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Old 05-18-2019, 10:16 AM
NAF1138 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: North of Philly
Posts: 10,102
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
QuickSilver and NAF,

I know you probably hate my ass, but I wanted to ask you a question in all seriousness and candor. In you experience, do Jews view themselves as a religion, or do you/they view themselves as a "race"? I think it's an important question that can maybe inform my own opinions.

I realize that I might dismiss the idea of Jews as a "race," but if Jews view themselves as a race, then maybe what I think has to be, well, modified in a sense. I'm sorry to be bugging you with bizarro questions late at night.

I know I use the term "Zionists" a lot. In my mind, there is a distinction between "Zionist" and "Jew" but if you could explain to me why there isn't a distinction, I will absolutely consider it. I promise. I'm not anti-Jew, I promise.

Maybe there's something I'm not understanding.
I really don't hate you, first. I strongly dislike the way you use Zionist and I don't think you always think before you post. But I wouldn't even say I dislike you. You're passionate, I get it.

I don't think Jews are a race per se. But calling us a religion is wrong as well. We are a people. A people who happen to practice a particular religion, but the religion isn't fundamental to the personhood. Imagine that there were a lot of people in Greece who still actively worshiped the Greek Gods, say 90% of the population. Well, those people are Greek. And those Greeks happen to workship a Greek religion. But, take away the religion, they are still Greek. Now, imagine that, say in Roman times, Greece was overthrown but that the Greek people were driven out of Greece and persecuted for a couple thousand years. That's more or less the story of my people.

Want to make it less Eurocentric and theoretical, look at the Navajo.

So, for a thousand years or so we got scattered and remarkably held on to what it is that connects us as a people. But, for reasons that I really don't understand, people everywhere flipping hate us. Like, the shoa was a bright shining example, but something like every 50-60 years there is a rise in antisemitism...for centuries. Today. Still. So there are many who feel/felt that the fact that we are a nation without a country that is the cause of this problem. That having a country will mean safety. Does it? Probably not. Countries come with their own problems, ask the Germans. Heck, ask the socialist Israeli founders of Israel who have been shoved to the side by the right wing and ultra orthodox.

But, I know that the existence of Zionism saved a lot of members of my family. People who I know and love who would not exist or would have died before I was born without the existence of the Zionist movement. So for me it's not super theoretical.

But we have now gone far far from the topic. Judaism is in the words of Mordecai Kaplan "The evolving religious civilization of the Jewish people" For further reading on the subject see:
Hey, signatures seem to be on by default now.