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The Jewish Experience

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How does the Jewish experience resemble the experience of other minority groups? In what ways is the Jewish experience different from the experience of other minority groups?

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Narrowing down the Jewish Experience

"One of the unique aspects of Judaism is its rejection of Judaism as a biological entity, an inherited spiritual DNA, racial or ethnic. The point is that being a Jew is not a matter of genes and chromosomes. To the contrary, Judaism is the first religion to recognize the 'ger', the stranger who chooses to identify himself with Judaism. Judaism is not rooted in race or clan or in a genetic matter but a religious tradition of choice."
- Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis (date omitted)

Before we discuss the similarities and differences of the Jewish Experience (J.E.) to that of other minority groups, we must first define from a socio-cultural perspective the 'Jewish Experience'. Generally speaking, the 'Jewish Experience' refers to the socio-political history of the 'Jewish People' the world over. The Jews are not just living in the US and Israel as Jews are scattered the world over. The Jews attribute their 'Jewishness' in the religion/faith that they share. Unlike Catholicism however, Jews look to Jewishness as a 'pseudo-racial' identifier cemented as an established 'truth' Jews the world over share after centuries of prosecution after what the Jews term as 'The Exodus' when they reckon to the time that Jews were expelled from their homeland - present day Israel, by the Ottoman Empire. Clinging to their beliefs, the countries, kingdoms and societies they assimilated into for survival have never given them the right to own homes and property, hence, the 'Jews' were marginalized by their beliefs into the mercantile trade - buying, selling and trading goods as well as becoming innovative in the many trading arrangements so as to find their place (and survive) in the societies they joined. There are varied reasons Jews are hated or judged by other faiths. Judaism being the origin of both Islam and Christianity, the Torah of the Jews has become the basis/origin of the Qur'an and the Bible. Even then, in Christianity, the Jews are seen as the murderers of Christ and in Islam, the Jews are the unenlightened ones, the 'mother religion' of Prophet Mohammed who was once a rabbi just as Christ was, the religion from which he turned his back to.

Their centuries of proficient experience in the mercantile trade had made some Jews very rich that even during the Middle Ages, they were stereotyped to be cunning traders. Nevertheless, the Jews of ...

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The solution is an extensive discussion following the APA-format on the topic of 'The Jewish Experience'. Touching on historical, political and social elements, the solution provides the necessary background and ultimately, the answer to the question of whether or not the Jewsh experience is similar to that of any other minority group from a sociological perspective. References are provided, a word version is attached for easy printing.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

What was the experience of Jews in Germany in the late 1930s, and what was the response of the United States? Why?

What was the experience of Jews in Germany in the late 1930s, and what was the response of the United States? Why?

The Jews had significant amounts of freedom in the decades leading up to the 1930's. Intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews was fairly common, Jews enjoyed high positions in the German government, higher education, science and medicine. During World War I, Jews represented the largest ethnic group who fought for Germany with over 12,000 of them giving their lives for the Fatherland. It is ironic that it was a Jewish officer that awarded Adolph Hitler, then a young corporal, with the Iron Cross.

This was all to change with the rise of the Nazi power and their takeover of the German government. By 1933 the Nazi government had officially adopted an anti-Jew policy. Though many anti-Semitic policies had been adopted by business or private organizations, 1933 marked the first time that anti-Semitic policies were enforced by the German government. In April of 1933 Jewish shops, doctors, lawyers and stores were boycotted. The government also forbade all Jews from serving in any government positions. In August 1933 the German government signed an agreement allowing over 60,000 Jews to return to Palestine by 1939.

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