Poll: Do you consider patrilineal Jews to be Jewish?

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Thread: Do you consider patrilineal Jews to be Jewish?

  1. #21
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    dont worry, this Irish guy did not vote

    I just wanted to say I appreciate this thread...learning lots of stuff on things I am not very familiar with yet hear talked about in the media and such from time to time, so given my historical interests...very cool

    so thanks to all for the rather clear and civilized discussion

    Mike
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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWhalen View Post
    dont worry, this Irish guy did not vote

    I just wanted to say I appreciate this thread...learning lots of stuff on things I am not very familiar with yet hear talked about in the media and such from time to time, so given my historical interests...very cool

    so thanks to all for the rather clear and civilized discussion

    Mike
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    Erin go bragh!

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  5. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWhalen View Post
    dont worry, this Irish guy did not vote

    I just wanted to say I appreciate this thread...learning lots of stuff on things I am not very familiar with yet hear talked about in the media and such from time to time, so given my historical interests...very cool

    so thanks to all for the rather clear and civilized discussion

    Mike
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    Thanks to moderators and administrators.
    After all the trolls are banned smart people can make a nice and civilized discussion.

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  7. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Targum View Post
    Usually ascribed by mainstream tradition to Ezra and his post-Babylonian Exile reforms, which were proactive anti-assimilation decrees. Scholars see this as one of the historical turning points which led Jewish history and resulted in Jewish survival ; in contrast to the more “liberal” Israelites carried away by Assyria, who assimilated into historical oblivion . The other post-exile factors ( but all really developed in Bavel or even pre-exile)were the developments of the institutions of the Yeshiva, the Rabbis and the Synagogue.
    I don't think Judaism began with the rabbinical tradition

  8. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh w. View Post
    I don't think Judaism began with the rabbinical tradition
    Your answer, with due respect misses my point. Judaism, the dual Torah begins with Avraham Avinu. I was answering regarding Rabbinic Codification of what came to be the Halakhah ;-); specifically that which was later codified in Talmud Bavli as to matrilineal descent.
    Last edited by Targum; 07-28-2019 at 08:53 PM.

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  10. #26
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    Short answer for me is yes assuming that they self-identify as Jewish. I don't think it matters whether their mother or father is Jewish, but if they have a Jewish parent and a Jewish identity, then I consider them ethnically Jewish. Those with a Jewish parent and little-to-no Jewish identity, I'm more hesitant to describe as Jewish. Self-identification is a key factor in my opinion.

    Similarly, I'm more ambivalent toward people with one Jewish parent (and, sometimes in the US, even those with two Jewish parents) whose Jewish identity is, at best, peripheral to their general identity, but they sometimes invoke it to gain some sort of moral authority for expressly political reasons ("as a Jew, I feel this way..."). Especially when those same people are silent or apathetic toward other Jews' feelings/needs when it doesn't fit their political viewpoints or agenda. Sadly, I feel like I see this a lot nowadays. It's difficult for me to take these people seriously as Jews. There's also a tendency for some Jews today, including those with two Jewish parents, who have little knowledge about Judaism but want to grasp onto some sort of Jewish identity (again, often for political reasons), so rather than seek out knowledge or wisdom from those who have committed their entire lives to Judaism, they try to redefine Judaism to fit into their existing identities and then claim that their Judaism is as "authentic" as that of people for whom being Jewish dictates almost every aspect of their lives. So this again has more to do with self-identification than with descent, whether patrilineal or matrilineal. And just to clarify, I'm not an Orthodox Jew, but I do have enormous respect for them and their commitment toward Jewish religion and culture.

    Now in terms of halakhah, I am in favor of recognizing patrilineal descent (and this is one of the few points on which I agree with Reform/Liberal Judaism), but I also have respect for halakhah and Jewish tradition. So even though I don't necessarily agree with the strict matrilineal laws, I'm hesitant to outright disagree in part because I think that radical change and departure (such as that of Reform Judaism) can be a dangerous and slippery slope toward the disintegration of tradition altogether. If that makes sense.

    Anyway, sorry if some of this is off topic, but this is why I chose both "yes" and "it's complicated." And of course I consider Aga and in general most (if not all) of the self-identifying Jews of mixed ancestry on this forum to be ethnically Jewish.

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  12. #27
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    I vote yes, with the caveat that my personal opinion obviously does not reflect the majority consensus within Jewish lay and religious society. As a secular matrilineal Jew, with no religious upbringing, my personal ties to Judaism and the Jewish people are based purely on a sense of ancestral belonging, which I don't feel should be any different for those whose descent comes from their father's side. I think Reform Judaism comes closest to the right approach, recognizing as Jewish those of either matrilineal or patrilineal descent as long as they were raised Jewish. However, when it comes to those with a secular background such as myself, my feeling is that many individual congregations still privilege matrilineal descent and require patrilineal "half-Jews" to convert. So, in terms of a secular, ethnic identity, I'd say patrilineal Jews are every bit as Jewish as matrilineal Jews, but the weight of tradition and halakhic rulings (despite the existence of seemingly valid counterarguments) is unlikely to be overcome anytime soon.

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  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Targum View Post
    Your answer, with due respect misses my point. Judaism, the dual Torah begins with Avraham Avinu. I was answering regarding Rabbinic Codification of what came to be the Halakhah ;-); specifically that which was later codified in Talmud Bavli as to matrilineal descent.
    Your answer is correct but it points out that the decision was sociological or political rather than theological in nature. Same for the choice of the Judean over the Samaritan view. The poll asks for our social or political view.
    Last edited by josh w.; 07-29-2019 at 01:34 AM.

  15. #29
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    Off line sometime I would be happy to discuss Torah she be’al peh with you . As someone who learns Gemara daily I cannot completely agree wit what I think you are saying about its genesis. Suffice to say that despite it having (out of historical necessity as artemv so accurately noted) been written down, it really was a much older oral tradition, sung in fact , as we still sing-song when reciting it out loud. We all only encountered it written, but when learning with a hhavruta חברותא, out loud, you do get a taste of the once completely oral tradition.
    Last edited by Targum; 07-29-2019 at 03:24 AM.

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  17. #30
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    I only accept true Israelites as Jews:

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