Reactions when I tell other Jews that I am a Jewish Atheist

Usually nothing.

I wonder what the experience of other's have been.


(The reason I say Jewish Atheist is that the cultural/ethnic aspects are important to me)


Mind you, if I said I had become a Muslim, or Mormon, or Catholic, or Baptist etc the sky would start falling!!!!!!!!!!


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I guess nothing would be a good reaction -- it's better than a negative one.
My wife is Jewish and she always tells me that a pillar of the Jewish lifestyle is to question one's faith. So, lucky for me, she leaves me the hell alone when it comes to religion. So, I leave her alone when she pulls the "I believe enough for the both of us" BS with her family and friends. Her younger sister is also atheist but chose to teach her children Jewish customs - something I wouldn't have done in her shoes, but to each his or her own...

Before, I dated mostly Christian girls ('cause that's pretty much all there were around where I come from) and I was fully closeted b/c there are a lot more conversion vigilantism in my own experience with Christians. I don't need that in my life and my lovely wife gives that to me.

I heard it said recently that modern editions of the Torah basically come with an admission / disclaimer that none of the stories concern Moses etc are in any sense true or supported by factual evidence. 


I was raised Jewish, had a bar-mitzvah and everything, but i was an atheist before my bar-mitzvah, which i went through because i wasn't given a choice. but getting straight to the point - i have a cousin who told me he was a jewish atheist, and i kind of went off on him a little! i said its a contradiction, either you're one or the other. he defended himself, appealing to the cultural aspect of judaism, and i said something like, well if you're going to cast that wide a net over your definition of judaism, the definition becomes so watered-down as to become essentially meaningless. i understand the desire to still belong to your jewish heritage (and friends and family) even after leaving the faith, but i guess i want a little more conviction from other atheists (I realize that this is my own personal conviction though, I should be a little more "to each his own"). if it wasn't so cumbersome to say "I'm an atheist but I belong to the Jewish heritage" or some such, I might think that people should be a little clearer about what they mean, but I guess it is too cumbersome. One might also question whether identifying yourself as a jewish atheist means that you have an irrational attachment to judaism which clouds your decision-making when it comes to politics, however. Does it? Are you more willing to see the Jewish/Israeli side of a question, and not willing to look harder for opposing points of view? In any case, I doubt I would get so upset again at someone calling themselves a jewish atheist, but i must admit i might probably feel a twinge of condescending ridicule - perhaps to my own discredit.
My ex-wife is Jewish, I was raised as a Catholic, and when we married she knew I was an atheist. Raising two children together, religion was never an issue (neither was the divorce, I might add). So, my knowledge of Judaism stems from my association with her and her family for about 20 years. Probably just enough to make me think I know something about the cultural and ethnic aspects of Judaism, when I really don't. Anyway, I recently came across an article, and I'd be interested in your take on this, Joel.

The article, by David Dvorkin, is entitled, "Why I Am Not A Jew." In it, he takes exception to the cultural and ethnic identification that you state is important to you, and that I personally observed as important to the ex and her family.

Like I said, I'm interested in your opinion on this.


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