Friday, April 4, 2008

Intermarriage is good for the Jews - the non-Orthodox view

There has been a lot of discussion amongst non-Orthodox Jews recently about how there is no intermarriage crisis since many non-Jewish spouses raise the children as Jews. Therefore intermarriage is a gentle form of proselytizing and the result is a net increase in the number of "Jews". An example of this just appeared in the Wall Street Journal

This however makes sense only if you don't accept halacha and thus Judaism is determined by psychological and sociological identity. For those who are guided by halacha - this is all very sad. It is one thing to reject one's Judaism by intermarriage. It is perhaps even more destructive to redefine Judaism and convince non-Jews to think that they are Jewish because they have a Jewish identity.

1 comment :

  1. It is difficult for me to see a significant difference between the JOI program and EJF's mission. Or for that matter the mission of Aish, Oorah or Chabad.

    The son of dear friends of ours recently moved to a nearby Orthodox community from Brooklyn.

    He went to shul for the first time in an Orthodox shul that was not under the edict and he mentioned that "ALL the WOMEN down here look SO different from the Jewish women in Brooklyn".

    So my husband pressed him further and asked? "What is it, are they skinnier, fatter, darker, dressed better, what is it?"

    He replied that was not it; it was nothing he could put his finger on, but that the women in the Orthodox shuls here DEFINITELY look REALLY different from the women in his shul in Brooklyn.

    So my husband invited this young single man to come on Purim to a shul that is under the Edict. As soon as they walked in, the young man exclaimed, "Wow, the women HERE look EXACTLY like the women in Brooklyn".

    So again, my husband pressed him further and asked, "Is it how they are dressed? He said "no, the women here are dressed very differently than in Brooklyn".

    So my husband asked again, "well, what is it, there are Jewish women here of all types, some are Ashkenazic, some are Sephardic, some are American, South American and Israeli?"

    The young man thought for a moment and then answered, "well the women here just look, well really Jewish".

    My husband said to him "okay, now, I want you to promise me you won't go out with ANYONE your parents or I haven't checked out, because the reason that the women in all of the other shuls look SO different from the Jewish women you are used to is because in places where there isn't an Edict, there have been 2 generations of 50% intermarriage and most of the girls you will meet even in Orthodox shuls and through Orthodox shadchanim aren't Jewish k'halacha.

    The message was delivered.


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