Post Reply
Page 2 of 5  •  Prev 1 2 3 4 5 Next
7 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2007 - 12:39PM #11
gavrie
Posts: 807
And again with the politics :)

If you are a Jew, then yes, worshipping Jesus, your pet rock, or L Ron Hubbard is idolatry.

If you're a Gentile, you can certainly conceive of and worship a God with 'helpers' (except maybe Elron, but that's just a matter of taste). This also came out of Jewish law, though I suspect nobody but us cares.

So technically speaking, no, a Christian isn't an idolator. If a Jew became a Christian, though - the Jew would become an idolator.

Clear as mud? :)
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2007 - 4:49PM #12
Faith0903
Posts: 14
How exactly would a christian who converted to judaism be accused of idoltary? Are they not leaving behind their old faith and fully embrasing a new? I was just wondering.....
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2007 - 5:24PM #13
13
Posts: 119

Faith0903 wrote:

How exactly would a christian who converted to judaism be accused of idoltary? Are they not leaving behind their old faith and fully embrasing a new? I was just wondering.....



That direction is fine so no, the Christian who converts to Judaism would not be accused of idolatry. It's the other way around, a Jew converting to Christianity, that would be accused of idolatry. Since they are Jews, they are expected to not worship anything, but G-d (anything else is idolatry). If they're not a Jew, they can worship whatever they like. However, someone who is a Jew and decides to worship something other than G-d...well, it's considered the highest dishonor.

I hope I just might have gotten my point across. It confuses me just trying to read it over again. :rolleyes:

Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2007 - 6:57PM #14
gavrie
Posts: 807
I probably didn't express myself too well, either. So let me try again:

Born Jew - you would be an idolator if you became a Christian, a scientologist, a Mormon, what-have-you.

Gentile who converts to Judaism - you would be an idolator if, AFTER YOU CONVERTED TO JUDAISM, you became a Christian. Giving up Christianity (or anything else) to become Jewish is fine. Gentiles who convert are considered the same as Jews from birth (except by a few Orthodox), so the same rules apply to born Jews AND converts - and nobody is going to hold your past against you if you convert to Judaism.

Born Gentile who DOES NOT convert to Judaism - worship whoever you want, providing you're not hurting anyone.

The problem doesn't come in if you're converting FROM something TO Judaism. The problem would happen if you were Jewish, either by birth or conversion, and then GAVE UP Judaism in favour of something else. You can become an atheist after you're Jewish and still be in good stead, and Buddhism is all right with most people because Buddhism doesn't have any gods, but ideally, if you turn Jewish, you want to stay Jewish. We do allow doubts, questions, all that, we aren't faith-based. You just can't worship anything except the God of Israel alone IF YOU ARE A JEW, either by birth or conversion.

If you are NOT A JEW by birth or conversion, you can stay in your own religion and you're NOT an idolator.

Possibly muddied the waters more there, but I tried. If it still doesn't make sense - just yell.
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 12:58AM #15
israelinspirit
Posts: 1
[QUOTE=Faith0903;48138]I posted on the Judaism site a couple days ago and got some not so pleasent response. Then I started looking into Noahide and have a couple questions. If someone becomes a Noahide can they at least identify themselves as someone of the Jewish faith, not the people but as someone who's heart identifies with the Jewish belief system. I know they practice the prayers and holidays, but would it be wrong for a Noahide to display the symbols of the faith such as a Star of David or a Chai? Also, where did this come from? Did it branch off from a particular movement within Judaism? You see what is stopping me from conversion is my fiance, he's Catholic, and although he would never stop me from converting he himself isn't quite sure is he wants to. He has expressed a small interest a couple years ago. I know Reform Judaism is a bit more excepting of interfaith marriages but our Reform synagogue is almost non existant in my area. It will be a few more years til I can actually convert because I'm currently in college and working constantly so hopefully afterwards I can settle down and also will be moving out of my area. Any anwers would be great[/QUOTE]

I'm in the process of conversion and I run a local Jewish converts support group. I have some insight to offer.

To answer your first question, No, its not acceptable to identify yourself as part of the Jewish Faith.
If you were Jewish, you would not be Noachide. Silly, but thats how the Jews who support the Noachide concept feel. But these are few and far between.

You need to understand that only a small percentage of Jews even recognize the "noachide movement". Particularly, Chabad fundamentalists. Other Jewish movements pay little or no regard to it. This is important because Chabad is not likely to allow you to convert to their form of Judaism, thats why they actively promote the whole Noachide thing.

So, if you are really interesting in Judaism, you may want to start living the lifestyle and attending a reform synagogue.

