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Would you attend a wedding between a Jew and Non-Jew?

As many of you know I am not a big blog reader, in fact I rarely read any other blogs because most of them just don’t interest me. Once in a while I wander around and check out the folks on my blogroll and other big bloggers to see what they are saying. I have been reading Abandoning Edens Blog off and on for the past few months and really enjoy her documentation of her struggle between her orthodox parents and her chosing of a non-Jewish man to marry. The back and forth between her parents and herself is quite interesting.

Just this week she wrote that her parents said they would not come to the wedding of their own daughter, because coming to the wedding would mean they acknowledge the marriage of their daughter to a non-Jew. I understand their logic and I agree and disagree at the same time. Its kind of a tossup, I know my old man would probably say the same thing if I were to wind up in the same situation- actually I think he would kill me literally before I could ever make it to the chupa or whatever they call it- wedding canopy.

Would you attend your child’s wedding if they were marrying a non-Jew? What about someone else who was of no relation to you? Do you think attending a wedding between a Jew and non-Jew condones intermarriage?

{ 150 comments… add one }
  • factualbasis July 15, 2008, 8:42 PM

    its a tricky subject. The 3rd of your 3 questions is really the crux of the matter. Does it condone the marriage to attend? I would say yes. By attending you are celebrating in the happiness of another’s marriage. If you arent happy that they are, why celebrate it.

    It also must be tough for her parents…having raised her one way and seeing her throw it all away

  • frum single female July 15, 2008, 8:57 PM

    wow, thats a tough one, especially if its a close relative or someone one is very close to. if the person intermarrying isnt frum or from a frum background they wont totally understand why their wedding is being boycotted.

  • utubefan July 15, 2008, 9:45 PM

    I just spent a whole bunch of time on AE’s blog. I really like how she writes and feel inspired by her honesty and sense of humor. I don’t know what I would do if it was my child, but I do know that it was painful for me to watch an interfaith wedding that took place on the lawn of the hotel at which my husband and I were staying. We didn’t know those people. We just felt–if I can say it–powerless. And I know that may sound holier than thou or condescending to those thinking, feeling Jews out there like AE who have chosen to live differently, but I don’t mean it that way. Anyway, I do know because I have friends who have made similar choices that sometimes doors that close actually don’t and that time and children and different life experiences change things. Parents are parents and sometimes that relationship may seem completely severed and then things change. I wish AE well.

  • utubefan July 15, 2008, 9:48 PM

    I would also like to add that even though a wedding is a big deal and a big day and blah, blah, blah, I will say that one of our parents was not at our wedding for a complicated reason (our choice) and we and our children have a good relationship with that parent today. That person not being at the wedding was a good thing, actually. And–while some of your will beg to differ– the wedding is not a fraction of a percent as important as it seems at the time.

  • Raizy July 15, 2008, 10:16 PM

    “Would you attend your childs wedding if they were marrying a non-Jew?”
    No way, absolutely not. It’s a repudiation of everything that I have spent their whole lives teaching them.
    I’ve been following AE’s story as well, and just last night, I sat my 14 year old son down in front of the computer and had him read her last few posts. I then asked him “What do you think?” He answered, “I think she’s got a lot of nerve being angry at her parents when really they should be angry at her.”

  • Frum Satire July 15, 2008, 10:46 PM

    I think shes got a lot of nerve being angry at her parents when really they should be angry at her.

    I agree

  • Future Druggie July 15, 2008, 11:04 PM

    The parents are at fault for not giving her enough Jewish knowledge when she was growing up. Her parents are getting what’s coming to them.

    • curlytop December 21, 2016, 12:42 PM

      The parents can do everything “right” and the kid could still intermarry. There are no guarantees. Every person has free will and it may conflict with what the parents tried hard to inculcate.

      • Steve April 26, 2017, 3:52 PM

        To your point, My elementary school yeshiva Rabbi and his siblings grew up up in a black hat orthodox home. Their father was himself a well known Rabbi. All siblings attended very well known yeshivas growing up. One of my Rabbis brothers married a non-Jew. My Rabbi went to visit him. Upon walking into the bathroom, my Rabbi noticed that the silver Kiddush cup was now being used as the toothbrush holder. So, parents can do everything “Right”, yet, things can happen, unfortunately.

  • Yochanan July 15, 2008, 11:16 PM

    As the only person in my family this generation who’s planning on marrying in the tribe, I pretty much have to go an “interfaith” wedding.

    I sure as hell would not wear a kippa to the wedding and would tuck my tzitzit in. I think not attending the wedding or disowning your child sends the wrong message. Do you hate intermarriage or intermarrieds.

    If I have a son who Chas veShalom intermarries I will only request one thing from him: Not to bullshit me and say that his kids will be Jewish by patralineal descent.

  • Rich July 15, 2008, 11:23 PM

    Not even a question, I would go, but my wife would not.

    Future Druggie said “The parents are at fault for not giving her enough Jewish knowledge when she was growing up. Her parents are getting whats coming to them.”

    Or maybe the education was fine, but she, like me and others, just don’t believe in the tenants of OJ. Are you incapable of believing that many of us have looked at the issues and come to decide that Judaism, the Bible and/or halacha is all or partially false?

  • Heterim are for Hippies July 15, 2008, 11:32 PM


    You can look at whatever you want. Ultimately we all choose what we believe. If you recognize emes then no amount of logic will ever dissuade you. If you choose a lifestyle and then seek to justify it, then no amount of logic will dissuade you that way either. It’s all about motivation.

  • Rich July 15, 2008, 11:52 PM


    I agree with you 100% that we each need to choose the path that we truly believe in. However, that is not what OJ espouses since according to OJ you do not have a choice whether to be OJ or not.

    I also believe it is dishonest to imply, as future druggie did, that if she had a better education all would be fine and to blame the parents. In the end of the day, even the “best” educated children can make decisions that are not what the parents would want.

  • TRS July 16, 2008, 12:58 AM

    It could be an interesting Halachic question as well. Are you bichlal allowed to attend a non-Jewish wedding? Would the Halacha be different if it’s an intermarriage?

  • TRS July 16, 2008, 1:06 AM

    Future Druggie said The parents are at fault for not giving her enough Jewish knowledge when she was growing up. Her parents are getting whats coming to them.

    That’s a very unfair thing to say about these parents. First of all, “Her parents are getting what’s coming to them.” Do you think that you’re the old testament G-d of retribution or something? How about Rabbeinu Gershom, who’s son converted to Christianity? Did he also get what was coming to him?
    A. Who says they didn’t give enough Jewish knowledge? I’m not a Snag, so I couldn’t tell you which Issur you just went against, but to me that sounds like Loshon Hora, which I do believe is a D’Oraisa.
    B. Even if they didn’t give her an adequate Jewish education, and I’m not saying they didn’t, no Jew deserves to have their child abandon the faith.

  • Risa July 16, 2008, 2:21 AM

    It is very sad to have to say, but I would not attend that wedding. Not of a child of mine nor of a relative, nor of anyone else. This is a painful question and no reflection on the individuals involved. But just as I would not eat something non-kosher to avoid offending someone, I would not go to such a wedding.
    My children know this. I told them many years ago, before they were of marriagable age that I would accept anyone they choose, that I would accept a non-religious Jew (albeit not happily), that I would never reject them or boycott them or stop speaking to them over such an issue. One thing I will not accept though is marrying a non-Jew. I am telling you this now, I said, so it won’t be taken as a personal judegement about any one non-Jewish person. That’s just the way it is.
    It is of course more difficult when it comes to relatives. There, you might not have the opportunity to make youself clear beforehand. But still, I believe one must take a stand. You can do it gently or be obnoxious about it. That’s up to you. But you have to be firm.

  • Yochanan July 16, 2008, 2:38 AM

    This is one area of kiruv that really pisses me off. Many rightfully argue that the intermarriage rate among Jews brought up in Orthodox homes is extremely low. But why is it so low? It seems that they are many who only marry Jewish because of a fear of being disowned.

  • Shabbos_Goy July 16, 2008, 4:29 AM

    Absolutely NOT!!! Even though I’m not keeping anything and I might as well marry a shiksa, I can still understand their (our) side. I don’t hate frumkeit, I just hate being frum. That’s why I still respect them, and that’s why if I’d be them I would not attend. To a frum person it’s like going to watch and cheer in Auschwitz while other Jews are gassed.

  • shoshi July 16, 2008, 4:42 AM

    Well, quit paradoxically, if you think that the marriage is not valid,you might as well attend it, because the ceremony has no significance to you;

    On the other hand…

    Why does the person have a wedding ceremony in the first place? If you are a true atheist (in the sense of the 70ies anti-establishment movement), you do not believe in marriage, so why celebrate it…? … and why insist that certain persons (close friends, parents, family) should attend it…

  • utubefan July 16, 2008, 7:48 AM

    Shoshi, I was thinking the same thing. If she truly is an atheist, then why the need for a wedding which is a religious ritual and if she wants this because as she writes in one of her posts, it’s a girl thing, then why be annoyed at the parents for not coming to a meaningless party. Do her parents come to other parties she throws? If it is because she wants their stamp of approval of this party, then that would be quite unreasonable of her to expect. The whole thing doesn’t make sense, but then again neither does her feeling of complete happiness without Judaism. And the reason I say that is because I have taken the time to read her posts and I feel that something is missing. While I understand like Rich says that some people just don’t believe in Orthodox tenets, I usually know more about the choice especially when the person has such an extensive Orthodox background as she does. I can’t help it, but the lifestyle affords so many options within it–options she says she considered–so I wonder why a person would be “happy” to turn away from it. It is–when properly explored–an extremely rich lifestyle choice. I know a few intellectuals who can’t come to grips with the rules or the thought process behind them, but they choose to marry Jewish because they want to give their children the rich, positive experiences of Judaism. I would love to know more about her youthful experiences in Judaism. For some MO young people, the Judaism they are presented is cold, materialistic, and disconnected. And sometimes it’s the middleman of the religion–the parents or the schools–that disappoint the person in their approach or lack of caring and then the whole thing goes to atheism in a handbasket masked as intellectual questioning. I’m not blaming the parents, just raising the possibility because I have seen that before. Just wondering about all that. She relays a conversation she had via Facebook with her brother and she completely doesn’t get the anger and disappointment. She is surprised by the nastiness, but, then those who love us can be very passionate (and angry) when we disappoint them. Anyway, it’s not over till it’s over, but I wish I understood why she is doing what she is doing as much as I understand why her parents are doing what they are doing.

  • abandoning eden July 16, 2008, 8:47 AM

    wow there’s a lot of people analyzing my life here 😆

    I will answer one question – why (if I’m an atheist) am I having a wedding? Why not get married at city hall or something?

    To be honest, our original plan was to get married at city hall. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that even though our ceremony will not be religious, it is important to me to have our friends and (some of our) family there to witness us getting married. Even more so because we’re not religious! When religious people get married, they vow before god that they will love each other, etc. (ok yeah I know the jewish ceremony is not exactly like that). But who do you vow those things in front of when you don’t believe in god? The answer (to us at least) is the other people you love! So we will be vowing to ourselves and all our loved ones (who choose to come) that we are committed to being together and loving each other, etc.

    Marriage (in my atheistic view) is not a religious thing. To me it is a commitment that no matter what happens in the future, you will honor the love you had for each other at the onset by trying your hardest and best to be good to one another, and to have a working relaitonship. And weddings aren’t s0me mystical thing, but rather a public declaration of those intentions.

    Also in terms of the anger thing- I was a lot angrier when I wrote my latest blog post than I am now (after a few days have gone by). And I understand why my parents are sad/angry about my decision. That doesn’t mean I can’t still be sad/angry about their’s.

  • abandoning eden July 16, 2008, 8:48 AM

    ok what gives frum satire…how come my responses keep getting censored and/or disappearing into the night!

  • abandoning eden July 16, 2008, 8:49 AM

    argh, ok i’m just going to make a new blog post over at my blog

  • s(b.) July 16, 2008, 9:04 AM

    ae, it could be the punctuation you’re using (slashes and colons and hyphens sometimes sent posts to moderationland). Or if you’re posting a web link, that’ll do it.

    Here’s a question for people who would not attend an interfaith wedding: What if the couple wasn’t planning on having kids? Like, if the (Jewish) woman was too old to have kids, and doesn’t already have kids, and they guy has adult children of his faith. Would you consider such a wedding to be equally not-for-you-to-attend?

  • utubefan July 16, 2008, 9:10 AM

    First of all, I personally am not sure what I would do if it was my child, but if I did not choose to attend it would not be about the kids. That’s a separate problem. It would be about the choice to leave the faith behind and the ceremony that indirectly if not directly celebrates that. This leaves Halacha to the side for now because I don’t know what that Halacha is and because Rabbis make determinations on Halacha based on circumstance at times.

  • Ex-wife of BT July 16, 2008, 9:39 AM

    On her blog, Abandoning Eden said, “we came to the conclusion that we want to take our vows in front of …”

    I just want to clarify: The origin of wedding vows is the Catholic religion, who make vows before God not to divorce. There are those who mistakenly view Judaism in the same light. Judaism allows for divorce, Catholicism doesn’t.

  • abandoning eden July 16, 2008, 10:09 AM

    I don’t think we’re going to vow never to divorce… (and how would that even be enforceable?)

    So when jews say ‘harei at mekudeshet li” etc (excuse by mad transliteration) what are they saying?

  • abandoning eden July 16, 2008, 10:10 AM

    hahah “my bad” not “by mad”

  • utubefan July 16, 2008, 10:19 AM

    AE, I tried to post on your blog, but it didn’t work. Here is my post.
    Thanks for the honest post. I really do enjoy reading your posts and your straight-up way of expressing yourself. Forgive me some thoughts and know that I mean them in the most respectful of tones:
    You said, “Even apart from any religious issues (or maybe stemming from “those issues) me and my parents have never had the greatest of relationships.”

    I often find that when there are religious issues, there are usually relationship issues and that the latter do not necessarily stem from the former, but rather feed off the former in a vicious cycle. But, I don’t know the particulars of your relationship growing up. I have a friend who chose your path, but still remains close to her parents. She did not end up marrying her Japanese, atheist live-in boyfriend so that made it easier. But, I have never felt comfortable asking her about her relationship with her parents before her religious choices and I always wonder about that.
    “And if my parents continue to refuse to meet B, how can I have any relationship with them at all? ”
    You’re absolutely right. Relationship-wise on both ends, this is a no-win. They need to agree to spend time with your husband if you are going to have a relationship with them. I actually think that this choice may be a mistake on their part. I wonder why they make this choice. I mean a restaurant, a coffee shop. I think it would be important to know this man and get a feel for how he is treating you. I think a parent should put aside the religious issues to find out that information. I think attending the wedding is a problem, but meeting him should not be. You know it’s funny how some people want to save you and some people want to make clear to you how wrong your choice is, but I just really wish I could understand your choice and that of others like you. I know that we are all different and I see that you have spent time investigating other forms of Judaism, but I wonder how disconnected and cold your experiences were growing up that you are willing to dismiss the rich, family-centered culture of Judaism so happily. Like I mentioned at FS, there are those who dismiss the whole heaven and G-d thing intellectually, but really want their homes to have the depth of knowledge and joy of life that a Jewish home–properly run–has, whether Orthodox or not.

  • utubefan July 16, 2008, 10:20 AM

    “Harei At Mekudeshet” means that this person is holy for you alone, that you are committed to a relationship/marriage with each other. It does not state that this is a lifetime vow.

  • Ex-wife of BT July 16, 2008, 10:23 AM

    The man tells his future wife: Here you are made holy unto me.

    Your parents love you deeply. They gave you opportunities when you were growing up that you are going to deny your children.

    My editor’s father is Jewish, but his mother is Catholic. This person is so confused. He attended a Catholic school and was beaten by his classmates for being Jewish. Ironically, he isn’t Jewish.

    Gentiles hate Jews. B may be more open-minded now, but you have no idea how a mixed marriage can destroy the lives of your future children.

    My ex-husband went to public schools as a child. He wasn’t religious, yet the Jewish kids were picked on by their gentile classmates.

    I have non-Jewish close friends who say anti-semitic things every so often. God put anti-semitism in the world because He loves us.

    You may have a peaceful relationship now, but you can’t even begin to imagine the horrors that your kids will be subject to.

    • Jewish Woman December 27, 2011, 10:23 AM

      Of course gentiles hate Jews! They hate us because of these ridiculous beliefs that have been passed down to us! I am a proud Jewish woman engaged to a Christian man. Most of you might think that this relationship is wrong, but I do not think that G-d would approve of such condescending beliefs. Judiasm teaches that G-d is all-forgiving and when Jewish people misconstrue the original beliefs, it angers me.

      Even in the Torah, Jewish people marry outside of the religion. When did it become a rule that you must marry inside our religion? This “rule” was made by Jewish men, NOT by G-d.
      As to those of you that think inter-faith children grow up confused, that is not always the case. I know plenty of inter-faith children that grow up completely normal as a Jewish person and a person from another faith.

      My Orthodox Jewish sister is considering not going to my wedding because of her ridiculous beliefs. This not only will create conflict with me and my fiance, but it will also anger my parents, sisters, and friends. I am VERY close with my sister and I love her very much. I talk with her every day and go to her for almost every Shabbos. I would like to continue to do this after I get married, but her reaction towards my engagement just pushes me farther away. If you really want someone to stay Jewish, you don’t disrespect them and stop loving them; you make sure that they stay true to their beliefs as a Jewish person.

      • Benedicto Estrada March 8, 2016, 12:31 AM

        i was just reading this article because a culture/communication interest.
        But, -proud of my speech clarity- Your affirmation is plainly ridiculous. Nobody hate nobody until knowing the other’s failures, darkness, mischievousies. “Gentiles” as you call them in a burst of racism/classism/discriminative speech, do not jews while do not know them. So, please leave this middle-aged discourse.

        Most of people i the world consider Jews just like another religion or ethicity, depending of their own mind luggage. For example, here in Mxico many Jews work and prosper. Nobody attacks them until they make some crime (Miguel Shakal, say). Once years ago a Jew cover protected some burglars who robbed me and tried to kidnap me. I suppose not all Jews in Mxico are like these, since some other Jews do fair business and work. Please take a look at the modern world. You are not battling Amorrhim.

  • heimish in bp July 16, 2008, 10:28 AM

    Hesh, first and foremost, I really think this whole post is really insensitive to AE. I have read a lot of her blog, in the past, and it hurts to no end. But to publicly discuss it, I think was really not fair. Look at the nasty comments that were about her and her family.

    How dare you Future Druggie to make such a comment about her parents???? Do you have a clue what parents go thru??? Do you have kids? Have you stayed up nights with a child? Have you cried yourself to sleep night after night, because your child to grow up frum? Have you been in AEs house once, to see what level of Emunah and yiddishkiet the parents instilled in their children, before you made such a rude comment? How many times did you cry your heart out in a Thillim, that your kids should be frum? Did you give you life and body for your kids, to make such an insensitive comment??? That is chutzpa or just real immaturity to make such a comment about parents. And to say they deserve whats coming to them, I must tell you FD, not that you do or should care, but I will definitely view your comments in a very different light, after such a comment. Watch your tongue, you can really hurt other people.

    As to subject at hand, I think that Shobbos_Goy (who seems to be not frum) put it the best, To a frum person its like going to watch and cheer in Auschwitz while other Jews are gassed.

    If I would go? To myself personally, I have always told myself I will never cut off ties with any of my kids. If they convert, go gay, go ultra, no difference. And I am a firm believer, that most who go off, will eventually come back. And the only reason why I would attend, a persons wedding that is intermarrying, is if I feel that my presence there, will send that person a message, that I still love you no matter what, and I am here for you, and never abandoned you, and when the sh-t hits the fan, and they are looking for a way back, I will be there for them. Been there done that, BH, and helped some make it back.

    AE, dus harts raast = Yiddish the heart is being ripped apart.

    I hope you find inner peace, and realize that, just as if someone would come and invalidate your whole thesis, and your whole education, you have put your heart and soul into, and spit on it, ruin it, throw it away forever, and that all your effort you put in for the last couple of years would go down the drain to be lost forever, you would hate that person, and never forgive them: your parents who have gone thru a pregnancy, childbirth, raising you, feeding you, clothing you, teaching you, nurturing you, crying with you, laughing with you, having the biggest hopes for your happiness, and then see in front of their eyes how its all falling apart, a slow death, how its all going to nothing, and never giving up hope, and then the last straw, of them ever seeing their fruits of labor, their young little kid who was so cute and so lovable, just go off with something they are so apposed to, how can they not be angry? Wouldnt you be angry? Hurt? Lost? Shamed? At a loss? Unforgivable?

    AE, I am not telling you how to live your life. Serious. Chazal say al tudin es chavery, ad shtegeya limkomo. Do NOT judge your friend until you are in his position. No one who is reading this blog or your blog can say they have had the same trials and tribulations you went thru. Are in the same predicament as you are. Maybe similar, but never the same. So no one can tell you what to do or how to do it. All I am asking here, if for a little understanding to your parents.

  • chanief July 16, 2008, 10:30 AM

    I’ve been reading AE’s blog for some time but I comment more here, so I’ll stick it here (Ae, I hope you’re reading this!)

    If it were me, knowing myself as a parent, I know that I WOULD attend my child’s wedding if they were marrying a non-jew.

    It is my job to educate them and raise them as best I can and then to set them free in the world as adults to make their own choices. I may not love and support their choices but I will always love and support THEM in whatever way they need me.

    I have siblings who have married people I patently did not approve of for whatever reason. I still attended their weddings to be there for them even though I knew it would end in disaster – how much more so for my children! I could be a million percent positive they are making a mistake but it’s their mistake to make and if I want to be in their lives I have to accept them and be there for them regardless.

    When it comes down to it, if one of my children does marry someone who was not Jewish, I would prefer that it be my daughter so that my grandchildren are Jewish. Just had to add that in.

    As far as AE’s situation in particular, I think that what her father wrote to her was actually very well written and compassionate. I could see that he is struggling with the choice he has to make and is not comfortable with either decision. He TRULY believes that what she is doing is wrong and that to attend would be to condone, so who is anyone else to judge? He does not say he never wants to talk to her again and is going to disown her, he stresses repeatedly that he loves her. He offers to talk about it on the phone if she so wishes. He is confused and hurt and probably unsure of what to do, but because he is being put on the “coming or not?” spot, he has to choose what initially feels right.

    I understand her hurt feelings, it’s not easy for her either. It stings to have the one she loves be rejected by her parents. I get that. However, my unsolicited advice would be – don’t make your wedding on Saturday. Plan it as if your parents are going to attend and hope that they will change their minds. It’s a few months away! They may need time to adjust to the idea and handle their disappointment. They need to grieve for the life they wanted you to have.

    If you plan the event in a way that they can absolutely not attend, you are closing the door just as much as they are and are equally responsible for the failure of your relationship with them. If you plan it in a way that they can attend and they still choose not to, then at least you know, for the rest of your life, that you did what you could. I just don’t want you to have any regrets down the road and have to think “Oh if only I had made it possible, maybe they would have changed their minds.”

    I wish you lots of luck, love and happiness with B.

  • abandoning eden July 16, 2008, 10:45 AM

    Thanks Chanif. And since writing that past angry blog post, I’ve reconsidered, and me and B have decided to move the wedding to may (after lag ba’omer) and have it on a sunday. And I will still be sending my parents an invitation.

    Partially because you are right- I want to give every opportunity to my parents to reconsider. Also partially cause when writing up our preliminary guest list, I remembered that a friend of mine who I really want to be there is shomer-shabbas (he offered to stay somewhere nearbye and walk over to the ceremony, but I don’t think that would work out logistically).

  • utubefan July 16, 2008, 10:55 AM

    Chanief and Heimish, your words are really what is needed here. And, you are right, this shouldn’t be discussed openly like this on a blog other than hers. Again, I wish you well, AE.

  • utubefan July 16, 2008, 10:59 AM

    I hope if nothing else that you get how painful (yes, I believe that is right) painful it is to watch it happen and not be able to do anything about it. And if it is painful for some of us who don’t know you and haven’t invested at all in your life, how much more so. Interesting to see the pain expressed by others here. Like Heimish said, though, this is a possible loss, not a definate loss because stuff happens, doors don’t remain closed forever.

  • Dave July 16, 2008, 11:10 AM

    Gentiles hate Jews.

    No. Some Gentiles hate Jews. And some Jews hate Gentiles.

  • s(b.) July 16, 2008, 11:34 AM

    Thanks Dave, Chanief, and Heimish (except for the Auschwitz comparison [which I realize you were only echoing; it disgusted me the first time I read it, too] — nothing is anything like that except that. How many of us are children or grandchildren of people whose families were killed in concentration camps? [raises hand] I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    To argue the importance of leaving a door open in one breath and compare intermarriage to c. camp murder makes no sense [I realize that murder and intermarriage can be heartbreaking, to some, but they have nothing to do with leaving an open door]. But there is a HUGE difference between the systematic murder of millions and an adult making a life choice!

    I threw a couple of links on intermarriage I feel are interesting enough to read up on my blog today. As for me, I agree with the open door theory and that parents raise their children as best they can, but ultimately, they are adults and will make their own choices.

    Seeing those close to me struggle to deal with a teenager’s rebellion against Judaism, and grappling with it myself, has been nothing if not thought-provoking. I don’t have any answers other than, at that age, I didn’t believe in much, either. I don’t think rejection of disinterested parties is the answer.

    One can reject behavior without rejecting a person. One of the saddest comments I ever read was the following, by sheryl, copied and pasted from ae’s post of April 11:

    —–wow. I am so excited to have discovered your blog. I’ve only read this one post- but can relate completely to your post, and everyones comments,having had come from an orthodox/conservative family.

    I stopped believing in god when I was 16, and used to try to explain it to my parents, who never wanted to acknowledge my views. I realized something was wrong when I spent Friday night telling them how I didn’t believe in god or religion, and the next morning, my mom would ask if I planned to attend shul with her.

    I struggle with this immensely. every day. as I have matured, I have since stopped putting my views in their face, out of realization that they would never hear me and I was only hurting them.

    it hurts me that they won’t accept me for who I am. and I struggle with the compromise I continually make around them to appease them.

    it makes me so sad that they won’t accept me for me, and it makes me sadder to see how disappointed and hurt they become when I am just trying to live my life in a way which I believe is right.

    it angers me that they can be so controlling as to have to try to control every aspect of my feelings and beliefs.

    my parents never grasped the concept of allowing their children to become their own person.

    I don’t know if I will ever find peace.—–

    That, I found heartbreaking.

    In the end, there is no off the derech. Everyone walks their own derech. A lot of people’s may resemble each other’s, but the more orthodox people I get to know better, the more I realize everyone’s got their own ways of doing stuff, too — which is part of what makes religion fun (or frustrating, if you let it; I try not to).

    I think more people walk parallel, similar paths than folks realize when they let other things distract them. But what do I know? lol

  • heimish in bp July 16, 2008, 11:57 AM

    Well s(b.), I wholeheartedly disagree with you about the Ausschwitz comparison. Just like if one would NOT be standing in Berkenau, and dance and sing while his family is being marched into a gas chamber, for his family is being destroyed forever, lost or gone. So too, would one not want to stand and dance and sing and watch how his own family is being destroyed forever, lost or gone. By Jews, continuity and longevity is what made us and kept us. Without it, we are nothing. And to most of us, it has the same, if not stronger feelings. Those gassed by the Nazis, died al Kiddush Hashem. One who intermarries, his soul, and his/her future generations souls are dying al Chilul Hashem.

    That being said, we still hold out hope for anyone, and never close the door on anyone. In one breath. Yes. Express our hurt and pain, and acknowledge the hope we never give up on anyone.

  • Dave July 16, 2008, 12:01 PM

    One who intermarries, his soul, and his/her future generations souls are dying al Chilul Hashem.

    So much for Esther.

    • Benedicto Estrada March 8, 2016, 12:33 AM

      4000 years outdated beliefs.

  • Lion of Zion July 16, 2008, 12:02 PM


    “I sure as hell would not wear a kippa to the wedding and would tuck my tzitzit in”

    why? i’ve only been to 1 . 5 non-ortho weddings and never to an intermarriage (i’ve never been presented with one and i don’t know what i would do depeding on specific circumstances), but at those 1.5 weddings i was proud to wear a kippah and be a kiddush hashem (it doesn’t happen that often to me). let these people see me washing, eating airplane food out of a tin, etc.

    i felt uncomfortable at first, but for many of these people it’s the first time they are seeing practicing ortho jews. why deprive them of this?


    “The parents are at fault for not giving her enough Jewish knowledge when she was growing up. Her parents are getting whats coming to them.

    this is not about playing the blame game. (and i haven’t read her story, so i don’t know what her parents did anyway.)

    plus there are plenty of people who have plenty of knowldege who leave the community, for various reasons. just to consider one, some people simply can’t square ortho beliefs when subject to objective and critical thought. i don’t know you personally, so don’t take this personally, but i doubt you (or myself or perhaps most people on this thread) have every really had the opportunity to consider our beliefs objectively and come to an honest conclusion.

  • Lion of Zion July 16, 2008, 12:03 PM


    “To myself personally, I have always told myself I will never cut off ties with any of my kids. If they convert, go gay, go ultra . . .”

    huh? how much more ultra can you get?

  • Lion of Zion July 16, 2008, 12:05 PM


    “how come my responses keep getting censored and/or disappearing into the night”

    yeah, this is one reason i don’t comment here except for when i get sucked into occasional posts. it’s too much of a pain in the tuchus.

  • Lion of Zion July 16, 2008, 12:09 PM


    “are looking for a way back, I will be there for them”

    that’s a good point. but does it matter if its a civil intermarriage or an interfaith ceremoney, or what if the jewish parnter actually converts out for the wedding (or what if the non-jewish partner converts in, but not ortho)? i also wonder if it’s possible not to go to the wedding but not cut off ties completely?

  • s(b.) July 16, 2008, 12:44 PM

    forever, lost, gone and hold out hope, never close the door on, and acknowledge the hope we never give up on anyone (imo, and we may just have to disagree on this one, and that’s fine) don’t go together. ’cause I can go to Gurs (sp?) and I can go to Auschwitz, and I can hold out my hope, never close the door and draw a circle in the dirt around me like I’m Eliyahu wanting rain, and I’ll tell you, my relatives are NOT coming back. Michayeh hameitim, but not them, not that I’ve seen. If you can bring ’em back in the same breath, I’ve got a ton of relatives I’d love to have met. Compare that to a child of an intermarried couple deciding to live Judaism, well, that’s within the realm of possibility — in this lifetime, in this world. Maybe I am not understanding something.

  • heimish in bp July 16, 2008, 12:45 PM

    LOZ, if I am planning to attent Hesh’s open mike, how ultra can I be?

  • heimish in bp July 16, 2008, 12:52 PM

    Maybe I wasnt clear. Shaabbos_Goy, was pointing out that it wouldnt makes sense for one to rejoice on such of occasion, just like one wont rejoice when ones family is annihilated. And I echoed that sentiment. Its just a level of grief one is dealing with.

    On a different note, one should never give up hope, as you pointed out the possibility. I am not connecting the two.

  • s(b.) July 16, 2008, 1:05 PM

    thanks for explaining.

  • Ginger July 16, 2008, 1:15 PM

    My best freind married a non-Jewish guy and I went and celebrated. A part of me was sad, but the stronger part of me decided it was more important to be at her side and you know what? She’s pregnant with her first child, picking a hebrew name and deciding on hebrew schools. Her marriage has forced her to be more Jewish than ever before. Had I rejected her, she may have rejected religion.

  • abandoning eden July 16, 2008, 1:24 PM

    Wow, nazi comparisons. Do I have to invoke Godwin’s law here?

    Comparing marrying someone to a mass genocide of jewish people is obnoxious and disgusting and highly offensive. So you’re saying that me marrying someone I love is the same as the people who killed several of my great aunts and uncles?

    My kids will still be jewish according to jewish halacha, and my family will still go on and not be ‘lost or destroyed’, even if their genetics are a little less ‘pure’ or whatever cause their dad is not jewish (how did so many nazi ideas get into the canon of jewish beliefs anyways?).

  • abandoning eden July 16, 2008, 1:25 PM

    also along that logic, not having kids at all would be the same as sending jews to the gas chamber. Do you think women who are voluntarily childless are the same as nazis?

  • heimish in bp July 16, 2008, 1:34 PM

    Sorry, AE, but to a parent its just as hurtful.

  • s(b.) July 16, 2008, 1:37 PM

    I had a similar experience with a male friend; his Jewish identity is far greater than her very secular not-Jewish one. Pushing people away doesn’t help draw people closer, imo. Mekarev is a funny word, how come together has come to mean to reach out. Kiruv’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose … (I’m kidding)

  • Dave July 16, 2008, 1:38 PM

    Heimish, are you seriously arguing that you see no difference between your child being murdered, and your child marrying out?

    That’s really quite sad.

  • heimish in bp July 16, 2008, 1:48 PM

    No, its very sad that one doesn’t feel connected enough with hashem and yiddishkiet to realize that one who’s kid intermarries is just as or worse then your child being murderd.

  • Dave July 16, 2008, 1:52 PM

    From this I take it you’ve never had to deal with the death of a child in the family.

    For your sake, I’m glad of that.

  • Lion of Zion July 16, 2008, 2:09 PM


    “also along that logic, not having kids at all would be the same as sending jews to the gas chamber.”

    but there is sort of a converse argument that is popular. one should have lots of kids to compensate for the ones we lost in the holocaust

    “Do you think women who are voluntarily childless are the same as nazis?”

    not me


    “kid intermarries is just as or worse then your child being murderd.”

    not just dying but actually murdered? that’s a pretty strong statement, that it is worse than losing a child to senseless violence.

    i get heart palpitations when i think my son won’t clear his cute little fingers away in time from a closing door. i can’t even fathom anything worse happening to him.

  • Frum Satire July 16, 2008, 2:10 PM

    “Comparing marrying someone to a mass genocide of jewish people is obnoxious and disgusting and highly offensive. So youre saying that me marrying someone I love is the same as the people who killed several of my great aunts and uncles?”

    Sounds like my high school Rabbis who said masturbation was like genocide. I remember the famous writing on the bathroom wall.

    “be careful your holding the future of the Jewish people in your hand”

    Wow such violence in the comments- I’ll stay out of it.

  • Ex-wife of BT July 16, 2008, 2:24 PM

    Even though AE’s children may be technically Jewish, there is even less reason for them to marry Jews themselves.

  • abandoning eden July 16, 2008, 2:28 PM

    yep, and when they never meet their jewish grandparents because their grandparents refuse to meet their father, they will have even LESS of a reason to marry jewish themselves.

  • Yaakovsladder July 16, 2008, 2:48 PM

    I wouldn’t attend a “mixed” wedding. The issue though gets a little mixed up though when it comes to a family member who marries someone who converts in a non-halachic manner. What do you do then when the family doesn’t observe halacha however the person marrying into the family makes an effort to conform. That is a tough one, and one for which I am facing.

  • s(b.) July 16, 2008, 2:59 PM

    —–when they never meet their jewish grandparents because their grandparents refuse to meet their father, they will have even LESS of a reason to marry jewish themselves.——-

    And that’s the problem with ortholand shutting people out. I don’t know if any of you have dealt with accusations of ethnocentricity because you want to marry someone who’s Jewish (and has a strong Jewish identity). I don’t think I’m better than anyone; I just want to share my religion with whomever I marry (a personal choice). It’s very hard to explain that to people without them thinking you think Jews are better than other people. We’re all just people (sorry, ae, for the twist, back to your thing, and my point).

    If Jews are not at least civil to/shut out/sit shiva for their friends/relatives/children who intermarry, that gives those people little reason to continue to have any Jewish identity whatsoever.

    And if the idea is to encourage people having a Jewish identity, then being not at least civil to/shutting out/sitting shiva for people who intermarry just doesn’t fly (imo).

    And neither does being just civil, but if that’s all people can handle, I understand that. Religion is not logical, and emotions run deep, sometimes, and that can make it hard to love proximately.

  • s(b.) July 16, 2008, 3:09 PM

    be careful your holding the future of the Jewish people in your hand

    must. not. make. not. pg-rated. comments. but I’ll add some lyrics:

    He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
    Traditional, Written By: Unknown, Copyright: Unknown

    He’s got the whole world in His hands,
    He’s got the whole world in His hands,
    He’s got the whole world in His hands,
    He’s got the whole world in His hands.

    He’s got my brothers and my sisters in His hands,
    He’s got my brothers and my sisters in His hands,
    He’s got my brothers and my sisters in His hands,
    He’s got the whole world in His hands.

    He’s got the sun and the rain in His hands,
    He’s got the moon and the stars in His hands,
    He’s got the wind and the clouds in His hands,
    He’s got the whole world in His hands.

    He’s got the rivers and the mountains in His hands,
    He’s got the oceans and the seas in His hands,
    He’s got you and he’s got me in His hands,
    He’s got the whole world in His hands.

    He’s got everybody here in His hands,
    He’s got everybody there in His hands,
    He’s got everybody everywhere in His hands,
    He’s got the whole world in His hands.


  • utubefan July 16, 2008, 3:20 PM

    s(b.) I hear you.
    I don’t worry about AE’s potential future children so much because as has been said, that door aint closed. Stuff happens. I just can’t seem to get over the loss of culture and as s(b.) says, the loss of shared culture and this Judaism to me is something else. It is wicked rich and full of twists and turns and beauty and love and history and diversity–I know, I’m really getting Carlebachian now. It’s got the intellectual stuff –the Drisha women, etc. and the Chasidus and the Conservative Egalitarian Solomon Schecter and the Hirschians… I don’t know. If Judaism was be a potential boyfriend, he sure would be multifaceted and worth my time. But then, my friend’s husband chose to convert and they are raising their kids Jewish so–again–that door is not closed.

  • Menachem July 16, 2008, 3:26 PM

    Been there, done that. Wife’s brother married a conservative convert (he’s a kohen). We asked lots of Rabbis, many in Kiruv. The answer was consistently not to go to the wedding. We explained to the couple and they understood. My mother-in-law, on the other hand was devastated.

    Not sure we sent a clear message of disapproval or one of being fundamentalists. (My wife’s sister and family didn’t go either.)

    Still not sure it was the right thing to do. What I do believe is that once the couple is married, whether or not you went to the wedding, it is important to treat them as openly and warmly as possible. Though we generally don’t mekarav gerim I think this is absolutely an issue of kiruv. And everything should be done to encourage the non-Jewish spouse to convert properly.

  • Dave July 16, 2008, 3:40 PM

    I dont worry about AEs potential future children so much because as has been said, that door aint closed. Stuff happens.

    There has been an implicit assumption in a number of comments (here and on other blogs) that when the parents come around, all will be well.

    That isn’t necessarily true. It may be, it may not.

    But assuming that very hurtful behavior will have no long term impact if changed years down the road is simply wrong. Acts have repercussions, and those don’t magically disappear.

  • s(b.) July 16, 2008, 3:47 PM

    I hear you, utubefan, and I think we run on similar Jewish planets (I am not familiar with the egal so much, though), but that’s a very different jplanet than the one on which ae was raised, unfortunately. And, really, if my jplanet were chock full of feeling like anything less than her parents’ j status quo weren’t good enough (a prior love of hers was a convert, and he also didn’t pass muster), or like judaism was nothing but a situation in which religion was being used to emotionally blackmail me into submission/conformity, I wouldn’t want anything to do with it. (I am not speaking for ae or saying she feels that way.)

    Menachem, I agree with this: –once the couple is married, whether or not you went to the wedding, it is important to treat them as openly and warmly as possible.–

  • suitepotato July 16, 2008, 4:36 PM

    In all the negativity regarding this there is the implicit assumption that not intermarrying stems the loss rate. Okay, how many people here have two Jewish parents and are not exactly on the derech?

    It’s like thinking that boys and girls not talking, or girls not dressing other than like 1860’s midwest school marms will somehow make better Jews. Clearly, readying the jblogs shows that ain’t remotely true.

    So what is?

    Not exactly sure, but chumrot and minhagim for the sake of grasping at straws hasn’t worked. There’s lots of people showing up on the news whose family are Jewish back to before anyone can trace who are accused of all sorts of things. Read the Israeli police reports. Being born into it doesn’t confer any greatness in and of itself.

    Seems like the problem is a lack of attachment. Well, news flash, this happens in every Christian denomination. Even Mennonite kids are at Wal-Mart ogling televisions playing rap videos.

    The thing that I keep seeing is a lack of humility. There’s a lot of talking ourselves too seriously in this world and its true of Jews, Christians, Muslims, you name it. When there’s too much taking things too seriously, especially the primacy of our ideas, and being right as opposed to merely doing right, human children being the walking bulls**t detectors that they are, well, it drives them away.

    There’s a saying in many cultures that people often can’t see what they have till it is gone. Instead of chasing kids who’ve walked OTD, people who’ve intermarried, and trying to do exit interviews and analysis on them, maybe the questions need to be asked of those who’d gladly convert. What does Judaism have to offer that brought those who were not steeped in it from the beginning?

    Humans have a tendency to believe the grass is greener everywhere else and are usually the last to see the greatness of whatever they have to offer. Maybe they need to ask those coming from somewhere else why.

    I can tell you now, losses won’t be stemmed at all by discouraging intermarriage. In the end, if you haven’t got whatever “it” is to keep people in the seats come services, and to keep them practicing the traditions at home of their own accord no matter how hard they are versus just chucking them and waltzing down to the mall food court, you’re going to lose people, and lose them worse because they will feel more like they are escaping than merely reaching out to a larger world.

    And not attending or turning your back is like expelling kids for skipping school. “If they won’t come, we won’t let them.” Religion should be inviting and comforting, not claustrophobic and demanding. Religion exists for many reasons and giving us a less frustrating and more comfortable common framework to hang our individual personal faith on is an important one. If people feel like they’re only doing it to keep from losing commonality, they will grow to resent and even hate those they came from.

    This is a universal human trait.

  • Future Druggie July 16, 2008, 9:36 PM

    I apologize. I have no right to judge anyone.

    Dave, I’m sorry that you lost a child.

    Hamakom Yinachem Otcha BeToch Sha’ar Avelei Tzion BeYerushalayim.

  • shlemazl July 16, 2008, 9:51 PM

    Wow. Just WOW!

    Middle bloody ages.

    @Froom Satire et al:

    May I suggest you people go and make love to yourself? If nothing else it would ensure that your relationship isn’t “interface”. You are off my blogroll.

    @Abandoning Eden:

    Lots of good luck to you and I do hope that your parents reconsider.

  • Anonymous July 16, 2008, 10:41 PM

    Folks, hate to break it to you but assimilation and intermarriage are much worse than anything the nazis ever did. The nazis tried to destroy our bodies, not our souls. And when they did try that, it was well known and eventually stopped.

    I shudder to think what will be for all those torn away neshamos when moshiach comes. Emes lasts and sheker doesn’t. We’ve outlasted every other attempt on us way back from amalek in the midbar to the amalek of today, and this is just the soton’s last punch in the final round before the geulah comes. You can bet this won’t destroy us either.

  • Dave July 16, 2008, 11:29 PM

    Future Druggie:

    For reference, a younger brother, not a child of mine.

  • Shabbos_Goy July 17, 2008, 4:52 AM

    I wasn’t trying to compare intermarriage to genocide. I was trying to say that to a frum person it “feels” the same.

    Hope I got it right this time.

  • eli July 17, 2008, 6:11 AM

    i am just curious to know whether someone would attend a wedding of

    1. two formerly orthodox jews who have no intention of raising their children jewish?

    2. inter-marriage, but the girl is jewish (so the children will also be) and the intention is to raise the kids jewish?

    my assumption is that most orthodox would be willing to attend the first, but not the second despite the fac that the second one is not a complete repudiation of their values.

  • anonymous July 17, 2008, 6:19 AM

    i’m not sure how a person becomes so screwed up that they begin to compare the mass extermination of a race of people with an individual’s personal decision to leave a religion.

    don’t buy into the holocaust guilt trip that parent’s and educators use when they can’t come up with a positive or intelligent reason to convince their children to stay frum.

  • AE is just rebellious July 17, 2008, 6:22 AM

    1. admits to doing drugs- rebels against the state.
    2. lies to her parents about even applying to stern- rebels against her parents wishes
    3. inter-marries- rebels against her parents values.

    i’m sure there are more on this list.

  • Hadassah July 17, 2008, 7:37 AM

    i have held back until now from commenting – who the heck are you all to judge how Abandoning Eden lives her life? She is honest and open in her blog which i have been reading for a while now, at least she has the courage to stand up for who she is. whether i agree or not with her decisions, they are HERS and we have no right to judge a person until we walk a mile in her shoes.

    Hesh – generally you are spot on in your posts. i think this one was not a wise choice.

    AE – hold your head up high, girl. Be proud of the person you are, don’t let others nastiness get to you.

  • abandoning eden July 17, 2008, 7:53 AM

    I admit I’m more likely to follow my own moral code than other people’s rules, but I would not choose to marry someone simply to rebel against my parents.

    My dad kind of has this same attitude- that my actions are a “teenage rebellion” (although I’m 26…) and that I would make a huge major life decision like this just to spite them. He also thinks that me not being religious is a ‘teenage rebellion’ although at this point I haven’t kept shabbas in over 11 years and haven’t kept kosher in almost as long as that.

    That could not be farther from the truth. Believe me, I have thought long and hard about the consequences of being with B, even before we started dating. Up until I met B, I didn’t date anyone who was not jewish- not because I had anything especially in common with jewish people (and I tended to go for the ones who were jewish in name/genealogy only), but because I knew how my parents would react. And every step of they way with B I have hesitated to move forward (I majorly freaked out when he first called me his ‘girlfriend’ for example), because I knew that this would happen, and that being with him would probably mean not having a relationship with my parents.

    But I love B, I want to spend every day with him, and since a few weeks after we first met we have spent nearly every day together. I’ve never loved someone this much, or been as comfortable around someone, or met someone more in tune with my goals and ideas about the future. In the end, I decided he is worth it. Now I’m dealing with the consequences, but B has been there listening to what crazy things my parents have said lately (and reading these crazy blog discussions over my shoulder) and being awesome about everything. And it’s still worth it. While I’m sad my parents have chosen not to come to our wedding, it hasn’t detracted much from the happiness and excitement I feel about being married to B.

    Anyways, I’m going to go have breakfast with him. 🙂 I hope all of you can find someone as awesome for you as B is for me, and that you manage to find someone that awesome who your parents also approve of.

  • heimish in bp July 17, 2008, 9:46 AM


    There is a saying, which every kid is told by his parents, “when you will be older, you will understand.” I would get very angry when it was told to me. I was always top of the class, A+ student, rabbis hated me for asking way too many questions, always doubted them and I never believed it until I was 25, and never accepted it until I was 29, married, kids, and real responsibilities.

    And although until my early 20’s I have been more open to effectuate life altering decisions, as I matured (a bit), I have become much more careful and slow-paced before I do make such decisions. And I have done many. (think of me what you want, but I am still the black sheep in the family) And stuff, that I wouldnt have blinked an eye, before i did it, at the present I do ponder and investigate with much more diligence and carefulness, before i do any rash decisions.

    I am not here to tell you, AE, what to do and how to live your life, as I mentioned earlier, but seeing that you have read the comments above, all I can say: you are only 26, yes ONLY 26. I know you are way more intelligent, mature, intellectual, bright, smart, and “oifgeklert”, then most of the readers here, and I dont mean that in a condicending way at all. However, at an age, I am assuming, that you are starting to realize that your actions have so much more weight on others, and you are realizing that ones feelings about certain things should not be the deciding factor of life altering decision, I am suggesting that you might want to take it a bit slower.

    You know, the Mishna says “knei l’cha Rav” Buy yourself a Rabbi. Truth be told, I always rebelled against them, and never listened to a word they told me. It was only after I found one, that fit my crazy criteria’s, and felt got me, did I start talking, not listening, to him about certain aspects of my life. I have never opened up to him completely, and maybe never will, but one thing I learned, when I do discuss a topic with him, I am impressed by his intelligence, and feel much more educated and satisfied when I do make such decisions. Nothing to do with yiddiskiet. ZERO. Its just a great tool to utilize when one is at a fork. And again, not that I listen to him all the time, but I know where I am standing.

    For some, a good therapist does the job, but one would really need to find one that has dealt with a plethora of such complicated Yiddishkiet and life issues. Its not the Daas Torah, or the Ruach Hakodesh, and all that. I dont really believe in that. Its just good old fashioned experienced advice.

    I have read a lot of your blog, and understand you arent just pissed at your rabbi for hitting you, or your principle for kicking you out of school. I have also turned to the intellectual world for guidance and meaning in life. However to me they were never able to do me justice. Being a mevakesh, a seeker, is one of the hardest lots Hashem can give a person. And I wouldnt wish to anyone. Since most people arent, they just dont get you. All they see and think is that you want more gashmius, to party, and when all you really want is to have meaning in your life. To feel what you are doing, from the minute you wake up until your head hits the pillow, that it has meaning, has a purpose, will get you somewhere.

    When one has these feelings at a young age, it is very easy to reject everything and go on your own merry way. However, the older one gets, I think, you start appreciating and understanding what your heritage, your culture, you background has to offer, and why one should be so much more hesitant when breaking away from it.

    If I said something in the post that hurt your feelings I am asking you Mechila (forgiveness) Berabim (in public). I am really sorry, if I did. My true intentions were never to hurtful or offensive. I just feel that certain aspects of yiddishkiet dont get portrayed in its true and proper perspective, and feel the need to clarify them, albeit not with the greatest candor or elegance.

    Ymaleh Hashem Kol Meshalot Libecho LTovah.

  • Dave July 17, 2008, 12:48 PM

    However, the older one gets, I think, you start appreciating and understanding what your heritage, your culture, you background has to offer, and why one should be so much more hesitant when breaking away from it.

    A couple of issues here.

    First, this argument could readily be used as to why Baal Teshuvas should not leave the secular culture of their families. If you don’t think this is valid in that case, you shouldn’t use it in this one.

    Second, do you mean that we should simply resolve troublesome questions based on the age of the disputants? Oldest arguer wins? If not, again, once you get out of childhood, arguments of the form “you aren’t old enough to know” would be invalid.

    And of course third, it is entirely possible for people to embrace some parts of their heritage and not others. I’d argue in fact that everyone does this, to a greater or lesser extent, keeping the parts they value, and deprecating or ignoring the parts they don’t.

  • Dave July 17, 2008, 12:50 PM

    Oh, and for anonymous…

    Deaths of a large portion of the Jewish population, followed by surety that the Messiah was imminent?

    Because jumping to that conclusion worked so well in the 17th century.

  • utubefan July 17, 2008, 1:07 PM

    Dave, I think the bigger problem is the “shudder to think” comment. I don’t shudder to think about anyone’s fate in the next world besides my own and even that falls low on my list of daily shudderrings. I shudder to think about how we are going to pay the mortgage AND the gas bills this month and I shudder to think what will happen tomorrow if my kid refuses to go to day camp again. I think humility, compassion, and understanding are in order here and not much else. Thank G-d, I’ve seen it on this thread in many different forms. Because–at the end of the day–AE is on a journey and so are we all. All we can hope to do is be kind to each other and try to be open to one another in whatever way we can. And kindness does not always mean holding back honesty or personal thoughts in either direction. It should just be tempered with respect.

  • heimish in bp July 17, 2008, 1:37 PM

    Dave, sorry, but I guess, you didn’t get the point of my comment. I hope AE did.

  • s(b.) July 17, 2008, 1:38 PM

    dave and utubefan, why don’t you have blogs? 😆 and what have you done with the real heimish? (I’m kidding; for you, heimish (9:46 a.m.), that last post was really something [I don’t buy the ageist thing, but I don’t have kids and I’m 32, but I have other responsibilities, anyway]; yasher koach.) One thing I love about Judaism is as much as what some people say can revolt me, things other people say can be so right on, it’s illuminating. And often, one person can be behind both types of words. 🙂

  • s(b.) July 17, 2008, 1:39 PM

    (I don’t mean either of you should get a blog of your own; I mean I often like what you have to say about stuff and I wouldn’t mind reading more.)

  • heimish in bp July 17, 2008, 1:45 PM

    I must say, getting a compliment (and not getting blasted) from s(b,) feels pretty good.

  • Anonymous July 17, 2008, 2:53 PM


    I suggest you re-read Rambam’s yud gimmel ikkarim (13 Principles of Faith). Particularly number twelve. Or perhaps take a look at the teitch of shemone esray. Or maybe the predictions, from gedolim of all stripes, in virtually every frum camp, of moshiach’s literally imminent arrival.

    There is a big, big problem if a frum jew does not await and expect moshiach’s literal arrival today, ch’v.

  • Dave July 17, 2008, 3:15 PM

    People have been predicting the imminent arrival of the Messiah for a rather long time.

    So far, they’ve all been wrong.

    And, again, in the 17th century, there was great consensus amongst the Jewish leaders that the Messiah was imminent.

    The result was Sabbatai Zvi.

  • Yochanan July 17, 2008, 3:24 PM

    Lion, if it was a non-ortho wedding between two Jews, I’d definitely represent.

  • s(b.) July 17, 2008, 3:31 PM

    Moshiach has been inside all of us, coupled with our divine sparks, for all time, now. If you want to live in a messianic age, start living like you are. Lead by example, be kind to one another. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it, when the effort is made. (If what I believe is true for me does not apply to your hashkafah, please just ignore my response; I am not interested in arguing with you.)

  • heimish in bp July 17, 2008, 3:45 PM

    Hesh, 11 more, just keep on praying.

  • Hope Less July 17, 2008, 6:32 PM

    If I would to decide to change religions, say, and become a radical Muslim extremist, would I get all the emtional support of doing my own thing that you are giving to AE?

  • Anonymous July 17, 2008, 8:32 PM

    It depends which side of the radicalism you are on. If you were to become a radically gay muslim- I’d be with ya brother

  • Chris_B July 18, 2008, 9:43 AM

    It may be a little late, but I wonder how some people would react to the prospect of a family member who married a matching level jew of another race?

  • s(b.) July 18, 2008, 11:00 AM

    I wouldn’t care what color a family member’s spouse is. Jews come in all colors of the fleshtone rainbow. Bonus due to less likelihood of inbreeding and related genetic illnesses with a different-colored spouse (I’m not a geneticist, don’t take my word on that, but at first glance, that would be my conjecture).

  • heimish in bp July 18, 2008, 11:02 AM

    Chris, what do you mean by different race, like askinazic-sefardi, or conerts?

  • s(b.) July 18, 2008, 11:15 AM

    ashkenaz and sefard are ethnicity, based on geographic origin. Judaism is not a race, it’s a religion. You can argue it’s a spiritual nation, one heart, 50 opinions (I’m joking), but it’s not a race (are you a Nazi scientist? No. So, come on, man. Don’t be silly). Jews are often nomadic and inbred in ancestry, but I sure don’t look like the Yemenites up my grandfather’s side who went to Spain, Holland and Macedonia before reaching the United States (over the centuries). Hey, at least I’m the only one who so not a scientist, here. 🙂 Have a great shabbos. I don’t expect to change your opinion, I just find it outrageous. That’s okay.

  • s(b.) July 18, 2008, 11:16 AM

    not your opinion, but your question; sorry.

  • Chris_B July 18, 2008, 11:35 AM


    I dunno what “conerts” means, but to be plainly obvious, race as in asian, african, etc. anything other than what your family is.

  • utubefan July 18, 2008, 11:44 AM

    Chris, I think the race thing might be tough in any family whether Jewish or not. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is one of my all time favorite movies for many reasons and I don’t think that decades later, the response in the privacy of the average American family’s home would be that much different. We like to think that we have come far, but really, middle America is not the Upper West Side of Manhattan. All that said, if my son met an Ethiopian Jew while on study in Israel or a black or Asian American convert, I would just want her to be a nice person who fits with my son. I would silently worry about the struggles they may have or that their children may have, but that wouldn’t matter in terms of my accepting the person into the family. Torah is torah. Jews are Jews to me. Converts already have a place in our extended family. And, I accept all people and am comfortable with gentiles. I just want my kids and grandkids to have a Jewish home.

  • heimish in bp July 18, 2008, 12:19 PM

    I meant converts, sorry for the typo

    HESH!!! GET A BIGGER SERVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • s(b.) July 18, 2008, 12:35 PM

    If Jews were a race, conversion wouldn’t be permitted.

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