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Jew Definition

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Jew- (noun)

1. General: One who claims descent from the Hebrew tribes who inhabited ancient Judea, and those who married into the Jewish people and faith or converted to the Jewish religion.

2. A formally accepted member of the Jewish religion: A person is a member of the Jewish religion who has been born to a Jewish mother (in orthodox Judaism) or who has a Jewish parent of either sex, has been raised as a Jew and chooses the Jewish religion (in some branches of Reform Judaism). Jews who have been converted or who are considered Jewish by reform rabbis may not be considered to be Jewish under orthodox Jewish law, but may be registered as Jews by the Israeli government, if they have been converted abroad or if they meet other criteria under Israeli law.

3. By Israeli law: a person who is eligible to return to Israel and become a citizen automatically under the law of return. That is, one who is an accepted member of the Jewish religion, or who has at least one grandparent who was an accepted member of the Jewish religion, and who has not actively renounced his or her Jewish identity.

4. By personal definition: One who claims affiliation with the Jewish people, nation, or ethnic group.

5. By definition of laws and customs of others: A person who is no longer a member of the Jewish religion and does not consider himself or herself as such, but who is of Jewish descent and may be considered Jewish by others. For example, Karl Marx, who was born a Christian but was of Jewish descent, as well as those who were considered Jewish under Nazi law.

6. Obsolete and derogatory - A usurer. One who lends money at interest. A merchant, a swindler.

7. Arabic: "Yahoud" - A coward or lowly person as in "Yahoud bin Kalb" - Jew son of a dog, applied to non-Jews as well as a term of opprobrium. Commonly used in Saudi Arabia.

Jew (verb) Colloquial and derogatory - to swindle someone or bargain someone down. EG - "He Jewed me down."

Jew (adjective) - Colloquial and derogatory - as in "Jew-neighborhood" "Jew-bastard" etc.

Jew (adjective) - Colloquial and derogatory - Jewish.

See Jew   Anti-Semitism


Synonyms and alternate spellings: Jewish, Judaism

Further Information:  Jew   Anti-Semitism


Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.


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This work and individual entries are copyright 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel

 

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