Religion

Jewish weddings don't need God

Crossposted to The Reform Shuckle.
How did the creation of this new blog, JTA’s The Life Cyclist, pass me by?

At The Life Cyclist, Dasee Berkowitz (full disclosure–I know her) writes:

As a Jewish life cycle consultant who guides couples and families toward creating meaningful ceremonies, I am presented with all sorts of creative, sometimes puzzling requests from couples planning their weddings.
One client had a particularly interesting request — a Jewish wedding ceremony that left God out of it.

Apparently, the couple in question are scientists–which Dasee informs us of as though that should explain why they’re atheists, reinforcing a dichotomy I’m far from comfortable with. The point is, the are atheists, but they both feel connected to their Jewish heritage. They want a Jewish wedding, but they want God to stay out of it.

Their request made me wonder: While adapting a Jewish life cycle event to reflect a couples’ lived values makes the event meaningful for them, does altering it by leaving God out undermine what makes it Jewish in the first place?

Maybe this an obvious question to many, but to me it seems odd. Is the presence of God in a wedding ceremony what makes it Jewish? Obviously, that can’t be the only thing that makes it Jewish. Many wedding ceremonies involving non-Jews include God. So that must not be Berkowitz’s point.
I’d argue that what makes a Jewish wedding Jewish is a commitment on the part of the two people being joined to keep a Jewish household and raise Jewish children. Of course, that can’t be the whole purpose either. Lots of groups have weddings in which it is assumed or required that the happy couple will raise children in whatever tradition that group has. What gives a Jewish wedding its Jewish character and content is treating it like a legal arrangement.
As a liberal, modernist Jew, I wouldn’t want my wedding’s legal content to be my acquisition of my wife from her family. However, the ceremony’s legal character is still important to me. I would treat it, as I think many do these days, as a mutually binding contract in which my wife and would acquire each other, so to speak.
In thinking about the content and character of Jewish wedding, God is far from my mind. In the Torah, God has nothing to say about weddings or marriage. Marriage in the Torah is a human construction. God expects us to marry, Genesis suggests, but we arrange the marriages ourselves. Unlike a ritual like prayer, where God is inherent, the wedding ceremony seems to employ God only as part of a Jewish ritual idiom. God appears not as God, but as part of our dominant idiom.
Would a Jewish wedding still be Jewish wedding without God? I think so.
Read the whole post here.

34 thoughts on “Jewish weddings don't need God

  1. Ches — Marriage

    The Talmud tells us that if man and woman, איש ואשה (ish v’isha), are meritorious, the Divine presence will rest between them. The word ish, man, is spelled איש, alef, yud, shin. Isha, אשה, woman, is spelled alef, shin, hei. In both ish and isha we find the letters alef and shin. Alef and shin spell eish, the Hebrew word for fire. The fire that exists between man and woman fuels a fiery, passionate relationship. But if there were only this flame igniting the marriage, the fire of passion could all too easily be transformed into a fire of destruction. G-d must also be in the marriage, and fortunately He is: the yud of the ish, the man, when combined with the hei of the isha, the woman, denotes the very name of G-d.

    Much more there. Check it out.

  2. right… that’s an argument that will attract agnostics, atheists and non-theists…
    As you say, DAMW, a Jewish wedding is based in legalisms. The legal construct of the wedding actually cannot allow for each party to acquire each other. So, if one needs to have a wedding which fits their values and their values are not represented in the halakhic confines of the legal tradition, there are many other options for publicly declaring union and staying within Jewish tradition. Rachel Adler’s brit ahuvim (lovers’ covenant) and new understandings of shtar shutafut (writ of partnership) are a couple examples, and for those who are uncomfortable with the idea of contemporary marriage as a business contract at all (such as my wife and I) there are ways to contract two parties to one another using nedarim (vows). What makes a Jewish wedding Jewish is the usage of Huppah (canopy), Ketubah (writ of marriage) and Edot (witnesses). Who officiates the ceremony, what is said at that ceremony and what is stipulated in the writ of marriage is up to each couple. For more of our history than not ketubot were fluid documents individually crafted for each couple.
    for more ideas on alternatives to kiddushin check out http://alternativestokiddushin.wordpress.com/

  3. Oh, and just to be devil’s advocate: what is the difference between a non-theist and an atheist, and why would one want to ‘attract’ either? Is that something that Jews should consider important? Serious question, not devil’s advocate: I struggle to figure out what the deal is about staying Jewish if one doesn’t believe in God is. I suppose one could say something like: “their children’ might believe in God and we don’t want to cut them off,” but really – in case of potential offspring, who aren’t all that likely to be Jewish? Maybe one could say out of sentiment, but is that a good reason? And – what sentiment, exactly? I suppose, I’m really asking what I think is the question underlying DAMW’s post, which is, is it Judaism without God?

