Why do people refer to Judaism is though it is a nationality (like Irish or Italian)?

I have always thought of Judaism as a religion, yet I often see people referring to it as a nationality. You can change your religious beliefs and convert from Judaism to Christianity or vice versa, but you can not change your ethnicity - if you were born Irish or Croatian, you will remain that ethnicity, you can not change it.

5 Answers

  • Archer
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    You don't get out much do you.

  • 2 years ago

    "Judaism" refers to a religion.

    "Jewish" can refer to a few different - but related - things.

    1: Follower of a religion.

    2: Member of a cultural/ethnic group.

    3: Member of a nationality - now more accurately replaced with the term "Israeli."

    Because the religion, ethnicity, and nationality were groups with near-100% overlap for significant historical periods, it has become convenient for them to be considered synonyms by non-Jewish people. They aren't.

  • 2 years ago

    I think God had his hand in that. Judaism collecting in Israel, yet still being dispersed throughout the world is a part of prophecy; how God says they are in Jerusalem and yet in other places is how God finds them in Zechariah chapters 12 and 14.

    Source(s): bisexual Christian
  • Jeremy
    Lv 6
    2 years ago

    Jews are an ethnoreligious group, meaning that Jewish identity is both ethnic and religious, or for some, only one of the two. Most Jews share a common national origin in the ancient nation of Judea (which is where the word “Jew” derives from).

    Some people adhere to the Jewish faith without being ethnically Jewish while others may have Jewish roots but not practice the religion of Judaism.

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  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    "Jewish" refers to a religion. Like all religions, it also carries a cultural tradition. People who describe themselves as "non-religious Jews" may mean that they don't follow the religion, but still identify culturally with Judaism, analogous to Christians who celebrate Christmas and Easter but don't attend church. Alternatively, they may mean that they come from one of the traditionally Jewish ethnicities, but lack the knowledge of the heritage to be more specific.

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