Religion & Beliefs

Running a Religious race

This story in the Forward is really fucking funny (to me).  A family reunion for all the children of King David… Funny because… well, it just is.  I've often wondered about the particulars of Jewish bloodlines. As a mongrel myself, … Read More

By / November 10, 2006

This story in the Forward is really fucking funny (to me).  A family reunion for all the children of King David…

Funny because… well, it just is.  I've often wondered about the particulars of Jewish bloodlines. As a mongrel myself, I can't take such things too seriously.  Especially when there are thousands of years in play. 

But it's actually something we talk about a lot lately, in connection to the intermarriage "situation".  We talk about it in hushed tones, or at the dinner table.  We used carefully selected words.  But we do talk about it ("we" may not mean "you" but it does mean "a lot of people").  We don't want our kids to "marry out".  And a lot of people don't see converts the same as "the rest of us."

You may not want to hear this, but I swear people say this shit. 

"She doesn't LOOK Jewish!"

I bring it up here, at Faithhacker, because it is another part of the equation of "faith" that I've been poking and prodding at for a week. 

I did a reading and talk in Washington DC not too long ago, an event for those interested in intermarriage.  And there was a real live Nazi in the crowd, who got up and asked me about the Jewish "race."  He wanted to know why we're so interested in our "race". I (not realizing quite who he was or what was going on) tried as best I could to answer him, without giving him any ammunition, but after the hour was up, an event coordinator rushed up and got very upset. She said we should never use the word race at all.

"We are a peoplehood," she said, "a nation… not a race."

Now, how does this connect to faith? Because for some people, the blood is directly related to this idea of cultural heritage.  A fourth generation secular Moldavian Jew does not have Moldavian pride, but they may be a "strong cultural Jew."

And though for many, this heritage is about politics, art, literature, language, food, music… for some it really is about skin tone, dark hair… it's weird, but there are these people out there…

And for me, a relationship to faith makes a lot more sense as a lowest common denominator for what it means to be Jewish.  Which is not to say "belief in the traditional Jewish God" so much… but rather the idea that when you thyink about faith and belief, you do so through a Jewish lens, rooted in the tradition of Jewish faith.

(though of course most of all I just wanted to post this link… isn't that nuts? How many of you out there are related to a biblical king?  I bet the super-Christians love this shit– since David was Jesus' Grandpappy too)