The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2000
    Location
    California
    Posts
    8,195

    Default Any Jewish folks here?

    Without getting into too many details why, I'm interested in learning more about Judaism.

    Any books you'd suggest to read?

    Can one go to a synagogue without being Jewish?

    Would a Rabbi be willing to talk and answer questions?

    Could you summarize your beliefs in a couple paragraphs?

    What about the "Jews for Jesus" vs. "regular Jews?"
    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2007
    Posts
    802

    Default Not sure if this will be helpful

    I am Jewish, though not particularly observant, and for me personally I have found it to be a very beautiful, very wise religion when I needed faith and to lean on the wisdom accrued by many many generations. Anyone can go to a synagogue; you don't have to be Jewish. There are several levels of "Jewishness," for lack of a better descriptor; there's orthodox, conservative, and reform. If you wanted to attend a service at a synagogue, you would probably be most comfortable going to a reform synagogue at first, as they tend to have more of the service in English, be more generally relaxed and there wouldn't be a huge "culture shock" as there might be if you went to an orthodox service with men and women seated separately, most of the service (if not all) in Hebrew, men not shaking your hand (an orthodox Jewish man will not touch a woman who is not part of his family, and an orthodox Jewish woman will not touch a man who is not part of her family). Though, there is a quite orthodox group in my town, the local Chabad, and the rabbi and his wife who lead the Chabad are among the most wonderfully welcoming, funny, insightful, wise couples I have ever met.

    The rabbis I have known have loved to talk and ask questions -- they are scholars who are accustomed to learning/debating/discussing issues in groups. The good ones are also very funny, which is always a nice adjunct to spirituality, in my opinion. I think they would be pleased to get a call from someone saying that they were curious and could they come to a service. Chances are that if you wanted, you could be connected with some nice friendly member of the congregation who, again if you wanted, would meet you at the door and make sure you didn't have to walk in alone, etc.

    I am not well-versed enough in the religion to describe Judaism's beliefs, but in general (and maybe getting some things wrong), Jews don't believe Jesus was the son of God (we believe Jesus was a charasmatic guy who lived 2000 years ago and inspired an enormously successful religion) or that Jesus was resurrected, we don't believe in Hell and the idea of Heaven is alittle vague because you are supposed to find Heaven (at least enough pieces of it) through enjoying your work, your studies, your communities, [your horse], and your family while you're here on earth, and family and community are big core values. Many Jewish people do not eat pork or shellfish, but many do, and then there are different rules for Chinese food. :-) (That is a family joke; my father was raised orthodox, and as a rule he didn't eat pork but he would make an exception for BBQd Chinese ribs).

    Major holidays are Channukah (commemorates a battle where an enemy king tried to destroy all the Jewish temples but there was one temple where the sacred candles kept burning for eight days even though they should have run out of fuel oil), Passover (which commemorates when the Jews were slaves of the Egyptian Pharoah Ramses and a series of plagues came to the area that the Jews claimed were God's retribution, and the Pharoah let the slaves go after the Pharoah's son was killed but the sons of the Jews lived -- ie, the Jews' children were "passed over" by the Angel of the Death), Rosh Hashanah (New Year, in September; a happy holiday), and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement, very solemn).

    Jews for Jesus are considered a different religion than most Jews, I believe. I always thought of them as some weird cult (just my upbringing; others may see it differently).

    I think it would be good to ask a rabbi for legitimate "Judaism for Dummies" books or "Cliffnotes to Judaism," so you could be sure you were getting the right information, vs. some outlier's manifesto. :-)


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
    Posts
    31,969

    Default

    not jewish, but a friend of mine is a converted Jew.
    And I have two wonderful internet friends who are observant.

    The Rabbi would most definitely be open to questions.
    it is part of the nature of the religion to ask, so you can learn and understand.

    http://www.myjewishlearning.com/life...e/Stones.shtml
    was a link I was given in response to a question. I am sure the website has more answers. also it was pointed out to me that it was only one position.

    http://www.ourjewishcommunity.org/ha...ine-synagogue/

    was another one, as well as this:
    http://www.beingjewish.org/magazine/.../article1.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2006
    Location
    Lowell, MA
    Posts
    544

    Default

    One Jew checking in here!

    I can't comment on any great books to read, as I wish I were more versed in Jewish literature myself.

