Who Is a Jew?

4 April 2015
This paper analyzes the question of who is a Jew and why any definition is problematic.

This paper discusses the controversial question of “Who is a Jew?”. It provides Rabbinic and cultural sources for arguments of each side and concludes with the statement that there is no one way of defining who a Jew is.
This at first may seem like a simple question. Let us examine some different ways that we could answer this in modern times. We could say “Jews are those born of Jewish Mothers or any person who has gone through the formal process of conversion in full compliance with Jewish law.” This gives a purely biological aspect to the question. We could also say, “those who practice the Jewish faith and prescribe to the doctrines of that faith.” This seems like a reasonable answer and fairly clear to define. But it may not be as easy as it seems, for the practice of the Jewish Faith has many variations, which have been the arguments of many rabbis over the years. The emergence of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reformed movements are just the beginning of the problem of defining who is a Jew by specific practices. A third possibility to answering the question of who is a Jew would be to make a statement such as, “A Jew is descended from one of the twelve tribes of Israel.” That puts us back to the original answer about genetics and biology. In this paper I will demonstrate actions or beliefs cannot define that who is a Jew.

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Who Is a Jew?. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://newyorkessays.com/essay-who-is-a-jew/
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