Talk:Judaism

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This Judaism related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

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There were red links to fix, but I tire (reclining) from my efforts.--PalMD-yada yada 18:43, 20 June 2007 (CDT)

I feel guilty about adding Mesianic Jews to the list, as I really don't think they belong.--Thunderkatz 14:13, 2 July 2007

Oy, don't get Fox going on it.--PalMD-yada yada 13:14, 2 July 2007 (CDT)

"Biblical Messianic Judaism Is Valid Contemporary Judaism Since the first Jewish followers of Yeshua never left the faith of the God of Israel, YHVH, but rather came into a more personal covenant with Him through trust in Messiah Yeshua, their faith was and is the only complete Biblical Judaism and thus a superior Judaism. This is because Messiah Yeshua is the promised deliverer from sin and completed the understanding of the Torah (His ancient Word) that was lacking. However, this does not mean that modern Rabbinical Judaism does not have truth within it." [1] Fox 14:37, 2 July 2007 (CDT)

I tried a rewording for ya, Fox. CHeck it out.--PalMD-yada yada 14:43, 2 July 2007 (CDT)
Out of curiosity, what's the difference between messianic judaism and christianity? I always considered the main difference between Judaism and Christianity the idea of Jesus. I'm not trying to argue with you, i'm simply wondering. Thunderkatz 14:45, 2 July 2007 (CDT)
MJs consider themselves to have continued the tradition of judaism, having followed the messiah when he appeared, but otherwise not changed practice significantly.--PalMD-yada yada 14:47, 2 July 2007 (CDT)
As well as the link above, see also [2] Fox 14:48, 2 July 2007 (CDT)
I have to admit, that semantically to me, they seem like a sect of Christianity that have returned to the original Christian practices. The original Christians were very much like the rest of the Jews in the area during the time of sectarianism in the first century CE. It is often said that if one wishes to see what a service at the original Temple looked like, go to a Catholic Mass.--PalMD-yada yada 14:52, 2 July 2007 (CDT)
Have the papists restored the daily sacrifice?? That would be a site to behold lol :D Fox 14:54, 2 July 2007 (CDT)
Yes, except it is known as the Eucharist, and I call them Catholics.162.82.215.199 14:57, 2 July 2007 (CDT)
Thank you for your information. As one final question (i'm a really curious person), do mesianic jews believe in jesus's resurrection (or celebrate easter)? Thunderkatz 14:57, 2 July 2007 (CDT)
To 162.82.215.199 - hm, you missed my self-deprecating humor there - that was a sly reference to my being accused of being a religious hate merchant ref Mormonism. To Thunderkatz - yes, we believe in the resurrection, but do not celebrate Easter (pagan) or the resurrection in the accepted Christian sense; rather, we remember His death as part of our Pesach observancies, His burial as part of Chag Matzah, and His resurrection as part of Yom HaBikkurim. — Unsigned, by: 89.243.241.198 / talk / contribs
So you're basically a Christian, minus the hypocrisy. --Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 02:29, 3 January 2008 (EST)

Conservative movement[edit]

"They still maintain the use of halakha, but do not offer any specific role for Kohanim or Levites." Maybe my congregation is the exception, but Kohanim still always receive the first aliyah and Levis always receive the second. ThunderkatzHo! 11:01, 10 February 2008 (EST)

~~The Masorti movement's views on the roles of Kohen and Levites is, like all things related to that movement, not quite clear. More Conservodox synagogues will maintain privileges related to Alliot, while others will not. However, the Conservative movement is pretty clear on the idea that Israelites can marry Kohen or Levites, if, for no other reason, to slow down intermarriage. I agree, that was worded incorrectly.Jsonitsac 16:46, 8 April 2008 (EDT)

Amended. Manga (talk) 14:18, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

This whole section seems wrong (and overcomplicated) to me. The Masorti/Conservative movement believe that halakha is correct/true/right/god's word/whatever, but are simply tolerant of different interpretations and/or deciding (for whatever reason) not to stick to the rules laid out. — Unsigned, by: ‎82.45.198.134 / talk / contribs

Linking all those key terms to WP[edit]

Might not be a good idea. How about setting them up as footnotes? And "Humanistic Judaism" - surely by now we have an article on humanism it would link to? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:16, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Hey I was wondering if we could fix the "Old Testament". The Old Testament is not an accurate description of the Jewish bible. Yes many of the stories are the same, but some of the order of the books along with some of the meanings were changed when written in the Old Testament.

