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I never quite understood why Jewish people consider themselves a race. At least I don't understand biologically. So you people tend to congregate and marry one another. So what? It's still founded upon beliefs like every other religion is. If you don't believe, you aren't part of that religion.

 

I agree. My family is Jewish, but I don't practice Judaism in any form and don't believe in a god. Therefore, I do not consider myself to be Jewish.

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I never quite understood why Jewish people consider themselves a race. At least I don't understand biologically. So you people tend to congregate and marry one another. So what? It's still founded upon beliefs like every other religion is. If you don't believe, you aren't part of that religion.

 

You people?

 

Also:

1) Cant you say christians (any group) tend to congregate and marry one another as well?

2) Is this all in reference to people who said they dont practice but are Jewish, because Im pretty sure it is, which obviously bothers you, but did I not see the same for other religions? I could swear I saw posts such as, Christian, but dont go to church, that didnt bother you so much, huh?

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I do know that in jewish law, the only way a person is truly Jewish, is if theyre mom is jewish. Im just posting a fact with the gifted classes, and everything. In my class of 25, theres 2 jews including me. As of shabbat, I know many jews dont even know what day its on, but its not like I have a huge dinner or anything. Its a 3 minute little prayer

Actually Jewish Law has always dictated that its the father, hence why Hebrew naming is always "Moshe ben Ezrael." Its a little known fact that gets lost in this system of popular belief that the mother has to be Jewish.

 

 

And your point about Jews being 90% of the gifted classes is a product of the area you live in. Go to a gifted class in Cleveland, Georgia and see how many Jews are in there...maybe one if you're lucky.

 

Ask any rabbi, and its the mother. And Im not sure, so dont hold me accountable for this, but I though Sepharadim Jews were just jews coming from Africa, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, India, etc. And Ashkenazim was from other parts of Europe. Not sure though and Im likely wrong

 

Read this:

 

When the Roman Legions overran the Jewish nation, much of the Jewish population was sent into exile throughout the Roman Empire. Many were sent to the IBERIAN peninsula. The area became known by the Hebrew word SEPHARD meaning "far away". The JEWS in SPAIN and PORTUGAL became known as SEPHARDIM or SEPHARDI, and those things associated with the SEPHARDIM including names, customs, genealogy and religious rites, became known as SEPHARDIC. Sephardic names were well developed in Aragon by the year 1213. (Note reference 22, below.) Many of the names were of Hebrew derivation. A much lesser number were composed of a first name and a geographic location, many times the result of conversion. The Jewish nation in Iberia, numbering approximately 750,000 in the year 1492, were banished from Spain by royal decree of Ferdinand and Isabella. (Ferdinand's grandmother was Jewish.) (For a description of the 1492 expulsion as written in 1495, see the link in Section IV, Lore) The Jews of Portugal, were banished by royal decree several years later. Relief from the banishment decrees and restoration of civil rights was promised to those Jews who remained and converted to Catholicism. These converts were called CONVERSOS or MARRANOS (converts or pigs in Spanish) and ANUSIM (forced ones in Hebrew). Some of the Jewish population converted in name only, other converted by choice. All of the Jews, whether those who left the country with their Jewish religious beliefs intact, and those that were converted are described as being SEPHARDIM or being of SEPHARDIC heritage. Many of the SEPHARDIM left Spain after conversion because life as a "new Christian" or Marrano was not as promised. "Clean Blood" laws were established to deny the "new Christian" the same civil rights as the "old Christian". Many left the Iberian peninsula where some reverted, and others did not. The converted population that remained under the influence of Spanish or Portuguese control or the control of countries heavily influenced by the Catholic Church could not openly revert to Judaism for fear of punishment inflicted by the inquisition. The punishment for reversion or secret adherence varied from humiliation to death by fire. Many Hispanics today practice Jewish customs without knowing the source. Many are still secret Jews.

 

The names listed on this site have been identified as Sephardic by civil and religious records and creditable authors. These names have been used by Spanish and Portuguese Jews and conversos and many are found today, world wide in Hispanic and Sephardic communities and references. Some names may no longer exist in their old form. While not an expert in patronymics, some names, such as ABRAVANEL are unmistakably of Hebrew origin. Other names, such as IBN YAHIA, appear to be of Arabic origin. Still other names such as CASTRO and FRANCO appear to be of Hispanic origin, the vast majority of these names belonged to Jews at the time of expulsion. Still other names (conversion names or Christian names) were assigned to Jews at conversion, such as DE SEVILLA and SANTA MARIA. Many of these names were the family names of the Christian "sponsors".

 

 

Many of the names have been changed in the course of migration from one country to another, such as Pena to Penha. Other names have incorporated a prefix such as D', Da, De, or Do, with the surname, so that D'Avila could be spelled DAVILA. Other names normally found with a prefix, may be listed with or without the prefix. For example, d' ANDRADE, da ANDRADE, de ANDRADE, may be listed as ANDRADE or ANDRADE 'D. The following prefixes may sometime be interchangeable; Aben, Ibn, Aven, Avin and Ben. These prefixes may be found separated or attached to the stem name. It would be prudent to search for names both with and without prefixes.

 

One should check for variations in spelling. For example, the names Sejas, Cejas, Aceijas, Seixas, Aseixas, Acejas, Acezas, Asexas, Azeixas, and Xexas are considered variants of the same name. It should also be noted that many Sephardim who left the Iberian Peninsula and practiced Judaism, changed their names and used aliases to protect their families who remained in Spain and Portugal.

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I do know that in jewish law, the only way a person is truly Jewish, is if theyre mom is jewish. Im just posting a fact with the gifted classes, and everything. In my class of 25, theres 2 jews including me. As of shabbat, I know many jews dont even know what day its on, but its not like I have a huge dinner or anything. Its a 3 minute little prayer

Actually Jewish Law has always dictated that its the father, hence why Hebrew naming is always "Moshe ben Ezrael." Its a little known fact that gets lost in this system of popular belief that the mother has to be Jewish.

 

 

And your point about Jews being 90% of the gifted classes is a product of the area you live in. Go to a gifted class in Cleveland, Georgia and see how many Jews are in there...maybe one if you're lucky.

 

Ask any rabbi, and its the mother. And Im not sure, so dont hold me accountable for this, but I though Sepharadim Jews were just jews coming from Africa, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, India, etc. And Ashkenazim was from other parts of Europe. Not sure though and Im likely wrong

 

Read this:

 

When the Roman Legions overran the Jewish nation, much of the Jewish population was sent into exile throughout the Roman Empire. Many were sent to the IBERIAN peninsula. The area became known by the Hebrew word SEPHARD meaning "far away". The JEWS in SPAIN and PORTUGAL became known as SEPHARDIM or SEPHARDI, and those things associated with the SEPHARDIM including names, customs, genealogy and religious rites, became known as SEPHARDIC. Sephardic names were well developed in Aragon by the year 1213. (Note reference 22, below.) Many of the names were of Hebrew derivation. A much lesser number were composed of a first name and a geographic location, many times the result of conversion. The Jewish nation in Iberia, numbering approximately 750,000 in the year 1492, were banished from Spain by royal decree of Ferdinand and Isabella. (Ferdinand's grandmother was Jewish.) (For a description of the 1492 expulsion as written in 1495, see the link in Section IV, Lore) The Jews of Portugal, were banished by royal decree several years later. Relief from the banishment decrees and restoration of civil rights was promised to those Jews who remained and converted to Catholicism. These converts were called CONVERSOS or MARRANOS (converts or pigs in Spanish) and ANUSIM (forced ones in Hebrew). Some of the Jewish population converted in name only, other converted by choice. All of the Jews, whether those who left the country with their Jewish religious beliefs intact, and those that were converted are described as being SEPHARDIM or being of SEPHARDIC heritage. Many of the SEPHARDIM left Spain after conversion because life as a "new Christian" or Marrano was not as promised. "Clean Blood" laws were established to deny the "new Christian" the same civil rights as the "old Christian". Many left the Iberian peninsula where some reverted, and others did not. The converted population that remained under the influence of Spanish or Portuguese control or the control of countries heavily influenced by the Catholic Church could not openly revert to Judaism for fear of punishment inflicted by the inquisition. The punishment for reversion or secret adherence varied from humiliation to death by fire. Many Hispanics today practice Jewish customs without knowing the source. Many are still secret Jews.

