Why Not Intermarry?

Isn't it racist not to intermarry?

Comments (35)

(34) Anonymous, January 3, 2020 7:21 PM

closed captioned

Where is closed captioned? are the organizations trying to get rid of jewish deaf like us?

(33) David Kantor, April 21, 2017 11:00 AM

21 Years married to a non-Jew

The good news, after leaving by non-Jewish "wife" I found a married the perfect frum woman, made aliyah and now live in the Golan Heights and loving every minute. I've watched many couples marry (Jew to non-Jew) with expected results (typically). DON'T DO IT. My "marriage" came to and end in my mind when my "wife" came home one Sunday from church and matter of factly told me "you are going to hell.' The seed was dropped that lead me to another path. She wasn't angry, it was simply what she was being taught about the Jews. Fortunately we had no kids. Rabbi Akiva Tatz said it very well in that "oil and water don't mix." Anybody wants details of my "marriage" feel free to contact me "davidkantor46@gmail.com"

(32) jay draiman, October 11, 2008 10:29 PM

The deterioration of family values R2

The deterioration of family values R2 Since World War 2 when women were encouraged to join the work force en mass, to replace the men who went to war and keep the economy and the war effort going. There has been a trend where a mother was not home to take care of her children, monitor their behavior, help with the homework and discipline when and where necessary. The advancement in technology has harmed family values. The Media and Television has totally destroyed any comprehension of values in our society. The lack of discipline and total disregard for authority and respect is clear to anyone who has watched the past 50 years and seen our society’s values deteriorate. One example alone is that 50 years ago a teacher was happy to go to school to teach, a teacher was respected and looked up-to, a teacher could discipline. Today teachers fear for their lives they are petrified by their students. This scenario caries on to other social interactions of society today, and the situation is getting worse and worse every year. You will notice that many families who come from other countries have a very strong family values, good education, respect and the children excel in their studies. That is because they have not had the chance to be influenced by our society. The education of our children begins at home and continues in school – the parents and the school must take a proactive approach to teach our children values and respect. In today’s society a teacher is not permitted to discipline a student, the teachers will be sued, not to mention that teachers fears for their safety. Parents in today’s society are also restricted as to how to discipline their children, in many cases parents are getting sued. In many cases children would never dream of treating their parents with such disrespect 50 years ago. Today some parents are afraid of their own children. Abuse has been and will be with society to eternity that does not give society the right to prohibit discipline, a few acts of abuse should not cause society to prohibit proper discipline. When an individual or individuals utilize a vehicle to commit a crime cause the death of others, does society prohibit vehicles altogether, no, a vehicle is very important for our everyday life. Well, the discipline of our children by parents and teachers is extremely important for our society and the preservation of humanity. It seems that our society is so busy chasing the dollar, fame and glory, that anything goes all values goes out the window. We should be an example of honesty, integrity and respect to our children. Yehuda Draiman, Northridge, CA. PS Are Americans patriotic and proud enough to defend, protect and bring family values back to America? Is America ready to fight for honesty integrity and justice in our society, eliminate corruption and fraud, waste and self serving programs. Re-invigurate our economy and decrease our dependence on foreign economies and resources. Tell me and I will forget Show me and I may remember Involve me and I will understand. , Chinese Proverb. Protecting Family Values The family is the most basic unit of any society or nation. Without healthy, functioning families, a culture cannot survive. God created marriage as the unity of one man and one woman. This has been both the legal and traditional understanding of a marriage – literally – for millennia, since Eden. Sadly, many radical activist groups in the U.S. are attempting to twist the law to change the definition of marriage and the family to include same-sex "marriage," polygamy, polyamory, and other structures. These groups scoff at the idea that there is any fixed or known set of values or beliefs that is generally good for families or culture. We should fight against numerous attacks on marriage and family values, including efforts to: • Allow children unlimited access to pornography over the Internet in public libraries • Allow those engaging in homosexual behavior to have preference to adopt children and be foster parents • Allow those engaging in homosexual behavior to serve openly in the military • Expose children to explicit sex education materials contrary to parental approval • Deny parents the right to raise their children before God as they see fit

SG, November 26, 2011 9:07 PM

Mr. Draiman, You are correct in what you say!

