Fundamentally, Judaism is a religion. But is it more than that? Some regard Judaism also as an ethnicity or even a nationality. There are physical stereotypes about Jews such as a long nose, which should not exist for religions. There are also many stereotypes of behavior and statements such as 'proud to be a Jew' which present Judaism as an ethnicity.
Judaism is a religion in my opinion. People tend to call all Israelites "Jews" when in fact they are not neccesarily so. I know many Jews here in Argentina and they like to be refer as Jews concerning religion, others ethnicity. It is divided.
|There are physical stereotypes about Jews such as a long nose, which should not exist for religions|
|Judaism is a religion in my opinion. People tend to call all Israelites "Jews" when in fact they are not neccesarily so.|
|I do not know how it is in Israel but all the jews I have met in my life have similar physical characteristics. Maybe it is just coincidence?|
I would vote for neither option.
Judaism, no matter what form you choose, is a community and a culture. You don't neccessarily have to be born into it to become a part of it, and while it is religously based there are obviously non-religous Jewish communities (Reform Judaism, Humanistic Judaism)
The term "Jew" can be used to mean the literal descendents of Judah, hence an ethnicity, or those who practice Judaism, hence a religion. Many who consider themselves Jews fall into both meanings of the word, but when the word applies in only one way to a person, it is still an accurate term.
Judaism, while not unique in the modern world, is still something of an anomaly when it comes to the definition of a religion.
The norm in the ancient world (in Asia until Buddhism started spreading, in Europe until Christianity became independant of the Roman empire and in Africa and the Americas until Christianity took over) was that religion was completely integrated with culture, ancestry, nationality, political structure and geographical location. Confucianism still shows many of these mixes, as does each particular variety of Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Native American spiritualism and many others. Since Judaism began as such a religion / culture / nation / race mix, it retains aspects of all of these into the modern world. Jews being exiled from their homeland forced them to develop a strong cultural bond and a certain amount of isolationism within their homes-in-exile. This mild xenophobia means that Judaism cannot have as loose a definition as, say, members of some particular Hindu varieties, nor can one's "Jewishness" be tied primarily to a place or a particular ancestor. Since Judaism allows conversions, one's "Jewishness" cannot solely be considered in terms of one's heritage either, as it can with Zoroastrians. Since Judaism has no desire to be universally applied, it cannot be solely a matter of choice either, as it is with Christianity and Buddhism - one can choose to join Judaism but still needs verification and acceptance by the existing Jewish body (I.e. conversion) before they can truly say they are Jewish.
Ultimately, I would say that modern Judaism more resembles a well-knit association of cultures than it does an ethnicity or a religion.