Article Discussion: An Intercultural Celebration of Love

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This topic has 5 voices, contains 9 replies, and was last updated by  Nicole Chernietskova 1537 days ago.

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April 21, 2010 at 4:00 am #4555

admin

Click here to read the article: An Intercultural Celebration of Love

April 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm #4557

Yes to the Torah

The Torah prohibits intermarriage. End of story.

April 21, 2010 at 10:51 pm #4558

Debbie B.

To the above poster:
Yes, and among the “613 mitzvot” in the Torah are these as well (all from Leviticus):

To love other Jews, Lev.  19:18
Not to hate fellow Jews, Lev.  19:17
Not to embarrass others Lev.  19:17
Not to speak derogatorily of others, Lev.  19:16

But for some reason there are Jews who think that the mitzvot concerning treatment of others is no longer operative if the other Jews are lacking in some way. I am assuming that the writer of the above comment is Jewish. Do you yourself have no sins to confess for “Al Chet” on Yom Kippur?

Even people who are intermarried almost never sought out that situation on purpose. You can use the prohibition on intermarriage as a reason to chase a Jew away from Judaism, but then it may be your rejection and scorn that is the cause of the loss of a Jew from the Jewish people, not the intermarriage.

April 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm #4559

Debbie B.

Another thought:

Why on earth would a person with the scornful attitude shown in the “Yes to the Torah” be reading anything on a website with a name like “Interfaith Family”? I have to wonder if some people find satisfaction in finding fault with other people and look for websites about subjects that they find objectionable just so they can make negative comments.

April 22, 2010 at 12:48 am #4560

phaco

Debbie,

I follow your posts.  You always have such a measured and well-reasoned approach to problems and people.  Your response here was perfect.  Thanks for your insights.

April 22, 2010 at 12:54 am #4561

Yes to the Torah

I don’t see how my respect for the Torah is negative or equal to a scornful attitude.

The Torah does prohibit intermarriage. You might not agree with that but as a Jewish person I do. I respect that your opinion is different from mine so please allow me the same deference.

April 22, 2010 at 4:57 am #4562

Debbie B.

Reply to “Yes”:

You are right: I was reading between the lines of your brief (curt?) response. But come on: “End of story”? End of what story? Sounds more like a write-off of everything in the article and video to me. If your comment was meant to be positive, you need to explain. I reacted strongly to your comments because they seemed judgmental to me. I hope you don’t say that kind of thing to people expecting that it will be received well.

I do NOT disagree that the Torah prohibits intermarriage. I even agreed with you on that in my previous post—that’s why I said “Yes”. I’ll be honest and tell you that when I heard that the man who was my husband’s best man at our wedding more than 20 years ago will be getting married to a non-Jew, it made me a little sad. But on the other hand, this guy is 47 years old and although he really tried to find a Jewish woman to marry by going to Jewish singles Friday night services even though he is not religious, trying Jewish dating services, etc. he never found a Jewish woman to marry. I would not wish for him to remain a lonely bachelor forever which I think might well be the alternative to marrying his non-Jewish fiance. His fiance is interested in Judaism, but not enough to convert. I think she is over 40 too so children are probably out of the question anyway.

And it may surprise you that I believe that only a Jewish man and a Jewish woman can have a valid Jewish marriage. Rabbis who officiate at intermarriages are performing civll marriages, not religious ones. Given the low level of Jewish observance of the groom I mentioned above and the fact that it is an intermarriage, I’m glad they decided against just hiring some rabbi they didn’t even know to officiate. I told them about this website when he indicated an interest in possibly having a rabbi, but it was not a choice I personally encouraged.

But where I suspect we disagree is in how we choose to deal with intermarried couples. As I said, our friend tried first to find a Jewish wife. He is well aware of the Jewish attitudes toward intermarriage even if as a non-religious Jew, he might not see it in terms of Torah violation. It would not be productive if we were to say to him what you wrote: “The Torah prohibits intermarriage.  End of story.” Instead, we will welcome our friend’s non-Jewish fiance when she comes with our friend to my son’s bar mitzvah next month. I hope she finds attending a traditional weekday morning service to be a positive experience even if all the Hebrew and the tefillin will probably seem odd to her. And in September, we will attend their secular wedding and wish them well. I wouldn’t be surprised if his new wife’s curiosity doesn’t in fact encourage our friend to become more rather than less Jewishly involved. At least we won’t be driving him away from it by making comments like the above which he would certainly find offensive.

May 25, 2010 at 4:38 pm #4659

smatlick

While I will defer to the two of you to debate (or not) any dogmatic issues relating intermarriage, can we all agree that it is blind acceptance of any law that puts us at risk of extremism? Yes to the Torah, while I appreciate, respect, and honor your dedication to our most sacred of texts, let’s please learn from the entirety of our history and not make the same mistakes as the enemies of our past and present. To trust in and follow the leadership of our religion helps us to live a full life and honor God, I feel that look at things in such a black and white manner (if done so by a large population) will surely lead to catastrophe. Does God not teach us to question? Does God not teach us to evaluate our lives and our decisions, making the choice that will help lead us to a closeness to all people, especially ourselves? I agree with Debbie that it is not a factual disagreement we might be having with your original post, but rather the way in which it was delivered. There is never an “end of story,” and that is the beauty of our lives. They are ours to lives, and this is one of the greatest of God’s blessings bestowed upon us. While I am not asking you, Yes, to change your views in any way, I am asking you to please consider the individuals reading your commentary. Try to engage in honest, free flowing conversation with them rather than looking to prove them wrong or denigrate them and their choices. It’s ALL up for discussion and debate, and that is one of the things that we are blessed with in life. As soon as we, and the leaders of our country, I might add, believe in this, the sooner we will start to see real progress, the sooner we will start to live goodly with each other.

June 11, 2010 at 9:24 pm #4726

Rabbi Lester Frazin

As Isaiah might have said ‘ I loath and despise your absolutes’. Would you rip usp the Book of Ruth or mourn on Purim because of Esther’s role? The Tanach is full of wise rules. None of us follow all of them but ‘loving your neighbor’ is an imperative. If you are to assume the hubristic name ‘yes to the Torah’ then begin to live the holiness code. The world will then be more whole.

July 2, 2010 at 4:07 am #4798

Nicole Chernietskova

The Torah actually requires ahavah (love) over anything else; and doesn’t ahavah require mercy over sacrifice? Also, I’m a “mamzerah” Jewish Christian whose dad’s paternal grandparents were a crypto-Jewish Catholic who survived the pogroms and a gentile Slovakian-American. Would you cut my family and our name off for that reason?

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