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3
votes
1answer
97 views

Counting Jews with non-Jews

There is a prohibition of counting Jews (see here) for a number of reasons: 1) Out of love for His people, G‑d counted us at important junctures of our history. The completion of the Tabernacle ...
26
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it possible for a Gentile to convert to Judaism?

Is it possible for someone who is Gentile to convert to Judaism? What is the prevailing belief of Jewish people on this subject? What scripture backs up this belief? What do prominent Jewish ...
-2
votes
3answers
678 views

Certificate of Divorce by God to Israel

I find the following verse to be very harsh as it gives a pink slip of Divorce to Israel and Judah Jeremiah 3:8: וָאֵרֶא, כִּי עַל-כָּל-אֹדוֹת אֲשֶׁר נִאֲפָה מְשֻׁבָה יִשְׂרָאֵל, שִׁלַּחְתִּיהָ, ...
8
votes
2answers
106 views

Asher Bachar Banu and the medrash [duplicate]

We say every day "Asher Bachar Banu Mi'Kol Ha'amim" - Chosen from among all the nations. Yet we all know the famous medrash (quoted in Avodah Zara 2b) which says that G-d went to all the nations and ...
3
votes
1answer
250 views

How was Moses able to speak to at least 600,000 people?

The book of Exodus says that Israelites had 600,000 men of fighting age. And often it has paragraphs like this: Exodus 35:4 (JPS): And Moses spoke unto all the congregation of the children of ...
7
votes
2answers
531 views

Why Do Converts Change Their Names?

Rabbi Avigdor Miller said that it used to be that gerim (converts) and baalei teshuvah (repentants) who had been given non-Jewish names did not change their names when they became part of the Jewish ...
12
votes
6answers
562 views

Why is there so much space and matter,etc. in the universe?

If the point of all of creation is for the Jewish people to accept and carry out the torah [I realize this is not axiomatic and may be a point of contention - see Shabbat 88a] what is the need for the ...
8
votes
2answers
730 views

The blessing for 600,000 Jews

The Gemara (Berakhot 58b) mentions that upon seeing 600,000 Jews one says the blessing "Baruch...Chacham HaRazim" (Who knows all secrets), and this is halacha (Sh.A. O.C. 224:5). Does any know of any ...
7
votes
2answers
258 views

Can a convert to Judaism have a Jewish mother?

The Mishna, Bikkurim 1:4, speaks of converts to Judaism who bring their first fruits to the temple, or who pray within a synagogue: אלו מביאין ולא קורין הגר מביא ואינו קורא שאינו יכול לומר אשר ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Do the sages ever use the word “Jews” to describe the B'nai Israel before the Assyrian captivity?

This may be more a semantic question than anything else, but I'm wondering what the position is on using the word "Jew" to refer to Israelites before the Assyrian captivity. My impression is that the ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Does a finding of Jewish blood in a DNA test make one Jewish?

I had a DNA test done and the results say that my DNA is group with Sephardic Jews. My last name is Steen and I have always heard that we were of Dutch ancestry and I do genealogy and have not found ...
-10
votes
1answer
330 views

Please explain a structural similarity between Nazi ideology and Jewish religion [closed]

It seems to me there is a stange similarity between the core concepts of Jewish religion on the one hand and Nazi ideology on the other. Both believe they are a chosen people – the one by God, the ...
12
votes
1answer
240 views

What does it mean when the “nation says something”?

There are often cases in Tanach where the Bnei Yisrael speak/answer simultaneously. Is there a general rule behind what this means or does it change from verse to verse? It would seem difficult to ...
2
votes
3answers
293 views

Postponing circumcision: what consequences?

I am an atheist (not Jewish) and my soon-to-be wife is Jewish (Ashkenazi of Polish ascent). She doesn't practice, and she says she is not a believer. We are French and live in Paris. This may or may ...
3
votes
1answer
227 views

Once a Jew, always a Jew?

I keep hearing all these critical remarks from orthodox Jews about what we should and should not do. Then I hear the Rabbi from time to time give a speech where he reiterates "Once a Jew, always a ...
3
votes
2answers
196 views

How did Chazal know they were right about “who is a Jew”?

