Neshama Saver wrote [his comments are in italics]:
I shall call myself the "Neshama Saver" from now on to differentiate myself from the numerous other Anonymous' out there.
I would never be so full of hubris to say I understand the will of Hashem. I am a simple, modest, shomer Shabbos, glatt-kosher-only eating, synagogue-attending simple Yid. I will attempt to answer your questions to the best of my ability. I am not a Rav, even though I read & study Torah, Bavli, and other frum sources profusely.
Please tell me the basis for your Torah views since it is obviously not from rabbinical authorities – which you have not cited nor are you a Torah authority yourself. You haven’t cited any authoritative texts to bolster your views so I am assuming you are not basing yourself on these either. Your assertions certainly appear to be as if they are coming from one who really knows the will of G‑d as the Biblical prophets. In fact our sages respond to your style of argument by saying “these are only prophetic-like utterances.” [Eiruvin (70b), Bava Basra (12a) etc.] That is why I suggested you speak to the rabbis of EJF who are certainly accomplished talmidei chachomim. You are obviously a mature and intelligent adult – but you are making assertions as to halacha and public policy of Torah true Jews. You are criticizing me –as someone who is immoral and as one who doesn’t understand what G‑d wants. Again – what are the Jewish foundations of your criticizing of my activities. Keeping mitzvos does not make someone an authority on Judaism. The mishna in Avos (1:16) says “Make for yourself a Rav and keep away from doubt” – who is your Rav and your authoritative source of knowledge about Judaism. Did your rabbis tell you that the way to disagree with Torah scholars is to tell them to “drop dead?”
1) What I was trying to get across with my statement is that I am independent of EJF, and what I say or do has nothing to do with them. As long as I and my wife are keeping Torah, are shomer Shabbos, keep the laws of purity, eat glatt, and live a frum lifestyle, etc, they have nothing to say to us regarding what we say, do or write. That goes for any Torah-Jewish organization. This is not the Catholic Church, where one must listen to the Pope & the Magesterium or else face repercussions. Same things hold for every beis din on this planet. They don't care what I say as long as we are keeping a Torah lifestyle. Plus, I am a strong advocate of freedom of speech.
Again I find this assertion astounding. I can’t imagine any rabbi agreeing with this statement. There is a whole body of Torah literature called hashkofa. There is a halachic category of apikores or heretic. You are asserting that as long as you are orthoprax (mitzva observing) who can think and say anything you want and don’t care whether it is considered Jewish. Do you think you have the right as a Jew to assert that G‑d is physical or that the Torah wasn’t given to Moshe on Sinai – chas v’shalom?
2) …Should every Jewish male married to a goya who is seriously going through the process of gerus, divorce their wives, throw away their gentile (for now) kids, and move on. Dear sir, halachachly that may or may not be the correct thing to do. But nobody is going to do so, especially the millions of us raised, through no fault of our own, secular.
Again you are saying – the halacha is not relevant?!. Have you ever studied the halachos concerning conversion? Are you aware of the literature dealing with “leshem ishus” (conversion for the sake of marriage.) If you have – than please cite which rabbinical sources agree with what you are saying. Are you saying that a person who was born as a mamzer should not be stigmatized because it was “no fault of his own.?” That a cohen should be able to marry a divorcee because it is not his fault he fell in love with her? Are you saying that adultery should not be punishable by death because they were truly in love? What if you found out your wife was actually your biological sister - would you stay married? Would you stay married if you found out your wife was Jewish and had been married before and had not received a get from the first husband?
What EJF does is not proselytizing.
They are trying to to right a wrong that almost two centuries of being frei, secular and Torah-less perpetuated on the overwhelming majority of Yidden, especially in the U.S.
Proselytizing means trying to change a person’s religious beliefs. Trying to convince a person to convert to Judaism is proselytizing. If you want to assert that even though Judaism never proselytized but it needs to now because circumstances are different – I am open to hearing the justification. However you and EJF are both asserting that making great efforts to convince someone to convert to Judaism is not proselytizing. You are simply saying that justified proselytizing is not proselytizing. That is a great example of “doublethink”
3)I would love to honor you by sharing more about myself, but as I said in an earlier post, I do not wish to be blackballed into cherum purgatory for the rest of my life.
I don’t understand what you are afraid of – even from EJF?
I will tell you what I can. Yes, I 100% observe Shabbos, yontif, kashrus and as many mitzvos as I can. I decided to become religious as a result of being married to a goya. …I'm not sure if you are being facetious when you say it took courage to do what I did. But I am not the only one. I have met scores of couples in similar situations, and they have told me I have been a sort of beacon in the pitch black world of mixed marriage-land. If I can do it, so can they.
I am not being facetious. I admire people who strive for the truth – in spite of great obstacles. I also admire those who are willing to present their views for public discussion and possible rejection. I admire these people – including yourself - even though I might disagree with them.
My wife has decided to convert for many reasons. One has to do with children. Another is me badgering her over & over with the truth of Torah that it finally took hold, and she truly sees it also as the truth.
Are your children converted? Are they enrolled in yeshiva? If you decided not to keep mitzvos and didn’t insist on your wife converting – would she still convert? After all a non‑Jew can still be righteous and get the World to Come. Does she really want to be a Jewess independent of making you happy?
I found out about EJF from their ads. WE were already involved for years with kiruv groups and had already attended numerous shabbatons, retreats, classes, etc.
Were you referred to the EJF by a rabbi or did you contact them on your own through their application form on the internet or through the contact number on their ads?
EJF I believe is a great organization that can help others like us who don't know how to traverse the path we have…. That is why what you are doing infuriated me. It's not a pipe dream. The world is ripe for tens, if not, hundreds of thousands of non-Jews to join klal Yisrael. These goyim already have a heart for a Jew, Hashem, Torah & Mitzvas. Why push sincere potential converts, as well as their Jewish spouses as well as their precious children away? We should be rescuing them, not trying to destroy them.
So why not gear up for a massive program to convert goyim? What you are expressing is already mainstream in the Reform movement. Why not encourage intermarriage and then convert the non-Jewish spouse. According to you why be upset about intermarriage since it is truly an effective outreach tool?
I want to thank you for your efforts to try to explain your views to me. I apologize if some of my comments come across as too sharp or disrespectful – it was not meant as such. I do however take strong issue with your viewpoint. You have provided me – and the others reading my blog - for the first time an intimate window into what is actually going on in the world of intermarriage and EJF. Until now I had to make do with second hand reports.
With great respect and appreciation,