Okay, so for all of you who are searching on Google to find out some basic, basic info about what is Jewish, who are Jewish people, here’s my attempt to help explain:
Jewish people have been around for yonks. Jesus was Jewish.
Jewish Culture and Religion
Jews are bound by culture and religion, the weight of these falling on one or the other, depending on who you ask. It’s established by a child being born to a Jewish mother. Judiasm is not really something you convert to, although it does happen. Rarely though. You won’t find people knocking on your door, with a good word, asking you to consider becoming Jewish. On the contrary, you may not be Jewish but fall in love with someone who is, and the Jewish community will give you grief. We tend to marry in. That’s probably why we all look alike. But hey ho, that’s another conversation. I personally don’t have any problem with people who convert. But I would hope my boys marry Jewish girls. Or at the very least, girls who follow our traditions. For me, as with many, it’s really about honouring the traditions so that they don’t disappear.
Lots of people have some Jewish in them. Nose around in any ancestry site and do your tree and you’ll see. But it hasn’t always been welcomed in history, so lots of people gave it up for some pretty good reasons. That doesn’t mean that you can’t readopt the traditions back into your life. In fact, I’d encourage it. Even if your mother wasn’t Jewish. She’s probably got some in her family tree somewhere.
I think Jewish traditions are more cultural than religious. But then hey, I’m possibly not the best person to ask because I’m not uber religious. If you ask my Rabbi, he’d tell you it’s a religion. Full stop. But he wears the kit. And his wife covers her hair. [Which secretly I'm kind of envious of, because her hair always looks fabulous and blow dried and you'd never know it was a wig. She's got tons of kids around her, all hers, and her hair looks fab and she looks perfectly turned out. It makes everyone with less than six kids feel bad. ]
But in modern day life, for everyone except the religious community [and they have a really tight set of rules for their own] I really think it’s more about culture. Except we don’t really have one country to tie our traditions to. The Jewish people moved around quite a bit. But that’s another story too. Let’s just call it both.
As long as you honour the traditions, what does it matter if you consider it your religion or your heritage? At the end of the day, the traditions are beautiful and they should be celebrated.
As far as I’m concerned, that’s what being a Jewish person is all about.