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Michael Laitman, PhD

What is a Jew?

Q: What is a Jew?

A: Abraham, our father, who went from Mesopotamia to the land of Israel, is called the first Hebrew (and the first Jew), because he was the first to cross from idolatry to the land of Israel (land – Eretz and Israel – from the words, Yashar El, meaning “directly to the Creator”). He went over from a state of worshiping idols to recognition of the existence of a higher power that controls everything, and identified himself with that power of his own free will. That is why he was designated Hebrew (Ivri – from the word Over) and Jew.

The terms “Jew” and “Gentile” are completely different in spirituality from the meanings we are familiar with. Anyone who did not exit this world to the spiritual world is called a “gentile,” and a person who crosses over to the spiritual world, is called a “Hebrew,” or “Jew” (from the Hebrew word Yehudi – Yechudi, meaning unique and unified), because that person unites with the Creator.

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