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My mum is a non-practicing Jew, am I still Jewish?


Library » Jewish Identity » Who/What is a Jew? | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Mrs. Shaffer: can I help you?:)

Rachel: Hi Mrs shaffer

Mrs. Shaffer: hello

Rachel: I was searching the site and couldn't get an answer to my question, so it referred me here.

Mrs. Shaffer: ok...why don't you retype your question? :)

Rachel: My mum is jewish, but not practicing. I am told this means I am jewish. Is that correct?

Mrs. Shaffer: if her mother is Jewish, then she is Jewish, and you are Jewish :)

Mrs. Shaffer: practicing or not...Jewishness is yours :)

Rachel: Even if they know less about judaism than the next guy on the street?

Mrs. Shaffer: yup :)

Mrs. Shaffer: it is who you is your's your soul

Rachel: ok cool :)

Mrs. Shaffer: gotta find out what you need to do about it :)

Mrs. Shaffer: how to BE Jewish :)

Rachel: then assuming I wanted to get married to a Jewish guy for instance....

Rachel: (yes, it's more than just saying oy vey, isn't it? *grin*)

Mrs. Shaffer: indeed it is...much more :)

Mrs. Shaffer: of're Jewish, your children will be Jewish, they need a Jewish father :)

Mrs. Shaffer: tell me a bit about yourself....

Rachel: I am 35, female, live in xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Rachel: Not religious at all - my dad is (I think) a methodist

Rachel: My mum doesn't have any real beliefs

Rachel: MOST of my friends are Jewish

Rachel: And we were having a discussion the other night where one of the girls is converting orthodox and it has taken her 3 years so far

Rachel: and that got me thinking... that she would go to such lengths to convert to something I am already

Mrs. Shaffer: ah...yes..../

Mrs. Shaffer: 'one of the girls'....a sibling?

Rachel: no, a friend, sorry

Rachel: and I was wondering how that's fair!

Rachel: She knows LOTS more than me about Judaism

Rachel: There are a couple of practical questions I have

Mrs. Shaffer: indeed :)

Mrs. Shaffer: so it's time for you to start crackin' those books :)

Mrs. Shaffer: should do it with people, not books...the learning, that is :)

Rachel: If, for instance I wanted to get married to a Jewish guy, how would I prove I am Jewish?

Mrs. Shaffer: you would prove it by providing information about your lineage...your mother's Jewish, her mother's Jewish...etc...

Rachel: Slowly on the books thing - am only just starting to THINK about it here!!

Rachel: :)

Mrs. Shaffer: keept thinking :)

Mrs. Shaffer: but this is what I'd suggest

Rachel: Ok, cool

Mrs. Shaffer: are you familiar with the xxxxxxxxxxxxx Synagogue in xxxxxxxxxxxx?

Mrs. Shaffer: huge new building....quite beautiful....

Rachel: No, but I could look it up

Rachel: Can I just go to the Synagogue if I wanted to ?

Mrs. Shaffer: give them a call...make an appointment with the rabbi....say that I sent you :)

Rachel: ok

Mrs. Shaffer: no commitments....just answers to all of your questions

Mrs. Shaffer: and good and wise guidance :)

Rachel: But I don't know what I'd SAY to him!

Mrs. Shaffer: like this:

Mrs. Shaffer: "hello, may I please speak to the Rabbi?"

Rachel: *laughing*

Rachel: ok ok

Mrs. Shaffer: when he gets on the phone you say: Good morning Rabbi (or good afternoon)....Mrs. Shaffer at AskMoses sent me...she said you'd help me...

Mrs. Shaffer: and then you take it from there

Mrs. Shaffer: tell him about our conversation

Rachel: thank you. I will

Mrs. Shaffer: you will like him...I guarantee it....

Mrs. Shaffer: and he will be very wise and helpful :)

Rachel: thanks so much for your help and information

Rachel: I really appreciate it

Mrs. Shaffer: you're very welcome

Mrs. Shaffer: please stay in can always reach me here...either live,

Mrs. Shaffer: or via email... My email address is xxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx

Rachel: thank you!

Mrs. Shaffer: let me know if I can be of any further help

Rachel: thank you so much.

Rachel: I will

Mrs. Shaffer: :)

Rachel: have a good day/evening :)

Rachel: Bye

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


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Third of the four Jewish matriarchs. Daughter of Laban, favorite wife of Patriarch Jacob, and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. Died while giving birth to Benjamin in 1557 BCE.