Ask the Rabbi

  • Family and Society
  • Attitude Towards Other Nations

Renouncing my Judaism


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Av 2, 5771
I wish to renounce being Jewish. What are the steps, if any? Is there an association to give my tefillin to ? I dont want to throw them out. They are in good condition.
Shalom, You are very lucky and fortunate that you cannot renounce your Judaism (for Judaism is not just a religion but also a national identity- even non-religious Jews are still Jewish!). You are lucky enough to have been born to the eternal Chosen People, who have, in the words of Mark Twain, "contributed more to mankind and done more to civilize mankind than any nation in history". The reason that this virtue is irreversible is because only someone who is ignorant about the Nation of Israel would dream of leaving this great nation, so G-d does a favor to those ignorant and basically "forces" them to discover their good fortune! Like a kingly loving father, who wants to give his son a great gift, but his son isn't mature or learned enough to realize why this gift is so great- the loving father will not give his foolish son any choice, but keeps the gift waiting until the son learns to understand. Aren't you curious why the Jewish people outlast all the others? Aren't you wondering why we are the called the People of the Book, who have been awarded 22% (!) of the Noble Prizes while comprising only 0.2% of the world's population (literally 100 times more than logic), and sport most (53%!) of the world's chess masters! Aren't you curious why the nations of the world are so preoccupied with the Jews and the small State of Israel, way out of proportion to our size? Aren't you proud that your nation is the one who brought modern physics (Einstein) and Psychology (Freud), the cellphone (Motorola-Israel), memory stick and Windows XP (Microsoft-Israel), Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg), most importantly: monotheism (belief in One God) and morality, the two greatest achievements of mankind, to the world? For your sake, I suggest you go spend even one week in Aish HaTorah, Machon Meir or any yeshiva geared for explaining basics, to help you appreciate your great fortune, and understand why Jews can never and should never want to run away from themselves and their destiny! Welcome Back! Rav Ari Shvat
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