Although the reflection on Jewish identity, Judaism, has historically been preceded by these attempts, and has left a persistent concern to the entire Jewish intellectual, I was also concerned about this desperate contemporary of the dominated peoples, so I can rule out that he could have been influenced by This One of their discoveries about themselves.
I would like to include the following possible itinerary in the correspondence, help to clarify and rejuvenate a methodological tool that, after having been so praised for its fruitful comfort, is sometimes censored by the new generations of blacks.
Jewish identity, Judaism
I do not want to insist on the three concepts that he proposed and defined: Judaism, Judaism and Judaism. When I decided to consider myself a Jew, I immediately need a word that could express (to the exclusion of other uses) the fact of being Jewish. He was both puzzled and shocked to see that such a word did not exist. To be more exact, there is the word “Judaism”, but it has too many different meanings to be used in a specific and unequivocal way. He needed, therefore, to adopt or coinage a specific word, so he invented the word Judeity.
I must insist that, without diminishing the importance of the meaning of this term, my first goal was to satisfy a methodological need. I needed better tools before I could embrace the complete reality that always escaped me. Just trying to explain the reality of the phenomenon of judgment, studying all the dimensions of the problem separately, which led me to define the following: a) to find a definition of Judaism that was as specific and appropriate as possible; B) distinguish it from all other dimensions; And c) distinguish and define each dimension separately.
The existence of various interpretations of the themes included in these definitions, unavoidable by a serious historical phenomenon that has always provoked strong emotional reactions and divergent opinions, should not be grounds for opposing the creation of story distinctions. On the contrary, such a confusing and annoying subject must be structured. Even today I am not sure that the three dimensions of Jewish reality have been exhausted with these definitions.
I am willing to accept criticism, but I am more convinced that it should never be separated to ensure an idea of its specific nature.
It did not take me long to realize that the term Judaism, which encompassed multiple meanings, was not only complex and vague but also too restrictive and inefficient for an objective and accurate search. The term refers both to the traditional, religious and moral values that govern the collective life of the Jews, of any Jewish community, of belonging to a group of a Jewish individual, and the degree of subjection of the Jew to traditional beliefs. Even, since the Zionist movement, its fidelity to Jewish values that would not be strictly religious. (It would say: “Judaism of So-and-so”). Is it not clear, what could be recommended in one of these meanings to Judaism and find the different terms for the others? A little order, even at the expense of an apparent pairing of vocabulary, could only be healthy. It seems to me, therefore, that the most appropriate meaning for Judaism would be “the set of cultural and religious traditions.”
It is a serious problem to know the exact domain of the Jewish heritage
I immediately realized that I had to look for a more precise meaning when I tried to invent more fully the Jewish situation. Does not this set of cultural values distinguish religious inheritance properly from the ethical prescriptions that form the moral philosophy of the Jews? Should all the new words of Jewish philosophers and essayists be called “Judaism”? Although these men may be said to be subject to cultural tradition, their findings are completely new. It is a serious problem, but less for the specialist, clearly knows the limits of judicial justice. Does it have a clear delimitation that makes it incompatible with innovation? Should it adopt a dynamic and evolutionary path that, although it enriches it, transforms it in the course of History?
To avoid unduly multiplying my initial concept of work, he included the same headline all institutions that organize Jewish collective life and uphold their values. We must realize, however, that in order to speak and write more accurately about Jewish ideology and its work, and about Jews – as individuals and as a group – who share this ideology and in varying degrees of incorporation into their lives, It is Urgent and important to consider the two facets separately.
In order to specifically designate the Jewish group, I chose the word Judeity. When I chose it, I also made a small discovery. I had a vague idea that this word already existed, and that I only needed to give it a single meaning. But the word was not in any dictionary. I therefore propose that your situation be “legalized.”
I suggest that we keep this concept with what I have called the term Judeity, but leave it open to discussion. Keeping in mind the demographic physiognomy of the Jewish people, it is necessary to define the term in both directions: wide and narrow. Judaism would thus encompass: (a) the total Jewish population – Judaism throughout the world; And b) each local Jewish community, in order to take into account the fragmentation of this Judeity into multiple communities throughout the world (eg, French Jude, American Jude, etc.)
It is essential, however, to preserve the demographic sense: Judaism designates a group of Jews.
Judaism, then, would describe exclusively the manner in which a Jew is a Jew, subjectively and objectively-the way in which he feels Jewish and reacts to the status of Jew. As I have previously stated, I had to invent a totally new word to express an indisputable original fact.
Of course, if one intends to adopt a sociological perspective, and more particularly, the perspective of the sociology of knowledge, the concept of Judeity can not have an isolated existence.
It would seem absurd to consider separate Jewish values globally, which naturally do not exist in a vacuum. They should be seen in the light of the Jews as a group, and more specifically, in light of the evolution of socio-historical events that have shaped the particular fate of the Jewish group. I must, however, state that Judaism includes the ideology and institutional framework of Judaism. Judeity almost always refers to traditional Jewish values, though perhaps not in conscious and totally explicit terms. Contrary to the word Judaicity, Judeity objectively and subjectively measures the degree to which the individual belongs to the group. As a final component of the triangle, it is clear that belonging to a group is rarely defined negatively by the act of automatic solidarity in the face of danger. By belonging to a group, one always expresses recognition of one’s values to a certain degree.
Above all, I would like to state that Judeity varies in intensity and composition from one individual to another. This is why my collaborators and I were able to talk about a “coefficient of Judeity”. We have even tried to establish the factors that enter into that calculation, knowing however that using a mathematical expression for a complex and difficult reality to understand, we were treading on a dangerous terrain. However, it is necessary to consider the individual Judeity of each individual.
In summary, it seems necessary to separate clearly the following distinct elements: a) the Jewish group, or Judaicidad; B) the values of the group, or Judaism; C) the degree to which the individual participates in their group and shares their values, or Judeity.
I have always given detailed account of these three concepts and the following definitions will serve as a topic of remembrance:
“Judaism consists of the collective of the Jews, that is to say, in a broad sense, the total number of Jews of the whole world; In a reduced sense, a certain group of geographically situated Jews (for example, the Judaism of France or New York) ”
“Judaism is the group of Jewish doctrines, beliefs and institutions – whether or not they are written or spoken. It is the set of values and organization that constitutes and regulates the life of a Jewish group. Judaism also includes culture in a broad sense – common customs, religion, philosophy, law and art ”
Judaism is the fact and the way of being Jewish – the sociological, psychological objective and the biological characteristics that make a person Jewish; The way a Jew lives, his belonging to Judaism and his place in the non-Jewish world. “