Is Judaism a Religion? (Part I)
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Turns out we actually aren’t entirely sure how to define “religion.” And we’re not even sure if Judaism fits the description to begin with. If we’re using the lens of “religion” to understand Judaism, what is the nature of that lens? How does its clarity and focus affect what we’re looking at? Is it magnifying or distorting things? When we use that lens, what are we seeing, and what are we not seeing? And who built that lens? Can we even call Judaism a religion? In This Episode, we learn about… What the controversial ending of the TV show LOST clues us into about the nature of Judaism. How notoriously hard it is to define what is meant by “religion.” Anger, and the historical psychology of Jews. A thought experiment to help out with that problem. The relationship between Jewish ethnicity, law, philosophy, politics, culture, and religion. What happens to Judaism when a young Jew from the countryside is forced to enter Berlin through a city gate meant for cattle? Felix Mendelssohn and German Romantic Classical Music (just a little bit). And why does all this matter for how we understand what it means to talk about or be Jewish today? Lots more details and extras can be found in the show notes, including translations of the Hebrew terms we used in this episode. Read a transcript of this episode. Credits Shoot! is written, hosted, and produced by Jesse Paikin. You can always say hi, share your thoughts, or ask your own question at [email protected]  All audio credits for this episode can be found on our website. Shoot! is supported in part by a grant from the Hadar Institute.  
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