Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Hey, E!

I hope this post doesn't come off sounding weird.  I was just curious about your Jewishness.  I think you said you are Israeli.  I've always been a little confused about what makes someone Jewish because it seems that some are Israeli, some are European, etc.  Also, are you traditional or Orthodox or something else?  I'm not even sure what those terms mean, and I just wanted to become a little more educated.  I think you've mentioned learning Hebrew and stuff as well.  I'm just really interested.   I'm a Christian, by the way, but was want to be a little more knowledgable.

Re: Hey, E!

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    I was just curious about your Jewishness.There are no words.
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    I was just curious about your Jewishness.I'm sorry, but the way this is phrased made me laugh really hard.Also...what 'makes' someone Jewish is the same as what makes you a Christian - your faith/beliefs.
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    [i]There are no words. [/i] This could also be applied to your signature picture. Oh dear...
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    Ever heard of Wikipedia? 
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    or perhaps google.
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    what 'makes' someone Jewish is the same as what makes you a Christian - your faith/beliefsActually, that's not totally true. There is a much stronger hereditary component to Judaism than a lot of other faiths.Cocoreo, if you're really interested in this stuff, check out the chat rooms on beliefnet. I'm really interested in religions (my own and others) and it's been a really good resource.
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    I stand corrected.
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    Also...what 'makes' someone Jewish is the same as what makes you a Christian - your faith/beliefs.No. My husband is really no religion but identifies with Catholicism with me but he still considers himself to be Jewish. It is a heritage thing as much as it is a religion.
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    oops late to that one... Also, definitely google. Or get a book on this coco. The story of the Jewish diaspora is very interesting.
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    Crap, I knew that was going to come off as offensive.  Not meant that way at all.  I know that Judaism is a religion, but I believe that Jewish is also an ethnicity.  Anyway, should I just delete this post to save some face?  Maybe it's too late for that.
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    Also, I knew that I could look up this stuff, but I specifically wanted to know about E. 
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    *taps foot impatiently for E to arrive*
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     I wonder where her spies are that let her know when she's being paged and/or talked about.
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    E is the resident Al Sharpton of Jewish people.
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    Ok, here I am, sheesh.  You seemed to answer your own question in the end but here is some clarification.  About me- I am Jewish, from Israeli parents, I'm an Israeli citizen, and have lived there on and off.  My parents were of European decent.  Yes, being Jewish does define your ethnicity but your ethnic division such as Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrahim, Romano, and other smaller divisions, would be where in the Jewish world you are genetically from.  Where Jews are genetically monitored from is the Exodus from Egypt to Israel with Moses.  The ones who followed Moses to Israel were the Israelites and the Jews who made it to Israel are really how we document the tribes.  We can actually, in very Orthodox communities, like where my family came from, can go down the line of the twelve tribes of the Jews, back a few thousand years.  My mother's family is Ashkenazi, from Eastern Europe.  My father's family were actually the slaves of Rome and escaped during the Crusades, this has been well documented.  They were Romano Jews and were also Ashkenazic, this was found when their lineage was researched.  There were limited Romano in Greece after centuries and they intermarried with Sephardic Jews of Greece.  The Sephardi originated from the region around Spain.  The rules around Jewish marriage are very specific and have been this way since the beginning.  When you marry, you are required to provide the Ketubah of your parents and sometimes grandparents.  You have witnesses who are to vouch for you being Jewish and they are supposed to know you from when you are growing up and know your family to further verify this.  The witness is expected to be a respectable person.  All the verification is done to confirm that there is no line broken between generations of marriage by marrying a non Jew.  Except for the last hundred fifty years or so, regardless of how religious your family is, the documentation is solid.  Newer affiliations of Judaism like the Conservative and Reformed movements are more lenient about the requirements and allow for intermarriage with non Jews.  About Hebrew, yes I'm fluent.  There are Jews all over the world who are at least proficient in Hebrew so they can practice religion since texts are all in Hebrew.  There are many communities that don't actively speak it and some can't read it.  Ok, my hands are done and I have stuff to do.  I'll check back if you have questions.    
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    As far as my education is concerned, I have a degree in Judaic Studies.  This is the study work that Rabbis do before Rabbinical school or for a PHD. 
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    I think thats incredible you are able to trace your family roots back that far, thats amazing. I dont think many people can say that.
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    Thanks, E!  That's very helpful.  I do have lots more questions, but I should probably do some of my own research instead of continually bugging you.  I'll let you know if I need any clarification.  Thanks again! 
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    Yeah, it is very interesting.  Of course, there is a few thousand years that we can't totally account for but there is a general idea.  My husband was not raised religious but his great great grandfather was the head Rabbi in Lublin Poland.  Ultra Orthodox tourists travel there to visit his grave and make trips for it.  His family can go back very far.   
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    I agree with Nebb.  That's amazing how you can trace your heritage back so far. 
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    I don't mind the questions.  My friend had a melt down at 1:30am ish and came over.  We went to a bar until closing so I was passed out until now.  You can't control your timing.  People ask me things all the time, I don't mind.  I am used to it from teaching people in the conversion process, with a Rabbi of course. 
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    Mrs. G. - How are intermarriages really viewed in the Jewish community? Example 1: I have a friend in Monterrey whose parents practically arranged his marriage with a girl in Mexico City... They are both Jewish - and from prominant families, so that could be part of the reasoning, although he would have married well regardless as people here don't marry out of their "class" - and pretty involved in the Jewish community here. They're having their third child soon, so I'm looking forward to the bris. Example 2: My Catholic Costa Rican friend from high school married a Honduran Jew and they live there. They had a Jewish-style wedding - not sure how Jewish it could be since she's not - and she's never converted. Their children are technically not Jews although they're being raised as Jews, correct? So is the Example 1 couple the ideal, and would the Example 2 couple be frowned upon? Are my friend's children really not considered Jewish? Has her husband dissappointed the faith by marrying outside?
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