Ask me anything (almost) about Judaism


#41

Conversion to Judaism, whether a non-believer or a member of another religion, is something that must derive from an individual’s true desire to become a Jew, rather than, in any way, forced upon him. That is why rabbis “turn away,” that is, caution potential converts the first two times by explaining to them how challenging it really is to become a Jew, in order to test whether they are sincere in the matter of conversion and understand sufficiently what they are taking on. Studying about the responsibilities and obligations of being Jewish must precede actual conversion. This is for the benefit of the potential convert. Besides, Judaism does not believe that the only path toward serving G-d and helping humanity is by conversion to Judaism.


#42

Thank you, Moses613. You are so much more knowledgeable than I am, and I see already I can use some help.


#43

Is it true that some Jews traditionally leave at portion of every room in their house unpainted as a sign that creation is not finished?


#44

Great question! Judaism does believe there are some intentional holes in G-d’s Creation that require G-d’s partnership with mankind to repair. I have not heard, however, that this is the reason why a portion of a house might remain unpainted. Based on my understanding, it is associated with the destruction of the Temple, and this “unfinished state” represents a commemoration of that event. But I could be wrong or there might be more than one reason, and this is an occasion when Moses613 may be able to help.


#45

I read somewhere that 70 percent of American Jews live in the ten largest urban centers.
Why don’t Jews choose small towns to live in?
After all, you can succeed in a small town, am I not right?


#46

Doctor, lawyer, architect, economist remained the Jewish profession. Are there any new “Jewish profession” except the programmer?


#47

As far as I know, basketball and chess is the sport in which Jews are most successful. Are there any other sports where the Jews are the most successful?


#48

Thanks for your willingness, meltzerboy2, to answer so many questions and give us first hand information about Judaism.


#49

When recently attending an introductory seminar on Judaism at the Temple, I noticed a pagan idol in the form of an eagle on the top of a flag staff, and this was in the Holy Sanctuary! Do you have this contradiction in your own Temple or Synagogue? I have to put up with this idol in the Christian churches that I attend and was disappointed to see it in a Jewish Temple as well.


#50

That fact is very significant for Catholics. It is clear enough in Maccabees 2 12:46 “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.”

On another point, are Messianic Jews regarded as Jews?


#51

How do most Jews interpret the creation accounts? Literal, historical, mythical?


#52

Perhaps because many Jews may feel, either rightly or wrongly, like outsiders in small towns, although my own experience, having once lived in a small town, was that most people were very friendly. Further, if one is an Orthodox Jew, in particular, but also with regard to somewhat less observant Jews, there may not be any synagogue in a small town or a supermarket/grocery store to buy kosher foods or Passover foods. These are some reasons that come to mind. It’s not only business success that drives Jews, but also–and IMO primarily–quality of life for oneself and one’s family, just like other people.


#53

I believe that most Jews, including many or most Orthodox Jews, do not interpret the Creation in a completely literal way, although some do. OTOH, it is not regarded as merely mythical either. As in several other areas of Judaism, perhaps the consensus view is somewhere in-between. In other words, the idea that G-d created the universe in six days may be believed but, at the same time, so is the theory of evolution. The length of a single day may have been an indeterminate amount rather than 24 hours, and G-d controls the evolutionary process.


#54

I’m subscribing as well to learn more. Thanks Meltzerboy!~ This should be an informative thread.


#55

The consensus viewpoint on Messianic Jews is that they are NOT Jews. One cannot be Jewish and, at the same time, believe that Jesus was the Messiah, let alone the Son of G-d. My own view, however, is that if one considers oneself Jewish, then they are Jewish. I prefer not to question another person’s self-identification.


#56

Thanks, MaryT777!


#57

I’m not sure your characterization of that eagle can be considered a pagan idol. The bald eagle atop a flag staff is a symbol of the United States, not an idol one worships. I don’t have such a symbol in my synagogue but I really don’t see anything in it that conflicts with monotheism and Judaism.


#58

That is what Cantor Deborah told us at her seminar, and, having attended services at a Messianic church, I can understand why. They had adopted some Christian theologies that are very difficult for Judaism to accept such as virgin birth and worshiping a human form as God.
If I were a jew choosing to think that Yeshu was the Messiah, I would at least refer to him by what ancient Jewish rabbi called him: Yeshu ben Pantera.


#59

You’re very welcome, george.s.v.


#60

What is the full meaning of Kaddish? Can we say Kaddish (ok you as a member of Judaism can say it and maybe us others just by empathy) say Kaddish to ideas we once had and we feel we must bury them or is Kaddish only about actual physical death?
God bless.


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