Article Discussion: Intermarriage Officiation: Why I Have Now Decided to Officiate at Intermarriages

HomeDiscussionsInterfaith Families and the Jewish CommunityArticle Discussion: Intermarriage Officiation: Why I Have Now Decided to Officiate at Intermarriages

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April 19, 2012 at 2:42 am #6722

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Click here to read the article: Intermarriage Officiation: Why I Have Now Decided to Officiate at Intermarriages

May 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm #6736

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I appreciate the thought and contemplation that Rabbi London has devoted to this topic. In general, I am puzzled about rabbis who simultaneously decline to marry interfaith couples, and yet still feel they can counsel couples prior to marriage or have any influence in the future homelife. If officiating at an interfaith marriage is unacceptable, I support a rabbi’s choice not to do so. But if that choice is made, said rabbi is effectively rejecting that couple, and has lost all standing to have any influence on whether the household is Jewish or not. As a non-Jewish partner, I simply cannot conceive of interacting with a rabbi in any context, if he or she elects to not marry interfaith couples. If I am not Jewish enough to be married, then I am not Jewish enough to have a Jewish household. With all due respect, you cannot have it both ways. I often read about the Jewish community’s reaction to interfaith couples and the message that community wants to convey about interfaith marriage. I do wonder, however, at the subsequent surprise that these stances have consequences. In my case, if our rabbi had declined to officiate at our wedding (as the sole clergyperson), I would have politely accepted that. I would also have walked away from any possibility of agreeing to my children being raised Jewish and would have never looked back. Food for thought for those rabbis who feel they can ethically take the stance of not officiating, but still feeling they have the right to advocate for Jewish choices.

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