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Is It Racist to Want a Jewish Spouse?

by Rabbi Aaron Moss

  

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


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Question:

I was explaining to a non-Jewish work colleague that I only date Jewish men, because I would not marry a non-Jew. He accused me of being racist. I was caught on the spot and had nothing to say. How would you respond to this situation?

Answer:

If insisting that you will only date Jews makes you racist, does insisting that you will only date men make you sexist? You are certainly discriminating, but is this discrimination bad?

You are not talking about what type of person you want to work with, or who you would prefer to sit next to on a train. You are talking about who you want to marry. Are you expected not to discriminate about who you marry, the same way you are expected not to discriminate when reading a job application?

You want a family so you seek a man; you want a Jewish family so you seek a Jewish man.
There are plenty of wonderful women out there, but they can't father your children. And there are plenty of wonderful non-Jewish men out there, but they can't give you a Jewish family. You want a family so you seek a man; you want a Jewish family so you seek a Jewish man. There is nothing offensive about that.

And there is no racial issue here. Jewishness is neither a race, nor a religion. It is a soul identity. The man you marry can be a European Jew or an Oriental Jew, a black Jew or a white Jew. He can be a Jew by birth or a Jew by choice. But if you want a Jewish family, he's got to be a he, and he's got to be a Hebrew.


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Life Cycle » Marriage » Intermarriage