Chapter 42 and When a Jew is Not Jewish Enough

In Chapter 42 by Charles Kurzman, the author tries to inform the reader how Muslims’ share many modern values such as human equality, and the rule of law. The author states how Islamic states, although may not be identical to Western states, are not entirely different either. Ever since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1979, Iran has established a cabinet system and holds many of the characteristics that a state should have. He also argues how Taliban and other Muslims are quite different and we should not view them as the same.. He states how the Taliban barred girls from attending school, while in Iran the education of females more than doubled. I agree with the author that many people may fear muslims because we hear of groups such as the Taliban and Al Queda.. Of course America has a reason to feel threatened and to act with precautionary measures. I can’t blame the U.S. for this “war on terrorism”.. however, I dont think that every American should have the belief that all Muslims are evil and belong to the same terrorist groups. Believing that only brings about more hatred and bloodshed.

In the audio clip “when a jew is not jewish enough” we hear from a young boy who went to enlist in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and was told that he could not be registered in the state as being Jewish becuase his mother was not born a jew, and had converted. I am not sure if I really can understand the reasonings behind why Israel does this.. Judaism is a religion and wether you were born into it, or convert, you should still be given the same rights. The young man stated how he thought it was absurd how he can fight and die for Israel in the IDF, yet he cant be recognized as a Jew.. I think that is unfair and truly upestting for other Jews around the world to hear. For me, my mother was adopted, she was raised Jewish, and so was I, but I wonder if Israel would classify me as a jew considering my mother may not have full jewish ties biologically. I know that the Jewish law of marriage is very tricky, and that when my parents got married it was a whole long process of getting paperwork to prove that my mom under the jewish law was truly jewish to be married by a rabbi. I think that drawing these lines and barriers, again is what causes hatred across the world.

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2 Responses to “Chapter 42 and When a Jew is Not Jewish Enough”

  1. Israel has a strict definition of who is and is not Jewish simply because the rabbinate has an extraordinary amount of political power. the more egalitarian movements that are so well known in the united states have almost zero presence in Israel therefore all citizens are forced to adhere to standards that they may or may not believe in. for example any couple that seeks to marry in Israel must first obtain legal consent from the chief rabbinate of the country, and since the rabbinate is governed by the ultra orthodox this can sometimes be extremely difficult. conversions done in the reform or conservative movements in Judaism are rarely recognized by the rabbinate and oftentimes people will have to repeat the conversion process from the beginning with an orthodox emphasis regardless on whether or not they choose to be strictly religious

  2. natashag22 says:

    I like how the student begins with a clear concise summary of the main points to each article then incorporates their own opinions. I very much agree that the creation of lines allows opportunity for prejudice and discrimination. The simple statement of “Judaism being a religion and it shouldn’t matter if you’re born into it or convert” I found to be profound.