Welcome to SherwinWine.com
Welcome to Sherwin Wine.com! This resource site is in its beginning stages, so be sure to check back periodically for new articles, audio and video.
Sherwin Wine was a brilliant and innovative Jewish and Humanist thinker, a talented and sensitive congregational rabbi, an untiring organizer and activist, and a modern-day Renaissance man who read and learned as much as he could to teach and inspire as much as he could.
We encourage you to read about his life and work, and to enjoy the selections of his writings currently available here. This legacy website is a project of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism.
“Who is a Jew?“
The Jewish Humanist, August 1988
The “Who Is A Jew” question is a critical issue in Jewish life today. Orthodox authorities in Israel and in the Diaspora are seeking to achieve the power to force all Jews to accept their definition of Jewish identity. Reform and Conservative leaders, eager to appease the Orthodox, are not anxious to recognize a purely secular definition of the Jew. And secular Jews, especially young ones, are now beginning to succumb to the new assaultive fundamentalist propaganda that theistic religion is the only way in which Jewish identity can be maintained and preserved. “No davening [praying], no Jews,” it says.
Growing intermarriage among Diaspora Jews also makes this question critical. The Jewish status of countless thousands of sons and daughters of Jewish fathers is now in question. If they love the Jewish people, but do not want a religious conversion because they are not religious, they will be excluded. Plus, there is the humiliation of Jews, who know themselves to be Jews, having to undergo a ritual test they do not believe in in order to become what they already are.
All these people need our help. If the orthodox and conservative authorities have their way, the Jewish people will continue to shrink into a hard core of religious fanatics. A bold generous counter-statement is necessary to prevent this tragedy. more…