Jump to content
  • Sky
  • Blueberry
  • Slate
  • Blackcurrant
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberry
  • Orange
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Emerald
  • Chocolate
  • Charcoal
artschooldropout

An interesting article on faux-Judaism in fundie circles

Recommended Posts

Dandruff
I'm Christian, and I don't really celebrate Easter. Most SDA's don't celebrate holidays. In fact, most SDA's, if not all, believe Jesus was born in the spring or fall, and not in December. As for Easter, we acknowledge Jesus' sacrifice I think Good Friday, Lent, etc are only a Catholic thing. Not all Christians are Catholic

I thought Good Friday was accepted by all Christians. My apologies if I'm wrong. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yewchapel

Most Christians will celebrate Easter. Lent isn't just Catholic either - I'm Anglican and I observe it, and I know people who observe it who are Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian or even Baptist as well as Catholic and Orthodox (although Orthodox Lent is different anyway).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FaustianSlip
I'm surprised but I happily retract my previous statements. 267k is still not a huge number but bigger than I expected - I thought Judaism in the UK was limited to London and Manchester (although they are large cities).

Speaking as someone who has spent a pretty good chunk of time living in the UK, Liverpool and Glasgow both have fairly sizable Jewish populations (Liverpool's may have shrunk somewhat over the years- I get the impression that it was bigger in the '60s or so, but that's just based on my impressions, not actual stats), as does Birmingham. I think Jews are fairly well-represented in Leeds, as well. York has basically none, though- when you chase all of the Jews out of town and lock the remainder up in Clifford's Tower so you can set fire to the whole place, that tends to keep other Jews from considering your town a viable place to live.

There also used to be a surprisingly large Jewish community in Belfast, but it's shrunk tremendously over the last few decades, and I think they're down to one synagogue now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
flyawaystray

I'm quite surprised at how many non-Catholics do celebrate Lent and such. In my area, almost 70 percent of the population is Catholic. 20 percent are Jewish, 1.9 percent Lutheran, 1.7 percent United Methodist, 1.6 percent Episcopalian, 1 percent Muslim, .8 percent Greek Orthodox, .5 percent Lutheran, .5 percent Presbyterian, and 3 percent, other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yewchapel

Speaking as someone who has spent a pretty good chunk of time living in the UK, Liverpool and Glasgow both have fairly sizable Jewish populations (Liverpool's may have shrunk somewhat over the years- I get the impression that it was bigger in the '60s or so, but that's just based on my impressions, not actual stats), as does Birmingham. I think Jews are fairly well-represented in Leeds, as well. York has basically none, though- when you chase all of the Jews out of town and lock the remainder up in Clifford's Tower so you can set fire to the whole place, that tends to keep other Jews from considering your town a viable place to live.

There also used to be a surprisingly large Jewish community in Belfast, but it's shrunk tremendously over the last few decades, and I think they're down to one synagogue now.

Hmm I wonder why Judaism seems to be so relatively hidden in the UK then? As opposed to say, the US, where Jewish culture is a more obvious part of the ethnic culture. But thank you (and AudreyParker) for educating me on the subject :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gardenvarietycitizen

There are some fairly large(?) orthodox/haredi communities in Stamford Hill and Golders Green.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2xx1xy1JD

Was this news to them? I'm confused; what role did they think Jesus plays in Judaism?

ETA: As I recall, Jesus is considered a prophet in Judaism, is that correct?

No, he's not really considered anything at all. It's like asking how Mohammed is considered in Christianity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FaustianSlip

Yeah, those are both quite large communities. And the U.K. has a history of much more intense persecution of Jews than the U.S. does. The city of York literally herded all of their Jews into Clifford's Tower and set fire to them back in the day. Granted, this was quite some time ago, but there are still virtually no Jews there, and that kind of incident wasn't specific to York. In places like London, Jewish culture isn't all that hidden- you can find synagogues everywhere, though I have found the security at synagogues to be much more intensive in the U.K. (and in other countries in general) than it is in the U.S. My experience attending university there was that there are a few universities that have very robust J-Socs where Jewish students tend to wind up, leaving Jewish representation at other universities quite sparse. The U.K. is less religious generally than the U.S., as well, so someone could well be Jewish and not be known as such to the people around them, assuming they don't have some very obviously Jewish name.

And thumbs up to that rabbi for calling it like it is and saying that Christian and Jewish theology are different. They really are, and it consistently shocks most Christians I talk to to find out just how much Jewish positions on central religious questions differ from the Christian ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chaya_Chaya

We have family friends who do the whole Faux-Jew thing. My family IS Jewish, and not the Messianic kind.

When these family friends started to run with more Faux-Jew Fundies and I started to lurk their blogs and FB pages, nothing bothered me more than seeing them use Yiddish words and slang like some white kid trying to speak like a black rapper. How can they freely use these words and phrases that my great-grandmothers used in their homes?

