People who want to be more Jewish?

Hi Mr.Cecil Adams, I’m guessing your about the same age as me. 61 It’s my understanding there’s world wide about 26.5 million people who call themselves Jews and almost all of them had to learn Hebrew, go figure, and about half of them don’t believe in God. So how can they or want to call themselves Jews?:dubious: I could write a number of words to tell you what I think. I think you know what that answer is. What do you think?

Another question? Now that I understand how syringes are made, are the any videos of the process out there?

Another question? Your name sounds like a name from the past. Did you ever live in Eaton, Ohio?


Ray Waters

Welcome to the boards, Roy. I’m going to move your question to the General Questions forum, because there should be a factual answer to at least one of them.

In response to your question about Judaism, I’d recommend this Straight Dope Staff Report: “Can you be an atheist and still be Jewish?”

First, Cecil Adams is a made-up name used for whoever is currently writing the column. That person is currently Ed Zotti.

Second, the question of whether Jews who no longer believe in the religion can be legitimately called Jews has no factual answer, but is the subject of vehement debate. One side insists that Judaism is a religion and since one can convert to the religion, those who convert out or stop believing cannot legitimately be Jewish. The other side claims that the religion has created a cultural component that is seen, both from inside and from without, as an identifier and this cannot be taken away by the level of belief. In the most extreme example, the Nazis didn’t care about an individual’s belief; they were Jewish because of birth and nothing could change that.

Third, here’s a video of a syringe manufacturing machine. If that’s not what you’re looking for, check out the related videos on that page.

Strictly speaking, the cultural component predates the religion, at least in its current form.

Hmmm? Where to move this…

While one of the questions is factually answerable, the broadness of the questions is gonna play havoc with General Questions.

Let’s try * Comments on Staff Reports* as I assume our guest read the report on syringes by UNA, and the Staff Report about Judaism linked to by Marley in his reply.

Your hypothesis that half of all Jewish people don’t believe in G-d is highly questionable.

What could you possibly mean by this? Jewish culture is composed of pre-technological desert nomadism?

2hotwater: welcome to the Straight Dope Message Boards, glad to have you here.

I’m going to suggest that THIS thread stick to your question about being “more Jewish.” I suggest that you pose your question about syringes separately, in this forum if you’d like. You’ll get better responses if there’s just one question per thread.

No, I mean that we date our heritage back to the temples in Jerusalem, and earlier, when the Jewish religion was radically different from the Rabbinical Judaism that developed during the Diasporas.

My point is this - you said earlier that we created a cultural component as a result of our religion; mt response is that the cultural element has always been there. We’re a cultural group with a shared religion, not a religion with a culture.

First, I was giving the two sides on the subjects, not necessarily what I believe myself.

Second, any talk of cultural components of today’s Judaism has nothing to do with pre-Diaspora culture.

I’m trying to figure out what language 2hotwater knew instinctively from birth.

What is this nonsense? I’ve read the FAQ!
Powers &8^]

That is hidden knowledge. It is not admitted by the Chicago Reader or Ed Zotti. They maintain the fiction that Cecil Adams is a unique person. However, someone uncovered a lawsuit over prior materials from when the column was “edited” by the predecessor to Ed Zotti. “Cecil Adams” is a registered trademark.

Exactly. Haven’t you been following this thread?

My third eye allows me to see into the hidden workings of the Dope, using my superphysical vision from my “mental body”.

Discussion of Cecil Adams is not relevant to this topic… unless you have some evidence that he wants to be “more Jewish”? Seems unlikely.

The question would probably have got more responses in Great Debates, but since it’s been moved three times arready, I’m leavin’ it here.
General comment: one cannot become “more” Jewish. According to Jewish tradition, one is either Jewish or one isn’t, kind of like being pregnant. One can learn more about Judaism, of course; that would be analogous to people who want to become more learned about music or astronomy or whatever. Why do they do it? To learn more about a subject that they find interesting.

One can also practice more ritual. Why do that? Because people find spiritual strength in ritual, and in knowledge, and we live in a world where spiritual/emotional strenght is often required.

**C K Dexter Haven ** said:

Au contraire,
2hotwater said:

Thus Exapno Mapcase explained why that was unlikely.

Gads, I thought we were maintaining a polite fiction around here. Think of the mythos, people!
Powers &8^]

Irishman, thanks for the clarification. I guess discussion of Cecil is relevant to the OP, even if not relevant to the topic. :wink: However, Expano is just plain wrong.

This OP was originally in GQ. When the question comes up in GQ I answer it accurately. There’s no purpose to GQ otherwise.

Of course, Dex claims that I am wrong. Uh huh. When Ed Zotti tells me that, maybe I’ll start paying some attention.

Unless you’re now Cecil, Dex. Direct question: are you, yes or no?


Direct answer: I am not now, nor have ever been, Cecil Adams. I’m a staff person who helps out with a variety of administrative bits, like sorting through the mail, tracking old questions, pushing the SDSAB to write staff reports, organizing such, etc. On rare occasions, I get to help with the column, like when I was asked to try squoosh mosquitos:

My role is bureaucrat-administrator. I do not have the intelligence, creativity, wit, or ego to “be” Cecil. Nor does Ed Zotti, for that matter. Cecil is the only one who could be Cecil.

But, of course, your question puzzles me a li’l bit. I guess I should add that I am also NOT John McCain, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Johnson, Noah Webster, etc. Hell, I’m not really even Cary Grant, we just look a lot alike.