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Preview: Comments on Muslims Against Sharia: What is wrong with today's Jews? A perspective of ...

Comments on Muslims Against Sharia: What is wrong with today's Jews? A perspective of a moderate Muslim.

Updated: 2009-12-06T22:40:42.608+01:00


K.M. -- The issue of Jewish identity (religious? ...


K.M. --

The issue of Jewish identity (religious? ethnic? biological? etc.) has confused many people for a very long time.

Technically, you are a Jew if you are born to a Jewish mother, or if you convert to Judaism voluntarily. (Any decent rabbi will do his or her best to talk you out of converting to Judaism. We don't want reluctant converts. On the other hand, nobody gives you a hard time about converting out.)

But many people, Jews from birth, do not practice Judaism in any way -- yet still consider themselves Jewish. This leads to confusion -- why do you still consider yourself Jewish? Such people have many different answers to that question.

Antisemitism has also muddied the waters. Hitler famously declared that anyone with a single Jewish grandparent was Jewish enough for him. (He apparently didn't realize that, since his father was illegitimate and his paternal grandfather unknown, that definition might well have applied to him too.)

People have been persecuted as Jews, and murdered as Jews, who never in their lives considered themselves to be Jews. This led to Edmund Fleg's cynical definition: "A Jew is a man other men call a Jew." That definition is too accurate for comfort; whether or not YOU consider yourself Jewish doesn't matter, if other people consider you Jewish and hunt you down for it.

Personally, I don't consider the 'biological definition' to be worth anything. Sure, you could take some random person off the street, subject them to DNA analysis, and tell them that, sometime in the early 1700s, they probably had a Jewish ancestor. But what will you do with that information?... Nobody cares.

Finally: you ask whether Jews and Islamists are alike, in believing themselves superior, 'pure', and so forth?

I'd say no. Jews describe themselves as 'the chosen people', yes, but that has nothing to do with being 'superior'. (The Old Testament goes out of its way to show how exasperated God gets, frequently, with the Jewish people.) Being the Chosen People is a RESPONSIBILITY, to set a good example (as the Old Testament describes it) for other peoples. That status hasn't gotten us anything over the centuries, aside from a lot of persecution.

You could also look at what people do with that status. Jews don't claim Chosen People status as an excuse to kill nonbelievers; nor do Jews insist that others live by Jewish rules.

I would argue that what's important to me is not what another person believes, but how they act on those beliefs, and whether those beliefs make him or her a better person. If I have a good neighbor, one who always helps me when I need it and pays his debts and doesn't expect me to follow his religious rules, I don't care if he is Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Zoroastrian, or if he worships Father Zeus or Ra the Sun God. (Contrariwise, if a person cannot be trusted, the fact that he's a member of my religion won't make me trust him.)

Thanks for putting up with my long-winded comment! I hope this answers some of the questions you've been asking.

Daniel in Brookline

All right Stephen, now I understand what does it m...


All right Stephen, now I understand what does it mean: 'Jewish belonging can be checked through DNA analysis' ( ), which has been told to me (and to the audience) by a Jewish senior.

Honestly speaking I found this issue a 'justification to Nazism', who was seeking for a 'pure Arian race', killing every 'Jewish' [who was phisically identified and persecuted].

I was sure that Nazis were crazy, because -I thought- they confused biology with mentality. I was sure Judaism was a way of believing, something spiritual, something related to the mind, not to the genes ( ). Identifying a Jewish through his/her phisicity -I thought-, it was just absurd.

But now I think it's me who is going crazy ...: you are actually saying, that Judaism is a matter of biology (too).

The same goes for Islamists and Islamism: people say it (Islam) is a matter of (pure) race, of biology (of DNA).

Islamic people are the descendants of Isma'il, then all Islamic people are DNA-connected/related, and they blong to one of 'the 12 tribes' (too, like Jewishes).

That's why we have then a coalition between Islam-ists and Jewish-ists: both of them feel like belonging to the/a 'pure/elected' race, loved by God/Allah/Yhwh, descending from (one of) the praised '12 tribes', and anyway superior to other human beings and races (?).

Do Islamism and Judaism match very well together, when it comes to 'ethnical/racial' fanaticism?

If the answer is 'yes', according to me, it is pure madness, which would just drive to Nazism (excessive proudness for own 'nationality', ethnical belonging).

My point of view is: biology is something, our beliefs (mentality) is something else.

By growing up, one's mentality could (should!) change, develop, evolve ... [i.e. from totalitarist and/or selfish believes to believing in Democracy, Humanism, ...].


Kindest regards and a sunny life to everyone.

"Judaims (sic) is both a nationality and a religio...


"Judaims (sic) is both a nationality and a religion"

Actually, "Judaism" is only a religion.

Being "Jewish" however has potentially ethnic, cultural and/or religious connotations.

