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Journal Entry: Star Date - 77389.8

It’s been a long time coming – better later than never I guess – but I have come to understand that for me, being a Jew is a cultural connection, not a religious involvement.

To each his own of course, and all power to those who actively or otherwise adhere to a faith. Often I find myself in awe of them, but I just can’t see it myself.

I am far more inclined to adhere to the notion that religion was created by man to control man. Just think of the notion of ‘hell’ invited no doubt by some priest as a way of terrifying man, and thus controlling, manipulating, brainwashing, and enslaving him.

If you have doubts, look no further than an ultra-orthodox Jew and see how his or her free-thought, and free-action are trampled upon by the rabbis.

The same is true of both the Church and Islam, where challenging doctrine and dogma is a no-go.

And thrown into the Jewish mix are the ultra-rightwing nationalists who will have you believe without a shadow of a doubt that the old testament bible is factual and beyond reproach. That it can be best described as ‘grandma’s tales’ or ‘fairy tales’ is an apt portrayal.

My Jewish identity is cultural — defined by the Hebrew tongue and historical experience — rather than governed by traditional religious worship.

While I still retain my British nationality, I am proud of the fact that I am an Israeli.

And Israel today, as it pushes close to ten million citizens, Jews make up the majority at 73.5%. The Arab community, spanning various religions excluding Judaism, accounts for 21% An additional 5.5% are classified as "others". This diverse group comprises those with Jewish ancestry but not recognized as Jewish by religious law, non-Jewish family members of Jewish immigrants, Christian non-Arabs, Muslim non-Arabs, and residents without a distinct ethnic or religious categorization. Beyond the predominantly Jewish and Arab communities, there are also smaller ethnic groups, such as the Circassians, Armenians, and Druze, as well as even smaller various groupings.

The 2021 Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics survey found that among Israeli Jews over the age of 20, approximately 45% identified as secular or not religious, while 33% said they practiced “traditional” religious worship. Ultra-Orthodox Jews, (Haredim), make up 12%.

So I am not alone in feeling culturally and not religiously Jewish.


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