Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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Question 1.3:
Why soc.culture.jewish? Wouldn't soc.religion.jewish be more appropriate?

Answer:

The name "soc.culture.jewish" (S.C.J) is a net.historical relic. In the early years of Usenet, there was only one Jewish newsgroups, and it was named net.religion.jewish. In the late 1980s, the Usenet namespace was reworked in what was called the "Great Renaming". This renaming took the flat namespace of net.* groups, and created the new top-level groups: comp, rec, soc, talk, sci, misc, and news. At this time, there was a common belief that renaming net.religion.jewish to talk.religion.jewish would be detrimental to the group's success, for it was believed that talk. groups would have lower propagation and be less likely to be carried by administrators. So the net's collective "yidisher kop" [or "yidisher kop"] did an end run around this, and proposed that the group be moved into the soc.culture.* hierarchy. And here we are.

At time has passed, a number of split-offs from soc.culture.jewish have been created. Some of these have been created in the soc.culture.jewish hierarchy, for various reasons (e.g., s.c.j.parenting, s.c.j.holocaust, s.c.j.moderated). Others have been created in other hierarchies, with a clear identification of their Jewish nature (rec.food.cuisine.jewish, rec.humor.jewish, soc.geneology.jewish). Other newsgroups have been created in the free-for-all "alt" hierarchy, with almost any name.

So, while Jews have argued forever about whether Judaism is more of a "culture" or a "religion" or a something else, the choice of name for this newsgroup is not proof of anything. So if you start arguing "but this group is soc.culture.jewish, so...," please, as a well known character in a 1970's US television comedy series says: "just stifle."


The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to questions@scjfaq.org. The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at maintainer@scjfaq.org.

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <maintainer@scjfaq.org>