My question is predicated on the assumption that Jews were created by God as fundamentally different from non-Jews. (I am referring, for example, to the idea that Jews have a special type of soul. And ...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

Is there a Malach for Am Yisrael?

I had a very bizarre dream where at the end I was in a room singing then having a heated discussion with someone who claimed to be the malach of 'Am Yisrael'. Is there such a thing as a Malach for Am ...
8
votes
3answers
546 views

Why only beginning with the fourth plague is the exemption of the Jews mentioned?

In Moshe's warning to Pharaoh (in Hashem's name) of the fourth plague, arov, he adds (Ex. 8:18-19): וְהִפְלֵיתִי בַיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶת-אֶרֶץ גֹּשֶׁן אֲשֶׁר עַמִּי עֹמֵד עָלֶיהָ לְבִלְתִּי הֱיוֹת-שָׁם ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

Hebrew Israelites recognition by mainstream Judaism

Are the adherents of 'Hebrew Israelites' church Jews from the 'mainstream' point of view and why (why yes or why not)? I have found mixed information on the topic. Also some of them seek conversion, ...
1
vote
1answer
350 views

Toynbee's description of Jews as a “fossil” — what was the Orthodox response?

In the 1950s historian Arnold Toynbee made the argument that Jews and Judaism did not fit into any definition of nation, race, or religion. We were not a nation because we lived for centuries without ...
7
votes
0answers
115 views

Proving Jewish identity through gravestone

What needs to be considered to show that under a grave marker lies a Jewish person?
5
votes
3answers
429 views

Comedy and Jewish Life

There are many Jews in America who publicly engage in comedy, whether as a career path or as a way of expressing themselves (blogs, art, etc.). Is there historical precedent to this? Are there any ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Are Jews greater than angels?

In a spiritual sense which is greater - or if you prefer, has more kedusha - angels or Jews and why? Please explain and cite explicit sources, not inferences.
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Intermarriage and Jewish status of their children

My question is, if a non-Jewish man marries a Jewish woman, since the marriage is invalid, are the children Jewish? Specifically, is there any source in the Mishnah which says that they are not ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

benefits of following Noahaich laws and 613 mitzovets

As I read on mi yodeya, that following the 613 mitzovet is a nessesary for righteous jews, and I also know that this task is very difficult, but the seven mitzovet of Noahich laws are easy, and the I ...
-2
votes
1answer
121 views

Historical ID lost can it be reclaimed

Could it be possible that many Hispanics who moved from Spain and having their family line coming from Jewish blood (Sephardi Jews), be actually Jews and not know it? There is a test now to check ...
6
votes
1answer
170 views

What's “chosen” about Jews?

Jews are commonly referred to as "the chosen people". I've heard it comes from Exodus 19:5 ("וִהְיִיתֶם לִי סְגֻלָּה מִכָּל הָעַמִּים", "ye shall be Mine own treasure from among all peoples", JPS). ...
-3
votes
2answers
163 views

Could I became a Jew in the next cosmic reborn/reboot?

Hindu people believe that the Cosmos is dying and emerging in a never ending circle. How is this seen by Jews and could I be born in the new Cosmos instance as a Jew, even if I am not?
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Voting for Jews in elections

In a civil election, does Judaism teach that one should vote for Jewish candidates over non-Jews? What if the voter supports the other candidate's positions on every other issue much more?
3
votes
1answer
140 views

Will all Jews speak Hebrew when Mashiach comes?

This question just kind of popped into my head, so I'm not sure whether it is really a good question for this site, but I wonder if anybody has written about it. I would imagine that since when ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is Judaism not Racism?

I am only asking this question to educate myself, not because I am anti-semitic or for any other hidden agenda. I do not what to turn this forum into an ugly place. I realize this question is ...
2
votes
4answers
265 views

Are those who reject idolatry Yahudim (Jews)?

