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I am not Jewish, although I come from a Jewish heritage. My great-grandmother was Jewish. I have, since childhood, found the religion fascinating, even though my belief in Jesus has firmly placed me in the Christian camp.

However; I recently purchased a Star of David that has a cross in it, which I love because to me it represents my Jewish heritage and my Christian religion. It has led to interesting questions and, because the cross is small, assumptions that I am Jewish.

I just wonder if a Jewish person would find it offensive and if I would be offending someone by wearing it?

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Welcome to the Site and thanks for asking your question. –  avi Jan 12 '12 at 16:39
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Hello DataGirl, and welcome to Judaism.SE and thank you for asking your question here! To clarify what Gershon said, Judaism is passed on through the mother, and according to Jewish law, one is Jewish even if they don't practice, believe, or even know. Hence, if your mother's mother's mother was Jewish, then you are too. –  HodofHod Jan 12 '12 at 17:13
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It is my mother's grandmother, but on her father's side, so the line ends with him, right? –  DataGirl Jan 12 '12 at 18:00
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Yes, it ends with him. –  Seth J Jan 12 '12 at 18:11
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I'm an Oriental Orthodox Christian. The crossed star symbolizes the 2 testaments which we treat as equally important. It has also been a symbol of the Solomonic Dynasty of Ethiopia; many wear it to show their loyalty towards that Ancient Line of Emperors. I have never heard of these "Messianics" & I imagine this is something unique in the U.S. But the Crossed Star has been used in Ethiopia for hundreds of years. You will find this symbol on hundreds of Oriental Orthodox Churches & almost everywhere in Ethiopia. –  user2403 Feb 15 '13 at 14:26
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5 Answers

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Assuming it was your father's Mother's Mother or some combination thereof who was Jewish, then it might be best for you to find a Large cross with a small Jewish star. The Jewelry you currently have has strong associations with "Messianic Jews", or "Jews for Jesus", both groups which are roundly rejected by Jewish groups as being either an oximoron or deceptive.

If you do identify with that Christian group however, then perhaps the jewelry is acceptable. However it would be offensive to Jewish persons.

Something like this or this, might seem less offensive and cause less confusion, or even something a bit more artistic like this.

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I can say that I do not associate nor identify with the Jews for Jesus. And, thanks for the pictures. The first one is what I had in mind, but I couldn't find one. This is going to sound strange, but the whole Jewish side of my family was downplayed when I was growing up and I believe that because of my great-grandmother and her parents, I'm the person I am today (based on things I've learned about them and their personalities). I want to honor them in some way and that's why I like the combination of cross and Star of David. –  DataGirl Jan 12 '12 at 18:03
    
@DataGirl That is very admirable. When I was searching on the net for a picture I had a hard time finding something fitting. I wish you luck in your search. –  avi Jan 12 '12 at 19:11
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That last one doesn't look appropriate to me: it has an ankh, and a ying/yang symbol, and I think a crescent, and an om, and perhaps a couple of others. It seems to be a general religious symbology smörgåsbord. –  TRiG Jun 6 '12 at 20:20
    
Messianic jews are deceptive. What about atheistic jews or polytheistic jews? –  Jim Thio Mar 1 at 13:54
    
Indeed all the nations may walk in the name of their gods; but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever. Micah 4:5 biblehub.com/micah/4-5.htm Micah is pretty polytheistic there. –  Jim Thio Mar 1 at 13:57
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I would suggest that it probably reflects the beliefs of some messianic Christians who call themselves Jews (and some who are technically Jewish by the Jewish standard of matrilineal descent), and I would interpret it to mean that you are of that ilk. Many Jews (and I count myself among them) do not have any nice thoughts towards these groups, to put it mildly. If you feel it reflects something different for you, you might wear it under your clothing, but I would not recommend wearing it around Jewish colleagues or co-workers. Especially the latter, as it may be perceived, especially if you engage in religious discussion or declaration of faith, as contributing towards a hostile work environment (in violation of Title VII - see example 18, if you live/work in the U.S.).

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I can speak for myself. I am not offended by a Christian that wears a cross. However it bothers me when a Jew wears a cross, especially if he/she does not realize they are Jewish.

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I'm curious and I'm not sure if this belongs here, but why are you bothered if someone doesn't know they're Jewish and they wear a cross? –  DataGirl Jan 12 '12 at 19:07
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It bothers me - as I feel bad that they have never had an opportunity to know their true heritage - and not only do they not know their heritage they are unfortunately entwined elsewhere. –  Gershon Gold Jan 12 '12 at 19:11
    
That makes sense. And, I believe you're right. I definitely believe that I've missed out on something by not knowing the Jewish side of my family. And, since I began my search, I believe I have gained so much with my association with my Jewish cousins. –  DataGirl Jan 12 '12 at 19:39
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I understand being upset if someone doesn't know their heritage, but why on earth would it make any difference if that person wore a cross or not? –  DJClayworth Jan 12 '12 at 21:50
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I wrote some of this in comments to someone's answer, but it should probably be an answer in itself.

