Sunday, March 02, 2008

Who is a Jew?

Some Jews are more Jewish than others. Some are not Jewish enough.

Oy vey.

9 comments:

dick stanley said...

Heck of a tale. Pretty self-defeating behavior, I'd say.

Wyatt Earp said...

Are you frakkin' kidding me???

Tat said...

Oh well. It is similar here, too, although thank god for separation of Sinagogue and State.
I was positively shocked when during my first years in America local Jews (orthodox and some conservatives, too - although it's still hard for me to differentiate) didn't recognize me as a Jew.
It's a totally rotten concept, if you ask me, to think Jewishness is NOT an ethnicity. I'm as Jewish as any Italian is Italian, his catholocism notwithstanding. I can recognize Jewish people on the street in 90% cases - so there are common ethnic characteristics, and I don't care what some discriminating rabbi will tell me. Maybe he's not a Jew, but I am.

Tatyana

dick stanley said...

Well, Jews by choice are becoming rather more common, so you might not be able to recognize them.

Tat said...

Well, Dick, they are not ethnic Jews in my book. Those are people whose religious affiliation is Judaism - has nothing to do with facial features/genetics/common national character. Religion and ethnicity are two different things.

miriam said...

Tat: In the US, we are all mixed up, because of the frequency of intermarriage and adoption.

This is true of all sorts of Americans, and probably of everyone in the world in places where different ethnic groups came together.

A whole lot better than the Arab world, where people marry their cousins and have a lot of birth defects.

Tat said...

Miriam - nice concept, and very Jewish: after all, our fathers traditionally could be anybody, our Jewish identity is coming from the mother.

Now, if somebody relay it to American Orthodox and Hasids; I think those are closest to Arabs in their medieval thinking, what's with marrying the widow of their brother, the hole in the sheet and all that. Would be interesting to see statistics of persentage of genetic desease in closed Orthodox Jewish American communities and in secular American Jewish populace.

dick stanley said...

The percentage of genetic disease must, indeed, be impressive. Your comment brings to mind a nice Jewish couple, both Ashkenazi, whose only child was born with something like Tay-Sachs. Not sure if that was it. She died suddenly at age sixteen. They're still devastated.

miriam said...

Dick: I believe they are able to screen, at least for Tay-Sachs. There might be other genetic diseases among Jews, I don't know. But the Arabs who are isolated have a tremendous number of genetic birth defects, including retardation, due to marrying within the family or tribe.