Thank you Mr. Draiman. I have twice read your statement on the deterioration of family values and it's about the best one I've ever seen. I grew up in the 1950's when parents were PARENTS; teachers were TEACHERS; misbehavior had CONSEQUENCES and if you misbehaved at a friend's home, you were disciplined there and at home too because news of your actions got home before you did! Discipline is love and values are important to instill in children. I was spanked, not beaten, and knew the difference between right and wrong very early in life. My parents also paid attention to me, cared for me lovingly and instilled faith in God in me. They did without many times so I could have necessities - not luxuries mind you, but basics like good food and a warm bed. I KNEW my parents loved me and wanted to be good. It's appalling to me that many of today's parents do not teach good values. Children are being educated by TV and the internet more than parents & teachers. Many parents are too busy seeking their own wants and desires; it seems they have children simply because it's the accepted thing to do. If two people want children, they MUST also accept and embrace the responsibility this entails. We as Americans need to re-evaluate what we want for this country. Do we sit back and let this continue? Or do we stand up and be counted as people of honor, dignity, integrity and justice. More importantly, in light of the disgusting current culture, are we willing to stand strong and be good parents, faithful to God, and proud to let everyone we meet know that we believe in the sanctity of marriage and family values? Thank you again Mr. Draiman - This country needs more people like you. By the way, I'm a Christian who belongs to a church that respects and admires Jewish faith & values and maintains a friendly, resplectful relationship with the local Rabbanim and their congregations. God bless you always.

(31) Lila, September 15, 2008 6:10 PM


I understand where many come from where 2 Jews should get married in my instance I had been wanting to convert sense my junior year of high school it didn't make my parents happy but i went on my way learning all i can. Two years later I met my husband who is Jewish. We are happily married and I will soon start my conversion i/m so excited I always felt like I was actually Jewish born in a christian home. We are currently expecting a little one who will be taught Judaism from day one.

(30) Bonnie, September 9, 2008 8:11 AM

Our experience is a wonderful miracle.

Although my parents were not observant, I always knew that I was Jewish. My strong Jewish identity never faltered. There were 3 Jewish boys in my high school. In college, there were some but not too appealing for a variety of reasons. In addition, I didn't "look Jewish" so they weren't attracted to me. I fell in love with my high school sweetheart, a non-Jew who earlier had belonged to an evangelical church. After he met me, his friends tried to get him to "convert" me, however, he developed a strong belief, contrary to what he had been taught, that it was wrong to influence me. Over time, he began attending synagogue services with me. Following college, we married with a sincere agreement that our children would be Jewish. After we had been married for 14 years, he surprised me by saying that he wanted to convert to Judaism! He told me that Jewish values coincided with his own. That was a conversion for the right reasons (I had never asked him to do it.). We now have been happily married for over 40 years. My husband has taught (Jewish) religious school, been an advocate for and attended adult Jewish education (e.g., taken Hebrew classes, studied Jewish history, etc., and has steadfastly ensured that our children experienced a strong sense of Jewish identity. Both became b'nai mitzvot and were confirmed. Although I recall my father's warnings that an intermarriage could be unsuccessful, when we finally reached our decision, both of my parents and his, as well, embraced us, and the rest is history. A final thought: In our experience, the intermarried families we know (and they are many) often are the most religious and involved in Jewish community and synagogue life--in comparison to born-Jews. I sincerely feel that, although intermarriage should not be promoted, it should be accepted when it occurs, and families should be encouraged to maintain and keep strong their ties to Judaism as well as encourage outreach to non-Jewish spouses.