Thanks — Unsigned, by: Hanson135 / talk / contribs

Judaism vs. Christianity[edit]

Why is Christianity referred to as a cult whilst Judaism is treated with as much respect as a rationalist could possibly give a religion? Anyone wanna clear this up for me? Why is Judaism good and why is Christianity bad in comparison? I'm confused. Both believe in a God which does exist.

You'll note the Judaism article is a brief and informative synopsis of a religion whereas the Christianity article is a 2-4 page rant bashing the subject matter. I'm neither a Christian nor a Jew, but I'd really like to know why Judaism is given so much more respect on here than Christianity is given. Would it be alright for me to write my own article about Judaism if I model it after the article on Christianity? You know, by insulting everything that has to do with Judaism and calling it a cult instead of a religion. The Jewish beliefs from the Torah and Talmud are just as hilarious as the Christian beliefs from whatever Testament you prefer to lol at for the moment. Way to not even make an attempt at hiding your slant. Damn hypocrites. — Unsigned, by: [[User:Some IP who can't lern to spell out "~~~~"|Some IP who can't lern to spell out "~~~~"]] / [[User talk:Some IP who can't lern to spell out "~~~~"|talk]] / [[Special:Contributions/Some IP who can't lern to spell out "~~~~"|contribs]]

Want to be any more vague or are we supposed to magically know to what are you referring? rational ghey (message) 00:34, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

I made it fairly clear. The Christianity article is directly bashing the religion. It is referred to as a cult in the very first paragraph and is surrounded by sarcastic comments. It's much longer than the Judaism article and much of it relates only to the criticism of Christianity and that which doesn't tries to underscore the absurdity of certain Christian ideas. The article on Judaism does NOT insult Judaism even once that I can see and it's about 1/3rd the size of the Christianity article. So it's pretty simple: every religion EXCEPT Judaism is being portrayed in a very negative light.

So nobody is willing to take the time out to explain this? — Unsigned, by: [[User:Some IP who can't lern to spell out "~~~~"|Some IP who can't lern to spell out "~~~~"]] / [[User talk:Some IP who can't lern to spell out "~~~~"|talk]] / [[Special:Contributions/Some IP who can't lern to spell out "~~~~"|contribs]]


Probably a few reasons: 1. Jews don't try to convert anyone so they don't annoy anyone with religion. 2. Jews still consider atheists who are Jews to be Jews. 3. Judaism is much more skeptical of its own belief system and has been for centuries to the point of writing vast amounts of literature trying to explain "gaps" in the Bible. 4. Most non-Israeli Jews, and, hence, English speaking ones are leftist and participate in similar goals as many atheists (not myself as I hate iconoclastic atheists) like removing Christian symbols from government property and the like. 5. Many Jews are far more tolerant of atheists than Christians. 6. Jews are a tiny tiny minority and hence have little appreciable presence to cause disdain except in American media - but they're not religion pushers in media. 7. Hating on Jews for being Jews is lame. 8. Jews have won literally hundreds of Nobel prizes in science and economics making it hard to think of them as particularly idiotic. 9. The American media deliberately promotes the more insane aspects of western protestantism because pastors tell people to turn off their TV's. The more people believe Christianity all resembles Ted Haggard, Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn and Fred Phelps, the less likely they'll go to church, the less they go to church the more TV they'll watch so Christianity is likely to be regarded as more farcical than it often is. JRCHReason (talk) 06:31, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Make constructive, accurate and lulzy edits that don't descend into Jew-baiting and refrain from equating the actions of the Israeli State with the ideas and ideals of a community of faith and the edits will probably stand. Or just buzz off, whichever you prefer. P-Foster (talk) 05:00, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

