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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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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: / 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)
What about this speech by David Silverman? He makes a fairly good point that the idea of "secular Jews" or "atheist Jews" is BS. — Unsigned, by: 2A02:908:1B6:1080:ECB6:5D40:E4F5:AB17 / talk
Would you mind summarizing for those of us who either do not have the time to watch a one hour video or do not have the bandwidth? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 21:03, 12 April 2020 (UTC)
Yes. It's been quite a while since I listened to his lecture, so I hope I remember things correctly: David Silverman used to call himself an "atheist Jew" until the day he wanted to explain what this actually meant. Since he is an atheist it couldn't be the religion that'd make him jewish. What else would there be to warrant such an identification? Race came to his mind. But Judaism can't be a race since it doesn't follow the common race identification markers: A child of parents of different races is identified as "mixed race" - 50:50 so to speak. But according to jewish tradition, one is either a "full Jew" (in case one's mother is jewish - no matter what the father's race is) or a "non-Jew" (even if one's father is jewish). - As a side note: IMO the idea of Judaism being a race is BS because the idea of human races in general is pseudoscientific BS. Even if you take the fairly constructivist idea of race being "a set of physical characterics a society deems important" - there are no specifically "jewish" physical characteristics. You will find self-identified Jews of all skin-colors, eye-shapes etc. - Secondly, Silverman thought of Judaism being a culture. But after doing some research he realized: There is no distinctive secular jewish culture. Yes, there are some cultures that are considered jewish, like the Ashkenasim, Mizrahim, Sephardic etc. But the only elements all these cultures share are of religious nature. In all other aspects they totally differ. He gives the example that Ethiopian Jews don't eat bagels, which is considered typically "jewish" food. Amaf the only thing a New Yorker Askenasi Jew and an Ethiopian Jew have in common is the religion. Aside from it, all so-called "jewish" cultures are much more similiar to their historically surrounding cultures of different religious backgrounds than to each other. Ashkenasi (which means "german" BTW) language, customs, music, food etc. are much more similar to their german or eatern-european counterparts, than to Mizrahim or Sephardic traditions (Amaf Ashkenasi language Yiddish is really some variant of German. Most Germans will understand it, but arabic Jews certainly not). - Also, personally I doubt many of the people labeled as "secular Jews" actually engage in "secular" Ashkenasi culture. I bet hardly any of them actually speak Yiddish or play Klezmer music or the like. - Therefore Silverman concludes that there is no jewish race and no jewish culture, but only a jewish religion. And since he doesn't follow this religion, he cannot rationally call himself jewish. So, a "jewish atheist" is an oxymoron. - Personally, I consider this completely convincing. The idea of Judaism being something other than a religion is plain wrong and therefore the idea of being "secular jewish" should be dropped entirely. Just the same as there is no such thing as "secular christian". — Unsigned, by: 2A02:908:1B6:1080:D816:939D:587D:47CA / talk

Judging from this article, Israeli historian Shlomo Sand basically makes the same case: "Not only, he argues, is there no Jewish culture that is not derived from religiosity, but the very notion of secular Judaism is indeed an empty one, since no such thing exists." I think the article should be edited. Since it is protected I cannot do it myself. Would somebody help out?

Edit war[edit]