(29) Chayala, August 25, 2008 6:25 PM

not Basheret

When I started dating my mother and her friends (all of whom were married to non Jews) settled me down and told me that if I ever decide to get married to a non Jew they will be very unhappy. They explained that even after 30-50 years of being married to their spouses they still felt that they did not get married to their true soul mate. It was funny to hear that in that group I was the only religious Jew.

(28) Robin Marcus, August 22, 2008 10:27 AM

conversion for marriage

Your comments were well-put and worth forwarding to others. However, my son has been dating a non-Jewish girl for three years and she knows that he won't marry her unless she converts. As she was raised in a non-affiliated household (mom is a non-practising Christian and dad is apparently Jewish - although knows very little about what that means) she says that she is interested in pursuing this and has begun to learn and to read. I strongly believe that she wouldn't be pursuing this if she was not dating my son and therefore that this conversion, if it actually takes place, would be an insincere conversion (one only taking place for the sake of the relationship and marriage). What are your thoughts on this?

(27) Daniela, August 22, 2008 7:22 AM

To Shoshi

Your point is a good one, but not entirely realistic. First, the advice given would be a bit more complex, not either become religious or stay non-religious. Both spouses' feelings and changes in life view would be taken into account. After all, if the other spouse couldn't be prevailed upon to care about the changes that are taking place in his or her spouse's life and would never agree to consider participating or exploring the issue at all, then something would be wrong with the marriage to begin with.

(26) Gertrude Donchin Chityat, August 21, 2008 2:40 PM

Racism Accusation Is Abhorrent.

There are numerous Jews who are not especially religious, but see their connectedness to the Jewish world through shared history and customs. Many of these people desire to marry Jewish and raise children Jewish. The notion that Judaism’s acceptance of conversion is what keeps marrying within from being racist is abhorrent, unjustly branding more secular Jews who are determined to marry in, and, by extension, denigrating members of other peoples who want to marry within their own respective groups.

(25) Anonymous, August 20, 2008 8:34 PM

should have heard this many years ago

when I married a non-jew, my parents sat shiva. They have both pasted away. I cannot hold them and tell them how sorry I am.

(24) shoshi, August 20, 2008 12:27 PM

"many people divorce because of religious differences" 1) I do not think they are so many, but I guess that there are no objective statistics available on this issue. 2) Take this scenario: I non-religious jewish couple married on the premises that they would lead a non-religious life. Now one of the spouses comes to see you and says: I want to become religious-orthodox, please help me. Do you tell this person to stay non-religious, since becoming religious could compromise his/her mariage? If not, than your whole argument is not valid.

(23) Anonymous, August 18, 2008 10:19 PM

Wish I Had This Last year

I Wish I Had This Last year before my brother-in -law intermarried.

(22) Debbie, August 18, 2008 12:05 PM

There's a choice?

If we weren't supposed to intermarry, why are there so few Jewish men available? While I would love to marry a Jewish man, still single at 55, I'm not even sure that I would require a HUMAN man anymore.

(21) Etty B, August 18, 2008 10:01 AM

Is argument of 'Jewish Soul' still racist?

At first we might think that the final argument about the "Jewish Soul" reverts to racism. But then we have to remember the first point -- anyone can become a true convert and in so doing take on a Jewish soul.

(20) Anonymous, August 18, 2008 6:14 AM

excellent points on Jewish intramarriage, and why racism and bigotry have nothing to do with it

Thanks for posting this. I have learned that I have a significant Jewish soul, which has guided my life and Jewish convictions. While I am still waiting on my bashert to come, I used to date an "unattractive" non-Jew, and it was one of my biggest regrets. Hopefully, that regret can eventually turn out to be the best thing to happen to me socially as I find the Jewish woman who loves me just as much as I love her. I wouldn't want a non-Jew to convert to Judaism so that she could marry me off. It's much too orchestrating, and it's better to keep it simple by finding someone who shares very similar, if not the same, Jewish values.

