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Jay G's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Jay G

Comment 3 by Alan4discussion :

Here's why I reject the alleged distinction between "Jewish culture" and "Jewish religion" as a false dichotomy: If you understand Jewish history (a.k.a. the history of the Jewish People / Nation of Israel, which is also part of the same big picture), you will see that we're talking not about a religion over here and a culture over there, but rather a religious culture.

Clearly you are right in regard to Orthodox Jewish groups or sects, where their religion and lifestyles are deeply intertwined, but there are atheist Jews who are simply culturally and socially Jewish. There is probably a range of positions in between. Christians also range from raving fundamentalists to token adherents.

What makes an "atheist Jew" a Jew? What element of Judaism is shared by all Jews that binds them together as Jews? Until the enlightenment, it was taken for granted that Torah and Mitzvos bound Jews together as one people. Once people start to give up the Torah way of life, what is it that keeps them within Judaism (I'm asking about definitions here)

Wed, 15 Aug 2012 15:23:51 UTC | #950826