  4. Thanks, Justin.
    KRG, I’m gonna set Judaism aside for just a second and talk about religion and more broadly defined systems of meaning from an anth/soc perspective.
    There are entities that are generally called religions that have no theistic content. In this category, I’d include many types of Buddhism, Unitarian Universalism and, according to some, Jainism. There’s also snarky example–Dawkins-type atheism has enough dogma built into it that I’d call it a religion as well.
    But even beyond this category, beyond the word religion, everything that human beings do is either part of building a system of meaning or exists within and is defined by a system of meaning. The less pluralistic and the less complex the society, the easier it is to spot the system of meaning at the forefront of daily life, but this is true even in a highly pluralistic society like ours.
    So, god(s) or not, everyone has a system of meaning. Sometimes people cast off one system of meaning and embrace another. When it comes to religion, we usually call this conversion.
    It gets tricky when people are using pieces of two different systems of meaning–in this case, post-enlightenment Western thought and Judaism. If I make sense of my physical universe through modern western thought, but I make sense of the moral and social universe through Jewish thought, is there a conflict? There could be. For some, God might be the sticking point.
    I’m starting to ramble, so I’ll just bring it back to my point. The point is that Judaism as a way to make sense of the social and moral universe is a perfectly sensible way to construct meaning, God or not.
    What I hear lurking in your comment (I think, correct my if I’m wrong) is the aggravating assumption that a moral system collapses if there isn’t a big fascist in the sky demanding that I behave morally. Revelation from God isn’t my only way of deducing what is right in wrong. Rabbinic thought is a perfect example of this! “It is not in the heavens,” as they say.

  5. KRG writes:
    what is the difference between a non-theist and an atheist,
    As I understand it, an atheist believes there is no God, an agnostic doesn’t know, and a non-theist isn’t interested in the question.

  6. a big fascist in the sky demanding that I behave morally
    1. Where did you learn that this is how Jews relate to G-d, or how G-d relates to Jews?
    2. How do your characterizations of G-d square with the reality of free will, which I will assume you presently employ?
    3. If, in your estimation, G-d wasn’t a “fascist” making demands of you, but a loving and supportive figure, however you define that, how would this change your perspective?

  7. >>“The point is that Judaism as a way to make sense of the social and moral universe is a perfectly sensible way to construct meaning, God or not.”
    —David A.M. Wilensky · September 27th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    The singular, foundational premise of Judaism is that there is a God, and that God expects things from us. Judaism exists solely upon that supposition and is senseless without it.

  8. Eric,
    DAMW believes in G-d, just not the same G-d that you also don’t believe in, but he thinks you do.
    Don’t you want to find out how he came to perceive G-d as a demanding fascist? I certainly do. Imagine thinking that G-d has it in for you, that He wants to hurt and punish you, to control you, and yet STILL praying to Him three times daily. Now that’s REAL mesiras nefesh!

  9. >>“Judaism also presupposes a community and that community will also have expectations of us.”
    —ML · September 28th, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Of course — I agree, but the presence of community isn’t the singular premise undergirding the entire structure. Relationship to community can change as someone’s circumstances of life change…. but that person can continue to keep Shabbat, put on tefillin, learn Torah, gemillut chasadim etc. as they wish.
    Without a supposition of the existence of a Creator, however, the system would be intellectually senseless irrespective of the presence of a community.

  10. Interesting that this discussion takes place without acknowledging the reality that significant numbers identify with Jewish ethnicity, with Jewish culture, with Jewish history as being their own history, even with many ritual acts, without involving God in their personal equations. (Think the Ben Gurion of Tzur Yisrael.) There is more truth than comedy in the classic gag about Epstein who goes to shul to talk to God, while Goldfarb goes to talk to Epstein.

