The Definition of a Jew

According to Rabbinical law, a Jew is a person born to a Jewish mother. In a thread on Majikthise dealing with yet another race scandal around George Allen, this time involving his Jewish ancestry, which he apparently denied. This promptly degenerated into a small flamefest about the definition of a Jew.

Unlike Christianity and Islam, Judaism was never a missionary religion. It doesn’t seek to convert people. Its roots are old enough that it’s almost like a local religion, belief in which is defined exclusively by ancestry. It’s possible to convert to Judaism, but it’s a rarity, and the general definition is ethnic, not ideological.

The matrilinear definition is simply the result of rape. In the diaspora, gentile men sometimes raped Jewish women, who’d then carry any resulting fetus to term and raise the baby as a Jew. As such, it made sense to define Jewishness purely on the basis of motherhood.

None of that matters on an individual level, on the other hand. Fortunately, the days of theocracy are gone in most of the world; people are free to choose their own religions. An ethnic Jew who practices Christianity is a Christian, at least in the eyes of everyone but a few outdated rabbis and the Nazis.

3 Responses to The Definition of a Jew

  1. SLC says:

    1. That depends on the definition of a missionary religion. As a matter of fact, during the 10th and 11th centuries, there was a considerable effort made by Jewish missionaries to obtain conversions in Eastern Europe. The most notable was the attempt to convert the pagen, Vladimir, who became the Czar of Russia, to Judaism. He chose Christianity instead because there was a center of Christianity in Rome while there was not a center of Judaism (Jerusalem was under the control of Muslims at the time)

    2. George “Macaca” Allan has now admitted his Jewish ancestry, albeit reluctantly.

  2. opit says:

    You’re in danger of raising the level of discourse online

  3. whig says:

    Do you have any source at all for what you say or are you just pulling that theory out of your posterior?

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