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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Video: 'I am Jewish,' Andrew Lustig on what it means to be a Jew

Here's an interesting video about what it means to be a Jew.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Shirlee F).

Hmmm. That ought to give you all something to think about for a while.



At 7:03 AM, Blogger Shirl in Oz said...

Parts of this made me feel "Only in America" but on the whole it made me kvel.

At 7:24 AM, Blogger debbie said...

Really powerful, just mmissing one word: GOD

At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, I, I, my, my, my.

"...outside of the Old Testament."

What Debbie said.

Why are we here, Carl? Just because of the good lawyer joke?

At 2:59 PM, Blogger Dr. T said...

Overall, I am happy with Lustig's remarks. Probably similar to a whole bunch of college age American Jews. At least he has a strong cultural connection, which gives me hope that he might remain in the fold and someday make more of a religious connection. But what's not to like about good, especially home made, Gefilte fish?

At 3:08 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Shy Guy, you want fewer Jews? Not more Jews? 15 million is enough that you can decertify more and more? So it it's mainly those who joined later (but not with your certified Rabbis) that you feel hostile to, but even those who have the same ancestry as Israelis? Any chance of a friendly word and maybe some kind of engagement? One Israeli I know told me that Israel's schools and pop culture teach kids that their connection to American Jews is really not any more significant than to people from China... this was the exact comparison he used, more than a decade ago I heard this. Leftism is the problem (ask David Horowitz) and Israel can be part of the solution, if you guys can adjust to friendliness (and to non-economic Leftism yourselves).

At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sunlight, so many rants in one post. Where to begin?!?!

I want more Jews. I'm not decertifying anyone here. They will dwindle all by themselves if they all go the way of the Lustigs. Judaism is not about one's favorite flavor of the day.

I do not certify Rabbis. Nor do you.

I didn't talk about ancestry. I also don't know what difference there is if a Jew has Israel, Polish or Chinese ancestry. A Jew's a Jew.

Me, a non-economic leftist?!?!

Take your meds.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Dan S said...

No one asked commentators to grade Andrew's thoughts. They are his thoughts ..... his feelings. He expressed them clearly and from the heart.

At 2:16 AM, Blogger Thirteen13 said...

Shy Guy

One would expect Lustig to use "I" and "my" to express his personal views. As to G-d not being mentioned, was that necessary? Lustig cites many of G-d's gifts: the Torah, the parting of the Red Sea, and the oil that lasted eight days, among them. Finally, I would suggest that those at risk of decertification are fanatics who forget that Judaism is a culture as well as a religion, and who in their ever increasing zeal move the the religion away from G-d's word to whatever the the edicts may be of "Rabbi of the day."

At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nothing wrong with using the words "I" and "my" when expressing ones self. I do so myself in my own comments. There I go again. My! My!

But to me, this whole video stressed the I's and the my's. Hence my response. This video doesn't do it for me me with regard to defining what it is to be a Jew. Sorry.

Not mentioning G-d? Not necessary? Perhaps when talking about the latest episode of Jersey Shore it isn't but when your goal is to establish what makes you a Jew? It's like a kid who doesn't think about thanking his parents in his Bar Mitzvah speech at the lavish dinner his parents arranged in honor of the occasion.

He called the Torah the "Old Testament". He's either terribly ignorant or downright disrespectful of what you claim he claims to cherish.

As for "decertification", I didn't bring the subject up and I (still) don't know what it has to do with the video here.

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and Dan, when you publicize something, on the street, in writing, or on the Internet, don't get shocked if people publicly express their comments or leave feedback without the original author's or your permission or approval.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Thirteen13 said...

Shy Guy

I was merely saying wasn't it necessary to mention G-d by name, when the whole video seems so full of G-d's gifts. Lustig defines himself -in part- as the Torah (He did not call the Torah the Old testament he said "I am the Torah and NOT the old Testament" - in essence he states that there is no old Testament for the Jews because there is no New Testament)

He speaks the miracles of G-d. He speaks of being in synagogue on Yom Kippur. How did you manage to miss all of this and focus only on the cultural aspects, many of which, by the way, seem to include involvement in Israel.

This video doesn't need to define what being a Jew is to you and it probably could not. At best maybe you could relate to some of it, but don't negate or diminish it's power and it's points because it doesn't do it for you. Maybe eating a special food on a holiday or after Shabbos is part of your Jewish experience, nobody is saying that such an event would define (your) Judaism or worse, demean it.

Listen again and listen for all the references of G-d and religion. Maybe you will change your perspective.

At 10:38 PM, Blogger Ann said...

Shy guy,
As I recall he actually said "we are the Torah, NOT the old testament" clearly indicating that they are not the same thing.

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Ann said...

So what makes you Jew?

Is it something you are born to like being male or female, black or white or is it understanding that as G-d's child you are his emissary to the world?
If so emissary of what?

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, 13x2. I completely misheard.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

my Talmudic background (logic, dialectical argumentation) leaves its imprint... one may raise the question of (a) verse on non-religious Jewish identity and (b) verse re: religion, not a country

the message may be understood as 'contra' political affiliation 'qua' Jewish, in favour of a non-political self-determination. historically 5000 years of genealogy, but the 'religion' is an ongoing adaptation, i.e. the Amida prayer composed and revised by the last 4 Prophets of the Temple era, 19th amended after the destruction: maariv was optional, etc... What happened to korbanos, eating tevel, terumah and maaser sheni?

I am constantly struggling to understand my Jewish identity outside of religion.

I am the Torah and not the Old Testament
I am a Kipah and not a Skull Cap
I am a Jew and not an Israeli
5,000 years old... not 60
A religion, not a country


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