    I can say, however, that at all of the synagogues I've been a member of, and most of the ones where I've been a guest, (barring highly conservative or Orthodox synagogues--not that they're not welcoming, I'm just not as familiar with their communities), people of all faiths are welcomed with open arms...that's one of the things I love so much about Judaism--we're a very open community. At my synagogue in downtown Atlanta, folks from the homeless shelter down the street, few of whom were Jewish, were a big presence in our services, and I'll never forget how boisterously they'd sing along, even if they didn't know all of the words

    As for Rabbis, the two main Rabbis that I've had in my life are just as welcoming as the community--they have been a major part of my life, and always have something wise--or hilarious--to say. Most of the many Rabbis I've met over the years would be not only more than willing to answer questions, but would urge you to ask more and more and more.

    I don't feel super comfortable sharing my beliefs online to people I'm not familiar with, but I can certainly say that my lovely Jewish communities (in numerous states, schools, places, etc.) have supported me through some very difficult years, and have helped shape who I am today, which I hope is a pretty cool person
    Quote Originally Posted by MistyPony View Post
    In all my years of riding, gravity is the one thing that has never failed on me!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2001
    Location
    we've got sand and rocks, and rocks and sand...
    Posts
    1,403

    Default

    Wow, SharonA summed it up wonderfully, I'm also not overly observant on a day-to-day level. As I age I've moved into a more spiritual and less organized religion place, but that said, if asked I claim Judaism. I will also add, my favorite thing is the music. Some of the prayers are so beautiful it gives me goosebumps just thinking about them.

    Our Synagogue is a fabulously welcoming place. :-) And... this leads to my second favorite thing. The Oneg. After services, ya get snacks! :-D

    This is a wonderful book that we use in our temple for the adult education class. It's a really great overview on belief systems, holidays, and every day life.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Rhythm-Jew...of+time+jewish

    Come, ask, learn, and enjoy. If there's one thing you'll find, it's that Jews love a good debate, and that questioning and learning are HIGHLY encouraged.

    And the Jews for Jesus thing... yeah... they're SO not my cup of tea...
    The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2000
    Location
    California
    Posts
    8,195

    Default

    Thanks! I actually became friends with a Rabbi in my yoga teacher training program - she is one of the coolest people I've ever met! She suggested I read "The Sabbath" by Abraham Joshua Heschel, which I did, but obviously that only scratches the surface. As she lives in another part of the state she isn't someone I can consult face-to-face with my myriad questions. I was just wondering if it would be weird for a non-Jew (without any other religious affiliation) to attend services. I'll contact my local synagogue to see how welcoming they'd be.

    I didn't grow up with any religion, so I'm trying to educate myself on what the differences are, what people believe, etc. I actually find it fascinating, but have no experience with any faith in particular.

    Thanks!
    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2009
    Posts
    1,182

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pocket Pony View Post
    Thanks! I actually became friends with a Rabbi in my yoga teacher training program - she is one of the coolest people I've ever met! She suggested I read "The Sabbath" by Abraham Joshua Heschel, which I did, but obviously that only scratches the surface. As she lives in another part of the state she isn't someone I can consult face-to-face with my myriad questions. I was just wondering if it would be weird for a non-Jew (without any other religious affiliation) to attend services. I'll contact my local synagogue to see how welcoming they'd be.

    I didn't grow up with any religion, so I'm trying to educate myself on what the differences are, what people believe, etc. I actually find it fascinating, but have no experience with any faith in particular.

    Thanks!
    You might want to find an introduction to religious studies textbook published by a reputable publishing company. Most of them will give you a good overview of the history and beliefs of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Since all three religions are Abrahamic and share some founding figures/beliefs, comparing the ones I was less familiar with to the ones I knew more about put them all in greater perspective. Of course, experiencing a religion from an academic perspective is not the same as how it is experienced from "within" the religion, but it's still a good starting poor for basic understanding!

    And yes, like everyone else has said thus far, most religious officials, rabbis imams and priests included are always happy to talk with you if you are interested, no matter your own beliefs!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2001
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    3,789

    Default

    About 15 years ago, when my daughter started attending a different school and made friends with several Jewish kids, I found a book called something like "The Jewish Book of Why", which explained a lot about the theology and culture.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2012
    Location
    Moved South from North Pole
    Posts
    729

    Default

    Our owner has dated Jewish guys. Does that count?

    We warmbloods don't understand anti-Semitism because protestants worship Jesus, who was a Jew. How can anyone not like Jews because of their culture/religion?