Your second question.... "You see what is stopping me from conversion is my fiance, he's Catholic, and although he would never stop me from converting he himself isn't quite sure is he wants to""

Most movements will not convert you unless you convert as a couple because an absolute in most movements is that you must agree to raise the chiildren as Jews. Im not sure how reform groups will treat you. (make exceptions)  I'm still waiting to see as I have a similar situation myself.

Finally, I will admit that I don't have a favorable impression of the Noachide groups I have seen. They come off as intolerant and hostile. Further, as another member mentioned, they (Chabad) are making something out of nothing. Noachide is a reference to those who are not Jewish. Not a designation for any particular nation or belief.

I also find their theology a bit scary.

I have known many former Noachides who say that the biggest problems with the movement is a lack of real history, tradition, and just plain something to do. Its pretty empty. Thats because its not a movement. Its just a term for folks who would otherwise have their own native traditions and holidays.

I also know of allot of folks, hereditary Jews and non, who don't ever seek formal conversion because the various movements can't even agree with one another on many things, including conversion. As they see it, their conversion is a calling from God and a covenant with the same. Not a formal agreement with men based on mans law.

I predict that groups will start springing up out of an extinct Noachide movement where folks embrace Judaism without regard for any established formal movement. I guess that would be the natural progression of the theme. I have seen potential for this first hand in our local study group.

I cant say I support it or not, but I'm curious to see where it goes.


Hope this helps.
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 7:38AM #16
Faith0903
Posts: 14
Israelinspirit,

I do completely understand where you are coming from. There isn't really much to do with the Noahide and not many Jews really think about it. I have a close friend who is a Conservative Jew who really had absoltely no opinion on it when I asked her because she hasn't really heard much of it in her life. My fiance and I have been attending a Reform Synagogue in our area and received a very warm welcoming from them. We spoke with the Rabbi there and he was very open-minded and eager to answer our questions. He even gave us his cell number if we had anymore questions! Very nice people there. So that synagogue is very much open to people jew and non-jew and everything in between. Like the Rabbi explained to me...they are not prejudice, they do have a basic belief system but are open-minded enough to except other ideas or concepts.
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 8:32AM #17
gavrie
Posts: 807
Faith, the biggest problem I see in your situation is that your fiancé is Catholic. Judaism has halakhah (Jewish law). Catholicism also runs on law.

So if you had kids, both religions would claim your children, which is a lousy situation.

I know one couple in particular, though he's some sort of fundamentalist Christian; she's a Reform Jew. He was non-practising at the time they got married, but after the children were born, he went back to fundamentalist Christianity, and seems to now be spending all his waking time trying to convert his wife and children because he sincerely believes they're all going to go to hell after they die. He's miserable. She's miserable. The kids are miserable. It's no way for anyone to live.

Now, granted, the Catholic church strikes me as a great deal saner than that when it comes to how people actually live, but both religions claiming the kids - that could turn into a mess. I don't think you can successfully raise children in two religions, at least not two as far apart as Christianity and Judaism.

I do hope you find a way to resolve it, cos I know it can't be easy. One of the reasons I try to discourage most people from converting is the current halakhic and theological mess Judaism has got itself into. The right-wing Orthodox are downright scary, and Orthodoxy in general does not officially recognise non-Orthodox conversions. Not often a huge problem, cos if you're in the liberal movement you won't be dealing with these people a lot, but hey - it still hurts people the way that some Orthodoxy describes the rest of us - whether born Jew or convert, they don't consider us to be practising Judaism, since whichever Orthodox sect they belong to is 'the one true way'. OUCH. Not to mention slapping converts in the face (metaphorically speaking). And the pain that has caused so many people.

I prefer my Judaism on the warm fuzzy side, thank you. That doesn't mean lacking intellectual rigour, but we've got enough enemies out there that we don't have to destroy ourselves from within - and in some ways, I feel like that's what we're doing, or the very real possibility that it could all get split between Orthodoxy and the rest of us. Mind, no matter which side you're on, you'll still be a Jew to all the people who hate Jews - and there are a lot of them out there.

The Noachide business seems to me that Chabad is now recruiting Gentiles to help carry on this craziness.

I'm glad your Reform synagogue is good - most of us really aren't bad people. But the right-wingers - I find it hard to tell them apart in any religion. That and anti-semitism tend to make me warn people away. It's complicated. The converts I've met - it's like God's sending all the best of other religions our way, and I love them dearly, and I am so glad we have them. But the other part of me feels like it's so wrong to encourage anyone to be part of this mess.

