RNS – Trump made us ask, again: Who are the Jews, anyway?

„Who are the Jews?

– A religion, as in Torah and Shabbat.
– A people, as in the ties that bind Jews of all places and times. As in why I mourn with the victims in Jersey City. As in why Bernie Sanders or Noam Chomsky is as much my brother as Natan Sharansky.
– A collection of languages, as in Hebrew and Yiddish and Ladino.
– A collection of ethnicities, as in bagels and lox and hummus and malawach bread.
– A collection of cultural expressions of Judaism and about Judaism and Jews — as in Matisyahu and „The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and klezmer and piyyut. (And, yes: Most of American Judaism is ashkenormative — privileging the Central and Eastern European experience over the Sephardic and Middle Eastern — not to mention African.)
– A nation — as in Zionism. (Interesting to note: At least some of the early Reform opposition to Zionism was because the Zionists were too secular!)
– We are all of these things — though perhaps not at the same time, and not for the same people. Some Jews „major” in one of these complex identities, „minor” in others and reject the rest.

But you cannot say that only one of these is Judaism.”

Trump made us ask, again: Who are the Jews, anyway?

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