themselves Jews and having extreme views, and beliefs from one another. Christianity and Islam are not far behind.

  2. profile image0
    calculus-geometryposted 10 years ago
    1. peeples profile image93
      peeplesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you!

  3. CarolineMichelle profile image82
    CarolineMichelleposted 10 years ago

    The Jewish faith is quite varied mainly because Judaism is not just a religion. It is also a culture and ethnicity. While you can read online or in books about the Jewish faith, there are so many opinions that the concept can remain quite elusive.

    You really must experience the faith and practices to gain a personal understanding. This requires more than just words on paper or screen.

    My suggestion is that you visit a few synagogues near you to observe services. Local Jewish community centers also offer Judaism 101 classes that could be helpful in furthering your understanding. A Shabbat dinner (Friday night) at a Jewish family's home or attendance at one of the many holiday celebrations can be a wonderful way to truly experience the warmth and meaning of what it means to be part of the Jewish faith.

    Because we are now celebrating the holiday of Hanukkah, it may be a good time to find out if any Jewish groups are having services, parties or menorah lighting ceremonies in your local area. I think it is wonderful you want to explore this part of your heritage, and I wish you all the best in truly experiencing the richness of Jewish faith and culture.

  4. CarolineMichelle profile image82
    CarolineMichelleposted 10 years ago

    You may also want to visit one of my favorite Jewish websites: http://www.aish.com/. They have great information about holidays, spirituality, culture, Israel and family.

    1. peeples profile image93
      peeplesposted 10 years agoin reply to this


  5. paradigmsearch profile image61
    paradigmsearchposted 10 years ago

    All I know is that they don't go planting bombs and flying airplanes into buildings. So I am fine with them.

    1. Repairguy47 profile image60
      Repairguy47posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      They actually do plant bombs, but they target those I don't like so I'm ok with it.

  6. wavegirl22 profile image51
    wavegirl22posted 10 years ago

    In olden times it was easy to know who your mother was and there was no way of proving fatherhood. But these days we have DNA testing, so why can't someone be Jewish even if only their father is Jewish?
    From a purely physical perspective, a child is more directly connected to their mother. The father's contribution to the production of a child is instantaneous and remote. The mother, on the other hand, gives her very self to the child . The child is conceived inside the mother, develops inside the mother, is sustained and nourished by the mother, and is born from the mother.

    Jewishness is passed down by the mother because being Jewish is a spiritual identity, it defines our very being. And our very being we get from our mother, both in body and in soul.

  7. paradigmsearch profile image61
    paradigmsearchposted 10 years ago


  8. Renee Abbott profile image81
    Renee Abbottposted 10 years ago

    I was raised conservative Jewish. I consider myself a Jewitch, and yes there are many. I am also an African, Russian and French Jew by nationality.

    The Sabbath 'queen' is Shekinah, who is one of the Goddess I follow. The kabblah is what I study, amongst other things. There are Jews who don't believe in G-d, but do follow the Jewish practices, well others do believe in G-d and do not. The Jewish religion does not believe in converting people, so you won’t see us knocking at doors.-.thank G-d. We are permitted to roam and search other beliefs, for honestly G-d does not care.

    I personally have roam and study many religions and spiritual systems. I have a mind of my own, and am able to accept what makes sense to me, or what I believe through experiences. My Rabbi has given me the compliment of being like Abraham.

    As a child born to a Jewish woman, you are a Jew. May you explore the religion with open eyes and arms? You will find many do not agree with each other, and this might be confusing, but to me it is beautiful. We do not need too, for it is not forbidden to think in broader views

  9. wavegirl22 profile image51
    wavegirl22posted 10 years ago

    I would like to give a few thoughts to what Renee Abbott has written.

    First of all understand that there is a Jewish belief that Judaism is not just good for the Jewish soul, it’s natural for the Jewish soul. The soul feels at home when it says Hebrew prayers, experiences a Shabbat table, or puts up a mezuzah. These acts are what makes the Jewish soul comfortable. A Jew has an innate affinity towards Judaism.

