1. What are the most distinctive characteristics of the Jewish identity?
2. What social forces are at work in modern American society that threaten the preservation of this identity?© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 9, 2019, 11:36 pm ad1c9bdddf
1. What are the most distinctive characteristics of the Jewish identity? What social forces are at work in modern American society that threatens the preservation of this identity?
Interestingly, the Jewish and sociological Jew of Jewish identity differ somewhat. For example, sociological studies of Jewish identity focus on cultural, historical, and current dimensions of society as a whole. Jewish identity is a sociological issue because it has always been true that "Jewishness is bestowed by the community" (Mayer, cited in https://www.policyarchive.org/bitstream/handle/10207/10146/PsychologyAndJewish.pdf?sequence=1).
Let's look at the Jewish perspective of what it means to be Jewish --Jewish identity as ethnicity.
1. From a Jewish perspective, Jewish identity includes that of being the "chosen people" and religious law states that a person born to a Jewish mother or one who converts to Judaism is Jewish and thus, "chosen":
" The idea of the Chosen People is a nation of individuals who were given "the opportunity to sense G-d's closeness, hear His truth and relay his message to the world. All agree that it was the Jews that introduced the world to monotheism and a system of ethics and morals that have shaped the modern view of life and its purpose. And it is the survival of Judaism to this day that attests to the eternal value of this system" (http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/160993/jewish/Are-the-Jews-the-Chosen-People.htm).
2. Throughout the Jewish 3300-year history, what defined Jews is a relationship with G-d and commitment.
"We are Jews because G-d chose us to be His "cherished treasure from all the nations... a kingdom of priests and a holy people" (Exodus 19:5-6). We are Jews because G-d chose us to play the central role in the implementation of His purpose in creation: to orientate our lives in accordance with His will and to develop a society and world community that reflects His goodness and perfection" (http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/45132/jewish/What-Makes-a-Jew-Jewish.htm).
3. In other words, Jewish identity is more ...
This solution explores the most distinctive characteristics of the Jewish identity, as well as the social forces that are at work in modern American society that threaten the preservation of this identity. A supplementary article on Jewish identity and references are also provided.