BaalChatzaf

What is a "secular Jew"?

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Judaism is a religion and has, at its core, a belief in the existence of the Creator God who made the universe and all that is in it. Furthermore the Creator God cares about humans.

Judaism also has near its center a set of ethical principles

a. A form of the "golden rule" -- do no unnecessary harm to your fellow. From the Torah: You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.

b. And a will to compassion, to see the world through the eyes of others as well as your own eyes. From the Torah: Do not oppress the Stranger, for you (the children of Israel) were once strangers in Egypt.

c. A rigorous honesty concerning property and contracts. One set of weights and measures shall you have.

Now take away the theological elements and leave everything else in and you have "secular Judaism".

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Judaism is also a culture. I consider myself a cultural Jew - I have an affinity for the music, food, humor, etc.

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Judaism is also a culture. I consider myself a cultural Jew - I have an affinity for the music, food, humor, etc.

jordanz

Now there is an interesting statement. "Jewish food". There are very few "Jewish Restaurants" as far as I am aware. Deli's are a cross cultural description. What constitutes Jewish food is my question?

Adam

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Judaism is also a culture. I consider myself a cultural Jew - I have an affinity for the music, food, humor, etc.

And you know a decent pastrami sandwich when you taste it.

By the way the culture you are referring to is mainly the Aschenazic culture (a Yiddish speaking culture), not the Safardic, which is related to Spain and North Africa. Among the S'faradim, Yiddish is not spoken.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Judaism is also a culture. I consider myself a cultural Jew - I have an affinity for the music, food, humor, etc.

And you know a decent pastrami sandwich when you taste it.

By the way the culture you are referring to is mainly the Aschenazic culture (a Yiddish speaking culture), not the Safardic, which is related to Spain and North Africa. Among the S'faradim, Yiddish is not spoken.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Yep, this stuff is right in your wheelhouse. My lady is Safardic Jew from Spain. Smart lady.

Adam

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Judaism is also a culture. I consider myself a cultural Jew - I have an affinity for the music, food, humor, etc.

jordanz

Now there is an interesting statement. "Jewish food". There are very few "Jewish Restaurants" as far as I am aware. Deli's are a cross cultural description. What constitutes Jewish food is my question?

Adam

Too much fat, too much salt and it gives you heartburn, which is one of the cultural stigmata of the Aschenazics. So called Jewish cooking is one of the unhealthiest cuisines in the world.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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What I have found to be most appealing within the Jewish tradition is the love and encouragement of learning and questioning and the fact that they gave up the practice of human sacrifice of little boys which I discovered to my relief when i was..........a little boy.

gulch

Edited by galtgulch

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Now there is an interesting statement. "Jewish food". There are very few "Jewish Restaurants" as far as I am aware. Deli's are a cross cultural description. What constitutes Jewish food is my question?

Adam

One sure sign of "Jewish food" is that the meat has all the blood removed from it, generally by salting and washing. There is no such thing as a bloody rare steak, Jewish style.

What Jewish cooking does to calf's liver is a shondah (utter shame). It transforms a tasty bit of meat into something like shoe leather.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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The two most important tenets of Judaism: 1)the oneness of God, which implies as well as the unity of all existence, since all existence derives directly from God. 2)Humanity as the acme of creation, the most important aspect of humankind being that it is created in the "image of God"--that is, all humans have volition and reason, and each of us is equal in that respect, and therefore must be treated as one's equal in a moral manner--which includes a lack of coercion of volition and reason, but also compassion and "brotherly love".

A "secular Jew" can have varying meanings. It might mean a Jew who does not believe in the religion, and partakes of religious observance, if at all, only in the context of family observances, or limited strictly to the traditional trip to the movie theater on Christmas afternoon; or it might simply mean a Jew who is completely acculturated but observes some or all of the religious laws, but is not Orthodox (ie, is Reform/Liberal, Reconstructionist, or Conservative/Masorti).

Jewish cooking is generally based on that of their Gentile neighbors, with whatever adaptations are needed to comply with the laws of kashrut. Thus meals prepared by East European Jews were really just the cuisine of their European neighbors. Borscht, for instance, is a Russian word, and a Russian culinary item (although doubtless beet soup also appears throughout most of Central and Eastern Europe.) A hundred years from now, it's quite possible that macaroni and cheese or chicken chow mien will be thought of as a staple of Jewish cuisine.

Jeffrey S.

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