 

The names listed on this site have been identified as Sephardic by civil and religious records and creditable authors. These names have been used by Spanish and Portuguese Jews and conversos and many are found today, world wide in Hispanic and Sephardic communities and references. Some names may no longer exist in their old form. While not an expert in patronymics, some names, such as ABRAVANEL are unmistakably of Hebrew origin. Other names, such as IBN YAHIA, appear to be of Arabic origin. Still other names such as CASTRO and FRANCO appear to be of Hispanic origin, the vast majority of these names belonged to Jews at the time of expulsion. Still other names (conversion names or Christian names) were assigned to Jews at conversion, such as DE SEVILLA and SANTA MARIA. Many of these names were the family names of the Christian "sponsors".

 

 

Many of the names have been changed in the course of migration from one country to another, such as Pena to Penha. Other names have incorporated a prefix such as D', Da, De, or Do, with the surname, so that D'Avila could be spelled DAVILA. Other names normally found with a prefix, may be listed with or without the prefix. For example, d' ANDRADE, da ANDRADE, de ANDRADE, may be listed as ANDRADE or ANDRADE 'D. The following prefixes may sometime be interchangeable; Aben, Ibn, Aven, Avin and Ben. These prefixes may be found separated or attached to the stem name. It would be prudent to search for names both with and without prefixes.

 

One should check for variations in spelling. For example, the names Sejas, Cejas, Aceijas, Seixas, Aseixas, Acejas, Acezas, Asexas, Azeixas, and Xexas are considered variants of the same name. It should also be noted that many Sephardim who left the Iberian Peninsula and practiced Judaism, changed their names and used aliases to protect their families who remained in Spain and Portugal.

 

 

So I was partly right. And also, many names that end with Z, such as Gonzalez, Fernandez, Rodriguez, etc., are some former jews who had to convert when the Spaniards and Portugeese persecuted them. Most of my ancestors though are from the other parts of Europe, such as Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Russia, and all countries in that area

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Guest FlummoxedLummox

I never quite understood why Jewish people consider themselves a race. At least I don't understand biologically. So you people tend to congregate and marry one another. So what? It's still founded upon beliefs like every other religion is. If you don't believe, you aren't part of that religion.

What's funny is that not one person referred to Judaism as a race. There have been references to Judaism as a culture or heritage or even ethnicity, and I don't see how you can argue against any of which. Let me try to explain the cultural element of it, though...

 

Throughout history Jews have been relegated to separate communities from the rest of the population. In fact, the word "ghetto" was first used in Italy to describe a legally mandated section where Jews had to live. Over the course of centuries, regardless of the setting (be it the Roman Empire, Islamic Empire, or European Christiandom), Jews existed in a backdrop of segregation. They had certain areas where they had to live as a minority separate from the majority.

 

In my opinion, this instilled a heightened sense of "community." Having been unable to assimilate into the general population, subsequent generations reinforced the need to remain a part of the Jewish community. Also, a contributing explanation might be that Jewish Law strictly forbids proselytizing. Therefore, from a pure numbers standpoint, Jews must maintain their population from within. Over the course of history, what resulted from these two elements is a seemingly collective need to conserve the integrity of the community. I can't offer much in the way of proof of this, but I can say that most Jews can vouch for an almost palpable pressure to continue the tradition.

