Can you be both Jewish and Buddhist?

I am a practicing Jew and I enjoy being Jewish but I love Buddhist teachings and concepts. They make me feel good. Would it be sacrilegious to wear the symbols of both religions on a necklace?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • You can be both from a Buddhist point of view, but not from a Jewish point of view.
    Buddhism can piggy-back on most religions, because most sects of Buddhism make no claims to knowledge of Gods, or the origin of the universe. It is all about the enlightenment of self. So, from that point of view, you can seek such enlightenment, and you can look for it in Judaism.

    From the Jewish point of view, all you need to know about morality, God, eternity, and the fate of your soul, is with them, and looking elsewhere is against God.

    I would suggest that, as a Jew, there is NOTHING WRONG with respecting Buddhists, Buddhism, and aspects of it's teachings. But if you were to consider yourself a Jew, in faith, it would not be proper to also consider yourself Buddhist.

    That said, I see no problem with Buddhist symbols if you choose to wear them. They are aesthetically pleasing, carrying them is something you want to do to symbolize respect you hold for the faith, and they are not things you worship, so they do not violate idolatry commands.

    God says "Hold no other God before me."
    Buddhism holds no gods, so respecting Buddhism is not, in and of itself, anti-Jewish, or anti-God.

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    • Thank you! That was very helpful although I still am not sure what your final answer is haha

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    • Well, I guess this is a very modern, almost secularized way of thinking (this idea that god wants you to be happy). I'm not saying it's a bad way of thinking, I'm just saying it's not really Judaism 1.0 cuz traditionally, the Jewish god is INCREDIBLY jealous. I mean, the jewish god is basically the god of the old testament and that's quite a psycho to be frank. If I read the old testament and all the crimes this god commits in his jealousy and wrath, I very much doubt he would be okay with you seeking comfort in other philosophies to be happy. Like I said, I'm not saying it's wrong what you're doing. I'm not putting any value on it. I'm just doubting the Jewish god would appreciate it. Out of the three major monotheistic religions, your way of thinking is actually more christian because you've got this protestant/evangelical idea of a god that would still love you even if you "stray" a bit because he's a loving god and your happiness is the most important thing. If you're American or

    • Canadian, it's not very surprising you have this mentality because you've basically grown up in a protestant society and it's just an unconscious cultural appropriation. But I really doubt whether the actual Jewish god would be okay with it. He seems more like the type of guy that values strict following of the doctrine above everything else and if you stray to other philosophies or gods, he's gonna kill your firstborn or something like that.

Most Helpful Girl

  • I would say, go for the third religion.

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    • There are only two that I am into.

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    • What third religion though? And I am interested in both.

    • I don't know. Well u can research more religions and maybe you might find them more interesting

What Guys Said 10

  • "Sacreligious" might not be the best word, but it would still be best for you to remain in your Jewish practices. At that point, if you were to keep practicing Buddhist thought and meditation, you would not be placing your hope and faith in God. Yes, Buddhism is not technically a religion (Buddhism is generally atheistic), but you're still looking to something other than God.

    I think @ksoma said it best. You can certainly respect both systems of belief (you should respect all faiths and beliefs anyway though). As far as wearing symbols of other beliefs though, that's where he and I would differ. I would say that your best bet would be to ask your rabbi. He'd be able to give you a more solid answer than a bunch of strangers on a web forum.

    Shalom :-)

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  • Nice question. Well. Im Christian and Im ex-Viking ( pagan). But Im still wearing both - cross and cross ring and besides is Viking ring.
    My ancestors are comming from scandinavia so I was into traditional one. But I became Christian and I found what I was looking for. But Im wearing both.
    I can write much more, but Im sure for this question its enough.

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    • But I do not want to be ex Jewish. I want to be both.

    • Idont think its possible. U must do decission in your life..

  • if i remember correctly from my sacred religions class, buddhism doesn't involve worshiping a deity. and buddha was a real person

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    • Exactly. That is why I personally do not have a problem with it.

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    • no worries. i gotcha, girl!

      i usually would put up a meme for you, but i'm way too lazy right now :/

    • Haha I appreciate the effort

  • I feel like believing in Nirvana and the Middle Way and shtuff might conflict with Judaism…

    But if you're as chill and as in-the-monent as the other Buddhists I've met, rock on.

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  • I had a teacher in high school that told me about a friend of hers that calls herself a "BudJew" because she's Jewish but lives by Buddhist customs and principles too.

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    • Jewbu or Jubu or Buju lol so funny to say

  • I have no idea but I feel you can believe in whatever you want. No one gives a flying fuck

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  • No, you can only be one religion at a time. Every religion contradicts each other and only one can be right.

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    • I don't believe in something to be right. I believe in something because I want to.

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    • Still, Jewish and Buddhist beliefs in the afterlife for example are very different

    • Well luckily I am not dead then. I feel like no matter what I believe in there is no way to know what the afterlife will consist of so why not just focus on living?

  • No. Can you be both black and white? Do you want to get arrested? Kids these days.

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    • Race is not religion.

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    • Alright bye

    • Neither white supremacy nor black lives matter are religions. White supremacy is a social scene/group within the realms of US-American right extremism and black lives matter is a social movement. Religions must fulfill certain criteria to be officially considered a religion. They must have a god (or gods), they must have professional representatives (priests, reverends, monks etc.), they must have some sort of scripture or teachings, they must a formal code of doctrine or discipline, established places of worship, regular congregations, schools for religious teachings for the young, schools for the preparation of its ministers etc.

  • You can be racially jewish and religiously buddhist but you can't be religiously both.

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    • Judaism is not a race.

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    • There are black African Jews too what are you talking about?

  • To a great extent, yes...

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