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2005
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    1,081

    Default

    I married one He's not very observant but I think what you'll notice is that non-observant Jews tend to be strongly tied to the identity and cultural traditions (which are highly food and wine oriented - bonus!)

    To me, I've embraced that side of things and it's been fun. I grew up non-religious and holidays were more about family fighting and who isn't talking to who. We had a lovely Chanukha and now I'm kind of dreading Christmas today with my family. However, sometimes the Passover bunny comes to our house on Easter. You never know what's going to happen around here.

    To answer your question, our rabbi holds classes specifically for those not Jewish so you might contact your local rabbi. Our Judaism class before our wedding actually had in attendance a major player in our local Christian community who wanted to learn more about her own spiritual roots.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
    Posts
    9,077

    Default

    I grew up with great Jewish neighbors. The Kaminskys and the Bonnizers. They were great neighbors. And bonus points for the Kaminskys' owning the car dealership for yeasr where we got great service.

    Yankees who moved here with companies were astounded that we had Jewish and black neighbors, since they had covenants in their neighborhoods to prevent both buying houses in Mass.

    I was once the only gentile on a Savannah river cruise with the TEP fraternity from UGA.

    So I grew up thinking the Jewish people were just like presbyterians and episcopalians, except Jews had more money than we did.

    When I moved to Atlanta, I found out that Jews were discriminated against there. Duh! In Atlanta, I socialized with Jewish friends, went horse back riding with them, and dated Jewish guys. I've been to the synagogues for services in Savannah and in Staunton VA and in Atlanta. And I'm "Jewish by *********," having gone with a Jewish guy for a year.
    I don't understand why some people act like it's foreign culture. Jews came to GA and SC way back when the states were being settled. Southern Jews are just like us episcopalians and northern Jews who move here soon become acclimated.

    Yes you can go to synagogues for services without being Jewish. The only issue I ever had, was having to wait at Gottlieb's Bakery to get my pastrami sandwich cut by the guy who was authorized by the Rabbi to cut it. Oh and in Atlatna at the downtown deli, the guy who fixed our sandwiches and my friends were appalled that I wanted mayonnaise on my pastrami along with the spicy mustard. Duh, I'm southern, I want mayonnaise.

    Learning about other religions is important. My best friend in (a presbyterian religious) college was Catholic. I used my latin from high school in church services back then. One friend tried to teach me yiddish, but I never learned enough to speak it or write it.

    Our Christian religion is based upon the Jewish religion. The old testament is one of Jewish history. Studying the old testament is studying Jewish history and folklore.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2001
    Posts
    15,232

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    About 15 years ago, when my daughter started attending a different school and made friends with several Jewish kids, I found a book called something like "The Jewish Book of Why", which explained a lot about the theology and culture.
    I have this book! I bought and read it years ago when I was dating a Jewish man.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
    Posts
    8,676

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleanor's elf View Post
    Our owner has dated Jewish guys. Does that count?

    We warmbloods don't understand anti-Semitism because protestants worship Jesus, who was a Jew. How can anyone not like Jews because of their culture/religion?
    Some people do not like the Jews because even though Jesus was supposedly Jewish by birth, the Jewish religion does not recognize him as the son of God, and some think it was the Jews that had him crucified.

    Religion is some crazy stuff.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    2,195

    Default

    I converted after marrying my husband. I wanted time to decide if it was right for me.

    Besides The Jewish Book of Why (kind of like a Jewish encyclopedia), I found the book Conversations with Rabbi Small by Harry Kemelman to be excellent. It does a wonderful job of explaining the differences in thinking between Christianity and Judaism.

    For my husband, Judiasm has the cultural/ethnic tie. I like the religion, although I would qualify myself as "Jew Light"-not seriously religious but I get the "big picture". What I like about Judiasm is being responsible for what you do right and wrong in this life. That is what Yom Kippur is all about. You have to ask forgiveness to the people you have wronged.

    The prayers can be very beautiful as well as the funerals. When my FIL passed away, it was a service dedicated to celebrating his life and the man that he was. There was no fire and brimstone and preaching. Not really believing in Heaven as a reward for a good life tends to give a different perspective on death.

    It still is hard on my family because I was raised Christian. Basically, I have always believed in G-d but I never "felt" Jesus. I would try my hardest every Christmas and Easter to understand and feel what those holidays meant, but I never in my heart felt it unequivocally. Had I not met my husband, I probably wouldn't have done anything about it. I think there is a reason why we met and are together. Converting to Judiasm just was the right decision for me.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2012
    Location
    Moved South from North Pole
    Posts
    729

    Default

    Oh yes, Pony, we warmbloods know. We're pretty well versed in religious practices.