 

Another interesting note is that for the most part Jewish parents stress the importance of preserving the Jewish faith from generation to generation, even if they don't practice any of the religious tenets themselves. Often parents send their children to religious school or to shabbat services, while they themselves do nothing religious at all. Parents will have had their Bar or Bat Mitzvah as a child, but have little or no involvement in Jewish relgious life until it comes time for their children to study for their rite of passage.

 

Personally, I can tell you that I grew up very religious. I've studied the bible extensively, and the tractates of Jewish law in its original Aramaic. I know the lore, the law, and the history very well but I have no desire to practice the religion. I find services to be uninspiring and my belief in god is non-existent. Nonetheless, I will raise my children with a Jewish identity. I want them to learn the principles of their religion as I have, because I feel it is my duty to those who came before me to pass the tradition on to the next generation. My feeling is not that my children should be forced to practice, but I will force them not to be ignorant of their origins.

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I never quite understood why Jewish people consider themselves a race. At least I don't understand biologically. So you people tend to congregate and marry one another. So what? It's still founded upon beliefs like every other religion is. If you don't believe, you aren't part of that religion.

What's funny is that not one person referred to Judaism as a race. There have been references to Judaism as a culture or heritage or even ethnicity, and I don't see how you can argue against any of which. Let me try to explain the cultural element of it, though...

 

Throughout history Jews have been relegated to separate communities from the rest of the population. In fact, the word "ghetto" was first used in Italy to describe a legally mandated section where Jews had to live. Over the course of centuries, regardless of the setting (be it the Roman Empire, Islamic Empire, or European Christiandom), Jews existed in a backdrop of segregation. They had certain areas where they had to live as a minority separate from the majority.

 

In my opinion, this instilled a heightened sense of "community." Having been unable to assimilate into the general population, subsequent generations reinforced the need to remain a part of the Jewish community. Also, a contributing explanation might be that Jewish Law strictly forbids proselytizing. Therefore, from a pure numbers standpoint, Jews must maintain their population from within. Over the course of history, what resulted from these two elements is a seemingly collective need to conserve the integrity of the community. I can't offer much in the way of proof of this, but I can say that most Jews can vouch for an almost palpable pressure to continue the tradition.

 

Another interesting note is that for the most part Jewish parents stress the importance of preserving the Jewish faith from generation to generation, even if they don't practice any of the religious tenets themselves. Often parents send their children to religious school or to shabbat services, while they themselves do nothing religious at all. Parents will have had their Bar or Bat Mitzvah as a child, but have little or no involvement in Jewish relgious life until it comes time for their children to study for their rite of passage.

 

Personally, I can tell you that I grew up very religious. I've studied the bible extensively, and the tractates of Jewish law in its original Aramaic. I know the lore, the law, and the history very well but I have no desire to practice the religion. I find services to be uninspiring and my belief in god is non-existent. Nonetheless, I will raise my children with a Jewish identity. I want them to learn the principles of their religion as I have, because I feel it is my duty to those who came before me to pass the tradition on to the next generation. My feeling is not that my children should be forced to practice, but I will force them not to be ignorant of their origins.

 

Great points. This is exactly right in my family, and its what my mom tells me every now and then

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These are my holocaust story's:

My grandpa was born in about the mid 1930's in Poland. His family was upper middle class. So when he was about 12 years old, him and his family got deported to a concentration camp. As they were telling them where to go, work or gas, they sent most of his family including him to the gas chambers. Fortuantley for him, they mixed up the lines, and the gas people went for work, and the work people went to the gas. He was safe for now. Then, he was getting transported with his family to another camp. While going there, the train had some problems and they let em go. A rich uncle in Uruguay gave them money for a ship ticket, but first they had to find their way to some other country I dont know of. So they had to travel in the snow at night for a few months. Then, he came in the ship to Uruguay. He died when I was 2 and he never told much about it to my mom, and my mom didnt tell much to me, so this is all I know. He was scared of going to any ships in fear they would sent him back. Throughout his whole life. Once there were some Russians who wanted him to visit theyre ship, and he didnt.

