I’ve been pondering a question for a while now, and want to hear people’s thoughts on it;
Everyone is proud to be a Jew (whether they realise it or not). People will happily exclaim that they are Jewish in conversation to new people that they meet. Most of the time, it is non religious Jews who have to inform people that they are Jewish, they don’t wear or do anything that would naturally give it away – nobody would know unless they told them.
Anybody who is not Jewish probably has a lot of pre conceived ideas about what the typical Jew is, or Jewish people are like. Many people, if they thought about it, could probably explain what they think the average Jew is like.
Now, obviously, anybody who is Jewish but not religious is not beholden to the rules that surround living as a religious Jew, so naturally they are far less concerned with whether what they are doing is in conformity with the rules, laws, lifestyle, Halacha etc.
I know plenty of non religious Jews, and plenty of people who aren’t Jewish. I often wonder if when somebody who is not Jewish observes a non religious Jew acting out of accordance with their pre- conceived ideas of what a typical Jew is like, which, let’s face it, tends to be a more religious kind of Jew, it leaves the impression that this is how all of Judaism is.
I ask this question because I’m a university student who is religious. There are plenty of non religious Jews at the Jewish society I attend. when they tell me about the recent night’s out at the club they’ve had, and the girls they’ve brought home and boasted about, it often leaves me wondering whether that leaves an impression on people of what ALL Jews are like.
I’m not trying to belittle anyone who is not religious, I respect people’s freedom to practice as much or as little as they like, it’s just something I wonder.