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10
votes
1answer
123 views

Can a yefas toar be Jewish?

I realize that when the torah discusses אשת יפת תואר it specifies כִּי-תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה, עַל-אֹיְבֶיךָ (Bamidbar 21:10) But I would still like to know if the halacha of אשת יפת תואר could ...
8
votes
1answer
273 views
+50

May a halachically 'Jewish' Atheist work as a 'Shabbat goy'?

I am aware that in Judaism, adherents are forbidden from performing many types of work on the Sabbath/Shabbat/Shabbos. Although it has come to my attention that some consider the employment of a ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is the Jewish Population so small?

Judaism is one of the oldest religions, but there aren't many Jews compared to Muslims and Christians. What are main reasons behind that?
0
votes
1answer
116 views

Who are the original Jews? [closed]

Is the people running Israel at the moment the original Jews and was the letter J in the Greek or Hebrew alphabet?
5
votes
2answers
188 views

Israel Am v.s. Goy

Is Israël an Am or Goy or both? whats the Torah definition and best translation of both terms? Because it seems that Israël is being called both Am as a Goy. (Am Kadosh: Devarim 26:19 and Goy ...
3
votes
4answers
697 views

Matrilineal Descent

I have heard that matrilineal descent (i.e. having Judaism passed down through the mother) comes from the Roman period when women were raped by Roman soldiers and the babies were then said to be ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Was Adam Jewish?

As I understand it, both Adam and Avraham had direct communication with God. Did Adam's communication with God make him Jewish? If not, what is the difference between the belief system of the ...
-1
votes
2answers
351 views

Ezra claimed that Samaritans are not Jews. Is genetic data in conflict with this?

Ezra claimed that those who live on Israel are totally different people that happen to worship the same God. He probably didn't know for sure because he was in Babylon during their birth. I wonder ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

klal yisroel, torah and achdus

I heard someone say that the only way klal yisroel was able to accept the Torah was through achdus? Does anyone know the source for this? Does anyone know if it's in Chofetz Chaim Al HaTorah?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

My great great grandmother was Jewish - am I?

I've discovered that my great, great grandmother was Jewish - i.e. my mother's mother's mother's mother. She converted to Catholicism upon marriage. Are matrilineal descendants of a Jewess who ...
2
votes
0answers
66 views

Can the Black Obelisk's depiction of King Jehu tell us something about the appearance of ancient Israelites?

The Black Obelisk depicts King Jehu in a subordinate position in front of the Assyrian king, Shalmeneser III. This is the oldest known portrayal of an Israelite. Here we can see the King's style of ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Who were the 'mixed multitude' that went up with the children of Israel in Ex 12:38?

Who were the 'mixed multitude also went up with' the children of Israel in Exodus 12:38? Were they part of Israel? What does Judaism, Jewish tradition say about this mixed multitude?
6
votes
1answer
187 views

What is the Significance of Ten Generations in the Torah when it comes to Genealogy

No Ammonite or Moabite shall be admitted into the congregation of the Lord; none of their descendants, even in the tenth generation-Deuteronomy 23:4 What is the significance of the ten-generation ...
4
votes
2answers
61 views

Aleinu - are we happy that other nations worship idols?

I was reminded by seeing this question regarding racism that I had always wondered about how to interpret the well-known prayer of "Aleinu". The first half of the prayer seems to be thanking Hashem ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

Hashem to Moshe - *your* nation?

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלַי, קוּם רֵד מַהֵר מִזֶּה--כִּי שִׁחֵת עַמְּךָ, אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתָ מִמִּצְרָיִם: סָרוּ מַהֵר, מִן-הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִם--עָשׂוּ לָהֶם, מַסֵּכָה. (דברים ט:יב)‏ Why is ...
-4
votes
3answers
782 views

When did the switch to matrilineal descent occur?

Does anyone know when the switch the matrilineal descent took place? I've seen other information about the potential impetus, but when did it become so? Was there even a switch?
2
votes
1answer
80 views

The situation of a lost Jew

Someone who is adopted to a Christian family, but has some indication of a Jewish ancestry - such as a mezuzah, and who is interested in studying and practicing Judaism, what would it take to ...
5
votes
3answers
87 views

Was Uriah Jewish?

Uriah the Hittite (mentioned in 2 Shmuel 11 and various other places) seems to be Jewish based on his name (Light of God). So why was he called "the Hittite"? Is there any opinion that he was not ...
3
votes
5answers
437 views

What is the source of hatred perceived by Jews in different parts of the world?

I don't know if this is off topic but a similar question is here at Christianity SE and I thought it would be interesting to ask the corresponding one here. It intrigues me how people from other ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

What nationality was Bilam?

In Numbers 22:5, the Torah is unclear as to where Pethor is. If it wants to tell us where Pethor is, then tell us, but one can only figure out where Pethor is if one knows of which people was Bilam. ...
10
votes
4answers
322 views

Difference between jewish and zionist?

I was in Israel last summer (Rehovot) visiting a close friend and his wife. In one of our very long conversations with them she said, "I would say I am not jewish, but I am a zionist". ...
24
votes
4answers
4k views

Are children adopted by Jews Jewish?

I was adopted around the time I was three months old by my parents who are both Jewish. I do not know what religion my biological mother was, in fact I have very little detail about her at all. I was ...
3
votes
1answer
67 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
2k 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
492 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
76 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
120 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Non-born-Jew Atheists without any Jewish belief or custom, while having Jewish self-identity for any reason. Is this accepted as Jew?

For example, people who discover to have Jewish descent and begin feeling themselves as being Jewish as well, because the feeling of "brotherhood" towards other Jews is strong. Is it a Jew, semi-Jew, ...
7
votes
2answers
419 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
503 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
606 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
223 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
121 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
608 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 ...
-9
votes
1answer
225 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
236 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
249 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
184 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
162 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
93 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
341 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
114 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, ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How does someone not know they're Jewish?

In this answer, someone said they got offended when people wore crosses, especially if they didn't know they were Jewish. I'm just wondering how someone can not know what religion they follow?
1
vote
1answer
255 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
100 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
376 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
115 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
136 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
125 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
112 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 ...