 

 

My other side of the family close to the Soviet Union, but not in it, had gotten with some other people and got on a train and were trying to escape to the Soviet Union. It was my great, great grandma and family. So while there, a relative of theirs died in the train. They wanted to do a proper burial, but the Germans were trying to catch up with them and get them, so there was no time for that. The other people on the train just wanted for them to throw him out of the train. So they decided they wanted to do a proper burial so they stopped the train, let them go, and the other people kept going. Soon, the Germans caught on, and buried all of them alive. My grandma told me this story a few months ago

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I never quite understood why Jewish people consider themselves a race. At least I don't understand biologically. So you people tend to congregate and marry one another. So what? It's still founded upon beliefs like every other religion is. If you don't believe, you aren't part of that religion.

What's funny is that not one person referred to Judaism as a race. There have been references to Judaism as a culture or heritage or even ethnicity, and I don't see how you can argue against any of which. Let me try to explain the cultural element of it, though...

Don't have time to read the rest of your post but I will point that while it may not have been said explicitly in this thread, it has been in at least two other discussions on this forum with little justification. And it certainly was alluded to in this thread.

 

Sigh, erased, not worth it.

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I don't think agnosticism deserves consideration as a category.

 

fair enough, nor would atheism if you're just selecting from a list of religions.

 

why not? well first off, the OP asked 'faith' which is far more broad than the word 'religion'. so if you get technical, since agnostics still believe in something they still have some sort of faith, even if it is much lighter than an organized religion. and i think any poll regarding faith or religion should include aethism since you want to allow everybody to be able to vote. it's just a shorter way of saying "none of the above, no belief".

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I don't think agnosticism deserves consideration as a category.

 

fair enough, nor would atheism if you're just selecting from a list of religions.

 

why not? well first off, the OP asked 'faith' which is far more broad than the word 'religion'. so if you get technical, since agnostics still believe in something they still have some sort of faith, even if it is much lighter than an organized religion. and i think any poll regarding faith or religion should include aethism since you want to allow everybody to be able to vote. it's just a shorter way of saying "none of the above, no belief".

 

Can you explain what you mean here? I think we differ on our definitions of agnosticism.

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Yeah you're right, I'm kind of twisting my own meaning into it. I see agnostic kind of as a middle ground between religious and aethist. But I'm aware it doesn't specifically mean you believe in anything, just that one acknowledges something greater COULD be out there but that it can never be proven.

 

Anyway, as for me, I don't really believe in a God, per se, at least not as a fully conscious entity, as most of the popular organized religions would have it, but I do believe that people are made of more than just a bunch of molecules and chemicals, that our thoughts and actions are more than just the product of chemical interactions. There's something that liberates us from the prison of scientific inevitability, we are in control of our own destinies. So, I guess, in that sense, I'm at least minimally spiritual.

 

I totally agree with this so I guess I'm more spiritual than 'agnostic'. :lol But I just generally agree with the skepticism that agnosticism preaches (no pun intended).

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Guest FlummoxedLummox

I never quite understood why Jewish people consider themselves a race. At least I don't understand biologically. So you people tend to congregate and marry one another. So what? It's still founded upon beliefs like every other religion is. If you don't believe, you aren't part of that religion.

What's funny is that not one person referred to Judaism as a race. There have been references to Judaism as a culture or heritage or even ethnicity, and I don't see how you can argue against any of which. Let me try to explain the cultural element of it, though...

Don't have time to read the rest of your post but I will point that while it may not have been said explicitly in this thread, it has been in at least two other discussions on this forum with little justification. And it certainly was alluded to in this thread.

I would say that you pay attention to the symantics of the word usage too much. While I agree that the textbook definition of "race" has to do primarily with physical characteristics, it's also used interchangeably with "ethnic group."

