Can I practice Judaism while remaining largely Catholic?

I’m aware of the contradictions that would result if I became a fully fledged Jew, for example, whether Christ was the Messiah, but I seem perfectly able to put these contradictions aside while fully worshiping God. I often feel 49% Jewish and 51% Catholic. Am I sinning, or would God approve such an endeavor?

I suggest you read the book of Hebrews in the New Testament. It was written to Jews who had converted to Christianity and were thinking of reverting. It is a wonderful comparison between the old and the new covenants.

I am only familiar with 2 Jewish converts. They both say that Catholicism, in it’s fullness IS the the logical transition of the Jewish faith. A nun I have heard speak that was raised Jewish has said the same thing. They have all 3 left all Jewish practices behind saying there was no need for them to exist any longer.

**Under what circumstances, can I practice Judaism while remaining largely Catholic? **


Surely eating kosher food is not a sin! And what about reading and practicing some Jewish customs? The trend in the Vatican has been very pro-judaism. Pope Francis, while still a Cardinal, declared that the Jews are God’s chosen people, which makes me believe partaking in some Jewish customs, and holding Judaism in high esteem is wise.

Read all of the New Testament and the answer will be an obvious no. Especially the Acts and Hebrews.

The Temple is gone for good. Christ is the new Temple. The old images and rites foreshadowed what has come to pass.

the church actually has a lot of Jewish customes

there is such thing as Hebrew Catholics but I don’t know to what extent they keep jewish traditions

you can eat kosher food if you like but that’s not really considered practicing Judaism. just like I wouldn’t be practicing islam if I went and had a halal meal at the local middle eastern restaurant

The Jews are God’s chosen people because the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity was to take place in them…and did.

We have a rich treasure in our Church of worshipping the Blessed Trinity, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. We have the saints and angels whom we can ask for intercession.

We have the Doctors of the Church who teach us many things and inspire us.

We have the Mass, Eucharist, and saints who can teach us to lead a deeper prayer life.

Wow! First time I’ve seen that question here on CAF!


At any point that Jesus is not your Way, your Truth and your Life I think would present a problem.

Here is an excellent series of lectures from the Association of Hebrew Catholics…

I think there are a lot of Jewish things you can participate in as a practicing Catholic. Do you have Jewish friends? Ask to be invited to Shabbat dinner. Go to services on Friday night or Saturday morning. Learn how Jews pray, how they read and honor the Torah, how they keep Shabbat the way the Bible tells us to.

I fell in love with Judaism reading novels. Chaim Potok’s ‘The Chosen’ was my favorite. It was a glimpse into Orthodox Judaism of the 1940’s.

Judaism has a tradition of serious scholarship. Learn about its history. I can give you some good beginner’s references if you’d like.

I commend you for this. It’s exciting to find someone out there who loves Judaism too.

I forgot to add one thing. There is a priest who just died - Msgr Tom Hartman. He and his best friend, Rabbi Marc Gellman, teamed up to form what they called ‘The God Squad.’ They appeared on television and radio, commenting on all things religious. It was a wonderful relationship and they taught people a whole lot, not only with their insights into news and goings-on, but here they were, two clergymen from different faiths speaking the truth to the public.

And my guess is that they both knew and understood each other’s faith very well.

Yes! BTW: My entire church was invited to a Jewish service, and even our Catholic priests took part.

I just happen to be a Catholic who holds all of Judaism in high esteem. Sounds like you do too.

I’m aware of the contradictions that would result if I became a fully fledged Jew, for example, whether Christ was the Messiah, but I seem perfectly able to put these contradictions aside while fully worshiping God. I often feel 49% Jewish and 51% Catholic. Am I sinning, or would God approve such an endeavor?

I write this post in response to the original question posed, and in indirect response to some of the responses thus far. I choose not to pick a fight, but will say what I have to say and let the chips fall where they may. I will be happy to engage in friendly dialogue, but really don’t want to get into a contentious debate.

First, Judaism is a wonderful, wonderful religion. If practiced with sincerity and devotion, Judaism is just an incredible religion that we, as Catholics, should admire and respect despite our differences. Most devout Jews are very holy people, love their family, and are good neighbors and citizens. We can learn a lot from our Jewish elders in the faith.

