The question has been discussed for thousands of years now, Who is a Jew?

That is what criteria determines a Jew from a Gentile. Answers can be based on belief, lineage, conversion or personal assertions. Ancient and modern insights vary widely and some may surprise you.

Rick Cousins can be reached at

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(2) comments

Curtiss Brown

As Israeli author Amos Oz puts it, "a Jew is anyone who chooses or is compelled to share a common fate with other Jews."[80] Oz summed up his position more succinctly in a monologue published in Tikkun, saying "Who is a Jew? Everyone who is mad enough to call himself or herself a Jew is a Jew."

I sought this quote online and pulled it from Wikipedia.

Bailey Jones

I've learned a bit about Jewish life through osmosis since my sister married into a Jewish family many years ago. By coincidence one of my favorite things to bake is Challah, so that worked out well at family holidays. I would say they were secular Jews when they married, but became seriously Jewish when they had a daughter to raise and educate.

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