Who is Jewish?

 

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by: Deryck (Hamilton, Canada)

The Jewish people have always been a diverse group throughout ancient history and into the twenty-first century.  The range of who or what is Jewish is truly extraordinary and vast.

There are Jews of different colours, who speak different languages and have different cultural backgrounds and expressions.  There are Jews of all religious denominations.  Some are born Jewish and others have made a choice to join the Jewish family.   Some go to synagogue.  Some observe Shabbat by being with friends and family.  For some, keeping kosher means eating kosher meat, for others it means not eating meat at all and others choose to only keep kosher on special holidays like Passover and Rosh Hashanah.

People express their Jewish values differently: some people move to Israel to live on a kibbutz while some join the Israeli army.  Others are committed to advancing Jewish education while others are involved in expanding the knowledge of others.

There really isn’t a specific defining look, personal trait or manner of Jewish observance that defines a Jew.  Jews look different, speak different languages, and do different Jewish things.

While we may not be uniform in look and religious observance, we are all united by a shared Jewish history – a shared passion to preserve and pass on all things Jewish – and the joint desire to make the world a better place.

 

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