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  #1  
Old Apr 21, '17, 9:11 am
jas84173 jas84173 is offline
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Default If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

I don't mean to come off wrong; but Judaism never seemed converts like say Christianity and Islam but is historically an ethnoreligion, like say, Zoroastrianism. With that said, Judaism stems from the middle east. Why does it seem like now the majority of Jewish people look like white Caucasians, even in Israel? Did something happen in the historical timeline to make this occur? Just feel like if they all through tradition stem from Israel, the adherents would look like an olive skinned middle eastern person. Sorry if this offends anyone but it has been something I have pondered a lot. Judaism accepts converts but doesn't actively go out trying to convert people. In fact many times they are skeptical of it. Another ethnoreligion which was once a great religion in Persia, Zoroastrianism has the same dilemma and in recent years some liberal adherents have questioned if they should allow converts; because since the Islamic expansion it has really been slowly dying out in number of adherents. So anyways, if Jews don't really want converts, how are so many it seems to be Caucasians?
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  #2  
Old Apr 21, '17, 9:39 am
Lea101 Lea101 is offline
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

I did a Google search because I remember having the same question, and I came across this link

https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlike...le_originated/

Maybe this can help. I'm sure other posters have something better to contribute
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  #3  
Old Apr 21, '17, 9:55 am
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

One word: diaspora
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  #4  
Old Apr 21, '17, 10:09 am
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews might be the answer. Jewish people live all over the world not just in Europe and America.
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Old Apr 21, '17, 11:10 am
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

Recall that Israel was 'repopulated' with European Jews after WWII. And those are the 'face' of Judaism we in the west ,most often see. There is a genetic disorder among the Hebrew population called Tay-Sachs disease, which is the direct result of their relatively tight knit gene pool.

One of my Jewish friends way back said, "You can be baptized a Christian, but you are BORN a Jew!"
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  #6  
Old Apr 21, '17, 11:14 am
PaulfromIowa PaulfromIowa is offline
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

Melanin is produced in our skin to protect us from the sun's rays. Jews who have lived in northern Europe for two thousand years are, obviously, going to be lighter skinned than those who have lived in more equatorial areas.
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  #7  
Old Apr 21, '17, 11:38 am
SyroMalankara SyroMalankara is offline
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

Also - Arabs are Caucausian. And Judaism did accept converts en masse early on.
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  #8  
Old Apr 21, '17, 12:12 pm
steve93 steve93 is offline
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

Eastern Europe, medieval antichristain kingdoms on the Black sea.
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  #9  
Old Apr 21, '17, 12:57 pm
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phil19034 phil19034 is offline
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

For starters... the Jews of antiquity were Caucasian, as are ethnic Arabs.

Even ethnic Egyptians are Caucasians. I went to college with an ethnic Egyptian Copt who had blue eyes and tan skin. I've also met Egyptian Copts who have brown eyes and very, very light skin.

Even the Persians and Indians (from India) are Caucasian.

Skin color does not denote race. Caucasians closer or at the equator typically have darker skin, but they are still Caucasian.

Additionally, one of the reasons you have many darker skinned Palestinians is because some are ethnically not from Palestine. You have had migrations from all over the Muslim world over the centuries. You have had Muslims from North Africa migrate up, you have had Muslims from Iraq (Arabs and Kurds)

Here is a picture of Kurdish children from Iraq... look pretty "white" to me
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurds#...Diyarbakir.jpg

Here is a picture of Palestinian girl ... again, looks pretty "white" to me https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palest..._Qalqiliya.jpg

And here are a number of Palestinian girls getting ready for school... again, they look pretty "white" to me https://www.flickr.com/photos/aljaze...ish/3851280947

So skin color of the Jews is irrelevant... Now, if you want to ask why are are their blond Jews... well then that's because of all the years they spent intermarrying with Germans, Austrians, Pols and other Eastern Europeans for centuries before the 20th century.

I pray this helps.

God Bless
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  #10  
Old Apr 21, '17, 1:23 pm
steve93 steve93 is offline
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

What are we using as the definition of Caucasian? For example there are places where the people look white as far as the shape of the nose not flattened and jaw prominent, eyes not squinted, thin lips, etc, but have dark skin.
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  #11  
Old Apr 21, '17, 2:11 pm
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Exiled Child Exiled Child is offline
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jas84173 View Post
I don't mean to come off wrong; but Judaism never seemed converts like say Christianity and Islam but is historically an ethnoreligion, like say, Zoroastrianism. With that said, Judaism stems from the middle east. Why does it seem like now the majority of Jewish people look like white Caucasians, even in Israel? Did something happen in the historical timeline to make this occur? Just feel like if they all through tradition stem from Israel, the adherents would look like an olive skinned middle eastern person. Sorry if this offends anyone but it has been something I have pondered a lot. Judaism accepts converts but doesn't actively go out trying to convert people. In fact many times they are skeptical of it. Another ethnoreligion which was once a great religion in Persia, Zoroastrianism has the same dilemma and in recent years some liberal adherents have questioned if they should allow converts; because since the Islamic expansion it has really been slowly dying out in number of adherents. So anyways, if Jews don't really want converts, how are so many it seems to be Caucasians?
By a tremendous margin, the most sane voice on this subject is a man named Shlomo Sand. I recommend reading his books.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shlomo_Sand

https://www.amazon.com/Invention-Jew.../dp/1844676234

But actually, I would be pretty shocked if anyone here actually did seek him out at the library and read his works, though if anyone does so, they'll see that the author very bravely and impressively lays out the best possible answers to the questions you've asked. But the subject cannot generally be discussed, because whenever this subject does come up, even ordinarily sane people sometimes love to liberally throw around the word hate. Basically, the subject cannot be addressed because to do so is necessarily to delve into the history and nature and validity of ethnic-centered worldviews. And, too, it doesn't matter how gentle and loving a person is, there will frequently be vehement accusations of racism and hatred and pro-genocidal views and on and on and on. In other words, the subject can sometimes inspire the most furiously berserk accusations, and most people don't enjoy having those types of charges and indictments levelled at them.