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I totally agree with this so I guess I'm more spiritual than 'agnostic'. :lol But I just generally agree with the skepticism that agnosticism preaches (no pun intended).

 

Yeah, I think agnosticism can apply equally to both theists and atheists.

 

You are correct. Since theism and atheism have to do with belief, and agnosticism has to do with knowledge, [a]theism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive as many people mistakenly believe.

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Guest Night Phantom

Anyone, even a devout Christian, can doubt. A Christian can be just as carnally minded as an atheist.

There's a pretty big difference between doubting and being carnal minded. Doubts can creep into your mind at any point, that's part of life. Being carnal minded, however, goes against the faith that a Christian is trying to keep.I should've posted, a Christian can be just as "faithless" as an atheist.

A Christian is just as vulnerable to seeds of doubt being planted in their mind, as is the non-Christian man.

 

Sorry, I should think before I click the "Add Reply" button.No worries, I'm not trying to give you a hard time :thumbup

 

why not? well first off, the OP asked 'faith' which is far more broad than the word 'religion'. so if you get technical, since agnostics still believe in something they still have some sort of faith, even if it is much lighter than an organized religion. and i think any poll regarding faith or religion should include aethism since you want to allow everybody to be able to vote. it's just a shorter way of saying "none of the above, no belief".

This, to an extent.

 

Lack of belief is still a belief, per se. You believe that there is no high power. Both the atheist and the faithful have a belief in place, just that the former's is twisted to not be a belief just because they believe in an absence of anything. However, I would still classify this as a faith because it takes just as much faith to believe in nothing than it does to believe in something.

 

(that was a poorly written paragraph, I hope everyone understood)

 

As far as agnosticism and atheism is concerned, the way people who fall into these categories have always explained it to me is this way: atheists fully believe there is no God, while agnostics just say they don't know either way. So I guess agnosticism would be the none of the above answer under my definition.

 

And Izzie's right, I was asking about faith. I really didn't want to know how many people were raised Jewish but don't actually believe in it :lol

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I do know that in jewish law, the only way a person is truly Jewish, is if theyre mom is jewish. Im just posting a fact with the gifted classes, and everything. In my class of 25, theres 2 jews including me. As of shabbat, I know many jews dont even know what day its on, but its not like I have a huge dinner or anything. Its a 3 minute little prayer

Actually Jewish Law has always dictated that its the father, hence why Hebrew naming is always "Moshe ben Ezrael." Its a little known fact that gets lost in this system of popular belief that the mother has to be Jewish.

 

 

And your point about Jews being 90% of the gifted classes is a product of the area you live in. Go to a gifted class in Cleveland, Georgia and see how many Jews are in there...maybe one if you're lucky.

 

Ask any rabbi, and its the mother.

There are those who see Judaism uniquely as maternal in descent, "matriarchal descent" as you noted. This follows Jewish law of the past 2000 years. It does seem that before then it was "patriarchal descent" and we don't really know why there was a change.

 

My own feeling, based on historical material of several specialist, is that the Rabbis of the first 200 years of the Common Era (0-200 CE or AD) saw how many children were being born of rape, slavery and all forms of sexual abuse of Jewish women. In an act of compassion, and working within the Roman concept of citizenship, they made the law accept the child of a Jewish mother as a Jew by birth. So, what began as compassion and inclusiveness and leniency "then" has made a situation today that they could never contemplate - an open society in which Jews could marry non-Jews - a complicated situation if not a crisis for the family.

 

http://judaism.about.com/library/3_askrabb...ri_descent2.htm

 

Judaism still is Patriarchal. The only Jews who don't believe that are Orthodox and some Conservatives. Rules to be Reform! Heh.

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I never quite understood why Jewish people consider themselves a race. At least I don't understand biologically. So you people tend to congregate and marry one another. So what? It's still founded upon beliefs like every other religion is. If you don't believe, you aren't part of that religion.

