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Who is a Jew?

"If you ask me who is a Jew, I will answer you: Who ever leads a valorous life is a Jew. In my eyes, a Jew is someone who is willing to be a hero, to always be in the minority, to be ready to fight. Part of what makes a jew special is his living a heroic life... it means someone fighting alone on a dark night as when Jacob was left alone and struggled with a man until dawn (Genesis 33:25) This represents the inner content of the Jew... that Jewish life means leading a life of valor."

Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik


  1. Anonymous21/3/05

    To be a Jew then is not completely a physical thing. I have felt that way for a long time having seen some goyim who seem to fit the mold. Perhaps a Jewish neshama. But still I have seen the heart of a Jew in some people.
    As I have seen some Jews who seem more like goyim.
    I suspect there is more to this than meets the eye.

  2. indeed there are many jews who are not actually jewish

    the erev rav, the rabble who rose up with us from egypt, is still among us in large numbers

    and similarly many jews have become lost among the goyim and have forgotten who they are

    but we are told that jews are rachmonim bnei rachmonim, mercifull the children of the mercifull, and that anyone who lacks this trait may not be a jew

    this is one way to then distinguish between jews and non-jews


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