The worst part about these people is that they refer to Jews who became "Jews for Jesus," as "COMPLETE JEWS." WTF WTF WTF?!

So because I don't believe that your Christ was the Messiah, I am not a COMPLETE JEW?! F Off.

I actually had to break ties somewhat with these family friends. I could not take the wife making Challah bread like she has been making it since birth with her bubbe and then criticizing me for not keeping kosher... while pronouncing it, "Cash-er."

OK, I vented.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bionicmlle
Well said, faustianslip. The thing is though, MANY, MANY people think SDA's are trying to be Jews, just because we have church on Saturday and don't eat pork or certain animals like the Jews. Very few people know the history of the SDA church and that it came about from Joseph Miller's many end time prophecies that failed.

Well, it's important to state, particularly in context of this thread, that much of sda teaching that lines up with Levitical law was accepted after Ellen White had visions and writings about "the health message" which included the instructions on meat like no pork, only fish w scales, etc. and other goodies like no mustard, pepper or masturbation.

I should suggest adding Prophetess of Health to the FJs reading list!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous

I must admit, I have flirted quite heavily with cultural appropriation (and maybe that's putting it kindly). For most of my life, I have been very serious about converting to Judaism. When I actually started the process of conversion (not really long ago, but it feels like an age to me), I found that I didn't (and couldn't) really believe in God. I think that means the conversion process was doing exactly what it was supposed to do. So anyway, as a result of all this, I find myself living in a massive Jewish community and with a "family of choice" that is largely Jewish. I've suddenly had this huge shift in my life, in which I've gone from trying to think of myself as part of a Jewish community to being a permanent outsider. I've gone from memorizing Hebrew and turning prayers over in my mind, to having no place in any of that.

I think Free Jinger has been hugely chastening for me. I've realised how utterly dickish it would be of me to still cling on quite so passionately to the Jewish stuff in my life.

/overshare

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mypsychoticself
I must admit, I have flirted quite heavily with cultural appropriation (and maybe that's putting it kindly). For most of my life, I have been very serious about converting to Judaism. When I actually started the process of conversion (not really long ago, but it feels like an age to me), I found that I didn't (and couldn't) really believe in God. I think that means the conversion process was doing exactly what it was supposed to do. So anyway, as a result of all this, I find myself living in a massive Jewish community and with a "family of choice" that is largely Jewish. I've suddenly had this huge shift in my life, in which I've gone from trying to think of myself as part of a Jewish community to being a permanent outsider. I've gone from memorizing Hebrew and turning prayers over in my mind, to having no place in any of that.

I think Free Jinger has been hugely chastening for me. I've realised how utterly dickish it would be of me to still cling on quite so passionately to the Jewish stuff in my life.

/overshare

I'm not sure that's actually cultural appropriation. Obviously I don't know all of the details, but what you've said is nothing like what these fundies are doing. It sounds like you thought you wanted to convert, so you began living with and learning from actual Jews. Many of these fundies don't want to convert, they just want some of the trappings of Judaism. So they'll add a bit of "Jewish" flair to their lives, without bothering to find out whether they're doing things correctly. They don't seek input from actual Jews, and they aren't doing it respectfully.

Regardless of your reasons for wanting to convert, I respect you for acknowledging that it isn't right for you. It takes a lot of courage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2xx1xy1JD

AudreyParker - that really doesn't sound like cultural appropriation to me.

Conversion is not appropriation. It is joining a religious community and taking on its obligations.

Considering conversion is not appropriation. Jews don't actively proselytize, but if someone really wants to convert, they can. If someone realizes that it's too onerous or simply not for them, that's fine too.

I've had friends who, while not Jewish themselves, lived around Jews, had Jewish friends and were very comfortable with the culture. No issues at all with that.

From the POV of Jewish theology, only Jews are required to do all of the detailed commandments, but we are supposed to inspire others to lead lives in accordance with 7 universal commandments. This means that we believe that others can be good people and go to heaven if they follow some basic morality, so there is no need for others to convert if they don't have a strong desire to do so, but also that inspiring others is not a bad thing. To use the Passover Seder and whole story of the Exodus as an example: it clearly influenced the Abolishionists and the black churches.

Appropriation, IMHO, is a bad thing when:

1. It is actually intended to be part of a stealth marketing campaign. If you call yourself a Jew instead of a Christian, despite believing in a theology that is Christian at its core - ie. belief that not only was Jesus the Messiah, but that he was the Son of God, that he died for the sins of humanity, that he was resurrected, and that salvation comes from belief in Jesus. If those are your beliefs, you are Christian. Period. No amount of Hebrew terminology or imitating Jewish rituals will change that. If you place ads in predominantly Jewish retirement communities, where you use exclusively Hebrew religious terms even though your audience speaks English, and let your audience assume that you are a Jewish group; if you deliberately avoid using terms like Jesus and Christian and New Testament precisely because you know that Jews will avoid you if you do, then that is deceptive marketing.