    Shekhinah is G-d's Presence. It is through the Shekhinah that humans can experience the Divine.
    The shehecheyanu blessing is recited, in addition to the regular blessing, whenever doing something for the first time that year, like doing a mitzvah, such as the first lighting the Chanukah candles, reading the Megillah on Purim, and taking the lulav..
    Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam shecheyanu v'kiy'manu v'higyanu lazman hazeh.

    Understand first that....if you choose Judaism, you also need Judaism to choose you. Its like a covenant is a two-way deal. There's a tradition that a rabbi has to turn down a potential convert three times as the first measure of the convert's sincere desire to join the Tribe.
    I am not sure what this means but I can tell you that it is wise to remember that in a religion, you belong because you believe. In Judaism, you believe because you belong.

    And lastly .. It is wise to understand the basics of Judaism before you dive into Kabbalah.

    1. peeples profile image93
      peeplesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you wavegirl and renee. I have spent several years as an atheist. I'm starting to question how much of an atheist I actually am. Wondering if Christianity is what turned me from belief or the actual idea itself of an all powerful being. In light of what happen to the childrn here in the U.S yesterday I struggle to understand how there could be any superior when this happens. I'm struggling to find my right path. Maybe being jewish isn't for me, yet I wouldn't feel right if I did not make sure. Thanks again

      1. Renee Abbott profile image81
        Renee Abbottposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Peeples, I went through a few decades questioning this Cosmic Source. When my twin brother died at 20, I was so lost, and that was when i journey away from anything to do with G-d or any male being of divinity. Being also a psychic, I could not discredit things are beyond our own ego mind. I wrestled for a long time with this. Many groups from Native American, Hawaiian kahuna, and pagas embraced me, yet i did not fit it. It is a walk, and the journey never ends, but i am glad i searched and can now embrace what works for me.

  10. Renee Abbott profile image81
    Renee Abbottposted 10 years ago

    absolutely @wavegirl22. I do not recomment the Kabbalah for everyone. I am 61, and it was what helped me in my later years find my own place in Judaism.

    1. wavegirl22 profile image51
      wavegirl22posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      me too Renee.

      The first book I ever read about it is called "The Way" . An amazing book that opened my eyes to many things. I highly recommend it. The author is Michael Berg.

      1. Renee Abbott profile image81
        Renee Abbottposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Another good book Wavegirl is " The Woman's Kabbalah" by Tirzah Firestone. She is a rabbi and offers a lot in her book.
        Thank you for the book recommendation .

        1. wavegirl22 profile image51
          wavegirl22posted 10 years agoin reply to this

          And I thank you for your recommendation.

          As it is written in the Talmud
                           One persons candle is the light for many

  11. wavegirl22 profile image51
    wavegirl22posted 10 years ago

    Baruch Hashem!

    @peeples- I can not begin to tell you how amazing our religion is. There is a reason for everything and for everything there is an answer. Though sometimes it takes a bit more understanding to 'get it'. But it is truly something I think you should 'learn' or at least begin to. When I say learn it takes on a whole different connotation from how we learn to tie our shoes. We are forever learning, and when you start to 'learn' about the history of our people and everything that comes with our traditions I think you may understand more of what I am trying to say.

    As for me, I was raised in a very "assimilated" family. We were cultural Jews. I knew that I was but I was never taught what it meant. Holiday dinners were always celebrated (Passover (but never a real seder) Rosh Ha Shana (the New Year) Yom Kippur (I never had to fast) and so on. But as I grew older I was curious to understand,  and so when I had my daughter I started to 'learn'

    And to this day I am continually amazed and I continue to learn.

  12. Robert Levine profile image82
    Robert Levineposted 9 years ago

    Dear Peoples,

    I recommend reading Rabbi Joseph Telushkin's book Jewish Literacy.  Like another of the respondents, I'm a convert born to a Jewish father & Christian mother.  Also, I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you have as best I can.


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