Anyone who is born of Jewish parentage (i.e. descendant of the patriarch 'Jacob/Israel') is ethnically Jewish, whatever their religious practice. (this is not taking into account differences in opinions regarding matrilineal vs patrilineal descent)

For example, my brother's wife was born Jewish -- her mother was ethnically a Jew -- but she did not believe in or practice Judaism until recently. So ethnically, she was Jewish but was not a religious follower of Judaism.

On the other hand, my brother has no Jewish lineage, but converted to Judaism in recent years. So he is religously, but not ethnically a "Jew." i.e. he follows the principles and practices of Judaism but isn't a physical descendant of the patriarch Jacob/Israel.


Gerald,"This doesn't particularly sound like your ...



"This doesn't particularly sound like your run-of-the-mill terrorist/Islamist organization."

Which part of "eliminating and destroying the Western civilization" confused you?

Asher Abrams' hugely long diatribe against Rabbi Y...


Asher Abrams' hugely long diatribe against Rabbi Yoffie fails to mention much of what actually occurred at that convention in San Diego at the Union for Reform Judaism National Biennial Convention. I was there and witnessed it all.

Before the ISNA representative (a female PhD) came to speak to the URJ plenary session, Rabbi Yoffie had gone to the ISNA convention and spoke before an audience of many times the size of the few thousand committed Jews present in San Diego. He noted that as he began to speak there, he was first met with inattention and discomfortable fidgeting in that audience.

By the time he finished to rapt attention of that audience, he received a standing ovation from them, a totally Muslim audience. This doesn't particularly sound like your run-of-the-mill terrorist/Islamist organization. None of this was even alluded to by Mr. Abrams.

Later, a resolution was passed that recommended further Jewish-Muslim dialogue. Its original preamble had some loose and hastily drawn wording, distortedly referring to "...both sides are killing in the name of God." I rose to strongly object during the discussion on that resolution, noting that the actual situation, of course, was much different, as has been noted many times before: If the violent Muslims stop their violence, there would be peace; if Israel stops defending itself, there would be no Israel.

My suggested rewrite of the sentence suggested a small but important revision, namely, "When there is killing in the name of God,...." This minor but critical change would be more generic and not directly accusatory, so as not to be offensive to Muslims who actually were moderate. At the same time, it would eliminate the nonsensical "symmetric" implication, and thus be much less offensive to Jews, as well as much more accurate. This change was immediately recognized by Rabbi Yoffie as to be preferred, and it was adopted in the final wording of the resolution.

So to my mind, Yoffie has certainly not supplanted Arafat in the “most peculiar” category; not by a long shot.

- Gerald

Some Jews are too smart by half.Internally Jews ar...


Some Jews are too smart by half.

Internally Jews are divided by their left who believe that surrender will bring peace.

Socialists are utopianists at heart. They believe in the brotherhood of man - which is a good place to start. However, they fail to go to the next step - what should be done in a world that does not adhere to that belief?

From your friendly Jewish poster,


thanks for the comment on my blog. I appreciate y...


thanks for the comment on my blog. I appreciate your position. Eric Yoffie didn't bother to do research because as a "liberal religious professional" he doesn't believe that people take religion seriously. You, on the other hand, have taken a bold stand and should be congratulated for doing so. Yoffie's constituency wants Judaism to adapt what they believe to be correct and still call it Judaism. You seem to understand (from what I can see on your blog) what direction you are going in. be well and protect your neck.

Eitan,"Judaims is both a nationality and a religio...



"Judaims is both a nationality and a religion"

I'm not an expert on Judaism, but I know some American Jews and I'm pretty sure their nationality is American. By the same token, Israeli Jews practice Judaism as a religion and are Israelis by nationality.

I don't understand how voting for Obama or taking part in skirmishes with Israeli soldiers has anything to do with self-loathing. I remember some right-wing Jews had skirmishes with soldiers during Gaza withdrawal. Were they self-loathing too? Just because some Jews do not agree with your point of view does not make them self-loathing. I'm not trying to pass a judgment who's right and who's wrong, I'm just saying that self-loathing has nothing to do with this.

K.M: Judaims is both a nationality and a religion(...


K.M: Judaims is both a nationality and a religion(this concept goes back to Avraham). So when I ellude to "self-loathing" Jews I'm talking about the ones who would just as readily give up on Isreal as they would vote for Barak Obama. "Self-loathing" as anything else, has its extremes. I personally know of cases of soldiers who've been wounded in skirmishes with left wing Jews in Belin near the separation wall.

Eitan,I agree that we need to clean up our own hou...


I agree that we need to clean up our own houses first. I don't know enough about Israeli politics, but my best guess is that the biggest threat to Israel is Islamic terrorism.
I could never understand the concept of self-loathing. If someone hates their religion, why don't they just change it? As far as I know, Judaism has no death penalty for apostasy.

K.M.: my fight is a fight agaisnt self-loathing Je...


K.M.: my fight is a fight agaisnt self-loathing Jews--not necessarily Islamists or anti-Semites. Sure, I deplore acts of anti-Semitism as well as the Jihad, but one has to look at his own back-yard before exploring the mistakes of others. I find that the biggest danger facing the State of Israel today is left wing Jewry. What do you think?