Outreach, Inspiration, Education
Since 1998, Torah Atlanta has produced a wide array of presentations, articles, books and
videos of Jewish content. Our website attracts visitors and their questions from around the
Who are the Jews? Is Judaism a culture or religion, are the Jews a race? Can
someone be Jewish and not practice the faith? Can you convert to be a Jew?
The best way to answer these questions, is to say that the Jews are unique. There is
no definition that is applicable to others that properly describes the Jews. On the one
hand, our core population is all descended from a single man and his family. However
people can convert and become part of this nation. We are a people with a belief
system. Yet, by being part of this nation, just because you abandon the religion, you do
not cease to be part of the nation. Typically a nation is a body of people who are
identified with a particular land, yet the Jewish people have spent most of their
existence in exile from their home land.
A good way to describe the Jews is the following. G-d wanted to transform mankind.
To do so, he picked a man named Abraham and promised him that his descendants
would be a source of blessing to all the earth. Furthermore, these descendants would
be promised a piece of land, which is now referred to as the land of Israel. Abraham
was told in advance that his descendants would one day be enslaved. This in fact
happened to the Jews, and G-d brought them out of slavery in Egypt to create the
Jewish nation. At Mount Sinai he formalized this by giving this nation his Torah, which
is the guidebook for life and for how history is going to play itself out. The Jewish
people are the people of the book, where the purpose of our existence is to uphold G-
d's Torah and to ultimately be the teachers of the Torah to all the world. In the end of
days, all the world will recognize that the Jews were correct in their perception of G-d
and his Torah, and all the world will serve God by living by this Torah.
Read the articles in this section about the Chosen People and Introduction to the
This is a quote from your website:
On the one hand, our core population is all descended from a single man and his
family. However people can convert and become part of this nation. We are people
with a belief system. Yet, by being part of this nation, just because you abandon the
religion, you do not cease to be part of the nation.
I added the underline because that is the part I want to ask a question about. To be
upfront with you, I happen to be a Christian, but am wondering why Jews can be atheist
or Buddhist, etc. and still be considered Jews, but they can't believe in Jesus, who was
a Jewish rabbi, and still be Jews. This does not make sense to me. Can someone
explain the reasoning for this? Thank you very much.
Thanks for writing. You wrote: why (can) Jews can be atheist or Buddhist, etc. and still
be considered Jews, but they can't believe in Jesus, who was a Jewish rabbi, and still
To help you make sense of things, you have to reframe the argument. I happen to
agree that a Jew could believe in Jesus and still be Jewish. The fact is that I could also
be a mass murderer and still be Jewish too. That does not mean that I am doing what
G-d wants me to do. I could also be a fool and still be Jewish, but being Jewish does
not make my foolishness Kosher. I could make the same argument about Buddha as
well. A Jew could believe in Buddha and still be Jewish.
The fact is that the Torah defines what a Jew should believe. What Jesus preached,
and what other people preached in the name of Jesus and made a part of Christianity
are too inconsistent with the Torah to be acceptable by Jews. Christianity became too
different from Judaism to be considered an extension. It became a new religion.
Also, just because Jesus may have been a rabbi doesn't necessarily validate
anything. The important thing to assess is what he preached.