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A person is Jewish if: their mother is Jewish or they convert to the Jewish religion. If a person doesn't fall into one of these two groups they are not Jewish. Jews are part of the religion Judaism, but Jews are also a family and a people. The Jewish homeland is Israel.

If a person is born to a Jewish mother, then that person remains Jewish *unless* they join another religion. At that point, they are an apostate, an ex- Jew, and cannot call themselves Jewish any longer.

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The word Jew (Hebrew: Yehudi) is used in a number of ways, but specifically refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination of these attributes.

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โˆ™ 2016-08-30 18:00:10
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โˆ™ 2016-08-30 18:00:21

Jewish tradition states that a Jew is any person whose mother was Jewish (Talmud, Kidushin 68b), or any person who has gone through a proper conversion to Judaism (Talmud, Yevamot 47a).
The Jewish people are descendants of Abraham, whose Semitic ancestors lived in the Fertile Crescent and who lived most of his life in the Middle Eastern country of Israel (Canaan) 3800 years ago.

Hebrews, Israelites, Jews - the same people in successive eras:

  • Hebrews

Abraham is called a Hebrew (Genesis ch.14) because "Hebrews" (Ivrim) means descendants of Eber (Ever). Ever was a Western Semite and an ancestor of Abraham (Genesis ch.10-11), and the early Hebrews were Abraham's uncles and cousins for several generations back. They lived in the Fertile Crescent, in northern Mesopotamia, west of the Euphrates river. Abraham was born in the city of Ur (in Mesopotamia; now Iraq).In 1934-39, excavations were conducted at ancient Mari on the Euphrates River. They found that ancient towns were named after the ancestors (Genesis ch.11) of Abraham:
The "city of Nahor" was found near the city of Haran which exists to this day. Equally clear signs of early Hebrew residence appear in the names of other towns nearby: Serug (Assyrian Sarugi), Terah (Til Turakhi, "Mound of Terah"), and Peleg (Paliga, on the Euphrates near the mouth of the Habur). All these names are found in Genesis ch.11.

In Ur, Abraham first repudiated idolatry. He then sojourned in Harran (Syria) for several years, and then lived most of his life in Canaan (Israel). It was in Canaan that Abraham lived most of his life, made a covenant with God (Genesis ch.15), and raised a family to be the center of carrying on his traditions (Genesis 18:19).

  • Israelites
Abraham's chosen son was Isaac (Genesis ch.21). Isaac's son Jacob was blessed by God, who renamed him, calling him Israel (Genesis ch.35), which is why Jews are also called Israelites.

Abraham's family carried on his teachings voluntarily. Judaism as a binding, permanent entity, was set forth between God and the Israelite nation descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at Mount Sinai in the time of Moses (Exodus ch.19, ch.24, and 34:27).All of the above places are in the ancient Fertile Crescent.

Link: Abraham's biography

  • Jews

Jacob had 12 sons, who fathered the 12 Israelite tribes. The Israelites worshiped One God.

One thousand years after Jacob, ten of the tribes were exiled by the Assyrians, to points unknown. The only complete tribes left were Judah and Benjamin; plus part of Levi. The few thousands who remained from the other tribes joined the Tribe of Judah; and modern Jews are mostly descendants of Judah (hence the word "Jew").

This tradition has been substantiated by DNA analysis of Jewish communities all over the world, showing them to be inter-related and of Middle Eastern origin. The Cohanim, a family of the tribe of Levi, also share common genetics.

We possess the names and dates of our ancestors and leaders in an unbroken chain for 3800 years.

In 2000, Nicholas Wade concluded that his DNA study "provided genetic witness that Jewish communities have, to a remarkable extent, retained their biological identity separate from their host populations, evidence of relatively little intermarriage or conversion into Judaism over the centuries. The results accord with Jewish history and tradition."

Abraham was a historical person, as recorded in the Book of Genesis; and his gravesite is known to this day, in the Machpelah at Hebron, Israel. He is revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, comprising over three billion people. The Jewish people have attested to his existence for 3800 years, and his name is mentioned by several ancient non-Jewish historians as far back as 2,300 years ago.

