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Can a Gentile be a Jew?


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Answered 2013-08-10 06:57:22

Some Answers from our contributors:

1. If you are asking can a gentile become a Jew, the answer is yes. If you are asking whether someone can continue to be a non-Jew and yet be Jewish, the answer is no.

2. A Jew is anybody born from a Jewish mother, or who has converted to Judaism. If a non-Jew and a Jew have a child and the mother is a Jew, then according to Judaism all of their children are Jews. If the father is a Jew and the mother is a non-Jew, the children are not Jews. (Except in Reform Judaism, which accepts children of Jewish fathers, as long as the children were raised as Jews.)

3. Any non-Jew can convert to Judaism and will then be considered fully Jewish. There is an explanation of this at the Related Link below.

4. I'd like to split the question in two:

A- Can a Gentile become a Jew?

B- Can a Gentile believe in Jesus and be a Jew?

To the first question, Yes. There is a formal procedure, involving much study, rabbinic oversight, etc, which if the candidate is accepted, culminates in a miqveh, and for men, circumcision. Although Judaism discourages conversion, it also teaches that a "convert" is to be highly regarded (it isn't always easy to take on the Torah's obligations if you aren't raised in it). Also, a person who has completed the conversion process is viewed by Jewish Law as a full Jew, period.

To the second question, No. Although there can be an "interpretation" placed on Paul's teachings that one may be a "spiritual" Jew having had "circumcision of the heart," but this is contradictory both to Jesus's teaching, as well as the clear practice and teaching of the Jews.

5. The question doesn't make sense, really. Can a German Shepherd dog be a Labrador Retriever dog?

6. You can be whatever you want. If you want to follow one of the major religions, you can do so to your hearts content. You will always find a sect that will accept you as you are, while others may reject you since they don't like to accept outsiders.

You can decide you are Jewish, start following all the customs and holidays, go to temple, etc., teach your children and tell them they are Jewish. Who can tell you not to?

On the other hand you could just be a free-thinker, an atheist, or a secular humanist. Secular Humanism emphasizes being a good human being. Either way, if you are a good human being you don't need to define yourself as anything other than human. Believing in a god or a prophet is unnecessary. Just love others and help them as much as you can. This is all you need to do in life to be a worthy member of the human race. Don't do it because you have to, do it because you want to. Everything else can easily lead you on the wrong path. Don't listen to others, listen to your heart. If you are a good person you will know I'm right.

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