"Christianity is the belief in a cosmic Jewish zombie who can give us eternal life if we symbolically eat his flesh and blood and telepathically tell him that we accept him as our lord and master so he can remove an evil force present in all humanity because a woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from an apple tree." And that isn't "Christian bait?" Also, how is calling Judaism a cult any worse than calling Christianity a cult? Or mentioning the Jewish idea of being a "chosen race." I'm not allowed to laugh at the racist shit that Judaism preaches? You still haven't directly answered my question either. I want to know why Judaism hasn't already been flamed like everything else. And stupid responses about conspiracy theories are idiotic. Maybe try to be a little more rational, eh? ;-) 98.111.116.30 (talk) 05:18, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Tell you what--when the last remaining person with a number tattooed on her arm has passed away from natural causes, we can have this talk then, okay? P-Foster (talk) 05:22, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
So make a sandbox of what you wanna say, and we will add what we like. Big fat hairy deal. But 1) you confuse Judaism with Israel and 2) if you want to add jokes, they actually have to be funny. Hell, if you don't do it, I'm tempted to do so myself. But I know I'd do a good job. Nothing wrong with lulz, IMO. Everything wrong with anti-Semitism, though. Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 05:25, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree that Judaism should be "funnied" up like any other article but making it the same as another article to make a point is, well, stupid. Acei9 05:29, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Stick to bashing the religion, not the culture. And stop editing my user page. Moron. PACODOGwoof, bitches 05:34, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Erm...straw man arguments from so-called "rationalists?" I never said that my objective was to "make a point." You're the one who came up with that little bit, ace. I started out as genuinely confused as to WHY Judaism wasn't being bashed. Gooniepunk, anti-semitism? Where exactly was I being anti-semitic? Oh and Pacochode, where did I insult "the culture?" Is killing Muslims part of Jewish culture or something? o_O 98.111.116.30 (talk) 10:15, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Oh so you weren't point making? So by adding the same material from the Christianity article into the Judaism article to point out that Judaism isnt treated the same on RW as christianity is not actually point making? I apologise for my error. Acei9 09:57, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I added one word from the Christianity article, "cult." I added it because I feel it's an appropriate term that can be applied to any religion. The other stuff all seemed rather focused on Judaism/Israel in my opinion and had nothing to do with the Christianity article. Oh and I'm in the vandal bin so don't expect replies from me in less than 30 minute intervals. 98.111.116.30 (talk) 10:15, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
You are unvandal binned. I am going to bed so someone else can listen to your reasoning. Acei9 10:20, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Ethnic demographics of Israel[edit]

When I expanded the section on Jewish ethnicities, I wrote that Ashkenazim make up the majority of Israeli Jews, but I may have been incorrect. I've found sources that state that either Ashkenazim or Mizrahim are the majority in Israel, and I don't know which is correct. Does anyone know?--Filby (talk) 05:09, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure you're correct, as that's what I've always heard. Wikipedia agrees with both of us as well. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:19, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Half of Israeli Jews are full or partial Mizrahi last I checked. At least one million Jews from Muslim countries were relocated to Israel around 1948 upon declaration of independence. JRCHReason (talk) 06:34, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

I I live in Israel, and ashkenazim are roughly half or a bit less of Israel jews (as far as I know,no formal survey was ever done on this matter, so you can't be absolutely sure) — Unsigned, by: 109.66.29.45 / talk / contribs 10:23, 28 February 2015‎

Origins[edit]

