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cruisin
06-21-2012, 07:04 PM
I like the way a lot of the "mainline" Protestant churches have a point in the service in which everyone stands up to shake hands, say "Peace", or whatever.

Yes, we do that. It is nice.

ArtisticFan
06-21-2012, 07:16 PM
I've lived in the Bible Belt and been a member of a Southern Baptist church all my life and have never heard of this practice in the Baptist church or any other evangelical denomination.

Having gone to a few church services in Georgia at Baptist and Methodist churches for friends or work related reasons I can attest to the fact that this is a practice at many churches in this area. It is quite uncomfortable and one that I'm glad is not part of my current synagogue.

PRlady
06-21-2012, 08:04 PM
To risk getting smacked on this topic, there's a reason for the difference.

Christianity is very faith-based. Belief in Jesus is at the root of being a Christian. Publicly avowing that faith is, if uncomfortable for some, at least theologically consistent.

Judaism is law-based. Nowhere is there an "I believe" prayer. Instead we are exhorted to follow the commandments, no not 10 of them but 613. :P Observant Jews who call themselves Torah Jews follow those commandments, but speculating on the nature of God, his existence and so on is pretty foreign to Judaism, as is speculation on the nature of the afterlife.

So a Jew being asked to declare belief in God during a service...that would be quite odd. There are plenty of Jewish atheists like me, actually of all the major religions in the U.S., our percentage of out-and-out atheists is the highest. And yet, we call ourselves Jews, occasionally show up for synagogue, participate in Seders and other home-based celebrations, and just go on our merry godless way secure that nobody is going to kick us out of anything. ;)

vesperholly
06-21-2012, 10:11 PM
I like the way a lot of the "mainline" Protestant churches have a point in the service in which everyone stands up to shake hands, say "Peace", or whatever.

Oh yes, we did that. "Peace be with you". I shook hands with my sister the whole time. :lol: There was a Dane Cook skit about that too, and receiving communion.

Skittl1321
06-21-2012, 10:14 PM
There are plenty of Jewish atheists like me, actually of all the major religions in the U.S., our percentage of out-and-out atheists is the highest.

This is something I actually don't understand. If you do not believe in God, whose commandments are you following, and why?

I don't understand how any religion can have a percentage of atheists, as if you are an atheist, you aren't a part of that religion. There would be no Catholic atheists, because part of being a Catholic is a belief in God, for example.

Vagabond
06-21-2012, 10:32 PM
This is something I actually don't understand. If you do not believe in God, whose commandments are you following, and why?

I don't understand how any religion can have a percentage of atheists, as if you are an atheist, you aren't a part of that religion. There would be no Catholic atheists, because part of being a Catholic is a belief in God, for example.

Some religions are faith-based, and others are practice-based. Christianity is faith-based, whereas Judaism is practice-based.

I am always amused when I see or hear references to the "Jewish faith," since it's something a Jewish person wouldn't say.

skatingfan5
06-21-2012, 11:09 PM
I don't understand how any religion can have a percentage of atheists, as if you are an atheist, you aren't a part of that religion. There would be no Catholic atheists, because part of being a Catholic is a belief in God, for example.


Some religions are faith-based, and others are practice-based. Christianity is faith-based, whereas Judaism is practice-based.
I'm not sure what the percentages are, but there are more than a small number of Unitarian Universalists who are atheists or agnostics. We actually did an exercise in church last Sunday in which everyone placed themselves on where they stood on various religious and social justice continua. One of them was atheist - agnostic - theist and most were somewhere in the middle, although there were people at both ends. Same thing with the "belief in an afterlife" continuum -- some definitely believed, some thought there was nothing after death, and the vast majority were in the "don't know" range.

KatieC
06-21-2012, 11:28 PM
I like the way a lot of the "mainline" Protestant churches have a point in the service in which everyone stands up to shake hands, say "Peace", or whatever.

This practice, and a few other things, stopped me from going to church. To me it was completely phoney, and I hated it. But then, I'm Book of Common Prayer. They don't do the old service, so I don't go.

I've been to a lot of Protestant services and several Catholic. Always interesting but not fulfilling.

cruisin
06-22-2012, 01:33 AM
To risk getting smacked on this topic, there's a reason for the difference.

Christianity is very faith-based. Belief in Jesus is at the root of being a Christian. Publicly avowing that faith is, if uncomfortable for some, at least theologically consistent.

