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Thread: Can A Person Be Jewish & Not Know It?

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Can A Person Be Jewish & Not Know It?



    LOL.

    Okay, here's my question. My lovely young assistant branch manager at my bank is named Mr. First Name Last Name, and his surname is a Yiddish Word, so I wished him a Happy Hannukah, and he told me no, he isn't Jewish.

    Color me *puzzled*, but whut happened in his family, do you think? Someone a few generations ago decided not to admit he was Jewish? But if so, why not also change his last name?

    I am seriously nosy, as you all know. I fully realize this is none of my business, and doesn't matter whatsoever, except if it does to him.

    Speculation, anyone?
    Last edited by Madeline; 19th December 2017 at 11:27 AM.
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  2. #2
    Veteran Member TNVolunteer73's Avatar
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    He may have Jewish ancestry but not hold the Jewish faith
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    Thought Provocateur NightSwimmer's Avatar
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    I once me a lady whose last name was Dubois, but surprisingly, she wasn't French. I didn't bother to ask her why she didn't change her surname.

  4. #4
    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure I once read about a Klan member who learned through genetic testing that he was 1/4 Jewish - or something like that.
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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post


    LOl.

    Okay, here's my question. My lovely young assistant branch manager at my bank is named Mr. First Last Name is a Yiddish Word, so I wished him a Happy Hannukah, and he told me no, he isn't Jewish.

    Color me *puzzled*, but whut happened in his family, do you think? Someone a few generations ago dedicded not to admit he was Jewish? But if so, why not also change his last name?

    I am seriously nosy, as you all know. I fully realize this is none of my business, and doesn't matter whatsoever, except if it does to him.

    Speculation, anyone?
    It is entirely possible to be Jewish and not know it, irrespective of your faith, as TNV says. If your mother is Jewish, then you are Jewish; but he could have a mother who converted to Xianity and did not want him to know she was Jewish.

    But note also that if one's father is Jewish, but not one's mother, then one is not Jewish despite the ancestry. Thus, a Jew named "Mr. Cohen" might indeed be a Kohen (i.e., a priest, in a direct male-line descent from Moshe's brother Aharon), but if he marries a non-Jewish woman, then their son David Katz would bear the name but still not be Jewish (and would not be a Kohen even if he subsequently converted to Judaism).

    There were also forced conversions to Xianity in Spain centuries ago, and some of the families maintained certain Jewish traditions just to keep the spark alive (hence the Spanish Inquisition), and people might find out decades or more later that such-and-such tradition comes from Judaism and that they are actually Jewish despite being raised Catholic for generations.
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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    I'm pretty sure I once read about a Klan member who learned through genetic testing that he was 1/4 Jewish - or something like that.
    Of course, while one might be genetically "1/4 Jewish," as far as determining whether one is Jewish it is a binary situation - one either is, or is not, and one's genetics may not indicate one way or the other, depending on whether there were converts, or just plain intermarriage.
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  7. #7
    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    Of course, while one might be genetically "1/4 Jewish," as far as determining whether one is Jewish it is a binary situation - one either is, or is not, and one's genetics may not indicate one way or the other, depending on whether there were converts, or just plain intermarriage.
    True... I should have said "one-fourth Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry."
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    Veteran Member cpicturetaker12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post


    LOl.

    Okay, here's my question. My lovely young assistant branch manager at my bank is named Mr. First Last Name is a Yiddish Word, so I wished him a Happy Hannukah, and he told me no, he isn't Jewish.

    Color me *puzzled*, but whut happened in his family, do you think? Someone a few generations ago dedicded not to admit he was Jewish? But if so, why not also change his last name?

    I am seriously nosy, as you all know. I fully realize this is none of my business, and doesn't matter whatsoever, except if it does to him.

    Speculation, anyone?
    Yep, just you can have NEGRO blood and not know it (especially in the South)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post


    LOL.

    Okay, here's my question. My lovely young assistant branch manager at my bank is named Mr. First Name Last Name, and his surname is a Yiddish Word, so I wished him a Happy Hannukah, and he told me no, he isn't Jewish.

    Color me *puzzled*, but whut happened in his family, do you think? Someone a few generations ago decided not to admit he was Jewish? But if so, why not also change his last name?

    I am seriously nosy, as you all know. I fully realize this is none of my business, and doesn't matter whatsoever, except if it does to him.

    Speculation, anyone?
    LOL It is a clever con to tell people they are ###### through the line of the mother - cultish - But just because those Jews who chose to believe it say that it is true, don't mean it is or that anyone else should think so.

    know ex Jews - who will tell you they are - as we all know ex all sorts. A Jew is a person who practices Judaism ---- openly or secretly.
    Last edited by allegoricalfact; 19th December 2017 at 11:32 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cpicturetaker12 View Post
    Yep, just you can have NEGRO blood and not know it (especially in the South)
    Jews are not a race or ethnicity - it is a religious dogma which those who chose to practice it call themselves Jews...... most today came from Eastern Europe.

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