If you were born an American Indian, but later on, abandoned the teachings of your tribal elders…?

and accepted Judaism, would you still be an American Indian, or would you then become a Jew?

I really hate to throw a wrench in Siva’s good efforts, but if we are speaking about Native American Indian tribes, the many traditionally believing Indians of many DIFFERENT nations I’ve spoken with on this issue tell me that they do not have Shaman. The Lakota, Ojibwe, Navajo, Cherokee and Mohawk traditional Indians I have had the pleasure to know as friends, some online, others offline, tell me that Shamanism was a mistaken term applied by anthropologists to some very different religious beliefs under one mistaken lump of &quot:Native American Religion&quot: Some have even created web sites to discourage the New Age Shamanistic hijacking of their traditional beliefs. Those calling themselves Shaman who make a mish mash of unrelated beliefs harm the different nations in much the same manner that the Christian evangelicals calling themselves Jews have done to Judaism! Some of both groups ( Messianic evangelical Christians and New Ager Shaman) are sincerely ignorant of the harm that they cause to the groups they wish to emulate.

Shamanism is a form of Asian animst belief and some Native American nations do indeed have a FEW parallels to Asian shamanism, but it is inaccurate to call them Shaman.

Each nation has their own traditional beliefs and religious and spiritual practices. A Lakota who became a Jew may still be eligible to be considered of the Lakota tribe ( I am NOT saying I know their tribal law on this particular issue ) or may not..but they would not still be considered as practicing traditional Lakota beliefs and would not be able to represent their Jewish religion as Lakota just because they as a Lakota adopted it. They would not give up their Lakota heritage, but they would most likely be considered by their fellow Lakota as rejecting their heritage to adopt membership in the covenant nation of another people. At the same time, using Lakota as just one Indian nation for example again, if he or she converted to Judaism, this means they did indeed abandon the faith and practice of their Lakota elders to adopt Judaism. It is up to the Lakota nation to determine if they are still members of that nation. They do not and cannot ever have the heritage of their ancestors erased ( despite much effort of the U.S government in the past and with some policies still continue to try to do otherwise!)

Jews are a nation people, Israel (tribal origin) bound by an eternal covenant of the faith (religion) of Judaism. We are like a huge family and only the family can determine who is a member of it. It is the laws of Judaism, given to the covenant nation, Israel, in the Torah, that determine Jewish identity.

The Jewish people are considered both a nation and a religion. Our connection is primarily one of faith (religion) through the covenant of Israel, yet membership is also conferred by birth, through matrilineal descent .One may also become a part of the nation Israel by adoption of the faith of Judaism and formal procedures of conversion.

One who converts to Judaism is considered as FULLY Jewish as one born Jewish and their children are Jews. This has been the case since the times of the Torah.
However one can be a Jew and not belong to both. One may technically be a Jew if their mother is a Jew, but apostate to the covenant of Israel and no longer considered a member of the nation if they leave it for the covenant of faith of another religion.
The Jewish nation began as a group of tribes and our connection to one another is still from the perspective of a tribal nation. ( example:as the Lakota nation has tribal procedure and law to determine who is a memberof their tribe, who is not, who is expelled and who is adopted, so does Judaism.)
One born a member of the tribal covenant nation Israel ( Jewish) may not be observant or even believe in God and they’re still a full member, a Jew. They may not be a good member or an active member but they’ve not renounced membership. That is how one may be an &quot:atheist Jew&quot:, they still may live Jewish ethics and identify with their people, but they did not take on foreign beliefs contradictory to monotheism or Torah. Now if one born into the covenant becomes apostate to it through rejection of the covenant by adoption of another belief contradictory to the covenant, they are still be considered a Jew, but for all intents and purposes, they’re not given the status of a member. According to Jewish law they’re not counted in a minyan, can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery, cannot be given honors to go up to read Torah at a synagogue, and may not speak for the Jewish people. They CAN however, return without formal conversion should they so desire and then be embraced again as full members. One who has left the Jewish people for the foreign faith of another people must uindergo the steps of TESHUVAH , which means repentance and return to the God of Israel. Some groups may require that the individual also requires immersion in the mikveh before being accepted back, but they do not require the formal steps of conversion should the person wish to return.

It is Jewish law alone, not Christianity or any other entity that determines the status of who and what is Jewish. When a Jew adopts a belief that is in conflict with the Jewish religion, the belief does NOT become a &quot: Jewish belief&quot: just because a Jew chooses to believe in it. THAT is the conflict Jews have with the Christians who call themselves Jews if deceptively try to present their Christian belief AS Judaism. A Jew who converts to Hare Krishna is just as apostate, but there exists no Jews for Hare Krishna or Hare Krishna Judaism evangelic groups spending millions of dollars a year in campaigns to convert secular Jews by convincing them it is a form of Judaism.
You can become a member of a tribe or nation if you meet the criteria of citizenship. And the covenant people, Klal Yisrael, remain as in the earliest days of the covenant..a nation. It hasn’t changed.