Judaism is law-based. Nowhere is there an "I believe" prayer. Instead we are exhorted to follow the commandments, no not 10 of them but 613. :P Observant Jews who call themselves Torah Jews follow those commandments, but speculating on the nature of God, his existence and so on is pretty foreign to Judaism, as is speculation on the nature of the afterlife.

So a Jew being asked to declare belief in God during a service...that would be quite odd. There are plenty of Jewish atheists like me, actually of all the major religions in the U.S., our percentage of out-and-out atheists is the highest. And yet, we call ourselves Jews, occasionally show up for synagogue, participate in Seders and other home-based celebrations, and just go on our merry godless way secure that nobody is going to kick us out of anything. ;)

No smacking allowed :). Actually this is very interesting for me. I never understood this.


Some religions are faith-based, and others are practice-based. Christianity is faith-based, whereas Judaism is practice-based.

I am always amused when I see or hear references to the "Jewish faith," since it's something a Jewish person wouldn't say.

Do you think part of that is because being Jewish is as much about ethnicity and tradition as religion? A sincere question.

I must say that the above two posts are very enlightening for me. I never thought of Judaism as not being faith based. Would that be for Orthodox as well?


This practice, and a few other things, stopped me from going to church. To me it was completely phoney, and I hated it. But then, I'm Book of Common Prayer. They don't do the old service, so I don't go.

I've been to a lot of Protestant services and several Catholic. Always interesting but not fulfilling.

The Episcopal church follows the old service, but we do wish each other peace.

PRlady
06-22-2012, 02:49 AM
Do you think part of that is because being Jewish is as much about ethnicity and tradition as religion? A sincere question.

I must say that the above two posts are very enlightening for me. I never thought of Judaism as not being faith based. Would that be for Orthodox as well?





Some of it is that we are a people as well as a religion and you can't get excommunicated from being part of a people, yes.

But even from a religious standpoint, we don't have a creed to adhere to. Some have claimed we don't have a theology either as theology is determining the nature of God and we don't claim to know.

As to whose commandments you are obeying, I would venture to say that those who make a point of observing all 613 of them are probably theists. (But not all of them. I have a friend who defines herself as Orthodox-agnostic which puzzles me but, as I said, we have all kinds.)

Many people keep kosher, for example, as a matter of tradition and solidarity. Some keep semi-kosher, i.e. just don't eat pork and shellfish, for the same reason, or because they were raised kosher and these items are just too taboo. Most Israelis are secular but the country observes the Sabbath and holidays and almost everything is closed those days. (Yes, that has to do with religious politics as well but secular Israelis are generally fine with it.)

I am not at all sure because I'm abysmally ignorant of Eastern religions but I have the impression that Buddhism is not faith-based either. No "Believe on the Lord Buddah and you will be saved."

Vagabond
06-22-2012, 05:23 AM
Do you think part of that is because being Jewish is as much about ethnicity and tradition as religion? A sincere question.

One could just as easily say that ethnicity and tradition are important to the Jews because their religion based on practice rather than on faith.



I never thought of Judaism as not being faith based. Would that be for Orthodox as well?

Yes.

ilovepaydays
07-02-2012, 05:40 PM
I haven't visited the synagogue yet, but I plan to in the next couple of weeks. I read a story by a women who married a Jewish man and later converted. She talked about her experience visiting a synagogue for the first time. She said beforehand her mother-in-law had to buy "tickets" for her to go because her membership was only for her household to attend. What would that be all about? Do I need a ticket? How would I get one? I don't want to embarrass myself or be disrespectful.

Debbie S
07-02-2012, 05:44 PM
I haven't visited the synagogue yet, but I plan to in the next couple of weeks. I read a story by a women who married a Jewish man and later converted. She talked about her experience visiting a synagogue for the first time. She said beforehand her mother-in-law had to buy "tickets" for her to go because her membership was only for her household to attend. What would that be all about? Do I need a ticket? How would I get one? I don't want to embarrass myself or be disrespectful.That may have been on the High Holidays, when everyone comes, so to keep things orderly (and help pay annual expenses), congregations issue tickets with seat assignments. Usually, you pay for the tickets at the same time you pay your membership dues for the year, but some synagogues differ on that.

For any regular Saturday morning service, esp in the summer, there is plenty of room and no one needs a ticket.

Reuven
07-02-2012, 09:06 PM
You won't need tickets for a regular Shabbat service, especially in summer, as Debbie said.

cruisin
07-02-2012, 09:30 PM
ilovepaydays, I am so excited for you. I hope this is a wonderful experience of self discovery.