This post briefly describes the conclusions of my scientific search (I am scientist by profession and by mindset) of why a Jew is a Jew. The search involved the studies of the Torah, of the Jewish history and of the viewpoints on Judaism of various rabbis in USA and Israel, as well as the modern views of Christianity on the Jews and Judaism.
The term Judaism covers two related but different matters – Judaism as the national morality of the entire Jewish Nation, and Judaism as the Religion of the Jewish people.
Many believe that the Religion of Judaism unites all Jews in one Jewish Nation. However, that is not the case – it splits the Jews into various adversary groups. What unites all Jews into one Jewish Nation is the Morality of Judaism.
Religion of Judaism
Religion of Judaism disunites the people on the essence of the Supreme Power called God that guides our lives. Although almost everybody believes in the existence of the Supreme Power that guides our lives, there is no agreement on what it is – a Human-like All-powerful being (Haredim)? the source of World Creation (Lubavitcher)? the man himself (Atheists)?
Religion of Judaism disunites the people on how the Supreme Power named God guides our lives – through Prayers? Torah studies? 613 Mitzvoth? Ten Commandments? Acting on making the world a better place? Just good moral behavior?
Religion of Judaism disunites the people on the essence of the Torah and of being the Chosen. Some believe the Torah and being the Chosen are directly from God (Orthodox) while the others believe all this is human made (Reform); some believe all this is the history (Atheists) while the others believe the Torah and being the Chosen must be the guide forever (Haredim).
Religion of Judaism disunites the people on the essence of the promised Land and on the relationships with the non-Jews in the residence-country. Some believe all Jews must be gathered in the Promised land symbolized by the State of Israel (Zionists) while the others believe it should not be done at all or only when the certain conditions met (Naturei Karta, Satmar). Some believe the Jews must remain spiritually isolated in the countries of residence (Ultra-Orthodox) while the others believe the Jews must become the active social citizens of the countries of residence (Progressives).
Morality of Judaism
Morality of Judaism unites the entire Jewish nation by guiding the Jews to initiate and test the competing social systems for human existence based on the Jewish understanding what is GOOD and should be supported and what is BAD and should be suppressed.
Morality of Judaism is encoded in the Jewish genetics, is presented in the Ten Commandments, is spiritualized in the God-assigned duties of the Chosen and is detailed in the Torah.
Morality of Judaism is rooted in the Torah declaration that all humans are made in image and likeness of God with the Torah-defined image of God as God the Creator and God the Unique Individual. Following this declaration, all Jews, as well as all humans, must be unique creative individuals.
Morality of Judaism is rooted in the Torah-defined God’s special assignment for the Jews as the Chosen – the Chosen to help the non-Jews learn and live by the God’s morality. Following this assignment, all Jews must apply their unique creative expertise to building a “better world” that is the world which permanently evolving along the lines of the Laws or Rules created by the same God.
Finding what is the truly better requires the competition. Therefore, Morality of Judaism appreciates the competition in all areas of human endeavors – in science, in engineering, in business, in politics, in religion, etc. The overwhelming number of Jews among the Nobel Prize Laureates, the Jewish efforts in creating the Christianity and many other things for which the anti-Semites blame the Jews (“Jewish Power”) are the proof that the Morality of Judaism what almost all Jews live by is the true morality of Jewish Nation.
The competition requires the selection criteria to define the winner, and in the modern Judeo-Christian America the selection criteria is the people’s approval or disapproval by ballot and by purchase.
Rabbis and Judaism
The rabbis as the teachers should teach the Morality of Judaism while the rabbis as the religious leaders should use the prayers and rituals for strengthening the Morality of Judaism that would help the observant Jews work much better on making our world a better place for everybody. Unfortunately, most rabbis are not doing all that. What makes the rabbis hesitant to teach the true Morality of Judaism is the wrongly understood constitutional church-state separation – in the US Constitution, only the official religious organizations are separated, not the Religious morality.
From the news-media:
Addressing delegates at the Standing Committee and Board of Patrons meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, last week, Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, warned his European counterparts that ‘everywhere in Europe, our religious practice is severely under threat’.
Chief Rabbi Goldschmidt said that ‘the continued efforts made by several European nations to restrict our ability to observe important religious customs and traditions are increasingly worrying and problematic. Following the recent banning of religious slaughter in two regions of Belgium and challenges to religious circumcision in Iceland, there are constant discussions in other states including Sweden, France and Germany.’
That is true and our rituals should be defended. But what Rabbi Goldschmidt is not defending but should defend as the most important for survival of our Judeo-Christian civilization is the Morality of Judaism that is the foundation of the Judeo-Christian morality of our civilization and is under threat. Our God-guided Judeo-Christian civilization is much more important than the man-made rituals.
Things to remember while reacting to the discussion subject
The genetics laws are of the probable nature – therefore, something could be always found that contradicts to what is asserted here.