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Ask the rabbi Family and Society Who is A Jew?

Jewish Identity

Rabbi Elchanan Lewis30 Nisan 5765
526
Question
I was raised secular, and all my life my mother said I was Jewish, and that she was decendent a Jewish line. My father is also Jewish. Now that I am beginning to get involved with a Shul, my mother through her protest now says I am not Jewish, because I have never practised Judaism, nor has she, nor has her mother, and refuses to discuss her Jewish ancestry, not denying it, but not declaring it either. The question is, if a mother who once said she was of a Jewish line and then goes against her own word, does that nullify her child’s Jewish identity? What do I need to do to resolve this, or is it a non issue?
Answer
Judaism is not defined by practice. If you were born to a Jewish mother you are Jewish. Even if you don’t practice. Even if you don't believe in G-d. Even if you declare yourself non Jewish – you still are.
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