In my estimation, though, Sand's first book is well-worth reading, if only for his honest and humanitarian approach to Jewish history and identity, as well as the best possible solution to the racist mess that is modern Israel. If there were Israeli leaders with his disposition, that part of the world would be a much nicer place.
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  #12  
Old Apr 21, '17, 4:31 pm
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ltwin ltwin is offline
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jas84173 View Post
I don't mean to come off wrong; but Judaism never seemed converts like say Christianity and Islam but is historically an ethnoreligion, like say, Zoroastrianism. With that said, Judaism stems from the middle east. Why does it seem like now the majority of Jewish people look like white Caucasians, even in Israel? Did something happen in the historical timeline to make this occur? Just feel like if they all through tradition stem from Israel, the adherents would look like an olive skinned middle eastern person. Sorry if this offends anyone but it has been something I have pondered a lot. Judaism accepts converts but doesn't actively go out trying to convert people. In fact many times they are skeptical of it. Another ethnoreligion which was once a great religion in Persia, Zoroastrianism has the same dilemma and in recent years some liberal adherents have questioned if they should allow converts; because since the Islamic expansion it has really been slowly dying out in number of adherents. So anyways, if Jews don't really want converts, how are so many it seems to be Caucasians?
Most of the Jews westerners are familiar with descend from European Jewish communities. These have their origins in Jewish migration outside of Palestine into areas of the Roman Empire and other parts of Europe. Two thousand and more years of living outside of the Middle East will have an affect on people. There will be some gene admixture naturally and Middle Eastern people today aren't that different looking from white people in Italy or Greece.

And even Arab Americans are classified as white by the US government, so it's not that strange that Jews who lived in Europe would definitely look white.
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  #13  
Old Apr 21, '17, 4:43 pm
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adamhovey1988 adamhovey1988 is offline
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

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Originally Posted by ltwin View Post
Most of the Jews westerners are familiar with descend from European Jewish communities. These have their origins in Jewish migration outside of Palestine into areas of the Roman Empire and other parts of Europe. Two thousand and more years of living outside of the Middle East will have an affect on people. There will be some gene admixture naturally and Middle Eastern people today aren't that different looking from white people in Italy or Greece.

And even Arab Americans are classified as white.
Arab Americans are considered white this is true but Arabs are not considered white in Canada and the UK if I recall correctly. To the OP, before the rise of Christianity the majority of world religions were ethno-religions. I don't see how skin colour has anything to do with an ethno-religious group there are some Jewish people that are not that dark and some that are very dark including Palestinian Jews that have variations in colour. I don't know if you've ever noticed this but some people such as myself are not exactly pale but have siblings same mother same father that are. I am curious if you did not know what colour your government considered southern Italians to be would you call them white?
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  #14  
Old Apr 21, '17, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

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Originally Posted by phil19034 View Post
For starters... the Jews of antiquity were Caucasian, as are ethnic Arabs.

Even ethnic Egyptians are Caucasians. I went to college with an ethnic Egyptian Copt who had blue eyes and tan skin. I've also met Egyptian Copts who have brown eyes and very, very light skin.

Even the Persians and Indians (from India) are Caucasian.

Skin color does not denote race. Caucasians closer or at the equator typically have darker skin, but they are still Caucasian.

Additionally, one of the reasons you have many darker skinned Palestinians is because some are ethnically not from Palestine. You have had migrations from all over the Muslim world over the centuries. You have had Muslims from North Africa migrate up, you have had Muslims from Iraq (Arabs and Kurds)

Here is a picture of Kurdish children from Iraq... look pretty "white" to me
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurds#...Diyarbakir.jpg

Here is a picture of Palestinian girl ... again, looks pretty "white" to me https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palest..._Qalqiliya.jpg

And here are a number of Palestinian girls getting ready for school... again, they look pretty "white" to me https://www.flickr.com/photos/aljaze...ish/3851280947

So skin color of the Jews is irrelevant... Now, if you want to ask why are are their blond Jews... well then that's because of all the years they spent intermarrying with Germans, Austrians, Pols and other Eastern Europeans for centuries before the 20th century.

I pray this helps.

God Bless
Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but this sounds like a very archaic and arbitrary definition of "Caucasian" based on now outmoded early 20th century racial theories prior to modern global genetic studies. The truth is that all non-Africans are extremely closely related. If you're going to talk about human "races", there is far more genetic diversity within Africa than there is between all the peoples of Europe and Asia... yet all those genetically diverse groups in Africa get lumped in as "black". Such racial classifications are social constructs.
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Old Apr 22, '17, 8:32 am
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ltwin ltwin is offline
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Default Re: If Judaism is an ethnoreligion; why are so many white?

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Originally Posted by jas84173 View Post
Why does it seem like now the majority of Jewish people look like white Caucasians, even in Israel?
As to the last part of your question, 50% of the Jews living in Israel today are from or descendants of people from Europe or parts of the former Soviet Union.

I also want to point out that Jewish communities in other parts of the world also take on the "racial" characteristics of the people around them. The Lemba people of Zimbabwe and South Africa are an example of a group who claimed to descend from Jewish men who left Israel 2 thousand years ago. Genetic testing has confirmed that they do share many of the same genes that other Jews share. Specifically, the Lemba's priestly clan, the Buba, are genetically related to Jewish priests, the Kohanim.

Here is a picture of some Lemba people.

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