What's funny is that not one person referred to Judaism as a race. There have been references to Judaism as a culture or heritage or even ethnicity, and I don't see how you can argue against any of which. Let me try to explain the cultural element of it, though...

 

Throughout history Jews have been relegated to separate communities from the rest of the population. In fact, the word "ghetto" was first used in Italy to describe a legally mandated section where Jews had to live. Over the course of centuries, regardless of the setting (be it the Roman Empire, Islamic Empire, or European Christiandom), Jews existed in a backdrop of segregation. They had certain areas where they had to live as a minority separate from the majority.

 

In my opinion, this instilled a heightened sense of "community." Having been unable to assimilate into the general population, subsequent generations reinforced the need to remain a part of the Jewish community. Also, a contributing explanation might be that Jewish Law strictly forbids proselytizing. Therefore, from a pure numbers standpoint, Jews must maintain their population from within. Over the course of history, what resulted from these two elements is a seemingly collective need to conserve the integrity of the community. I can't offer much in the way of proof of this, but I can say that most Jews can vouch for an almost palpable pressure to continue the tradition.

 

Another interesting note is that for the most part Jewish parents stress the importance of preserving the Jewish faith from generation to generation, even if they don't practice any of the religious tenets themselves. Often parents send their children to religious school or to shabbat services, while they themselves do nothing religious at all. Parents will have had their Bar or Bat Mitzvah as a child, but have little or no involvement in Jewish relgious life until it comes time for their children to study for their rite of passage.

 

Personally, I can tell you that I grew up very religious. I've studied the bible extensively, and the tractates of Jewish law in its original Aramaic. I know the lore, the law, and the history very well but I have no desire to practice the religion. I find services to be uninspiring and my belief in god is non-existent. Nonetheless, I will raise my children with a Jewish identity. I want them to learn the principles of their religion as I have, because I feel it is my duty to those who came before me to pass the tradition on to the next generation. My feeling is not that my children should be forced to practice, but I will force them not to be ignorant of their origins.

All great points. Judaism, more than anything spiritual or religious, in my opinion, is about keeping the traditions of our ancestors and remembering our roots. No one has to be practicing religiously to be Jewish. The more Orthodox would argue against that but it is wrong. Judaism, as I have said before, is more about tradition and a common history than it is about a belief in God. Most Rabbis will tell you no belief in God is perfectly fine in Jewish law. It is up to each and every person to determine their own beliefs; however, it is our duty to preserve our cultural heritage for the future generations. There is indeed a very palpable pressure to marry within the faith or if you don't marry within, raise the family Jewish. My cousin married a man who was a practicing Christian before he met my cousin. He converted to Judaism just so he could marry my cousin as a Jewish man. He has definitely taken on his own beliefs in it from what I've gathered; I believe mostly to the fact that my grandparents and his parents-in-law go to Synagogue a lot as do my cousins.

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As far as agnosticism and atheism is concerned, the way people who fall into these categories have always explained it to me is this way: atheists fully believe there is no God, while agnostics just say they don't know either way. So I guess agnosticism would be the none of the above answer under my definition.

 

As I said before, theism/atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive. You can be an atheist AND an agnostic (or a theist AND an agnostic), but you can't be an agnostic OR an [a]theist. That's because agnosticism deals with a different issue than [a]theism does. Agnosticism deals with knowledge (people who claim to be agnostics claim that it is impossible to *know* whether there or not is a god, but that has nothing to do with *belief* which is what [a]theism deals with).

 

If you claim to be an agnostic, answer this question: Do you *believe* there is a god? (not "do you *know* if there is a god"). In order to be a theist, you have to be able to say yes. If you say no, you are an atheist. If you say I don't know, you are also an atheist, because you are unable to say yes, which is the requirement to being a theist.