Judaism did not arise several thousand years ago, and is more likely an Iron Age religion, rather than a Bronze Age one. Thomas L. Thompson is of the opinion that Judiasm as we know it now is a post 135 CE development in response to the failure of the Bar Kochba revolt. The article (and the Bible one, also) relies too heavily on the historical-critical method of tradition which is rapidly being undermined by new scholarship ('Copenhagen School' et al http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/Minimalism.shtml) — Unsigned, by: Scherben / talk / contribs

Wait, walk me through this. To what are any and all documentary references dating from before 135 CE referring when they use the term "Jew," then? B♭maj7 Define "talk." Define "page." 20:22, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Kind of a dicey point, no? That more or less applies to Rabbinical Judaism (i.e. early modern Judaism) but leaves out centuries of traceable proto-Judaic practices. By necessity, of course early Rabbinical Judaism is going to be substantially different from both Second Temple Judaism and Hellenic Judaism, but it's kind of splitting hairs to say one is Jewish and the other isn't. (You might be able to make a case that polytheistic Judaism with its Asherah cults isn't Jewish at all, but it'd still be only as not-Jewish as Mormonism is not-Christian.) EVDebs (talk) 20:53, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I agree I could have worded that much better. It would appear that 'Jew' referred not to any ethnic group, but those who had a common -but sectarian riddled- religious practice, which certainly did not have an "originative centre" around the Jerusalem Temple (Thompson, Bible in History, p.258 & p.265). The ethnic designation around Judah is therefore probably a modern practice. The Biblical descriptive of polytheistic Judaism is certainly not historical.— Unsigned, by: Scherben / talk / contribs

Now that's a completely different kettle of fish. There seems to be broad agreement that not all of the original thirteen tribes were of Hebrew origin; I believe Asher and Dan are specifically thought to be assimilated Philistines. Even then, though, keep in mind that modern Jews (and Palestinians) are not a particularly homogenous mix; there's definable Middle Eastern DNA in most Jews, but there's also quite a mix of (depending on what part of the world you're in) Slavic, Germanic, Celtic, Arab, Greek, Italian, Turkic, Persian, and other things. In addition, you'd have to define European, Sephardic, and Mizrachi Jews as distinctly different ethnic groups if you use a post-CE cutoff date, which is probably unnecessary and most likely quite offensive anyway, since there was already a significant diaspora even before 1CE. (Iraqi Jews, for example, have been pretty much where they are since the end of the Persian exile, a couple of centuries before the Common Era.) It's also worth mentioning that the only Jews as a population with drastically different DNA are the Ethiopian Jews, who a lot of anthropologists believe were an originally-Christian population that converted to Judaism at some undefined point in the distant past, whereas there are quite a few people (especially in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries) with clear Jewish DNA who are goyim to all intents and purposes otherwise. EVDebs (talk) 22:31, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

None of the tribes mentioned in the Biblical texts existed in history. They were mythical tribes who existed as a literary trope to emphasise the lost past of a failed people of God. DNA studies will show you that much proselytising was done by early Judaism (the Hellenistic period), as theorised by Shlomo Sand and Keith Whitelam Scherben--Scherben 00:47, 24 August 2011 (UTC)


High importance?[edit]

Really? Why? steriletalk 22:01, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Judaism is a very historically important religion, due to the influence it had on Christianity and then Islam. And while there are only say 13-14 million today, Jews have had an influence on the world and its thought and history which might be called punching above their numerical weight (consider people like Marx, Freud, Einstein, Kafka, Proust, just to name a few...) (((Zack Martin))) 00:57, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
That's not really a justification for high importance to us. Lots of things are important to the world, but what are we saying about judiasm that makes it a rational wiki article, and not just a WP summary?--Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 02:27, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Because coin flip. Change it if you likeТytalk 03:44, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Not everyone, but a lot of people here are atheists keen to attack religion. Even though for most of them Judaism is not that big an immediate target, it still has importance with respect to those debates, since they most commonly revolve around Christianity, and to a lesser extent Islam, and both originate in Judaism. When an atheist criticises Leviticus, they may be primarily thinking of Christianity, but their criticism is likely to apply to Judaism equally. (((Zack Martin))) 04:43, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
This article is high importance because it's an important backgrounder on Western religion. That's pretty much all there is to it. EVDebs (talk) 22:12, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Revisions needed[edit]