  11. agreed, Larry. Eric has opted most American Jews who identify as Jewish from Judaism. Not to mention to say that Judaism is singularly founded on the premise that there is a God is a gross over simplification without getting into what that term even means. Find me the mitzvah to believe in God and I’ll agree with Eric.

  12. Larry, anyone who’s involved in contemporary Jewish life knows that that’s true, experientially, for many people.
    Intellectually, however, I think it makes no sense. To make up a wedding ceremony that “excludes” God and then label it “Jewish” is absurd. It would be almost as silly as making up a statement of kiddush on Shabbat that excluded the Creator. Or a Passover seder that omits mention of God taking the Jewish people from Egypt to freedom. Or a Yom Kippur that avoids mentioning that we are trying to repair our relationship with God. Etc. etc…
    People can generate whatever ceremony they’d like, and they may experience it as meaningful in some way, but it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Judaism.

    1. Eric writes:
      To make up a wedding ceremony that “excludes” God and then label it “Jewish” is absurd.
      How do you make this case on technical grounds? Though berachot (mentioning God) are required for both eirusin and nisuin, eirusin and nisuin are still considered to have taken place b’di’avad even without the berachot.

  13. Justin writes:
    Not to mention to say that Judaism is singularly founded on the premise that there is a God is a gross over simplification without getting into what that term even means.
    This idea isn’t original to Eric. “The singular, foundational premise of Judaism is that there is a God” is just a paraphrase of יסוד היסודות ועמוד החכמות לידע שיש שם מצוי ראשון (the first line of the Mishneh Torah).

  14. Rambam’s positive Mitzvah 1: Believing in G-d
    Exodus 20:2 “I am the Lord, your G-d”
    Naturally, true to your word, you now agree with Eric, right Justin?

  15. my understanding was the Rambam’s first mitzvah was to know there is a God, which is inherently different than believing in God. As BZ transcribed “לידע” not “להאמין” and I do not believe that “אני יהוה” stipulates to believe, it stipulates that God is God.

  16. to say that Judaism is singularly founded on the premise that there is a God is a gross over simplification
    Fine, you don’t “believe” in G-d, but you “know there is a God”. Now please reconcile that with your statement that I’m quoting above.

  17. if there is any singular foundational premise to Judaism (which I am reluctant to say there is since all religions are inspired and borrowed traditions from others) it is one of performance of ritual commandments. Why each individual performs said ritual commandments is really neither here nor there vis a vis their personal relationship with the Divine. Christianity, in simple terms, demands that one believe that Jesus is their Savior and the one true path to Heaven, Islam demands Muslims believe Allah is God and Muhammed is his prophet. Judaism demands that Jews be a part of a covenental relationship–if an individual decides that covenant is with community rather than a “fascist in the sky” (to borrow DAMW’s term) then that is that individual’s own understanding and Judaism does not necessarily say they are wrong. If one decides that they will be punished for performing or not performing certain acts, then that is that individual’s own understanding and Judaism does not necessarily say they are wrong. But to boil down a diverse and variant tradition to “this is the singular foundational concept” well, that’s not fair to the vibrancy of the traditions. What’s more, merely believing there is a God does not make one Jewish, as one could understand from Eric’s statement, if that were truly the singular foundational concept it would be enough. Many non-Jews believe in God. Many Jews don’t.

    1. Justin writes:
      if there is any singular foundational premise to Judaism (which I am reluctant to say there is since all religions are inspired and borrowed traditions from others) it is one of performance of ritual commandments.
      Ritual commandments only???