 

There is a misconception that agnosticism is a middle ground between theism and atheism, but when you get down to it, that isn't the case. You're either a theist (someone who believes there is a god), an agnostic theist (someone who believes there is a god but admits there is a possibility that there isn't), an atheist (someone who believes there is no god), or an agnostic atheist (someone who believes there is no god but admits there is a possibility that there is). There are also subcategories of atheism (strong vs weak, aka: believing there is no god vs not holding a belief in a god), but that can easily be applied to the aforementioned (strong= atheism, weak= agnostic atheism).

 

In most cases, people who call themselves an agnostic seem to fall within the agnostic atheist category rather than the agnostic theist category.

 

I know this isn't the way that these terms are commonly used today, but this is how I think they make the most sense and how I think the term agnosticism, which wasn't invented until the second half of the 19th century, was intended to be used.

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You've truly tried religion? Have you tried a career? Have you tried a family? Have you tried living a comfortable life on your own wages? Have you lived a life on your own yet? No. Yet you have already tried and given up on religion? Whatever.

 

Not saying I am an authority on this subject, but you're just some random teenage kid at a mediocre (I'm being kind here) college. You haven't truly 'tried' and devoted yourself to life yet. Stop limiting yourself like that.

 

edit: I'd love to see the religious board/topic back here on marlinsbaseball.

 

Wow, this is one of the more insulting things posted on this board in a while, to be honest. You truly don't know anything about my life or what I've experienced, and it is completely unfair of you to judge me as if you did. I have struggled with religion all of my life, because I truly want to believe there is something else out there, and I'm not closed off to the idea that there is. But at this point in my life, I don't feel the need for religion in my life.

 

It doesn't mean I'm closing myself off to religion forever, but a relationship between one and one's God, in my opinion, is a deeply personal thing that you cannot force. Reading scripture every week won't help me find God, or if it will it will create an artificial relationship with God that doesn't truly mean anything.

 

I am not writing all religion off, I am just saying for me, at this time in my life, it doesn't do it for me. I admire people who feel strongly about their religion, but not if it comes at the expense of being open minded to other people and ideas. That is where I draw the line with anything, really.

 

And I'm not really sure what my age or college I go to. A 19 year old kid at Harvard who has a deep relationship with a Christian god doesn't have it anymore figured out than I do, but you wouldn't criticize them for it. It's hypocrisy, clear and simple. You are looking down on me because I have expressed an idea you are uncomfortable with, and that is OK, it is your prerogative, but don't see how a 19 year old devoting their life to God is any different than a 19 year old deciding they aren't religious, or they don't want religion in their life. They have just as much life experience, and they are deciding what they believe just as much, and neither has truly tried anything in life, so essentially what you are saying is, despite being given free will, 19 year olds have no place making their own decisions.

 

And cheap shots about my school are extremely uncalled for. You obviously don't know alot about FIU if you are calling it a mediocre school, as it is anything but.

 

I don't think The Godfather meant to be insulting and I'll offer my interpretation of what he was saying.

Bob is a good poster and I think most of you would agree. And for his age, I would classify him as very intelligent.

But sometimes Bob comes across as if he's got it ALL figured out.

He's 19 years old.

I'm much older than he is and I definitely don't have it all figured out. I think Godfather was simply suggesting that a teenager does not have enough life experience to simply declare that religion is not for them.

BTW, I'm Roman Catholic but not practicing.

 

I disagree, I think he fully meant to be insulting.

 

But I'm not sure what age has to do with it. I'm not declaring "f*** RELIGION FOREVER". I'm saying "Religion is not for me, now". I think anyone should be entitled to say that, because I agree, nobody my age has it all figured out. I would, of course, argue that most people of any age haven't figured out most things, and that is OK.

 

Religion is not a mental thing. It is not something you think about logically, because logically, you cannot prove there is a God (I apologize if this comes off as condescending, I don't want to be the a**hole atheist). It is based on faith, and I simply don't have any faith. I've had doubt as long as I could remember, and when I've gone to church and felt unfulfilled, it isn't because I think I've got it figured out. It is because I didn't feel anything.

 

 

I was wondering if this was ever responded to.

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