    Like Christians didn't and don't kill others of whom they are religiously intolerant. The Crusades being a start. The middle east, well, let's don't go there.

    But it's just so ironic and baffling that the Christian religion is based upon Jewish principles, yet rejects the people it derived it's beliefs from. Like Moses and everyone else in the old testament were Jewish. Something for people to ponder when they are slamming other beliefs. Who is right and who is wrong in his beliefs is not the issue. It's who is doing his best to make the world a better place and be more tolerant of others beliefs and practices.

    Buy hey, we're warmbloods, so what do we know about human religion?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2004
    Location
    Piedmont Triad, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,307

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleanor's elf View Post
    ...
    Buy hey, we're warmbloods,
    I don't get the reference ... please explain ...



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2002
    Location
    Area VIII, Region 2, Zone 5.
    Posts
    6,696

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mkevent View Post
    gh I would qualify myself as "Jew Light"-not seriously religious but I get the "big picture".
    I know what you mean. I tell people, "You know how someone might say, 'Dinner is at six-ish'? I'm Jew-ish."
    Quote Originally Posted by Linny View Post
    Those martingales were so taut, you could play Ode to Joy on them with a comb


    2 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2001
    Posts
    15,232

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleanor's elf View Post

    But it's just so ironic and baffling that the Christian religion is based upon Jewish principles, yet rejects the people it derived it's beliefs from. Like Moses and everyone else in the old testament were Jewish. Something for people to ponder when they are slamming other beliefs.
    I am not sure I understand this blanket statement?

    I am a Christian and have spent my entire life in close relationships with Jewish people...almost married one actually. I was taught by my Christian parents to always respect those of Jewish faith and heritage because they are God's "Chosen People" and because Christ, whom we believe was the Messiah was a Jewish man and so on.

    Obviously there are people that claim to be Christian that may be rude to Jews...just as there may be Jews rude to Christians and so on.

    I guess I don't like blanket statements very much.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2008
    Posts
    4,069

    Default

    In a nutshell, Judaism is the old testament and Christianity is the new testament. This is not exactly accurate, as I learned a lot of the old testament growing up in a Catholic church, but in essence, the Jewish faith follows the old testament and rejects the idea that Jesus is the son of God. They see him as another prophet instead.

    Many Christians follow the doctorine that since Jesus was born, the old testament, while important is....obsolete...for lack of a better word. So, certain religious instructions - such as not eating pork - are considered no longer necessary to follow.

    Jews for Christ are a "hybrid". They follow the teaching and traditions of the old testament - such as Hanukkah, but also believe that Jesus was the son of God and celebrate Christian traditions, such as Christmas and Easter.

    Judaism is the foundation of both Christianity and Islam. Islam also believes that Jesus was a prophet, not the son of God and follows many of the teachings of another prophet, Muhammed.

    (can you tell I studied religions in college?)


    2 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2005
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    Living Judaism (Dosick) This was the "textbook" we used for my conversion class. Very accessible.

    The Tapestry of Jewish Time (Cardin) (gorgeous, gorgeous book about the calendar cycle and the life cycle. Is meant to be used across life and throughout the year. It shares academic information about holidays, rules for observations, and arts and images and personal stories about real people who share their memories/insights. Did I mention it's gorgeous?

    The Jewish Book of Why (Kolatch) Long tradition as a bar/bat mitzvah present.

    What the Jews Believe (Bernstein) (super tiny, probably out of print, really really easy read)

    Essential Judaism (Robinson) (This was ESPECIALLY helpful! It's a pretty big book, but if I recall correctly it discusses the different perspectives within Judaism about a variety of things)

    Living a Jewish Life (Diamant). I'm pretty sure the author converted, so it's a "I've walked your shoes" kind of perspective. Really great. She also wrote "The Red Tent".

    Finding God: Selected Responses (Sonsino & Syme) is a WONDERFUL book for really seeing the WIDE range of interpretations of life (not just Torah, but LIFE) across the Jewish spectrum (and across time). It's a pretty easy read, not a big book, meant for the lay person. And, in my Reform understanding, this kind of diversity of understanding is one of the hallmarks of the Jewish tradition. I personally found it to be a bit dry in the beginning, but that's also because the first 3 or 4 perspectives offered didn't really jive with my intrinsic understanding of what God or a god is. I got really excited as the book went on and perspectives shifted from "God is a puppet master" to "God is not a good word or concept to describe the indescribable features of our experience that binds us together and creates meaning and gives us science, but whatever God is, it is real".

