You May Just Be Half-Jewish

If your mother is Jewish, and your father is not Jewish, you are 100% Jewish.

If your father is Jewish, and your mother is not Jewish, you are not Jewish.

Wait, what?

I’m sorry, but that doesn’t make any sense.

Let me say it differently and see if that helps.

How about…if your mother is Jewish, and your father is not Jewish, you are half-Jewish,

If your father is Jewish and your mother is not Jewish, you are still half-Jewish.

Yeah, see?

Now that makes sense.

I say this because, with all honesty, this whole rule of Judaism only being passed down from the mother doesn’t seem right to me (and by the way I am a pure born Jew from both my parents, and everybody in my family is Jewish, so I don’t have any hidden agenda while I’m writing this.)

Anyhow, back to the point.

If your mother is Jewish, but your father isn’t, I don’t think it makes a person any more Jewish than if your father is Jewish and your mother isn’t.

Ethnicity-wise, a child with only one Jewish parent would still come out as approximately 50% Jewish.

So, no, it’s very confusing to me.

I mean, it only makes sense if I think about it objectively.

Maybe that Halacha which says that the mother has to be Jewish so the child can be considered a Jew came to be for this very simple reason:

Back then, in the olden days, they simply didn’t have paternity tests to verify if a Jewish father is indeed the father of a particular child.

What would happen if the mother happened to be sleeping around?

Excuse the risqué implications, but what if?

I say that, just in case and to be on the safe side, they made a simple rule that the mother HAS to be Jewish for a child to be considered Jewish.

Why?

Because, any mother should definitely know for sure (well for the most part, unless she’s on drugs or has various other problems) that she gave birth to that particular child.

The child’s Jewish father, on the other hand, might not know that his wife had an affair with “Mr. Jones” who happens not to be Jewish.

This is my hypothesis.

This my guess.

It’s possible that I’m wrong, but I think I’m probably right.

So, basically, they all came up with the rule to cover up for possible indiscretions on the mother’s side.

So, is it possible that here are a great number of rules in Judaism that are said to be from a higher power, in order to command obedience, but are actually just for blatantly practical reasons like this?

What do you fellas all think about that?

About the Author
Anat Ghelber was born in Israel and moved to Texas when she was 13. There, she experienced anti-Semitism in public schools. She moved to New York City when she was 20. She is currently studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. She started submitting articles to the Jewish Voice 2 years ago, and in her free time enjoys writing poems.
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