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Thursday, August 05, 2010

A spiritual holocaust

I've been waiting all week for someone to step out of politically correct mode and say this.
In a sharp editorial the Haredi religious newspaper Yated Ne’eman has called the Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding a ‘spiritual Holocaust’.

“We were not supposed to address the private family event had it not been for one tiny detail: The groom is Jewish. Clinton wasn’t bothered by this ‘miniscule’ detail. As far as he’s concerned, there is no difference between a Jew and a Christian. The problem is that his new in-laws were not bothered by this either. [This probably says - or should say - that his parents were not bothered by it either. CiJ] On the contrary, they appeared quite happy with their dear son becoming the former US president’s son-in-law. The bigger problem is that most U.S. Jews aren’t bothered either. On the contrary, many of them feel part of the American nation.”
Yated cites the American Jewish intermarriage rate as over 60%. I don't know how accurate that is but it's not far off.

To bring this back to this blog's regular topics, one area where there is a clear difference between those who are intermarried and those who are not is support for Israel. What are the odds that the halachic goyim who may someday be the offspring of the Clinton - Mezvinsky marriage (if they have children at all) will be supporters of Israel? Probably slim to none.


At 10:19 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

I speak as a Conservative Jew...

MANY American Jews whose parents are BOTH Jewish seem not to care one iota about Israel.

In my schul I do see something different of course, and of course those that have married non-jews, it's typical that the children are being raised Jewish only.

From the mikvah for the kids to the bar and bat mitzvahs....

Not to say you are not correct that there are many in America that do not take their Jewish identity serious nor do they see anything special about Israel.

I have resigned myself to accept that as high as 30% of American Jews will vanish within the next 40 years.

These vanishing Jews are the Jews (in America) that are strong supporters of Obama as well...

I call them the Kumbyua Jews.

The are also the 1st Jews to line up to make peace with Iran, Assad, Hezbollah, Hamas & Iran.

But I remember reading many years ago, that there is a reason for everything, even if we don't see it..

Maybe those Jews whose "spark" was never nourished, whose love of Zion was never kindled, are on a path that they should be?

I know it sounds cynical but....

At 10:32 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

This type of uncontested intermarriage is the result of generations, not an event in itself. To have Israel's government Rabbis be identified with these groups who are so aggressively hostile to the diaspora is a disservice that Israel self-inflicts.

I've said it here before... a friendly face toward the diaspora (no one is asking for public halachic certifications through the press) would gain Israel more enthusiastic support. And if these guys don't like the intermarriage, then a friendly approach and leadership, rather than the sliming from a distance, would bring about more of what the Rabbis say they want. They may feel superior for the moment, but it does not advance Israel's (or Judaism's) long term cause.

Often it can be the person newly entering the Jewish community who can re-ignite a spark of observance, interest, etc. in a family or even a community. If the new associates don't run into the Jewish Agency's shlihim or Israeli families in the US for their work (both of which are FANTASTIC advocacy methods for Israel), and only get the blasts from these very offensive statements, then you get what you get.

At 11:08 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

"What are the odds that the halachic goyim who may someday be the offspring of the Clinton - Mezvinsky marriage (if they have children at all) will be supporters of Israel? Probably slim to none."

Carl, if that's the case, then it will be because of their position on the left, not because of their intermarriage. Just so you know, even a slew of Jewish teens in left-leaning congregations are spending high school or college semesters or summers in Israel programs. A friendly face from the traditional communities could conceivably make excellent inroads and connections with those kids. Friendships first, then sharing of more traditions, observances, etc. through the friendships.

At 11:25 PM, Blogger Rafi G. said...

I said it the day after the wedding, and caught some flak for saying it...


At 1:52 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I'm also the product of an inter-married home.

It does have a feeling of familiarity. A Jew shouldn't marry a shiksa but when its all about love, that's when too it late for a rabbi to intervene.

After all, the Jews are racist for insisting on endogamy. Which embarrasses liberal Jews to no end.

I think the late Rabbi Meir Kahane had a debate about intermarriage with an opponent some years ago and he said the reason Jews, if I recall correctly, are endogamous is because they want Jewish values passed onto their children.

Only if you can't accept there is a valid religious reason as to why Jews should marry Jews, then yes, it would be racism. A non-Jew is still a human being, too and if its just about humanity, what's the difference in being a Jew? In other words, what is so special about Jewish identity?

This is not something for the American Jewish community to take pride in and the fact a Conservative rabbi officiated at the ceremony showed why Orthodox Jews have a great deal of difficulty taking Conservative and Reform Jews at face value with regards to Jewish survival. Here the action spoke louder than all their words.


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