Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The title Jews has multiple variations in meaning. Jew is a term that can refer both to adherents of the religion Judaism and to members of an ethnicity (those who are Jewish). In the religious sense, Jews are followers of Judaism, whether or not they are ethnically Jewish. In the ethnic sense, Jews are those whose familial identification links them to the “peoplehood” of Jews. Ethnic Jews include both religiously observant Jews and those who, while not practicing Judaism as a religion, identify themselves as Jews culturally or through their ancestry. In Jewish law, or halakhah, there are two criteria for defining someone as a Jew, either one of which is sufficient. If one is the child of a Jewish mother, or if one converts to Judaism in accordance with Jewish law, then one is halakhically recognized as a Jew. This standard is mandated by the Talmud, the record Given ...