    I would like to correct an above poster and mention that Chanukkah is not a major holiday. It gets more press because it occurs near a major secular/Christian holiday, but really... it's a minor holiday. Yay it happened, but it's really not major.


    Can one go to a synagogue without being Jewish? (Yes. But I encourage you to at least reach out to the Rabbi first, introduce yourself, perhaps meet face to face before showing up. Not only will they be able to give you a bit of insight into the service, but... it just seems like the right thing to do.)

    Would a Rabbi be willing to talk and answer questions? They ought to!! Judaism is not a prosyltizing religion, and in fact there is a tradition of turning a convert away 3 times before accepting them (the theory there is along the lines "If you can't handle being told "go away" 3 times, how on Earth will you handle anti-Semitism"). But a lot of modern rabbis simply have a heart to heart with a potential convert to assess their understanding of the pros AND cons of converting. Because there are cons. And some of them you won't even begin to understand or realize until you're well into converting... or already converted.

    Could you summarize your beliefs in a couple paragraphs? I'm not sure who or what God is. I am influenced by my Roman Catholic upbringing (hard to shake the truths ingrained in the young brain!!), but I want to be more open to "less traditional" interpretations of God. Whatever God is, it is not a puppet master and we are responsible for our own actions. He/it just got the ball rolling and now he watches, much like I watch Netflix. Or maybe there is no god, and it's all pointless, but I sure do feel better when I conduct myself in ways that are easily aligned with the Reform Judaism tradition. And I definitely, definitely think that whatever God is or isn't, gay people are perfect as they are and deserve to live lives as they want, marriage/children/whatever. Judaism is a religion that is often asking "Why do bad things happen!?". The second most important book is the Talmud, which is basically rabbis and scholars throughout the centuries arguing about the meaning behind the text of the Torah. Line by line. I love that the tradition of Judaism is a quest for understanding. It's a GOOD thing to question and challenge what you are taught. A person wrestling with God (meaning, belief, respect, whatever) is in good company in most Jewish communities I especially like the Reform Movement's perspective that you should really only follow the commandments that bring meaning to your life, but you SHOULD know WHY you are rejecting any or all of the 613 laws that strict Orthodox people follow. I will never keep proper kosher. My Jewish boyfriend likes to wrap his shrimp in bacon before he dips it in cheese sauce, if you get my meaning. But the REASON behind kosher laws (humane treatment of animals) resonates soundly with me, so I try and influence the care of animals where I can. And while I generally avoid pork, I do put cheese on my chicken sandwiches but I try not to on beef. Because there is no chance that the chicken I am eating could possibly have come from the cow that made the milk for the cheese, but I suppose it *is* possible in a burger...

    What about the "Jews for Jesus" vs. "regular Jews?"

    I'm not super informed about Jews for Jesus (I think they are technically called Messianic Jews), but I believe they essentially follow the laws of Judaism but accept that Jesus is the son of God. This rankles a lot of Jews because the proof that the messiah has come is pretty clearly laid out and it is not possible to check off many of those boxes, ergo no Messiah. They see it as a bit of a cop out, something like a false conversion. Like a vegetarian saying they don't eat meat... except bacon, which they do eat... That's not being a vegetarian, even if every other meal is veggie. That's being omnivorous, with a heavy emphasis on vegetables.

    Please feel free to PM me if you want to talk more! I am so happy every day that I made the decision to convert. I don't think I believe in an afterlife, but it is bringing a lot more meaning to my current life


    1 members found this post helpful.

Similar Threads

  1. OK, MO, KS, AR, TX folks...
    By Kinsella in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: Oct. 23, 2010, 09:33 AM
  2. Va folks
    By Tamara in TN in forum Off Course
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Aug. 17, 2010, 07:36 PM
  3. ATL folks...
    By Tamara in TN in forum Off Course
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Mar. 1, 2010, 06:39 PM
  4. Are folks really serious?
    By breederalter in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 267
    Last Post: Sep. 11, 2009, 04:24 PM
  5. That's all Folks!!!
    By Silly Mommy in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: May. 4, 2008, 09:59 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness