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Can't intermarriage bridge the chasms between different religions?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

Library » Jewish Identity » Non-Jews » Intermarriage | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Question:

Hello! I hope all is well. I am a Jewish girl who is dating a non Jewish man who is very respectful of Judaism. I do not see marrying someone outside of Judaism as a bad thing. In fact, I see it as a way of bringing peace to two religions entities that have so much animosity for each other. I believe it is a chance to create harmony between Jews and Christians. I also understand the other view – that it could create problems and disagreements – but I honestly see it as a positive action. I hope to hear from you and I appreciate all your words of wisdom and knowledge. Have a wonderful day.

Answer:

I understand your feelings.

However, you must realize that your feelings may be biased for two reasons:

1) You are in love. Remember the old truism: “Love blinds”.

2) You, as most of us, desperately want to see people get along, and that desire can lead to wishful thinking.

I don’t believe individuals should get married in order to bring peace between universal religions. And I don’t think peace between religions means that people need to intermarry, which ultimately means that people need to compromise on the values of their own religion. I am convinced that good fences make good neighbors. Making everyone the same is not the recipe to peace; rather, the proper technique is to teach people to respect differences.

For thousands of years, millions of Jews, have suffered and triumphed, cried and laughed, failed and succeeded, all in an effort to carry out this mission. And now it is your turn
The above is my opinion even if interfaith marriages brought peace between the two people of the two different religions. The sad truth however is that according to statistical research interfaith marriage is the cause of a lot of stress and acrimony between couples.

What’s more important here is not the global issue, but your personal life—which if run properly will ultimately have a positive affect on the global issue as well.

You were given a mission; a mission which began some 3300 years ago at the foot of Mount Sinai, and has been in progress ever since. For thousands of years, millions of Jews, have suffered and triumphed, cried and laughed, failed and succeeded, all in an effort to carry out this mission. And now it is your turn.

It is your turn to build a Jewish home and create a Jewish family that is welcoming to G-d and a beacon of light and good to your surroundings.

Your soul was created for this mission. Your purpose in life is this mission. And you will be most satisfied and happy in life when you are preoccupied with carrying out this mission.

There is a Jewish soul somewhere out there that was created as your other half for this mission. When the two of you meet you will know the truest of loves and surrealist of happiness.

For further research on this topic you can read a book called “Why Marry Jewish” by Doron Kornbluth, and/or do a search on the Askmoses homepage for “intermarriage”.

G-d bless you.


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Intermarriage

Posted by: Robert Arnold, Tallahassee, Fl on Sep 18, 2008

Two people entering into marriage choose to join their lives together; a choice meaning you no longer live for yourselves alone but rather share as a couple your lives and your future.

That you value your Jewishness is evident in your comment that the man you are dating respects your Jewishness. That he is a Christian and values his Christianity is also evident or can be inferred. If that is true, then neither of you are in a position to compromise your beliefs in any significant manner that does not also carry with it a cost in terms of your beliefs before G-d.

To avoid significant compromises will, between the two of you, mean that you are unable to share worship together or together with others. Because you value your Jewishness and he his Christianity, this will remove from your lives an element important to you both in terms of the bonding of your marriage and the happiness you would otherwise find there.

And your children???

May G-d prosper your path in choosing.


RELATED CATEGORIES

Life Cycle » Marriage » Intermarriage

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