I found the following quote referencing Gemara from a book on converts in Judaism: The Gemara (Megillah 13•) states that we find the appellation “Yehudi” in Nach only three times: once for ...
0
votes
1answer
204 views

Who is a Jew according the Tanach?

Does the Tanach give guidelines to Identify who is a Jew and who is not?
-6
votes
2answers
122 views

What are the behaviors which will cause the covenant between Bnei Yisrael and God to be broken? [closed]

What are the abominations that Bnei Yisrael should desist from, which would cause it to break the covenant of God. And has the covenant been broken in the past?
7
votes
2answers
155 views

Why switch the reference from “גוי” to “עם” in Tachanun?

Why does the prayer "Shomer Yisra'el" in Tachanun say in two of the verses the word גוי in the first and last phrase, but עם in the middle phrase? שומר גוי אחד שמור שארית עם אחד ואל יאבד גוי אחד ...
0
votes
2answers
109 views

What makes the Jews a nation?

Are the Jews "a nation" by virtue of ethnic origin or by virtue of being chosen by God? (That is, which of these two criteria has lexical priority over the other?) What constitutes the peoplehood of ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Do Jews think that all the unbelievers would go to hell someday?

I wonder whether Judaism teaches that those unbelievers or those who are Jews but nevertheless lead a sinful life would go to hell someday when judgement time comes.
19
votes
6answers
810 views

When did Avraham Avinu become Jewish

Avraham Avinu is often called "the first Jew". When did he become Jewish. Was it when: He recognized G-d? G-d spoke to him for the first time? Covenant Between The Parts? When G-d changed his name? ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Why did David's kingdom split if he didn't sin?

According to one opinion in the Gemara (Bab. Shab. 56b), the reason David's kingdom split was because he sinned by believing Lashon HaRa'. According to another opinion, though, he never sinned at all. ...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

What is the difference between Beta Israel and Beta Avraham

What exactly is the difference between the Beta Israel and the Beta Avraham? Are the Beta Avraham halachickly jewish?
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Does a dish received as a gift from another Jew need to be toveled? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Tevilat Keilim on a gift If I buy Ploni a new coffee mug, does he need to tovel it? Did I need to tovel it?
3
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the difference between “Jew”, “Israelite” and “Judaizer”?

What's the difference between "Jew", "Israelite" and "Judaizer"? Can these three terms be used interchangeably? Can only one or only two of these terms be applied to one person?
2
votes
2answers
549 views
8
votes
2answers
204 views

Were the eirev rav Jewish?

Were the eirev rav Jewish? If they were in fact Jewish why are they described by the term eirev rav instead of just referring to them as we would any other Jew? If they were not Jewish why were they ...
9
votes
1answer
211 views

Extent of matrilineal descent [duplicate]

Am I a Jew if my mother's mother's mother's mother's mother was a Jew? Even if along the line one of my foremothers converted to another faith? I'd just like a better understanding of matrilineal ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Confusion in Yeshayahu's Propechies..?

I was looking through Isaiah and come across these weird passages: (2) And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they shall war one man against his brother, and a man against his friend, ...
9
votes
4answers
415 views

Was Eisav Jewish?

Was Eisav Jewish? Eisav was born to the same father and mother as Yaakov. It may be possible to say that Yaakov was not Jewish either as it was before Matan Torah, however if Yaakov was Jewish, then ...
4
votes
0answers
49 views

Should you show preference to a Jew/ Jewish establishment? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Purchasing from a Jew If you have the opportunity to do business or make purchases with either a non-Jew or a Jew equally is there any reason to prefer the Jew over the ...
8
votes
1answer
222 views

Halachic significance of the plurality of Jews living in Israel

I once heard that if Israel has the largest Jewish population, it has a significant effect on certain Halachot. What are the criteria for this, and what halachot are affected? (Shmita is the one most ...
11
votes
2answers
330 views

Does our literature discuss invalidating a conversion because the convert would not put his/her lot with the Jewish people?

When a person is interested in converting, there are really two questions they are asked: Are you prepared to accept the theology and observance of Judaism? Are you prepared to accept your identity ...