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Author Topic: Jewish Question
verbatim
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posted 04 May 2003 02:28 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
...related to matrilinear inheritance of Judaism. A is a Jewish woman. She has two daughters B and C. C has another daughter, D. D has two children, E and F -- E is a man and F is a woman. F has a daughter, G.

Who in this tree is Jewish, by birth (as opposed to by ordination or practice)? The reason I ask is, I am E. Nobody in my family has acknoledged any of this since A married a non-Jew in the early 1900's (and was presumably disowned for it).


From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 04 May 2003 02:35 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I do believe that makes you Jewish, although I'm not an expert. I don't know whether your children will be Jewish though, unless you have them with a Jewish woman. And it seems to me that everyone you mention in that line is Jewish since they are all descended down the mother's line.

[ 04 May 2003: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SamL
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posted 04 May 2003 08:00 PM      Profile for SamL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm no expert either, but I'm pretty sure that person "E" (yourself) in this scenario would be Jewish.

I believe that all branches of Judaism accept matrilineal descent, and the debate is now over patrilineal descent (I think the Reform branch accepts patrilineal descent, but I could be wrong).


From: Cambridge, MA | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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posted 04 May 2003 10:17 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good news, so far! Any Jewish people care to add their voices?
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Mycroft_
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posted 04 May 2003 10:33 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
An Orthodox rabbi would consider E to be Jewish.
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verbatim
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 569

posted 04 May 2003 10:42 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, it's looking like everyone on my Mother's side is Jewish by blood. Cool. Of course, true confirmation of this will have to come through my family (me probably, by default) revisiting the birth records in Manchester, England, but the circumstantial evidence is quite compelling.
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Mycroft_
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posted 04 May 2003 11:06 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Welcome to the tribe.
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lagatta
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posted 04 May 2003 11:15 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Its really cool, glad you are Jewish. But on the other hand, given your tenous relation to the Jewish "tribe", as Mycroft puts it, it is a bit as if i claimed to be Black (my grandfather is Trinidadian and I've got kinky hair, but I'm certainly not black).
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 04 May 2003 11:22 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My view is always that it's a matter of self-identification but, anyway, as far as the Orthodox are concerned all that matters is that one's either converted properly or that one has matralineal descent.

A friend of mine just discovered that she's Jewish (her maternal grandmother survived the war (in hiding, I think) came to Canada and decided not to tell anyone she was Jewish (not an uncommon phenomenon, actually). Outwardly she was a Catholic, got married, never told her husband or children but privately kept certain traditions while pretending they were something else. My friend finally put two and two together (Jewish relics around granny's house which granny would claim were just "souvenirs", matza bread etc) and has decided to explore her Jewish roots and has started attending a Reconstructionist synagogue where she was warmly welcomed. She actually tried out a few synagogues which all welcomed her but politically she felt most comfortable with the Reconstructionists. So I don't think you have to worry about not being regarded as a "real" Jew.


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verbatim
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 569

posted 05 May 2003 03:08 AM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The thing of greatest interest to me is the story (which is mostly lost in time, I fear) behind what motivated Hannah Green to (apparently) disavow her origins. It is certainly part of why my maternal Grandmother can't really tell you about her own grandparents (other than they wore very formal clothing). It's as if we had no real history before the 1890's. Apparently, that half of my family just sprang into existence with the marriage of my great-grandmother to a nice young Englishman (although they came from Cheatham Hill "where the Jews lived," this apparently aroused no suspicion). I suspect Ms. Green, an active Suffragist, might have been rebelling against a conservative Jewish family or something. Time will tell.

Edited to add: I'm not really looking to claim "I'm a Jew," but rather to fill out my identity. My mother's side of the family has always seemed alternately secretive and dismissive about their roots. I'm just trying to figure out where I come from.

[ 05 May 2003: Message edited by: verbatim ]


From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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