Pretty much every-other sentence of this article is inaccurate. I'd be happy to revise it myself, but I worry that as a new editor this would be misconstrued as trolling. If I get the okay from another editor, I can make the changes. I have a basic general knowledge of everything this article attempts to cover. And I'm a Jew, which doesn't mean that I automatically know more about this than non-Jews do, but does mean that I care about this article's accuracy. Bluemonkee (talk) 09:44, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Okay, so I might as well outline the inaccuracies. Chasidic Jews are not Orthodox -- that's like saying Episcopalians are Catholic. Secular/atheist Jews are definitely not a fringe group, at least in the US. Passover is not a high holy day. I don't know if the assertion that Sephardic Jews "don't look Jewish" because of their "darker skin" is a joke, but if it is then it's not a good one. Okay, that's an opinion. But can we at least say "don't look stereotypically Jewish"? Not all Mizrahi Jews are ethnically Arab; they may be ethnically Persian etc. I think that all of these changes could be made without adding to the article's length or level of detail. Bluemonkee (talk) 10:05, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Chassidic Jews are indeed Orthodox -- "Orthodox" is typically used as an umbrella term for a number of different traditionalist denominations, e.g., Modern Orthodox, Yeshivish, Haredi, Chassidic, &c. They are quite different in practice, but all share the same basic approach to halacha. It's like saying both Episcopalians and Baptists are Protestants. Aristos achaion (talk) 9:44, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Can we add that from the 1920 on up, Jews were generally reviled in the deep south, and Temples were burned. During the the 1980s under Reagan, Jews were suddenly embraced by the deep south, because the hate Arabs more than they hate Jews.

Liberal Judaism Theology[edit]

Humanist Judaism takes a strictly atheist perspective, but lack of belief in a supernatural God is acceptable within all liberal Jewish movements who also accept God as a philosophical construct, including Spinoza’s conception of God. Hermann Cohen, associated with the Reform movement, believed God was a concept rather than an existent being. Mordecai Kaplan, whose ideas serve as the foundation of Reconstructionist Judaism, rejected supernaturalism outright. Richard L Rubenstein is a Conservative rabbi and a “death of God” theologian. Sumskilz (talk) 04:03, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

pantheism != atheism Hear me roar (talk) 12:20, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

This article really sucks. Judaism should be criticized just like any other religion.[edit]

Seriously, why are the idiots who run this place so scared of criticizing Jewish culture? It's about the only culture you racist/anti-religious dorks won't bash. — Unsigned, by: 98.22.215.97 / talk / contribs

Probably because there are so few Jews that the nutty ones have little power or fame, unlike Christian or Muslim nutters. FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 03:20, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
In its current format, this article barely meets mission. It's so freaking dull it could be from that other wiki.--TheroadtoWiganPier (talk) 14:26, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

"Secular Jews"[edit]

Says "Almost exclusively an Israeli concept, secular Jews identify as Jewish culturally but not religiously... A sizable portion of Israeli Jews consider themselves secular, but the concept is virtually unheard of in other countries." What absolute crap. Many American Jews identify as secular - i.e. ethnically/ancestrally identifying with the Jewish people but not following the Jewish religion. (And not just Americans - I'd say the same would be true of a significant chunk of Jews in many other Western countries.) No way this is "almost exclusively an Israeli concept". Blacke (talk) 09:11, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

Do you know any Greek people? Do they worship Athena? Same thing; people that identify as part of the Jewish nation but treat the religion the way modern Greeks would treat Zeus. CorruptUser (talk) 14:12, 5 September 2015 (UTC)