Assignment 8 Jewish Identity Essay
April 8th 2015
Assignment 8: Jewish Identity
A.What is the criteria for being Jewish? What does it mean to be Jewish?
When looking at Judaism, one has to go far back to biblical times to fully understand its origins. It started with the Hebrew people in the country of Israel. The bloodline of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob is what constitutes people as being Jewish. Being classified as a Jew, or a Jewish citizen has more to do with family ties, then what you believe in. The standard for being considered Jewish is that you have to be born to a Jewish mother. Some sects of Judaism like to include being born to a Jewish father as part of being Jewish. It can be looked at as more of a nationality or an ethnicity than a …show more content…
Along with being Jewish, and following the customs, comes the inheritance that God promised his children, or the Israelites. There are conflicting views on whether or not a Jewish born person who abandons their customs would still be considered Jewish. Looking at it from a logical point of view without involving any Jewish law, yes they still are Jewish. Maybe not by religiously, but ethnically they are. Rambam, a scholar who changed Judaism stated that people who have atheist, pantheist, or monist views would still be considered Jewish if born into the religion. When looking at the Torah, they are not considered Jewish, because they engaged in pagan beliefs, and can no longer share in the inheritance of the children of Israel. Holocaust survivors in my opinion are most definitely Jewish, they suffered for what they believed in, and they just lost hope.
D. If a Jew is born Jewish, follows Jewish rituals and customs, but they believe in anyone as a Messiah (for example, Lubavitch - Brooklyn Messiah), is that person Jewish? This question is not just about Jesus, it pertains to a host of other persons who were supposed to be the Messiah (not just Jesus).
Believing in a messiah, does not make someone not Jewish. The traditional Jewish belief is that a king from the line of David would be the messiah. Jesus came along, and claimed to be the king of the Jews, but they did not believe him. Jesus did not fit the criteria to be the son of