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Non-Jew of Jewish origin

Hello, everyone!

I just have something I struggle with and I hope maybe you guys could give some advice, or maybe there are people in a similar situation.

Basically, the problem is not new at all, it’s about self-identification: my father is Jewish and mother is most likely not.

So first of all I know, of course, that according to Halakha I am not Jewish. The problem is that despite this I have always felt a very strong connection to the Jewish people on some level.

My whole family lives in Israel, beginning with my parents and grandma and ending with some super far relatives I have never even met.

As a kid I faced certain amount of anti-Semitism and people in general (both Jews and non-Jews) tend to ask me quite often if I’m Jewish (I believe it’s because of my apperance) so I couldn’t help it but to start identifying with this in some way.

As for religion, I am and have always been an Atheist, so of course I’m trying to educate myself on the topic of Judaism, as after all its the religion of my ancestors , I am interested in it from the cultural and historical points of view, but not more than that.

I spend a lot of time in israel, visiting family and also plan on making Aliyah one day (in case someone has this question, you don’t have to necessarily meet the Halakhic definition to be eligible, having a Jewish father or even grandfather is enough)

Sorry if this post looks like a mess, I’m trying my best to make it look organized 🙂

So the main question is this: I understand that for religious purposes you have to go by Halakha, I totally accept and respect that, but at the same time, do you think people like me to identify as Jewish in a sense of ethnicity (but not religion) or is even for that Halakhic definition still the only way?

What kind of advice could you give me in general? I just simply can’t figure out where I belong. I mean of course we are all people first of all and these things shouldn’t matter much (that’s what my parents taught me and I tend to agree with them) but at the same time I’m having a hard time when people ask me what I am or more specifically if I’m Jewish, because both options seem to me like I’m lying but at the same time as I understand there is no in between…

So what should I do? At one point in my life I even decided that way “well, if Halakha says I’m not Jewish and Jewish people don’t accept me, probably I should just identify as non-Jewish and forget about it all. But unfortunately that has never worked for me either so I keep coming to this question again and again…

Sorry if this post seems stupid or something, but I just really hope to hear different opinion on the topic and maybe find some solution for myself

Thank you in advance!

submitted by /u/Monk715
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