Category Archives: Jewish Culture

Pikuach nefesh

Hello, I was reading the quran when I stumbled upon an ayah (Ch:7, Ver:163), which made me wonder if Jewish people are not allowed to work on Shabbat then what do the doctors, police officers do if there is an emergency? Do they strictly adhere to their religion and refuse to work during say a road accident. Thank you!!

SAHIH INTERNATIONAL Sahih International – Ayah: 7:16

Today’s question is quite a common one and it is one I am going to explain in a bit of detail. For anyone reading wondering why your question isn’t answered yet – I got three questions that go into quite some depth and I have not yet to have time to research them. Quite good questions as they go into both Judaism as a race and skin colours.

For those that do not know, the lines in the Qu’ran above is as follows.

And ask them about the town that was by the sea – when they transgressed in [the matter of] the sabbath – when their fish came to them openly on their sabbath day, and the day they had no sabbath they did not come to them. Thus did We give them trial because they were defiantly disobedient.

In Judaism there is something that is very important and honestly one of the most important things to worry about – the idea that Jews are to save other lives where possible (Pikuach nefesh) and this also applies to most laws and that includes many of the Sabbath ones.

Before I go on, it is worth saying defaming G’ds name is never allowed, forbidden sexual acts, murder (excluding self defence where it is NOT possible to do so otherwise), or to trade your own life for another (risking it however is fine).

So let’s get to the question. Can doctors, police officers (and in fact anyone) break the Sabbath in order to answer to an emergency? It all depends on what the emergency is. If it was something that is not threatening someone’s life. So if there was a crash and urgent medical care is needed then yes, there is an obligation to help within your means. In general practice there will be many other doctors, police officers and such that it is unlikely a Jew would need to work on the Sabbath but if they were needed urgently because there was no one else and someone will die if not, then the answer would be yes.

Is this antisemitism and why?

So in short, I play a role playing game with around 50 people working together in a guild. 5 of them are new and were playing another gaming while chatten in the guild chat, so that we all could read it. In this other game dropped an item that one of those 5 people wanted to have. He then wrote “JUUUUUDDDDEEEEE” in the chat. So I thought that he wanted that item, didn’t get it and called the winner a jew.so.. For me that was antisemitism. I said I the chat, that there is no room here for this behavior and that he should tibk about it. He then chatted with me privately an said that I got it all wrong. It wasn’t a slurr, but he is called a jew by his gaming friends for bering lucky and greedy with items. He won that item and then psted “juuudeee” in the Chat. I said that it is still anti semitism, positive but still… He said that is bullshit and I am over sensitive. What would you say?

Today’s question is related to antisemitism. The very short answer is yes, this is antisemitism and now for the longer answer.

While I do understand that the person isn’t “using” it as a slur and likely hold no bad feelings to Jews nor his friends – it keeps a stereotype going that all Jews are greedy and this is bad to keep passing around.

So are you overreacting with it? I would say no. It is quite possible himself and his friends are annoying people who do not want to speak up but more importantly, it just shows how accepted this is still nowadays and if people like yourself don’t speak up, it will never change.

What does the Talmud look like

I have bee asked to provide Talmud books for a theatre prop. I will print the back cover and spine but don’t know what to put on the other (right cover. Is there anything printed? I cannot find any pictures online. Thank you?

So today’s question is about the Talmud. Honestly, your question doesn’t really have much of an answer as the Talmud (and assuming you ain’t speaking about the Torah would have a far different answer) comes in many different styles.

Talmuds written in Hebrew are read right to left and the covers are done accordingly and languages read left to right have a cover like a typical book. The cover typically says what version of the Talmud and the back the publisher and such. If you just pop on Amazon you will see many versions of the Talmud being sold with most of them just looking like a typical book.

So in your case, I would just find a Talmud published in the area of where your performance is based on and recreate based on that.

What is an Eruv?

Today’s question is one that I imagine a lot of people who live in a Jewish community may not even have seen and sadly something that also is not that common in the United Kingdom.

I am trying to learn more about Eruv. I understand that it is a boundary helping Orthodox Jews be able to move about on Shabbot. Is the line that looks like fishing wire continuous? I tried to follow it but it ended and is not visible along the map the local synagogue posted.

Shela

In the most simple way to explain this that an Eruv is a “pole with a wire” on it that encloses an area that symbolically “merges” an area so that private homes and public areas are “merged” into one private area thus avoiding transferring domains which allows a Jew in order to do things that otherwise would not be allowed outside of their homes on the Sabbath. Such examples are carrying keys, medication, baby prams and more.

I think before I carry on it may be worth discussing what a domain is. There are four types of domains which are.

  • Private (such as your home)
  • Public (such as a shopping mall)
  • Neutral (something that isn’t really either
  • Carmelit (everything else that isn’t above)

If it is still hard to understand imagine a square that is your house. Now imagine a bigger square around your house – this bigger square is the Eruv which encloses your house so you live within the Eruv – your house happens to be apart of it as long as the whole thing is always connected. The logic being you are no longer going from private to the public domain when leaving your house – you never left as long as it is within the Eruv as the domains have been merged!

The red line is the Eruv

Now to answer the question – yes they are continuous. The boundary of them is not to be broken otherwise it is no longer valid until it is repaired. You will also find that it is not always a line as other things such as a fence and walls are also included.

There is much more to it than a simple wire or fence in order to make it valid but for the sake of the question, I feel I gone into enough detail but if anyone is interested in the conditions needed in order for this to be valid then do let me know!

Who is “Hashem”

Hello, I just heard the Jewish call to prayer and the second verse says “Hashem is our God” and the third verse says “Hashem is the one and only” who is Hashem in the Jewish faith? I’ve never heard that name in the Jewish faith before.

