because judaism is passed down through the line of the mother, we have become over the centuries a distinct ethnic group, but because of our wide geographic dispersion we come in every shape, colour, size and variety. although we do not seek converts, it is possible to convert and, over the years, this too has added to our gene pool, as have intermarriage and everything from casual sex to rape, i should note. there are certain genetic factors that have come down in from our ancestors, however, which include both markers like the characteristic haplotypes (i think the term is) of the cohen/levi clan/tribe as well as hereditary diseases like tay-sachs. basically, not all of us are descended from jacob, but who can say how many? if you've come across the "twelve tribes" (really thirteen, because one tribe was divided in half), ten of them were carried off to assyria in 722 bce and not heard from again (although there are plenty of theories about where they may have ended up, anywhere from kashmir to japan to africa to america!) and of the remaining three, only one (the cohen-levi heritage) is certain exactly who it's descended from as this goes through the male line back to the families of aaron and indeed levi and jacob himself. and, obviously, who you are descended from doesn't necessarily indicate whether you are observant or religious or even know you're jewish in the first place. if you're not a levi or cohen, who know who they are, you are a "yisrael", from either the tribe of judah or benjamin, but very few of us know which, i don't know which i am.something im not really interested in but is apparently an issue is race. what is the mainstream oppinion, obviously you can practice judaism but is there a race of people descended from jacob who are that one race?
contrary to what you may have heard, some jews do say stupid things and some of those stupid things are racist. we have our arseholes just like everyone else.ive heard somewhat stupid things from "jews" in the past but im curious what others here believe.
true, but a lot of differences too. islam and judaism are more similar from a legal and practical point of view but both islam and christianity are universalist (ie they think what's true for them is true for everyone) and therefore proselytising, whereas we are also particularist and don't proselytise.i havent studied islam, but i know that obviously islam, christianity and judaism have alot of similarities.
well, early sources can be found within the Torah itself, assuming certain interpretative parameters, but it is certainly around by the time of the prophets - remember, the mashiah is also from the davidic line of kings. however, the idea of having a king in the first place is actually presented as a concession to the jews.with that when was it first written down that we know of the idea of the mashiach?
indeed, but there, how important you were when you were alive determined how well you could afford to be treated after you died. G!D Doesn't take bribes, though - and we don't hold with the idea that you can "take it with you". besides, the egyptians didn't necessarily "understand" what *happens*. they just had beliefs about it, widespread or not, which we think are not only misguided but actually quite immoral. having beliefs about the afterlife doesn't mean you understand it. we don't even claim that much.the torah was written after the jews had spent a considerable amount of time in egypt where even commoners understood the concept of life and death and the role of the soul in the afterlife and the complexities of the process.
it might be the reference in daniel (or is it nehemiah, i don't remember) to cyrus, king of the persians, who allowed us to return to israel after the babylonian exile, who is described as "My anointed", mashiah. obviously it doesn't mean the same there as it comes to mean later on.with that when was it first written down that we know of the idea of the mashiach?
the messiah as "hidden king", which we do share nowadays with just about every culture on the planet (from jesus to the hidden imam to king arthur to isildur's heir) is an extremely old idea, i don't know how old. no doubt we were influenced by it somehow. anyway, it's certainly older than the talmud.if it was an oral teaching, do you know if it has its roots in sumeria or mesopotamia or similar civilizations maybe even in egyptian theology?
what you say about christianity and islam of course youd have to agree and that is one of the biggest turnoffs for me, you know growing up a christian its almost as if fear is a big motivation for even being involved
The five volume JPS Torah Commentary is expensive but doable when purchased one volume at a time. It is an exceptional resource, and I would strongly encourage any serious student to start here.... i still want to read the torah and talmud in english aswell as some of these other books they mention like the "zohar"