Reform Judaism ( of which I am a member) will consider as Jewish one whose father is a Jew IF the child was RAISED in Judaism actively and exclusively. Even in Reform Judaism, simply having a Jewish father without exclusively Jewish upbringing, would require conversion on the part of the person with only a Jewish father to become a Jew.

It is against Jewish law for any Jew to discriminate against a convert to Judaism. Since the time of the Torah converts have been accepted as fully Jewish, and this is the case in all branches. We are not even supposed to refer to the fact that they are converts! It is up to them if they wish to identify themselves as such. They are Jews, period.

A Native American Indian Jew ( whether Cherokee Jew, Seminole Jew, Hopi Jew, etc) that had converted to Judaism and then converted to Christianity would not be considered a Jew of any kind. The convert does not have the OPTION of becoming apostate and being able to return through teshuvah alone if they abandon Judaism for a covenant of faith contradictory to Judaism, their conversion would not be considered valid.

Since judaism is a religion and not a race you could be a Native American Jew and a Shamanic apostate

But you could not be a Shamanic Jew, Just as you couldn’t be a an Islamic Christian.

Native American=ethnicity


You can change your religion but not your ethnicity.


No you would be a native American Christian. Your ethnicity stays constant, while you go through all these religious conversions.

(edit2) You would be Jewish until you converted to another religion. So an agnostic or an atheist has not taken to worshiping another God thus is still Jewish.

Jewish American Indian.

Going on an average: Many Indian and chinese families in the US still push their traditional cultural values and identity onto their children along with a LOT of racism. So, while race does not make a difference, culture and family do. I have met Indian and Chinese women who were almost afraid to be friendly to non-Indian men because they knew what the parent’s racist reaction would be, and some who believed the same way as their racist parents. Others assume that there will be racism from whites and so they are not friendly. This seems a bit ironic in the US at present since white people are so afraid of appearing racist that they discriminate against white people and in favor of all other races except Jews. Apparently Jews are white enough for white people to feel free to discriminate against them but are still &quot:non-WASP&quot: enough to be targeted for racism/antisemitism. Go figure! In short: Ture.

Think of it as citizenship.

Christianity is an open-border nation that accepts any immigrant.

Judaism is a closed-border that has very high standards for who may be admitted or not.

Many Christians seems to allow dual citizenship (even though their Bible forbids it) – but Judaism does not.

Part of the problem is that Judaism is defined as passing through the mother, just as a child is assumed to have the same citizenship as their parent.

Someone can still retain their citizenship even if they never vote, never participate in politics or even sit on jury duty.

But if they want to vote in another country – they have to obtain citizenship there.

An atheist or agnostic Jew simply doesn’t vote. They still retain their default citizenship.

One who wants to vote for Jesus as Messiah, must become Christian. Jesus isn’t running in the election in Judaism. Therefore you must give up your citizenship in Judaism and become a citizen of Christianity before you can vote for him.

Would the US accept it if Switzerland told them they had to accept any immigrant that wanted to call themselves an American and vote in the US elections?

I don’t think so.

And neither should you expect Judaism to accept every person who wants to call themselves a Jew without going through the proper process because Christianity tells them to.

A &quot:messianic Jew&quot: is someone who is trying to demand dual-citizenship. And Judaism says they can’t.

I’ll take the Jews’ word for who is a Jew over a Christians.

Judaism is a religion. You can certainly be a Native American Jew, just like you can be a Native American Catholic. Judaism is NOT a race. There are black Jews from Ethiopia, Asian Jews, blond haired, blue eyed Jews from germany and Holland and the US.

You would still be an American Indian that has jewish beliefs. Religion does not change your ethnicity.

Siva has given you the perfect answer. I’m just here to cheer from the sidelines. I’m Jewish, he’s Hindu, and I couldn’t answer questions on Hinduism half as well as he’s answered this one!!

Messianic ‘Jews’ are Christians. Hence to imply, by such a name, that they are practising Judaism is deceptive.

Jewish by faith, American Indian by ethnicity and tradition.

American Indian is an ethnicity. You cannot lose an ethnicity.

Christianity teaches there is no Jew or Gentile, or any other of man’s divisions in Spirit. As we all have a spirit in us which comes from God.
Paul said there are those who don’t have the Law, (Jewish Law) But live thier lives according to the Law. And they are a Law unto themselves.
God is not a respecter of persons. By what he calls himself. God judges the Heart.

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