Who is Jewish? Parliament Studies Question Raised by Slaughtering Bill

The unqualified term, “Jew,” appearing in modern English law for the first time in the text of the animals slaughtering bill now before Parliament, has led to a movement to make a last-minute change in the text of the bill in order to exempt schechita, Jewish ritual method of slaughtering, from the provisions requiring the stunning of animals before slaughtering.

The bill, in its present form, states that Jews are exempted from the slaughtering requirements of the proposed law. In connection with this, several members of Parliament have interposed several pertinent questions ts to who is to be considered a Jew and how the bill is to be interpreted.

Is a converted Jew to be considered as a Jew under the law, or is a Christian who has adopted Judaism to be considered within the definition of “Jew” are among the questions posed.

Parliament members therefore are asking that in view of the difference between the Jewish race and the Jewish religion, the bill be redrafted so that instead of the term “Jew,” there be “persons professing the Jewish religion.”

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