For all those dealing with the issue of Jewish Idenity. Knowledge is power. Know your past, proclaim your future. Be not what you are called, but who you are called to be!
Matrilineal Jewish Identity is not biblical, it’s halachic. And taken from Roman culture of the time. When studied one finds a stark contrast in regards to matrilineal v.s patrilineal Jewish identity between the 2nd temple period historical writtings and after the destruction and establishment of a formal Christian religion of Rome.
One of the great schisms in Judaism today is what “rules” we follow to define or identify who is Jewish. This may come as a surprise, but this is actually nothing new. We have been trying to keep people out of the tribe for as long as we stopped actively trying to bring people into the tribe.
When and why did such an enormous ideological change happen?
About 2,000 years ago, under the Roman empire and then the early Christian empire, where conversion to Judaism became a crime punishable by death. Up until then, we have evidence that conversion to Judaism was widespread and indeed very simple to do. No one in the Jewish community was trying to make it “difficult” for a person to self-identify as Jewish.
But let me start this story from a different angle: This post is meant to be a passionate argument in favor of…
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"When you awake in the morning, learn something to inspire you and mediate upon it, then plunge forward full of light with which to illuminate the darkness." -Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
Jewish adventures in the diaspora.
Scripture, ethics and spiritual formation