(19) sharona, August 18, 2008 2:09 AM

To Raquel

That's great that your husband is supportive of your Jewish practice. However, there are certain things that only a Jewish spouse can give to each other. For example, when the husband puts on tefillin in the morning, both spouses get the reward for the mitzvah, and when he learns Torah, they both get the reward also. - On shabbos, the Jewish couple do their parts. She lights the candles before sundown, and he says kiddish before dinner. According to halacha though, only a Jew can make kiddush, the blessing on the wine. - Those who marry out, miss out on these things mentioned above. - yes, non-observant Jews might not do that stuff either, but at least they can do it, and maybe they'll decided to, A non-Jew, if he chooses to, has to go through a long conversion process that's according with halacha. Some choose to, but some don't.

(18) Anonymous, August 17, 2008 10:19 PM

A response for Mr. Gorbaty

Mr. Gorbaty, You used an expression, "inability," to intermarry. It seems like what you may be saying is that somehow Judaism is lacking? Lacking in the "ability" to intermarry and that somehow this will help us to "overcome" our problem areas. Judaism does not have a lacking. It is the people in our close and personal lives as well as thoses who are professional etc.... that we see and view that have turned us off for one reason or another and made us think indifferently about our heritage. Judaism is full of rich heritage and culture. It has not only survived- yet thrived for thousands of years! This heritage is amazing and to be treasured. Mr. Gorbaty, we have not failed. It is not that it is just somehow difficult for me to accept that we have failed and oh, I am just upset, etc..... rather, we as a people all thruout our history have had increases and decreases in our numbers. There is a prophecy that says in the end of days before Moshiach, we will be "few in numbers." We will be influenced to focus on faith in Hashem at this time like no other time. Hashem wants to hear our prayer and for us to know He is here for us and loves us. Is it true that we have started to see a Teshuvah movement? Yes! Is it huge? No. Is it growing? Yes! We must try and we are seeing results- "yiddle by yiddle." Don't give up, Mr. Gorbaty! Being observant of the laws of Judaism is where the spirituality is located. Avraham Avinu was the FIRST JEW! Avram Ivri. He on one side and the whole world on the other. He started out as one person and this beautiful religion of Judaism grew and grew. We no longer proselitize. We don't need to intermarry. We need to work on the Jews we have - to make them stronger. The only way to do this is to show them the beauty of their heritage- not the supposed "need" to indoctorintae others to make up for our "lacking?!" I pray that you will see the beauty of your heritage and the preciousness and importance of each Jew both individually and as the Jewish nation. Be well.

(17) A, August 17, 2008 9:35 PM

religious differences

As a baal T'shuva I had no idea 'religious differences' was such a major issue or factor leading to divorce, I always heard of 'finances' being THE first and major issue, lack of communication, no longer fitting the need, adultery, addictions, etc., but never religious differences how painful

(16) Anonymous, August 17, 2008 4:09 PM

I married a goy

My husband is not Jewish. He's a good guy and I wouldn't trade him, but it does cause problems. This is a later marriage and we don't have kids together--that would have been a HUGE problem, as neither of us, despite the best of intentions could have raised children in the other's faith. I always have to choose between my husband and my Judaism. My husband doesn't stop me from being Jewish, rather being Jewish keeps me apart from my husband. If you practice halachah, you will never see your non-Jewish spouse. or worse, you inflict your religion on them, which is not fair to them. It IS a problem for us, one with no resolution unfortunately.

(15) malka, August 17, 2008 3:18 PM

Good point about our mission. We Jews have a mission to pass down our heritage to our children and so on. - It's very challenging to do so when marrying out of the faith. Either both faiths will be taught (one of them being forbidden to us), or very little will be taught to the kids, and they won't get the oppertunity feed their soul. - And of course, if the mom is not Jewish, the kids aren't, and so that line, sadly, is discontinued altogether unless they convert halachically.

(14) Raquel, August 17, 2008 3:15 PM

my non-Jewish husband keeps me Jewish!

Rabbi, you are right and wrong! I really wanted to "marry in", but it wasn't to be! My wonderful husband not only respects all things Jewish, but he keeps me Jewish! We have an observant home, Shabbat is the highlight of our week, he takes the children to cheder on Sundays, pays for synagogue membership and when we go abroad, we visit other synagogues and Jewish museums. He is unique I know, but I had to set the tone. I wanted to stay observant and I set out the rules. He saw sense in them and we have a happy Jewish home and he calls himself my "shabbat goy" or that he is Jew-ish. Our community here in Cambridge - England has embraced him and I am convinced that if the woman sets the tone, the man will follow. It is up to us women to set the vision and if that is very important to one, then it will have a profound effect on the other half.

(13) Anonymous, August 17, 2008 3:11 PM

Well said! Thank you for making this video.

I went to a lecture about why it is important not to intermarry and why its not racial issue among Jews. I had not been convinced completely by that lecture, I was looking for more reasons to support my opinion of wanting to marry a Jewish spouse. (luckily I wanted/ still want to marry Jewish anyway.).I think because that lecture did not go into the details of why in the way that you have, it was too vague about sharing common Jewish values, it just did not speak to me. I especially liked how you discussed in your video the racial aspect, that anyone can convert. We Jews are not completely exclusive. I believe that you stuck to the point/s. You spoke clearly and concisely.What you said clearly and concisely summarized how I feel and think (and I hope many other Jews feel or will think about and start to feel) and think about not wanting to intermarry. Thank you.

(12) Jgarbuz, August 17, 2008 2:49 PM

Jews are a tribe, not a race.

Every tribe, whether they be Navajos or Jews, has the right to its own tribal laws, and to decide who can and can't be part of it. Jewish law for 2000 years has been very simple and explicit. You are a Jew if it can be documented that your mother was a Jew, or you are a Jew after going through a difficult and strenuous period of Jewish education and satisfy the orthodox Rabbinate that you are sincere and committed to being one. That's it. No need to change it. It's worked for 2000 years, and any change can only destroy the tribe in short order.

(11) Mary, August 17, 2008 2:22 PM

couples I've seen

I am past the mid point of my life so I've seen things. I knew an orthodox Jewish girl who married a boy who graduated from a cheder but he was a skeptic and she said she felt like she was intermarried until her divorce ended it. They had moved to Israel so their kids could be in a Jewish environment without having to battle each issue with the husband. He traveled a lot anyway so it didn't make much difference to him where she was. I know a Catholic who married a Jewess and before marriage they took a test on compatibility and they were incompatible on everything but religion, even though the religions were different. Their marriage survived and was wonderful. They moved to a community that would accept them, and brought the kids up Jewish. They worked everything out before getting married. I know an orthodox Jewish girl who married a Russian who had no background but when young wanted to learn everything. Now he is no longer interested. They are still married. They are still friends. It seems when someone with a religious bent marries someone of another religion technically but who is secular, the secular takes over because society supports that. They were in a community that did not accept intermarriage. I don't know if that is the rule. When I think about it, the stronger seems to rule which should be no surprise. If one part of the couple values Judaism and the other part values the spouse and doesn't have a religion of their own beckoning, it can be a Jewish home, depending on what that means nowadays. Obviously if it is a reform Jewish home and makes little intrusion into one's life, a Jewish home will be easier to accomplish with an intermarried couple, than an orthodox home. The more Judaism impacts one's daily life, as one moves to the orthodox sphere, the more the necessity for unity because it would be simply illogical to think that one party will be thinking of God on a moment by moment basis and the other will be secular and that that marriage will hold. We have wonderful converts at our synagogue. They have learned everything including reading Hebrew and singing, and doing Torah study, and being kosher. Anyhow, where there is love and respect and friendship and concern and kindness, it appears the marriages survive, and when there is cruelty, contempt, and self- preoccupation, they don't. While accepting intermarried couples into a synagogue seems a good thing, I think the goal should still include conversion even if it is a long term goal, because then the couple can share religion in the marriage which is a good thing. However the synagogue should be aware that when dealing with accepting non Jews into the congregation, either the congregation will have an effect on the non-Jew or the non-Jew will have an effect on the congregation and the congregation should be aware of the danger and work to make it the former rather than the latter. One can accept everyone and thereby stand for nothing. I think I once heard a statement that if one accepts everything, one accepts anything. But non- Jews need to have some things explained because while Jews have certain assumptions which are obvious they are wrong if they think the obvious is obvious to a non-Jew. They need to be told what a tiny minority Jews are and that Jews value the survival of this 6,000 year old religion. They need to be told that 2% of the US population cannot give to 98% of the world when 98% of the world is not giving to the 2%. The math doesn't work.

(10) thomas, August 17, 2008 1:03 PM

What is a Jew?

Rabbi Becher, I would like to ask you, what is a Jew? Are Jewish people a race of people? *or*, are they a group of people who believe in Jewish traditions?

Is there any one reason that one should be a Jew, catholic, christian, buddhist, moslem, etc? Is it necessary to be in order to be a moral person?

These are questions that I have always pondered and never found a good answer to.

(9) Anonymous, August 17, 2008 12:56 PM

We are not failures

Mr. Gorbaty, where did you get the idea Jews are failures? For a minority of the world's population, we have contributed hugely in literature, education, technology, medicine and many other fields. What would it take for Jews to be successes in your eyes?

(8) American Sabrah, August 17, 2008 12:44 PM

Its not only based on race

Intermarriage stems from preconceptions jews have against eachother i.e. jewsih girls being jappy and demanding, jewish boys beings shallow etc. traits and labels that turn one off from another. Another factor is due from assimilation, being integrated with non-jews, and have only one parent that is Jewish.

(7) Shira, August 17, 2008 10:11 AM

A Few Comments to the Commentators

First, to comment #1: If one is Jewish, and believes in the Torah and has true faith in Hashem, there is no need to worry about "bringing people into the store." Hashem promised that the Jewish people will never be wiped out, so it is not of OUR concern that we are "losing numbers." Hashem will make sure that we are not completely lost. Our responsibility is to individual Jews we meet. As Rabbi Tatz puts it, if we imagine the Jewish people as a tree, Hashem ensures the tree will live forever--our role is to ensure that individual leaves do not fall off to rot. To #3: I have had a very similar thought to yours. Recently, a friend of mine, who is somewhat observant, married someone who is Jewish but hates everything about Judaism, orthodoxy in particular. Originally, I was concerned about it, but thought about my parents, My father grew up religious and my mother did not. The difference that I have since realized is that when my parents got married, my mother agreed to make an effort: They compromised that my mother would keep basic halachas (like shabbos, kosher and mikvah), and that beyond that my father would leave her alone. If my mother had not made that effort (and if my father had not agreed to accept that effort as enough), you can be sure the marriage would have fallen apart. This boy who has married my friend will not make an effort, and I believe it will cause much friction as the marriage progresses. So, it is my personal opinion that this is an issue which should certainly be carefully discussed with him. You are correct that it is far better than marrying a non-Jew in many ways, but having parents who view Judaism in wildly different ways can be very confusing for your children when you have them. If mommy is keeping shabbos while daddy drives to the mall, that sends very mixed signals to kids. A bracha: Everything should work out for you in the best way possible, and you should have a peaceful, happy, healthy, Jewish home. :o)

(6) Judy, August 17, 2008 9:40 AM

Why not reach Jews at a younger age.

I think the problem with assimilating need to be explained to children. Why does Aish not have videos for younger kids. Today the children have access to computers at a very young age. I met an 11 yr old that is not frum. I wish I would be able to instill in him the beauty of marring a Jewish girl when the time comes. The people I meet who marry out of our religion never knew what they were doing how much they were loosing. I would suggest starting Aish for kids.

