by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
The British Supreme Court said while it was legal that Jewish schools give preference to Jewish children's applications, admissions must depend not on family ties, but “on faith, however defined."
Perhaps, in England, the courts are empowered to determine a school’s admissions’ standards, but they certainly are not empowered to determine who is a Jew.
However, according to the standard definition of religion, they are correct. Indeed, religions are based entirely upon belief. Whatever the person believes in, that is his religion. But Jews are not members of a religion. So, what makes a person a Jew?
The first Jews were not even called Jews. They were called “Hebrews.” The name “Jew” is not found until many centuries later, in the Book of Esther.
Abraham and Sarah were the first Hebrews. They had a son named Yitzchak. Abraham also had a son with Sarah’s Egyptian slave, Hagar. His name was Yishmael. Both boys believed in the One G-d. Both boys had the same father, and both boys were raised in the same house.
But, only Yitzchak is a Jew. Yishmael is an Arab. So we see that neither faiths, nor fathers, has anything to do with determining who is a Jew.
“Who is a Jew” can be determined only by the Torah, not by courts, no matter how kind or wise. According to the British Supreme Court, the two happy men pictured at the Kotel wearing tefillin would not be allowed into a Jewish school. After all, they have absolutely no faith in Judaism, none whatsoever. In fact, they are ordained, entrusted, Bishops in the x-ian church!
However, according to the Torah, since their mothers are Jews, they are Jews. And not only are they allowed to receive a Jewish education … we are obligated to teach them.
(Photo: Two 'bishops' with Jewish mother's, and therefore Jewish, putting on tefillin at the Kotel.)
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא