They seem like simple questions. Who is Jewish? Who is Israeli? How many Jewish people are there in the world? Pretty easy to answer, right? Welllll…
As Ezra points out the old Jewish saying, “Where you have two Jewish people, you’ll have three opinions,” you see that some answers aren’t as simple as you’d expect. (And that’s what makes this podcast so awesome; we take the time to explain all that stuff in a way you can grasp it!)
This episode of A Jew and A Gentile Discuss is the third of a three-part series unpacking the depths of meaning behind the little word “Israel.” If you haven’t listened to Parts 1 and 2, you’ll want to hear those too. Part 1 provides an excellent, introductory overview of the series, and Part 2 dives into the subjects of the Land of Israel and the State of Israel.
In Part 3, along with the “not-as-simple-as-you-think questions” mentioned above, Carly challenges Ezra with additional inquiries, such as:
- Define some of the different subs-communities of Jewish people
- Is the term “Jew” offensive to Jewish people?
- Where are Jewish people primarily living in the world, including some places we may have never heard of?
- Can you become Jewish?
- How does believing Jesus is Lord change a Jewish person’s Jewishness?
- Why do some Jewish people want to disown family members who believe in Jesus?
- How does the history of Jewish persecution play into Jewish perspectives on Jesus?
- Do you think we’ll ever see an environment where it’s acceptable for Jewish people to believe in Jesus?
With Ezra’s answers, you’ll also learn some pretty interesting things about:
- Judaism’s uniqueness among other religions
- Descriptions of names used to identify several Jewish groups: conservative Jew, reform Jew, religious Jew, secular Jew, Messianic Jew, Ultra-Orthodox Jew, Israeli, Hebrew, worldwide Jewish community and Lost Tribes
- Why some Jewish people who believe in Jesus are also called “Messianic”
- Two countries that experienced the vast majority of their Jewish citizenry move to Israel in the 90s and early 2000s
- How there could be even more Jewish people, based on uncounted, unrecognized but self-identifying Jewish populations around the world
- A surprising country with a vibrant Jewish community
- The difference between rabbinic Judaism’s definition of “Jewish” and the State of Israel’s
- The intriguing reason rabbis actually discourage people from converting to Judaism
- And lots more!
Ezra also answers a listener who says: “I’m learning all this information about the importance of Israel and the Jewish people; what action can I take to be supportive?”
Words you might learn in this episode
Zehra, kippah, yarmulke, Shabbat, Yeshua, rabbinically Jewish, aliyah, the Law of Return
Scriptures referenced in this episode
1 Corinthians 15:3–4, Acts 4:12, Genesis 22:17, 2 Peter 3:9
Hear other exciting conversations between “a Jew and a Gentile” wherever you listen to podcasts or go to www.ajewandagentilediscuss.org for more information.
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