In a way, I would say that you need to believe and live out what you think God wants from you, in front of Him alone, rather than worrying about what offends other people. This is a very important thing in all of our lives. But for a few reasons I'm not going to say that, here.

Firstly, it's beautiful that you want to avoid causing hurt to Jews by what you wear, even if only because of the long history of European persecution. Though people may say the offenders were not 'real Christians', it's still important to be sensitive of such trauma. Christian beliefs in themselves shout that what Jews have been holding onto all this time was a rebellion against God, or at least missing the point of what He wants, rather than a choice of love for Him and trust in Him despite so much cost. If that community holds a message from God in their generations, with their lives, their obedience to His Torah, and turning towards Him in His promise to them as a nation, then to preach the Christian messiah is to ignore the actual servant of God and to make them feel even more isolated in their obedience.

Also, I think that if Christianity is false in the areas where it differs from Judaism, and on the other hand Orthodox Judaism is holding some important and precious things... then Christianity actually defiles what is precious by taking Jewish symbols and using them to promote the worship of Jesus.

If Jesus was not actually God, then Christians think they are worshiping only God (that's their intention) but they are still bringing into that the worship of someone who is created, just like we are created. That is demoralising to us and a big problem; it's unintentional idolatry, if it isn't true. And how are Jews meant to test that sort of claim while carefully, carefully protecting the devotion to only ever worship our Creator? I don't believe that the Torah ever teaches Jews to watch out not to miss an incarnation claim or to try hard to interpret things so as to not miss their king. But it certainly gives a continual reminder to be cautious about wrongly believing or following such a claim. So actually, even though you must walk with God according to what He thinks rather than what I think, I can say that the Jewish community wouldn't endorse wearing such a thing and would feel that something important is being severely cheapened and defiled by it.

Sorry if it seems harsh... it isn't directed personally at you! I think it's beautiful that you asked, like I said, and it's also special to you in your family so I also think you fully have a right to that.

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Everyone should wear what they want be it a cross or star of david and if they want to wear a star with a cross that is their right. For someone to have bad feelings or be annoyed by someone doing this that is their problem. Live and let live. I am Jewish and have not felt any acceptance in the Temples I have visited, yet I do feel accepted in a little Church I have been going to. Why can't people just let everyone do what they want and stop dissing them for what they believe.

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The OP it seems actually cared about what other's think, and didn't want to offend anyone. You, it seems, have no such inclination. That doesn't mean you should complain about the OP's beliefs. –  Double AA Jan 7 '13 at 17:04
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While you have a valid point, that if someone chooses to wear a piece of jewelry it generally ought not to be of any concern to anyone else, this does not answer the question being asked. The OP clearly wants to know - from the perspective of active Jews - whether such a piece of jewelry would offend. Clearly it would not offend you as much as the underlying assumption (that others might be offended) would. Point taken. –  Seth J Jan 7 '13 at 17:10
    
This is a very weak answer to the question of whether this symbol would offend Jews -- it states that there exists one Jew who wouldn't be, though that one Jew goes to churches so I'm not sure how useful that is. I am tempted to delete this as not an answer, but seeing no flags or delete votes currently, I'll hold off. –  Monica Cellio Aug 4 '13 at 2:21
    
I was raised a Christian and it's true that many Christians and churches are compassionate, friendly, sincere in their love for God and people. That doesn't stop the fact that if Jesus was not actually God, then they think they are worshiping only God (that's their intention) but they are still bringing into that the worship of someone who is created, just like we are. That is demoralising to us and a big problem; it's unintentional idolatry, if it isn't true. And how are Jews meant to test that sort of claim while carefully, carefully protecting the devotion to only ever worship our Creator? –  Annelise Aug 4 '13 at 11:15
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...so to mix Christian beliefs with Jewish rituals and symbols (though I know that the original Christians were Jews) is awful. That has nothing to do with the respect I have for my Christian friends. Also beautiful that DataGirl wants to avoid causing hurt to Jews because of the long history of European persecution. Though people may say they were not 'real Christians', it's still important to be sensitive of such trauma. Christian beliefs in themselves shout that what Jews have been holding onto all this time was a rebellion against God, rather than a choice of love for Him and trust in Him. –  Annelise Aug 4 '13 at 11:20
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protected by Double AA Aug 4 '13 at 8:13

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