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Basically for Jews

YoursTrue

Faith-confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11)
But others welcome -- HOWEVER, it has been said that belonging to the Jewish religion is by MATERNAL lineage, do I have this right? To be born considered as a Jew somehow ethnically or otherwise, it's the mother's affiliation or birthright or whatever that counts, unless of course a synagogue determines that doesn't really matter, do I have this correct?
 

rosends

Well-Known Member
But others welcome -- HOWEVER, it has been said that belonging to the Jewish religion is by MATERNAL lineage, do I have this right? To be born considered as a Jew somehow ethnically or otherwise, it's the mother's affiliation or birthright or whatever that counts, unless of course a synagogue determines that doesn't really matter, do I have this correct?
In Orthodox Judaism (and people of other denominations can discuss the specific lineage rules in those groups) matrilineal descent determines the religion of a newborn. But Judaism also has a concept of conversion, so if a person converts, his or her mother's religion does not matter.
 

Rival

se Dex me saut.
Staff member
Premium Member
Yes.

Mother determines Jewishness, father determines tribe (but this is mostly moot now).
 

John D. Brey

Well-Known Member
But others welcome -- HOWEVER, it has been said that belonging to the Jewish religion is by MATERNAL lineage, do I have this right? To be born considered as a Jew somehow ethnically or otherwise, it's the mother's affiliation or birthright or whatever that counts, unless of course a synagogue determines that doesn't really matter, do I have this correct?

This maternal primogeniture is a giant part of the genealogy of Jesus (as it's being examined elsewhere in a thread by that name). Rabbi Samson R. Hirsch, who's a phenomenal Jewish exegete, states that in the literal Hebrew of Genesis 17, God doesn't say he's establishing a "new" covenant with Abraham based on circumcision, but that he (God) is "re-establishing" an existing covenant. The existing covenant is the one that was dissolved when Adam sinned and was kicked out of the garden.

Since circumcision is said to be the sign and signifier of the "restoration" of God's original covenant to Adam (with Abraham now the target of the covenant), it doesn't take a rocket-scientist to know why, after the circumcision, Abraham's offspring are reckoned "maternally" not paternally. Ritually speaking (since Abraham only ritually removes the new flesh added to Adam in Genesis 2:21), not only are all of Abraham's offspring (post-circumcision), symbolically virgin born (since Abraham has ritually removed the fathering organ) but therein they are all, all of Israel, reckoned (symbolically at least) the firstborn fathered not by Abraham, but by God himself. All of Israel are reckoned, ritually speaking, the sons and daughters Adam would have had had he "mothered" his firstborn (with God as the father) rather than having his body desecrated with the fathering organ (Genesis 2:21), and thereafter, raising Cain against God's original intent. Abraham is the new Adam. And Israel are the new sons of God.

To some degree, circumcision restored Abraham and his descendants to the status of Adam before his sin.​
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Handbook of Jewish Thought, p. 47.​



John
 
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YoursTrue

Faith-confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11)
HOWEVER, I cannot help but wonder why you ask.

Just out of curiosity, have you ever considered doing a search on something like "who is a Jew?"
Not exactly that question but it seems not all Jews agree on who is to be accepted as a Jew. Or better yet who determines who is a Jew or is not a Jew...
 

John D. Brey

Well-Known Member
Rabbi Samson R. Hirsch, who's a phenomenal Jewish exegete, states that in the literal Hebrew of Genesis 17, God doesn't say he's establishing a "new" covenant with Abraham based on circumcision, but that he (God) is "re-establishing" an existing covenant.

We discussed this. It was shown your personal interpretation was not literal and it did not come from Rabbi Hirsch.

I beg to differ. I don't think we did. Because if we did, I would have just quoted Rabbi Hirsch:

The combination of ברית and נתן almost never occurs elsewhere . . . As a rule, the formula is הקים ברית כרת ברית, not נתן ברית. It is possible then, that ואתנה בריתי does not mean "I will establish with you a new covenant," but, rather, "I will transfer to you an existing covenant."​

Case closed. :)



John
 

dybmh

דניאל יוסף בן מאיר הירש
Rabbi Samson R. Hirsch, who's a phenomenal Jewish exegete, states that in the literal Hebrew of Genesis 17, God doesn't say he's establishing a "new" covenant with Abraham based on circumcision, but that he (God) is "re-establishing" an existing covenant. The existing covenant is the one that was dissolved when Adam sinned and was kicked out of the garden.

It is not based on circumcision?
Re-establish a covenenant that was dissolved when Adam was kicked out of the garden?

Rabbi Hirsch literally says that?

Rabbi Hirsch:

The combination of ברית and נתן almost never occurs elsewhere . . . As a rule, the formula is הקים ברית כרת ברית, not נתן ברית. It is possible then, that ואתנה בריתי does not mean "I will establish with you a new covenant," but, rather, "I will transfer to you an existing covenant."​

I see nothing here about circumcision, and nothing about Adam being kicked out of the garden. Those are your interpretations. I'm traveling and I don't have Rabbi Hirsch's commentary with me. I highly doubt, when I return that the Rabbi will have written anything making these connections.
 

Jayhawker Soule

-- untitled --
Premium Member
HOWEVER, I cannot help but wonder why you ask.

Just out of curiosity, have you ever considered doing a search on something like "who is a Jew?"

Not exactly that question but it seems not all Jews agree on who is to be accepted as a Jew. Or better yet who determines who is a Jew or is not a Jew...

Very well ...

... it seems not all Christians agree on who is to be accepted as a Christian. Or better yet who determines who is a Christian or is not a Christian...
Therefore?
 

John D. Brey

Well-Known Member
I see nothing here about circumcision, and nothing about Adam being kicked out of the garden. Those are your interpretations. I'm traveling and I don't have Rabbi Hirsch's commentary with me. I highly doubt, when I return that the Rabbi will have written anything making these connections.

. . . By the time you return I'll have sealed the deal in a nice package of Rabbi Hirsch quotations that leave all doubt outside in the cold. :cool:




John
 

John D. Brey

Well-Known Member
It is not based on circumcision?

Now, had Scripture not told us here that Avraham was ninety-nine years old when the covenant of Milah ---which is the founding covenant of Judaism---was established with him, we would have thought that all of Abraham's virtues, of which we have learned until now, were the result of the covenant established with him in youth, and that the whole flowering of this covenant consisted in these virtues. In fact, however, they all preceded the covenant of Milah. The full attainment of the purely humane virtues preceded the mitzvah stated here: והיה תמים. The covenant of Avraham [that is circumcision, the founding covenant of Judaism] is a higher perfection of the humane virtues.​
The Hirsch Chumash, Genesis 17:1 (bold emphasis and bracket mine).​



John
 

dybmh

דניאל יוסף בן מאיר הירש
. . . By the time you return I'll have sealed the deal in a nice package of Rabbi Hirsch quotations that leave all doubt outside in the cold. :cool:

Easier said than done. I'll believe it when I see it. Your reputation prohibits hope on this.

Now, had Scripture not told us here that Avraham was ninety-nine years old when the covenant of Milah ---which is the founding covenant of Judaism---was established with him, we would have thought that all of Abraham's virtues, of which we have learned until now, were the result of the covenant established with him in youth, and that the whole flowering of this covenant consisted in these virtues. In fact, however, they all preceded the covenant of Milah. The full attainment of the purely humane virtues preceded the mitzvah stated here: והיה תמים. The covenant of Avraham [that is circumcision, the founding covenant of Judaism] is a higher perfection of the humane virtues.​
The Hirsch Chumash, Genesis 17:1 (bold emphasis and bracket mine).​



John

Still missing the details you mentioned. It doesn't literally say the covenant wasn't about circumcision, nor that there is some dissolved covenant with Adam. Not even a whiff of it.
 

YoursTrue

Faith-confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11)
Easier said than done. I'll believe it when I see it. Your reputation prohibits hope on this.



Still missing the details you mentioned. It doesn't literally say the covenant wasn't about circumcision, nor that there is some dissolved covenant with Adam. Not even a whiff of it.
What the Bible says about it makes much more sense than father/mother/synagogue/circumcision/bar/bat mitzvah etc. implemented for decision. I'm glad I asked.
 

dybmh

דניאל יוסף בן מאיר הירש
What the Bible says about it makes much more sense than father/mother/synagogue/circumcision/bar/bat mitzvah etc. implemented for decision. I'm glad I asked.

What does the Bible say about it?
 

YoursTrue

Faith-confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11)
Easier said than done. I'll believe it when I see it. Your reputation prohibits hope on this.



Still missing the details you mentioned. It doesn't literally say the covenant wasn't about circumcision, nor that there is some dissolved covenant with Adam. Not even a whiff of it.
That it is the circumcision of the heart not the flesh that God considers. Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
 

dybmh

דניאל יוסף בן מאיר הירש
That it is the circumcision of the heart not the flesh that God considers. Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Thanks I'll reread it.

My gut response is that this becomes a dangerous concept of it is applied literally without common sense.

Any commandment can be ignored as long as the individual firmly believes their heart is circumcised.

If they are known by their fruits, then the Jewish person whose heart is circumcised will naturally and automatically circumcise their flesh and the flesh of all their male children per the law of the Almighty. This is true for all the law.

For the non-Jewish person they would follow the law as spoken by Jesus and brought in Acts 15.

The circumcised heart produces adherence to the law, it doesn't seek loopholes. Do you disagree?
 

YoursTrue

Faith-confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11)
I understand. God knows the heart and the person. The law is not attainable by imperfect humans. I won't go any further now because I respect you and leave the rest in the Almighty God's hands. Which I know He is capable of reaching a person.
 
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