Secondly, Christ was a Jew. Mary and Joseph were Jews. Most of the earliest disciples and Christians were all Jewish. The earliest Christians kept the Sabbath. They followed the Ten Commandments. On the day after the Sabbath, they celebrated what would be the earliest form of the Mass.

Christ didn’t throw out the Ten Commandments. He didn’t abolish a belief in the Creator.

Jesus loved Israel and the Jewish people. Christ didn’t believe in hatred against the Jews. He had strong disagreements with the Jewish leaders at the time - a time of great contention, turmoil, confusion, and distress while under Roman occupation. But Christ loved the Jewish people.

I can appreciate as Catholics asserting our faith, and advocating for Catholic tradition. I draw the line at the point of crossing into hatred and anti-semitism, which is neither Catholic, nor charitable, nor Christ-like.

Jews who actively practice their faith and are deeply committed to prayer, good deeds, and helping others are to be admired and respected. We may have theological and even cultural differences, but let’s not forget about the Golden Rule. We have far more in common than differences.

It is entirely possible that people who feel drawn to Judaism are, in fact, ethnically Jewish. They may feel drawn to Judaism because it resonates with their values, culture, and family traditions. Many Jews, over many centuries, had to hide their faith and faced oppression from both secular and religious authorities. You may have Jewish ancestry or long lost family ties to Judaism.

The lost tribes of Israel will one day reunited, and as people are drawn closer to their faith, this may be one way in which the Creator is working in our lives to make this come to fruition.

I take no issue with any individual that is sincerely drawn to a closer relationship with their Creator through prayer, good deeds, and helping make this world a better place to live. God bless the Jews, and God bless those that do their best to build bridges between our two faiths.

[quote=Robert Sock]Surely eating kosher food is not a sin! And what about reading and practicing some Jewish customs?

No, eating kosher food, or going to a shabbat or synagogue, is not a sin, per se.

The real question, though, is what doing these things means to you. Are you doing them because you believe that they’re necessary – or helpful – to your salvation? If so, then yeah… there’s a problem there.

If you’re doing them because you’re exploring Jewish traditions, or wish to understand what used to be required of the People of God, then great… keep doing them!

But, if you feel you continue to need to do them, then you’re mistaken. You’re a Gentile, aren’t you? If so, then you need to read what Paul says on a number of occasions (notably, to the Galatians) – for the Gentiles, holding to Jewish customs is not necessary… and downright harmful, if we place our faith and trust in them.

Keeping one foot on the pier and one in the boat is not a good idea. You’d get wet and not go anyplace.


Yes, and this seems to be the track that the Vatican is taking.

To follow up… that Lecture Series 16: Heritage: Civilization and the Jews is worth the time and small fee (it goes for a pretty stiff price on Amazon) to borrow the DVDs. A relative of mine who was a priest gave me the whole series before he passed away and it is excellent. I am reminded to find it and watch it again.

And Lecture 17 (starting in March) looks to be very interesting…On the Eucharist.

You will find both Jews and Catholics who advise you that the two religions, for all their links and similarities, are essentially incompatible with regard to the most basic dogma and many other elements which derive from the fundamentals.

My own personal opinion, however, is that, while the Church may forbid what is called Judaizing and Judaism may forbid a Jew from believing in a Trinitarian G-d, that somewhere down the line, perhaps at the point of infinity, these parallel religions merge and intersect.

Now, that does not mean I am encouraging you to abandon to any degree your own faith. In fact, Judaism does not require conversion and believes that righteous people who are not Jewish can lead very moral, just, and meaningful lives in the eyes of G-d. While I am sure Catholicism also believes this, I think it is rather stricter in its dogma regarding accepting Jesus as the Messiah and G-d and believing in the Holy Spirit and the Father as well as following the teachings of the Church, the latter of which is particularly applicable to those who are aware of the Catholic faith and thus lack “invincible ignorance.”

Therefore, while I cannot approve of what you are suggesting since I believe it is counter to the teachings of your own faith, I can advise you to speak to a priest about your concerns, pray about the matter, and then follow your informed moral conscience.

Lol…very true.

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