I'm not anti-convert. I just want people to know what they're potentially getting into before they sign up. Yes, there's a lot of good to Judaism, but there's a lot of ick out there, too, and you will run across it at some point, sadly.
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 7:38AM #18
Faith0903
Posts: 14
Israelinspirit,

I do completely understand where you are coming from. There isn't really much to do with the Noahide and not many Jews really think about it. I have a close friend who is a Conservative Jew who really had absoltely no opinion on it when I asked her because she hasn't really heard much of it in her life. My fiance and I have been attending a Reform Synagogue in our area and received a very warm welcoming from them. We spoke with the Rabbi there and he was very open-minded and eager to answer our questions. He even gave us his cell number if we had anymore questions! Very nice people there. So that synagogue is very much open to people jew and non-jew and everything in between. Like the Rabbi explained to me...they are not prejudice, they do have a basic belief system but are open-minded enough to except other ideas or concepts.
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 8:32AM #19
gavrie
Posts: 807
Faith, the biggest problem I see in your situation is that your fiancé is Catholic. Judaism has halakhah (Jewish law). Catholicism also runs on law.

So if you had kids, both religions would claim your children, which is a lousy situation.

I know one couple in particular, though he's some sort of fundamentalist Christian; she's a Reform Jew. He was non-practising at the time they got married, but after the children were born, he went back to fundamentalist Christianity, and seems to now be spending all his waking time trying to convert his wife and children because he sincerely believes they're all going to go to hell after they die. He's miserable. She's miserable. The kids are miserable. It's no way for anyone to live.

Now, granted, the Catholic church strikes me as a great deal saner than that when it comes to how people actually live, but both religions claiming the kids - that could turn into a mess. I don't think you can successfully raise children in two religions, at least not two as far apart as Christianity and Judaism.

I do hope you find a way to resolve it, cos I know it can't be easy. One of the reasons I try to discourage most people from converting is the current halakhic and theological mess Judaism has got itself into. The right-wing Orthodox are downright scary, and Orthodoxy in general does not officially recognise non-Orthodox conversions. Not often a huge problem, cos if you're in the liberal movement you won't be dealing with these people a lot, but hey - it still hurts people the way that some Orthodoxy describes the rest of us - whether born Jew or convert, they don't consider us to be practising Judaism, since whichever Orthodox sect they belong to is 'the one true way'. OUCH. Not to mention slapping converts in the face (metaphorically speaking). And the pain that has caused so many people.

I prefer my Judaism on the warm fuzzy side, thank you. That doesn't mean lacking intellectual rigour, but we've got enough enemies out there that we don't have to destroy ourselves from within - and in some ways, I feel like that's what we're doing, or the very real possibility that it could all get split between Orthodoxy and the rest of us. Mind, no matter which side you're on, you'll still be a Jew to all the people who hate Jews - and there are a lot of them out there.

The Noachide business seems to me that Chabad is now recruiting Gentiles to help carry on this craziness.

I'm glad your Reform synagogue is good - most of us really aren't bad people. But the right-wingers - I find it hard to tell them apart in any religion. That and anti-semitism tend to make me warn people away. It's complicated. The converts I've met - it's like God's sending all the best of other religions our way, and I love them dearly, and I am so glad we have them. But the other part of me feels like it's so wrong to encourage anyone to be part of this mess.

I'm not anti-convert. I just want people to know what they're potentially getting into before they sign up. Yes, there's a lot of good to Judaism, but there's a lot of ick out there, too, and you will run across it at some point, sadly.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Mar 15, 2008 - 9:47PM #20
elizvp
Posts: 13
Hello All -

It just so happens I've been meditating today on Isaiah 56, particularly verses 3 through 7, which begins:
     "Let not the foreigner say...." and ends with "...For My House shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples."
     - Tanakh, JPS, 1985

Many Biblical scholars believe that three separate authors contributed to the book known as Isaiah, with the above selection attributed to Isaiah 3, whose writings reflect Judaism existing under the tolerant but stern rule of the Babylonian empire.  Nevertheless (whatever that means - could any thought be prefaced by the expression Neverthemore? - sorry, just rambling off course with a personal pet peeve)  I find it a source of great comfort and believe it expresses the true character of the Creator.

For years I have followed the Jewish path in prayer and belief and have been frustrated in my attempts towards formal conversion.  My last investigation revealed that I am about $150,000 short of realizing my dream of moving to an area where Reform Temples are accessible.  I'm feeling particularly isolated and full of despair today.  The passage referred to above is always a great source of comfort at such times.

In the meantime, I have all of you here to make me feel that I am in the company of kindred spirits.  I haven't visited for some time, but decided to tackle the process of maneuvering around the new Beliefnet today.  It's not bad once I find where I want to be.  I'm so glad I did.  I live in the heart of the Bible Belt with a Baptist church down the road that looks like a multiplex theater.  I get lots of leaflets left in my door and see billboards everywhere imploring me to come and be saved.  Some of you know what I mean.

It's so good to be here!

Love and Blessings,

Elizabeth P.
Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 2 of 5  •  Prev 1 2 3 4 5 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook