Anat Ghelber
Some people call me Ana

Are ‘sinful’ Jews still Jews?

Can pornstars, strippers, Playboy models, even alcoholics etc. etc. etc. still be considered Jewish?

I’ll admit, this isn’t something I’ve given serious thought to before.

If you’d asked me, anyone who was born to a Jewish family is Jewish, period. Beyond that, I honestly couldn’t have cared less.

However, something occurred two nights ago that’s made me reconsider.

I was at a friend’s birthday party in Mexico City.

Most of the people there were Jewish.

A few weren’t.

One of the people attending, a non-Jew, started exclaiming out loud, (while also attempting to be flattering or complimentary?)

“People can say whatever they want about you Jews!”

“That you’re cheap.”

“That you’re ‘this’…that you’re ‘that.’ “

“But one thing for sure, you guys are all successful.”

“All of you are either doctors, lawyers, writers, you name it.”

“You Jews are the definition of success.”

People were laughing, not paying much attention to him.

This one Jewish guy there (let’s name him “X”) stood up and protested, “Not all of us are academic.”

“Not all of us are doctors or lawyers.”

“There are even Jewish pornstars out there.”

He started glancing excitedly through his phone, eager to show off pictures of pornstar Jews, proclaiming eagerly, “You see this girl? She’s Jewish! You see this girl? She’s Jewish too!”

Everyone laughed and was having a good time.

Then this one drunk (Jewish) man started screaming, “These girls aren’t Jewish, you moron! They are pornstars!”

And that’s when the altercation started between him and “X.”

My friends and I loitered off to one side, quietly observing.

X asserted that these girls in question were Jewish no matter what.

“What do you mean they aren’t Jewish?”

“They came from Jewish families.”

“They are Jewish, whether you like it or not.”

The man denying these girls’ Jewish identity retorted, “They are not Jewish, period.”

“The minute they started to take off their clothes, they became non-Jews.”

“They are prostitutes!”

“Not Jews.”

“X” got very angry, and countered with, “You are the one who’s not Jewish!  You are an alcoholic.”

From there, the whole thing just devolved into the two of them cursing each other non-stop.

But all this belligerence left me wondering.

Is there a point at which someone “loses” their Jewish identity?

Can alcoholics or pornstars still be Jewish?

What about serial killers?

If Judaism is something you are simply born with, then following or not following religious rules shouldn’t make anyone more or less Jewish.

What do you think?





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