  18. Victor writes: 1. Where did you learn that this is how Jews relate to G-d, or how G-d relates to Jews?
    I’m not saying that this is an authentically Jewish way of relating to God. Unfortunately, some Jews treat God this way. And built into questions about how someone can remain moral without God is the assumption that God is a demander and a commander, without whom we would have no way of knowing right from wrong.
    Eric writes: The singular, foundational premise of Judaism is that there is a God, and that God expects things from us. Judaism exists solely upon that supposition and is senseless without it.
    Says you. What if some people accept the premise that Judaism is their inherited culture, created by humans, like every other culture and religion? And what if, for these people, stories of God in the bible are their inherited narrative, not an accurate history?
    Victor then said: DAMW believes in G-d, just not the same G-d that you also don’t believe in, but he thinks you do.
    I have no idea what that means. But I can assure you that nowhere in this post, nor in the comment you’re referencing do I reveal whether or not I believe in God.
    It’s pretty astonishing how upset Victor is at this point about his misreading of my post with regards to God as a fascist, which was mostly meant as a joke in the first place.
    Eric again: Without a supposition of the existence of a Creator, however, the system would be intellectually senseless irrespective of the presence of a community.
    Because everything we do and say must be literally true? As I established–and no one’s taken issue with this yet–people construct symbolic meaning in all kinds of ways, some with God(s) and some sans-deities. So I am forced to conclude that Eric believes that nothing we do or say in ritual can be metaphorical. I am also forced to conclude that he believes that no one would do anything good if God hadn’t commanded us to do so.
    Justin said: Find me the mitzvah to believe in God and I’ll agree with Eric.
    This would presuppose that mitzvot are the be-all and end-all of Jewish life and existence.
    Eric again: To make up a wedding ceremony that “excludes” God and then label it “Jewish” is absurd. It would be almost as silly as making up a statement of kiddush on Shabbat that excluded the Creator. Or a Passover seder that omits mention of God taking the Jewish people from Egypt to freedom. Or a Yom Kippur that avoids mentioning that we are trying to repair our relationship with God. Etc. etc…
    This presupposes a variety of patently false things. First, you’re assuming that Shabbat is a mere recollection of divine creation and has no other meaning or content, that Pesach is a mere recollection of a thing that God did for the Jews with no implications for our treatment of strangers and our love of freedom and that Yom Kippur is a mere experience of apologizing to God without the requirement to seek forgiveness from people first. This is all just plain incorrect. If this is not the point, the only point I can see you making is that rituals are all miSinai and changing them in any way is unacceptable. But that’s not exactly right, is it?
    BZ chimed in: This idea isn’t original to Eric. “The singular, foundational premise of Judaism is that there is a God” is just a paraphrase of יסוד היסודות ועמוד החכמות לידע שיש שם מצוי ראשון (the first line of the Mishneh Torah).
    And as we all know, the Mishneh Torah is the final word on what Judaism is, so I guess that’s that 🙂

    1. DAMW writes:
      And as we all know, the Mishneh Torah is the final word on what Judaism is, so I guess that’s that 🙂
      I’m not making that claim. I’m just saying that Eric isn’t making stuff up.

  19. >“How do you make this case on technical grounds? Though berachot (mentioning God) are required for both eirusin and nisuin, eirusin and nisuin are still considered to have taken place b’di’avad even without the berachot.”
    —BZ · September 28th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I agree that the root contractual element of the wedding process takes place between the two parties. However it’s worth nothing that even the very contractual ketubah document includes the phrase “according to the laws of Moses and Israel”, and the ring placement announces the same phrase again.
    The fact that a wedding process that unintentionally omitted the sheva berachot remains retroactively in force, only seems to reiterate the point that to proactively craft a “Jewish” wedding ceremony to specifically omit the mention of God, is somewhat absurd. (And it raises the question of whether such a ceremony would in fact be a priori valid in halacha. (Though I’m not sure a person making such a ceremony would care…)
    The sheva berachot expand the wedding from being primarily about the couple (as weddings tend to be) into a much larger context that includes an acknowledgment of God’s presence in the process, including human emotions about love and relationships and addressing issues that go back to the beginning of humanity itself (“asher Yatzar et ha’adam b’Tzalmo…” )
    In other words there are much more fundamental issues afoot than the relatively technical question about whether or not to retroactively invalidate a ceremony that happened to omit the berachot.
    It’s like asking whether one “can” sit in a sukkah but refuse to acknowledge the Sukkot holiday as zman simcha’teinu, “our time of happiness”. Or “can” celebrate Sukkot but refuse to mention that the holiday stems from the Jewish experience of leaving Egypt and “B’sukkot hoshavti et Bnei Yisrael…”, “Because I settled the children of Israel in sukkot…”
    Maybe you can craft such a practice, maybe not. Either way the context is corrupted and silly compared to the system of which it’s supposed to be a part. It may represent one’s own beliefs or opinions or feelings, but it doesn’t necessarily represent Judaism.