Today’s question I got pretty much about 10 minutes ago before I was going to head out for the day but it is to do with the name – Hashem.

Hashem (or in English simply “the name” is a way of referring to G’d without saying his name (or one of his many different names). It helps to never use his name in vain and to treat it with respect. You will find this name is commonly used outside of reading the Torah.

If you are a Harry Potter fan its kinda the same logic as with Voldermort and with the whole “he who shall not be named”.

What to say about killing Yeshua

What do you say to people who say that the Jews killed Christ? (I am Jewish)

Ah, the time-old question that has fueled so much anti-Semitism in many years but there is quite a simple reply which is: ” Yeshua was killed by politicians, any that were Jewish is irrelevant”.

Yeshua regardless of which accounts you look into – the Christian Bible or documents from said time would have caught the attention from politicians for causing a stir within the Jewish community and the temple and this would have happened regardless who did it or why.

Sadly at the end of the day, Yeshua was one of many Jews that were executed, and one of even more that suffered violence at the hands of the Roman Empire and if you believe in Christianity or the person that asks you this question does should know anyway it doesn’t matter who was the agents of his death – he willingly died for them and wanted it to happen.

Common Genetics and Judaism

So today’s question is the following! (First part is deleted as it is just spelling/grammar problems on my website and I thank you for pointing it out to me!

Also, i have a question. Have the recent DNA haplogroup publications been of any relevance to jews? As far as i know, you inherit from your mother, and one is really a jew if their mother is a jew (correct me if im wrong). I however found numerous people online trying to associate jews to Y-DNA chromosomal studies, which is the paternal chromosome only passed on by the male. Should jews not be lookng at merely the mT- DNA (maternal) chromosome? If so, is there a mT – DNA that has been associated to true jews? Or can jews be from many different mT haplogroups? Since if true jews were only by birth of their jewish mother, than that would mean all jews have the same mT haplogroup in their DNA.

I will use the term “true Jew” to refer to the above compared to my answer. It is not written as an insult.

Checking if you are Jewish via genetics is both an interesting question but also one with no “useful” answer but let me explain. You are correct in saying that someone is Jewish if their mother is Jewish (at least to Orthodox Judaism and some other point of view as Reform Judaism tends to agree it can be either parent) but it isn’t the only way to become Jewish.

It is possible to convert to Judaism and avoid having any common genetic material that other Jews may have. You are however correct-ish on the last line. If we assume all ” true Jews” are via the mother only then you would only need to look for common genes. However, that logic assumes no one converts to Judaism, no baby is adopted into a family and so on.

To answer the question you would be correct in it would make sense to compare the mother’s bloodline rather than the father’s but this is something that varies on the question “who is a Jew”.

TL’DR answer: Many Jews will have genes in common however not every single Jewish person was born into Judaism from their mother with many having converted, adopted and such.

Did we peak?

Before I post the question of today I would like to say that I know there are quite a few old questions waiting to be answered and I am getting to them. The system I use for questions right now sucks and I see them in random order.

So today’s question is

Do Jews believe that civilization peaked in the days of the old testmant and why

This is an interesting question with an answer that sadly isn’t as interesting. First. there is no such thing as the Old Testament in Judaism so I am going to assume you mean the Torah (Yes, I do know there is in Christianity but this is a question about Judaism).

My opinion on this answer is simply no. While no one can really deny the bloody history of humanity but during around 0 B.C.E. history (again, I am assuming this is around the era the question means) was not really the best of place for many. illness was still common, political freedom was starting to come around and so much more than as of today we take for granted.

In today’s era civilisation has only gone forward. We have generally overall peace, freedom, science and technologies that overall improve our everyday lives and with hope will only carry on.

However to answer the question – that depends on the person. There are Jewish groups out there that would prefer for culture to revert back to older days but there are others that embrace what the future has to offer.

Working on the Sabbath

Curious about how work is decided on the Sabbath? Is Jewish soctor not save a life? If there is a car accident in front of your house would it break the Sabbath to help out? Why would the omniscent God actually care about things such as this? Does the Jewish faith carry out laws written in Leviticus? Sorry for so many questions

Never be sorry for asking questions – it is the only way we learn!

Doctors do have a duty to help ease and heal people but when it can be avoided a Jewish doctor should not do said duties on the Sabbath nor another type of forbidden work but there is a law called “pikuach nefesh” which pretty much means saving a life.

Saving a life is seen as far higher than most things we are commanded not to do. Such examples includes eating non kosher food where otherwise you would starve and another example is where otherwise someone would die.

So in the questions above if a Jewish doctor was the only one that could save the person life then there is no question at all – their doctor oath comes first. If there was a car accident then checking people are alright or having to contact any services is fine.

It is worth adding that while saving a life is above most commands there are some that are placed higher such as not allowed defaming G’ds name, certain sexual acts and murder (although in self-defence or yourself or another is).

The Sabbath is important because it is a day we give to G’d. A day where we remember what G’d has done for us, the time it took for creation and for G’d on the day he picked to rest. I can not tell you why its important to G’d but it is important to us to remember everything that has been done for us.

Leviticus (I will carry on using this name for the rest of the question by Vayikra is the Hebrew name of the book) in a nutshell is something we should follow but there are parts which many Jews do disagree with such as animal sacrifice and it is something debated in the community about why. Nowadays the book is often read as a historical reminder of where we have been and it’s quite likely to be debated even further when The Third Temple is built.

So to answer that question not exactly nowadays. Some parts are, some parts ain’t and it ultimately varies between Jewish communities and sects.