Judaism, Jewishness and everything you were never taught in school about it.

I've been hanging around for a while, and the amount of ignorance and misinformation abounding around Judaism, Jewishness (not the same thing), and Israel just astounds me.

Because we are an ethnic group that just happens to have a religion attached to it (much like the Japanese) it is entirely possible to be a Jewish atheist -- and I don't think I'm the only one here, although it seems to me that others may be unwilling to come out, because of the rampant hostility that I have seen expressed against us.

I think that this hostility comes from ex-Christians truly not understanding the difference between the definition of a Christian and a Jew, much less the profound cultural differences that exist. Americans in general, which mostly means Christians, haven't a clue about Jewish history, nor approaches to philosophy, nor how we have evolved, nor our world-view. 

So I have a lot of topics in my head to write about -- but I'm also VERY interested in genuine questioning, just so some of you can understand before you attack.

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Here is a conversation between Dawkins and a Jewish Rabbi who runs a Synagogue that doesn't believe in a God:



  Natalie-  Earlier on you stated that when you were younger you decided to turn your eyes not inward to Judaism, but rather outward toward the world.  I apologize if I am misquoting you.   What particular lines did you draw between your own point of view and that of your cultural point of view (besides, specifically, religion)?  Were there some really big issues, or did you just feel too limited in your choices if you focused on the general cultural expectations?  Or do I misunderstand what you mean entirely?

  Sometimes I think I grasp certain points you've made, only to realize that I've missed the point due to an inaccurate presumption.  By turning your eyes outward, I think that I have mistook you for meaning some kind of rejection of some part of your culture-which apparently you didn't.     

We've probably all heard of developmental tasks, the actions which, as children become adults, help them develop the abilities required of adults. Depending in part on what children learn in their families, they do these tasks at different ages.

I understand that during our twenties, many of us begin to see our emotional responses to events as differing from our words and actions that follow our emotional responses.

Neurologically, signals pass through the amygdala, which sends signals to various body parts to produce immediate responses, and to higher brain regions to produce considered responses.

Here on AN our ages vary widely, as do what we learned in our families. I suppose those are why some of us here separate better than others our emotional responses to events from our words and actions that follow our emotional responses.


'When boarding a crowded bus with standing passengers in the front, women should board the back door after paying the driver in the front.'

(Notice posted by 'Private Transportation Corporation', on its city-franchised B-110 bus in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y. - New York Times 1-20-2011)

Orthodox Jews - still hateful and bigoted towards some of their own (females). Will the god-believing public ever accept women as equals?

Glad you distinguished Orthodox Jews from other Jews who very much disagree with their actions. It's like my devout and GOOD Christian friend said of the Fundies -- we can't deny that they are part of our family, but then again, there are white sheep and there are black sheep (not saying who're the good ones and who are the bad ones -- wouldn't want to be color-biased).

I've been on crowded buses in India and copped a few gropes - not sure what it's like in Orthodox Brooklyn, but it may be a protection!

Were the writers of the Old Testament telling of the overthrow of the region's matriarchal religions?


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