See also the other Related Links.

Link: What race were the Israelites?

Link: Jewish ancestry

Link: Archaeology

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Q: What does Jewish mean?
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Related questions

What does culturely Jewish mean?

To be Jewish can mean you either practice the Jewish religion, or are from a Jewish decent. It is both a race and a religion. Someone that is culturally Jewish may not practice the religion, but has a Jewish heritage. Likewise, people that do practice the Jewish religion do not have to be culturally Jewish, or have Jewish ancestors.

What does Marilyn mean in Jewish?

Marilyn is a name of non-Jewish origin and has no "Jewish meaning".

How do you say handsom in Jewish?

There is no such language as Jewish. If you mean Hebrew, then it is Yafeh. If you mean Yiddish, then it is Shayn,

What is Jewish for wolf?

There is no such language as "Jewish". If you mean Hebrew: Ze'ev = זאב If you mean Yiddish: Valf = וואָלף

What is Jewish cappel?

I think you mean Jewish "chapel" - it's a synagogue.

What do symbols mean for Jewish?

Jewish what? People? That's not a full sentence.

Is the name Madoff a Jewish name?

Yes. However, having a "Jewish name" does not always mean you are Jewish.

What does the name Adriana mean in Jewish?

There is no such language as Jewish. If you mean Hebrew or Yiddish, Adriana has no meaning in either language.

What were Jewish traitors called in the Holocaust?

What do you mean by Jewish traitors? Are you thinking of the Jewish Councils (Judenräte) in the ghettos and elsewhere?

What is the Jewish word for small?

There is no such language as 'Jewish'. If you mean Hebrew: kah-TAHN (קטן) If you mean Yiddish: klein (קליין)

How do you say great day in Jewish?

There is no such language as Jewish. If you mean Hebrew, it is: Yom Yafeh If you mean Yiddish, it is: Guten Tak

How do you say jess in Jewish?

There is no such language as Jewish. If you mean Hebrew, then it would be spelled ג׳ס If you mean Yiddish, then it would be spelled דשעס

What does a green vegetable mean in Jewish?

There's actually no such language as "Jewish". If you mean Hebrew, "green vegetable is "yerek" (ירק)

What does it mean in Jewish?

To be "The Chosen One"

What does the word yaya mean?

The answer mean old jewish women

Where is a judda place of worship?

Do you mean Jewish? Or what does "judda" mean?

What is the Jewish for princess?

There is no such language as "Jewish" If you mean Hebrew: נסיכה (nesicha) If you mean Yiddish: פּרינצעסין (princessin)

How do you say grandfather in Jewish?

There is no such language as "Jewish". If you mean Hebrew, it's saba (סבא) If you mean Yiddish, it's zeyda (זיידע)

What does work mean in Jewish?

There's no such language as Jewish. If you mean Yiddish, it's Arbet (ארבעט) If you mean Hebrew, it's Avodah (אבודה) If you mean Ladino, it's trabajo (sometimes spelled trabaho)

Is manuilow Jewish?

if you mean the name of "Manilow" like in Barry Manilow, yes, then it is Jewish.

What does moon mean in Jewish?

There is no such language as "Jewish". If you meant Hebrew, it's yare'ach (ירח)

How do you speak with Jewish accent?

Do you mean Bronx Jewish, Miami Jewish, German Jewish, Polish Jewish, Toronto Jewish - take your pick, all are different.Jewish accents have more to do with the general accent of a given region than anything particularly Jewish about the individual.

How do you say laughter in the Jewish language?

There are more than a dozen different Jewish languages. If you mean Hebrew, it's tskhok (צחוק) If you mean Yiddish, it's Gelechter (געלעכטער) If you mean Judezmo, it's riza (ריזא) If you mean another Jewish language, you would need to specify.

How do you say thank-you in Jewish?

There is no such language as Jewish. If you mean Hebrew, it's Todah (תודה) If you mean Yiddish, it's Danke (דאנקע)

What is the Jewish word for Jesus?

There's no such language as Jewish. If you mean Hebrew, it's Yeshu (ישו) If you mean Yiddish, it's Yezus