(5) Michael Wall, August 17, 2008 9:00 AM

But what TYPE of family?

In response to the first poster writing, "Marrying and raising a family is so important in a Jewish life- possibly more important than the halachot that might be compromised in a Jewish-intermarried home." I think your statement misses the point, in that marrying and raising a Jewish family is such an important part of being Jewish. Intermarriage, I believe, has led to a dillusion of Jewish belief, practice, and identification because so many of these unions cause a distancing from the faith and practice for the Jew (for lots of reasons, including the comfort of the spouse, the hassle of going it alone, the peer pressure of what ends up often as a non-Jewish group of friends, etc)and an environment for the children that does not show both a family of belief and one of practice. In high school my friend Sarah told me she would only date Jewish guys. I asked her why, given that we were in high school. She said that if there was a chance that she could find Mr. Right, he had to be Jewish, so right there the field was pre-defined. Just one man's thoughts...

(4) Anonymous, August 17, 2008 8:12 AM

Intermarry Another Jew ?

What about marrying a Jew with a different religious expression of their Judaism?? In all my many years of dating, I have never found, until now, a man who sees Judaism the way I see it. The issue is that we expess our strong Jewish identities very differently, based on the societies of which we have each been a part. I keep halacha, and he does not. I am very open-minded, and I can accept his living differently, but he seems to be trying to pull me away from my society's observances. I'm not sure how we'd raise our children, but I know of at least one family that made this type of thing work. Marrying and raising a family is so important in a Jewish life- possibly more important than the halachot that might be compromised in a Jewish-intermarried home.

(3) eva, August 17, 2008 7:17 AM

such a simple , clear,wonderfully explained subject

You are so right , Rabi, if one posses a strong jewish identity , with the time a mixed marriage cannot survive, for as you put it :the spiritualityis an important ingrediant in a marriage.That´s the reason , my marriage didn´t work , although I was married to a very decent person .Thanks for putting this important matter in such simple words.

(2) ruth housman, August 17, 2008 6:34 AM

of missions and missionaries

I understand what you are saying but there is a greater mission, and a greater race, meaning the "human race". Perhaps in intermarrying we are all of us fulfilling a mission, because this is happening at increasingly greater rates. Perhaps if there has been this thing we call transmomigration of souls or reincarnation, then we have been in each other's tents. This soul, my identity, has been in many places. Marriage is certainly a spiritual partnership. But G_d has created a world of diversity and we also need to celebrate that diversity. Why is this happening? Is G_d a part of this equation? I would say YES, as equal is to equation and yet... there is still, must be, that celebration of separateness within unity. So we do encounter a paradox here. In terms of OUR mission, meaning being Jews, I would say be very careful, because for all peoples there is this mission, namely tikkun olam and for all peoples there is this cosmic dance, which has, as its core value, the repair of the broken places, meaning love, meaning succor, meaning the sustenance of reverence for all beating hearts. We are ALL of us doing this together. The Torah is holy,but so are all the other holy books, in spiritual essence. One well but one SOURCE. The SOURCE that nourishes the spiritual truths for us all is ONE, echod. I understand fully the complexities of this question. I celebrate my heritage and it does inform my life. Deeply. I am nourished by my own tradition. But I also look to other traditions and where there is LOVE, that's what this story is all about. For us all. Meaning we cannot achieve this elusive notion of piece unless we ALL make of our lives a masterpiece, and then we can and will usher in master peace. Love will destroy the world as we know it because in order for the lion to lie down with the lamb there will have to be a new world "order". I leave this to the Creator of us ALL.

(1) M. Gorbaty, August 17, 2008 6:32 AM

you're right but you're wrong

Dear Rabbi: I grew up in an orthodox home, studied religious texts and think daily all of my life -where as a people have we gone wrong? Clearly as a people we are a failure. My business analogy is that we have a wonderful product but noone is entering the store to buy it. Inability to intermarry and bring newcomers into the faith is but one of the causes in my opinion for this failure.


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