Christopher Hitchens's Autobiography

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Metzada
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I've been reading it over the past few days and find it very interesting. I like how he differentiates between Judaism as a nationalistic thing and Judaism as a religion. I never thought someone like Hitchens, who I admire for his foreign policy views, would self-identify as Jewish.

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Metzada wrote:I've been reading it over the past few days and find it very interesting. I like how he differentiates between Judaism as a nationalistic thing and Judaism as a religion. I never thought someone like Hitchens, who I admire for his foreign policy views, would self-identify as Jewish.
Welcome Metzada! I already knew CH identified as a Jew by the time I got into reading him, so I wasn't surprised about that.

Hmmm. I don't think of 'Jewish' as a nationality so much--I think of it as a culture as well as a religion, but nationality to me means "American" or "Israeli" or "British" or whatever. :-k

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Metzada
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Jrosemary wrote:
Metzada wrote:I've been reading it over the past few days and find it very interesting. I like how he differentiates between Judaism as a nationalistic thing and Judaism as a religion. I never thought someone like Hitchens, who I admire for his foreign policy views, would self-identify as Jewish.
Welcome Metzada! I already knew CH identified as a Jew by the time I got into reading him, so I wasn't surprised about that.

Hmmm. I don't think of 'Jewish' as a nationality so much--I think of it as a culture as well as a religion, but nationality to me means "American" or "Israeli" or "British" or whatever. :-k
Thank you for the kind welcome. :) I use the word "nation" as distinct from "state". America, Israel and Britain are all states. Most states have a nation that underpins it, with "nation" defined as a group of people with a shared culture, history and outlook. For example France is overwhelmingly dominated by the French nation. Jews, as you say, are culturally and religiously connected which makes them a nation. It's why you get Jewish nationalism - i.e. Zionism.

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Metzada wrote:
Thank you for the kind welcome. :) I use the word "nation" as distinct from "state". America, Israel and Britain are all states. Most states have a nation that underpins it, with "nation" defined as a group of people with a shared culture, history and outlook. For example France is overwhelmingly dominated by the French nation. Jews, as you say, are culturally and religiously connected which makes them a nation. It's why you get Jewish nationalism - i.e. Zionism.
I would say that it is more connected not so much as a nation these days, but as a family.
“What do you think science is? There is nothing magical about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. So which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?�

Steven Novella

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Metzada wrote:
Jrosemary wrote:
Metzada wrote:I've been reading it over the past few days and find it very interesting. I like how he differentiates between Judaism as a nationalistic thing and Judaism as a religion. I never thought someone like Hitchens, who I admire for his foreign policy views, would self-identify as Jewish.
Welcome Metzada! I already knew CH identified as a Jew by the time I got into reading him, so I wasn't surprised about that.

Hmmm. I don't think of 'Jewish' as a nationality so much--I think of it as a culture as well as a religion, but nationality to me means "American" or "Israeli" or "British" or whatever. :-k
Thank you for the kind welcome. :) I use the word "nation" as distinct from "state". America, Israel and Britain are all states. Most states have a nation that underpins it, with "nation" defined as a group of people with a shared culture, history and outlook. For example France is overwhelmingly dominated by the French nation. Jews, as you say, are culturally and religiously connected which makes them a nation. It's why you get Jewish nationalism - i.e. Zionism.
Ok, I understand your definition. I'm remarkably unenthusiastic about that definition, though. I'm a pluralist at heart, and I love America's brand of pluralism. I live in the New York city area, neighbor to people from every part of the world and of every religion. That, to me, is paradise.

I'm a Zionist in so far as I believe in Israel's right to exist and follow Israeli news. (Regular reader of Haaretz here--yes, I'm a bleeding heart liberal.) And I hope that the Israelis and Palestinians will broker a peace that miraculously makes everyone happy. (I'm not holding my breath.) But, honestly, with all due respect to my Israeli pals, America is my home. (And I also think it's easier to be a liberal religious Jew here in America than in Israel.)

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