2. When Jewish rituals are learned from non-Jewish sources, and then someone feels it's appropriate to lecture real Jews and tell them about how they are Doing It Wrong.

Now, it seems that there is a flip side to the Messianic thing, where mainstream Christians are exploring and embracing the Jewish roots of Christianity. IF these people are not engaging in the bad forms of appropriation - in other words, if they are leaving real Jews alone, not pretending to be us, not trying to convert us and not telling us we're doing it wrong - then I wouldn't have a problem with this. It's not up to me to tell a Christian how to believe. If a Christian rejects replacement theology or the idea that the commandments were nullified by the death of Jesus - fine. It's their religious debate, not mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous

I haven't really expressed myself well. My problem isn't conversion, it's living life after realising that I'll probably never convert. There was so much stuff (cultural and religious) that I was learning to think of as my stuff, and now it just... isn't my stuff anymore. I loved that life, I loved it completely, but holding on to it for any longer seems like crossing the line into appropriation. Does that make sense?

2xx1xy1JD, I do agree with your points about appropriation. I just feel like I have to by hyper-aware of myself now, to make sure I avoid falling into a trap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2xx1xy1JD

Influence happens. Cultures cross-pollinate. As long as you are honest, so that you aren't pretending to be something that you are not, or preachy, then it can be okay to have diverse influences in your life. [Thanks to Hollywood, tons of Yiddish phrases have entered American English, and there is some general cultural awareness of a few Jewish rituals.]

I know that there's a practice among some conversion candidates to deliberately do one thing that violates the Sabbath, for example, before they convert, to make it clear that they are just practicing and aren't actually Jewish yet. Maybe you could use that idea - acknowledging that you are not Jewish and not obligated to do X, but wish to do or adapt it for whatever reasons. Also, if you are doing something that relates back to the 7 Noachide (Universal) Laws, I can't see why anyone would have an issue with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FaustianSlip

AudreyParker, I agree with the others. I don't think what you describe is cultural appropriation; you have a deep affinity for customs that were very meaningful for you (and may still be meaningful, even if you no longer plan to be Jewish) that you adopted in, presumably, an organic way. To me, that's very natural; especially if you were in the conversion process to one extent or another for any prolonged period of time, it's normal that aspects of Jewish observance and culture became a part of your life. If you're still involved with the Jewish community, it makes sense that they would continue to be a part of your life. If you're not passing yourself off as a Jew or trying to use the knowledge you have to convert Jews to some other religion or co-opting Jewish rituals for some other religion yourself, I'd say you're fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MamaJunebug

I find it very weird that Christian churches that are happy to have Christian 'seders' tend to be ones that do not have Holy Communion every week or even every month. I don't understand why they're not interested in using actual communion bread/wafers to represent Jesus' body but they are OK with using matzah in a Jewish ritual to do that? It's all very strange. Anyway the only food we know Jesus ate at the Last Supper was bread and wine so it's not like we know it was a seder that modern Jews would recognise or even a seder at all. Just do a votive Mass, folks. Oh wait, I forgot, that's ebil Caflick stuff :roll: *

* aimed at Messianics/anti-Catholic fundies, not you FaustianSlip!

Having come up in a traditional, orthodox, religiously conservative, liturgical church (Lutheran-Missouri Synod), I see a great deal of logic in yewchapel's view and share her general views.

So many Protestants (Lutheranism is less Protestant than it is Roman Catholicism without a pope, several sacraments and prayer to Mary & the saints) have villainized liturgical worship, traditional church architecture, clerical vestments, etc., as well as having redefined the Eucharist as merely symbolic, and Baptism as what one does to show one's commitment to God.

(The traditional beliefs of Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopal (IIRC) and Orthodox is that the Eucharist is true body and true blood along with the bread and wine; and that Baptism is God's forgiveness of sins, a gift to us, not from us.)

What the Protestant denominations, often times but not always, are left with is little sense of mystery, or a certain level of tradition. In some (not all) cases, combine that lack with a political conservatism that misinterprets the role of the existing Israel, and it makes perfect sense to me that some people, in some denoms, would look to Jewish rituals and identity to add that sense of history, tradition and mystery.

It would be against their whole doctrinal polity to change their minds about the sacraments, and as yewchapel pointed out, near-anathema to admit that the RC/Lutheran/Episcopal/Orthodox traditions are appropriate and desirable.

JMHO, of course.

...Did I post this, before? I remember wanting to, but kinda also remember being interrupted in the process. Oy vey, as they say, if that is the case. :|

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.