  20. Victor: 1. Where did you learn that this is how Jews relate to G-d, or how G-d relates to Jews?
    DAWM: I’m not saying that this is an authentically Jewish way of relating to G-d. Unfortunately, some Jews treat God this way.

    Really? What Jews treat G-d this way (as a demanding fascist, to borrow your words)? I know a lot of Jews, including some that are bitter and angry at G-d, and some that don’t believe in G-d, but I’ve never heard of G-d being described as a demanding fascist. This is why I asked where you learned this. I’m genuinely interested to know who thinks this way.
    And built into questions about how someone can remain moral without G-d is the assumption that G-d is a demander and a commander
    How is G-d being a “demander” and “commander” “built into questions about how someone can remain moral without” Him? Why not a “lover” or a “ninja”? Again, I’m just not following you.
    without whom we would have no way of knowing right from wrong.
    Who said that you can’t “remain moral without G-d”? There are people who do good things who don’t believe in G-d. Tell me who has denied such things? Your reasoning is all over the place. I don’t know if you’re having a conversation with me or with your childhood Judaica teacher.
    Victor: DAMW believes in G-d, just not the same G-d that you also don’t believe in, but he thinks you do.
    I have no idea what that means. But I can assure you that nowhere in this post, nor in the comment you’re referencing do I reveal whether or not I believe in God.

    I took your statement (follow my link above) that you pray three times a day as an indication that you pray to G-d three times a day. Maybe you pray to someone else – yourself? – but that’s why I concluded that you believe in G-d.
    It’s pretty astonishing how upset Victor is at this point about his misreading of my post with regards to G-d as a fascist, which was mostly meant as a joke in the first place.
    Who other than your childhood Judaica teacher – and maybe the rest of that class – would get that joke? What an odd thing to write. I think you’re just backtracking wildly. Why can’t we have a real conversation, without winners or losers, without insults? You wrote what you wrote, and I asked you some basic questions about your beliefs. No need to flip out.

  21. Oh, BZ, I was being facetious. I know you don’t think that.
    Victor, no one says, “I think God is a fascist.” Again, I mostly meant that particular word facetiously. But I’ve also had multiple Orthodox Jews tell me that my problem–as though I have one and as though I’d asked for their opinion–is that I don’t fear God. A system of meaning that is only held in place because a wrathful deity has decreed it so is not one I’m interested in being a part of.
    I don’t think it’s hard to see my statement that God is fascist was meant facetiously. But, as always, one of the pitfalls of the internet as is that we can’t hear the tone of each other’s voices.
    Victor, if you want to have a real conversation without insults, don’t accuse me of backtracking wildly. No one’s flipping out.

  22. A system of meaning that is only held in place because a wrathful deity has decreed it so is not one I’m interested in being a part of.
    Thank G-d He isn’t! 😉
    Look, I don’t know what your background is, DAWM. Perhaps you know that certain schools of Litvischers and Misnagdim – and some Conservative/Modern Orthodox/Reform – cherish the severity/”fear of G-d” aspect of divine service and practice mussar rebuking. Personally, I don’t find mussar to be particularly helpful in my growth as a Jew, though I think it has a place in the right circumstances.
    In my experience, some observant Jews shelter behind rebuking to avoid situations that challenge their knowledge and understanding. This is similar to how some Jews claim anti-semitism and end the discussion. Ok, fine, let’s say the other person IS an anti-semite. So what, you can’t engage them intellectually anymore and attempt to change their perspective? Ok, fine, let’s say that a certain Jew lacks in “fear of G-d”. Will telling him this and walking away change anything, or are you throwing it out like an insult, to disengage without having to expose how little you have to teach him. It’s easy to denounce people and curl up in the safety of your self-righteous cocoon.
    So, yes, mussar does not work for me. At least not when it comes from strangers or even “friends” who don’t really know me and don’t understand where I’m coming from. In fact, in my experience, mussar usually has the effect of driving Jews further away, which doesn’t bother the mussardik crowd very much, because they see their role as to rebuke their fellow Jew, and leave the rest to G-d.
    Anyway, it’s difficult for me to relate to the mussar way of life. I’m not afraid of G-d, in the traditional sense. I’m not looking for trouble, but it isn’t the stick that I respond to. I think, if anything, my relationship with G-d is based more on remorse that I too often fail to live up to my potential. It hurts me that I disappoint G-d, the way one dissapoints a loved one. This, and the occasional honest joy at being a Jew, not fear of Him, drives me to make positive changes.
    Everyone has their path. If mussar works for you, great. If it doesn’t, if you feel driven away, bitter and angry at the mussardiks and G-d, maybe that’s not what you should be into.

  23. DAMW, they probably don’t mean fear like you mean fear. but I think ‘fascist in the sky’ is brilliant. it’s a great and cynical way to speak of those who have the perception of God that dispenses our reward and punishment.

  24. >>“Says you. What if some people accept the premise that Judaism is their inherited culture, created by humans, like every other culture and religion?…”
    People can accept whatever culture or “narrative” they wish. But that acceptance may reflect their own opinions, not necessarily Judaism. We should be mature enough to distinguish.
    >>“Because everything we do and say must be literally true? As I established–and no one’s taken issue with this yet–people construct symbolic meaning in all kinds of ways…”
    I don’t know what “literally true” has to do with it. There’s nothing inaccessibly metaphorical or esoterically rarefied in the basic verbiage of “Who has made us holy with His commandments, and has commanded us to…”
    There may be plenty of metaphorical semiology, etc. in Jewish actions. But they’re based on the premise expressed by the blessing that precedes them and that I quote above.
    >>“I am also forced to conclude that he believes that no one would do anything good if God hadn’t commanded us to do so.”
    I just don’t understand where you got this idea from. I never even hinted at such a belief.
    >>“This presupposes a variety of patently false things. First, you’re assuming that Shabbat is a mere recollection of divine creation and has no other meaning or content, that Pesach is a mere recollection of a thing that God did for the Jews….This is all just plain incorrect.”
    No, DAMW, I’ve made no such assumption or even implication. I think all of the examples I brought may hold myriad and manifold implications within a nested structure of thought and experience that is called Judaism. My point is that the fundamental context of all of these rituals within the system of Judaism is that they take place in the presence of a Creator who wants us to do them.
    It may be that this Creator’s will is that we do them with an awareness that includes, for example, “implications for our treatment of strangers and our love of freedom” etc. (The Haftorah of Yom Kippur may be a good example of this.) The requirements of awareness may indeed be far deeper and broader.
    But the underlying fundament (necessary, but not necessarily sufficient) is that they take place within a relationship to this Creator. To specifically exclude mention of God from the context of a ritual is to uproot the action from its basic context and place it outside the system of Judaism.
    That it may lead to good effects, etc. IMO hardly helps it qualify as “Jewish ritual”. It’s now a personal ritual, similar to a ritual once rooted in Judaism, that somebody thinks is a good idea.
    >>“If this is not the point, the only point I can see you making is that rituals are all miSinai and changing them in any way is unacceptable. But that’s not exactly right, is it?”
    My point has nothing to do with rituals or their origins, and everything to do with the context in which a ritual/action is performed. If somebody wants to say a kiddush on Shabbat, for example, but to do so while specifically omitting mention of God, one is making the ritual silly by stripping it out from its root context.
    It’s irrelevant whether the action they’re performing is “miSinai” or not — it’s now been made disjointed and slightly absurd.

  25. Justin: but I think ‘fascist in the sky’ is brilliant.
    Glad you like it. Here’s the source: “We have turned God into a fascist in the sky, and then we read text through that presupposition.” –Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
    Eric: But that acceptance may reflect their own opinions, not necessarily Judaism. We should be mature enough to distinguish.
    I don’t know what maturity has to do with it. Judaism has been shaped by humans. Whether God initiated it or not, there’s no away around the fact that Judaism has been shaped by Jews, particularly by rabbis and other communal leaders. Most of what we know as Judaism today was generated by people, not the Torah. So we must all admit that opinion plays a role to a lesser or greater degree, like it or not.
    Anyway, all appearances to the contrary aside, I’ve enjoyed this comment thread a lot. Thanks, everyone.

  26. Eric, what is this Judaism you keep talking about. Can you point to it? Where does it live? Judaism is not a thing like a chair. It is a construct, a convenient pointer to a mess of practices, beliefs, communities, texts, histories, cultures, etc. There is a reason the term “yahadut” is a neologism in Hebrew. No classical source justifies anything in regards to some benchmark entity called “Judaism.”

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