February 29, 2008

NYT: "Jews are best understood as a 'large extended family'"

In the NYT Magazine, Gershom Gorenberg has an article entitled "How Do You Prove You're a Jew" that echoes what I've been saying about the definition of what a racial group is for years:

Zvi Zohar, a professor of law and Jewish studies at Bar-Ilan University, told me that in Judaism’s classical view of itself, Jews are best understood as a “large extended family” that accepted a covenant with God. Those who didn’t practice the faith remained part of the family, even if traditionally they were regarded as black sheep. Converts were adopted members of the clan.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Gee, Steve, the NYT ran racial purity ads from Jewish organizations until the turn of the century - no, not a hundred years ago, but the most recent turn of the century. Yes, it's true: the NYT ran the ads up until the late 1990's. Full page denunciations of the consequences of out-marriage from the Jewish bloodline.

And the bloodline is even more important to Israeli authorities. In fact they base the legal definition of who exactly is a Jew on the bloodline. That is a fact.

mnuez said...

Steve, I happen to have personally discussed this subject with Zohar and I'm afraid to tell you that he, in no way, advocates the line that this disembodied quote might lead you to believe he advocates.

If you enjoy the fact of human biodiversity and would like to see a world some five hundred years hence that still has a genetically recognizable population of "Jews" then Zohar is the enemy. Zohar is a legalistic-loopholer who is doing all he can to bamboozle the reigning Orthodoxy in Israel into "converting" as many non-Jews to Judaism as possible. Zohar cares (or at least claims to care) about the word "Jews". He wants the world to be as full of as many Jews as possible - by which he means "people who call themselves Jews". That these people are neither ethnically Jewish nor religiously Jewish is not his concern. He's like some Grade School kid trying to rack up as many "friends" as possible... on a Facebook page.

So, folk like you and I (more me than you probably) who think that the story of the Jews is totally cool and that it would be neat for the "Jewish community" some 500 years hence to be only slightly more racially diluted than it is now... have no friend in Zohar. For that matter we have no friend in the leadership of any Diasporan Jewish community aside for the Orthodox. Despite the ever-so-learned proclamations of the many experts on the Jewish Question among the commenters here, the facts are that 9 out of 10 American Jews will happily date and willingly wed non-Jews - though some might request that their spouse-to-be "convert" to Judaism first (in a conversion that does nothing to alter their genetic heritage nor to educate them in any Jewish practice outside of where to buy a Hanukkah Bush). Heck, even your resident Proud Jew in these parts can be counted among their numbers. And if that's where I stand, what hope is there for everyone else?


Anonymous said...

"In fact they base the legal definition of who exactly is a Jew on the bloodline. That is a fact."

Until 2000 it was the same with being German. You had to have a German mother. Then that socialist Schroeder changed it so his socialist SPD party could cash in on the future Turkish vote. I still think the mother link makes sense, so in that manner the Jewish rule is correct.

Oh, BTW Steve, these people just say they spoke to such and such, meanwhile they got their ideas from your site first, and then bounce them off some respected academic to give them cred in their communities. I mean Gershom Gorenberg can’t exactly go say that Steve Sailer said that “Jews are a large extended family“ because it would freak out all the Jews to have a gentile define anything about them. So he goes to an Israeli academic which is like going to the modern (Jewish) priesthood and gets him to echo your theory in order to sanitize it.

Anonymous said...

Dave, any relation to Larry David?