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So What are We Jews? A Religious Group or a People?

So what are we Jews?  A religion or faith group (like Protestants or Catholics)? An ethnic group with our bagels and lox?  A people?Ask many non-involved Jews and they will most likely answer: a religion.  But we have only consider ourselves a religious group since Napoleon offered Jews emancipation from the ghetto if we became Frenchmen of the Mosaic persuasion (a religious group).  Before that, and since, we have been primarily a people. 
Thus Daniel Gordis writes in A Requiem for Peoplehood (in a Jerusalem Post article):

Judaism as a faith system, of course, is nothing new. But from time immemorial, we have also seen ourselves as a people. From the moment that Pharaoh refers to the Jews as “the people, the Children of Israel” (Exodus 1:9), it is clear even to our enemies that Abraham’s clan has morphed into a nation.FOR MILLENNIA, rank-and-file Jews understood this. We cultivated bonds of mutual obligation, even when we profoundly disagreed, even when our faith wore thin. Kol Yisrael areivim zeh la-zeh, all Jews are responsible one for another, the tradition has long insisted.And it actually worked. It was peoplehood that got American college students to wage a relentless battle to free Soviet Jews, with whom they had virtually nothing obvious in common.It was due to peoplehood that IAF pilots flew converted cargo planes into an Ethiopian civil war in order to save people of a different race, a radically different faith system and virtually no shared history, bringing them to Israel in Operation Solomon.And it is peoplehood that has continually led American Jews – despite their absolute disinterest in making aliya and their profound differences with Israel about conversion policy and the peace process – to support Israel both financially and politically.

Perhaps the answer is D, all of the above.  Still, the notion that Jews are a people transcends time and space.  It helps explain what connects Jews of different backgrounds, different racial heritages, or different nationalities.  Which leaves me wondering: How do we reinforce the peoplehood part of being a Jew in a country that prefers to compare us to other religions?

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