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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

 

More questions...

Hello all -

So of course we're all reeling from Katrina and the destruction left in her wake. New Orleans, and many of her neighboring cities, are in ruins. The government response has been lackluster, at best. Israel is still recovering from the withdrawal from Gaza. What's going to be? Who knows?

All we can do is muddle on from day to day.

And in that spirit, mazel tov to Eli M. on his bar mitzva, Yonatan, Shai, and Daniella L. on their birthdays, and Shimmy and Lieba on their wedding.

And here are some questions that have been bothering me, in no particular order:

What's our take on intermarried couples? We (mainstream orthodox, for lack of a better label) are against the act of intermarriage. But how do we approach intermarried couples? Does it matter if we know them for a long time, or what degree of Jewish education/religious observance the Jewish half had before jumping ship? Does it matter if we're related? Would it be okay for us to socialize with an intermarried couple, but not invite them for a specifically Jewish event, like Shabbos or Yomtov? Or should we just abhor them thoroughly?

What I'm asking is, does violation of this very serious prohibition immediately propel you outside the camp entirely? Or what?

I'd love for the reading public to pass along their thoughts, opinions, and ideas.

And while we're on the subject, what about Jewish women who marry non-Jewish men? Their kids are Jewish, halachically, even if they grow up without knowing it. I know of a few children in that circumstance - and their parents aren't going to 'raise them Jewish.' So what happens when they grow up? Does their halachic status mean anything? It should. Is there some master-database someplace that keeps track of these things? There should be.

I mean, I know Moshiach will be able to tell who's who. But what happens if one of these halachically Jewish kids ends up meeting an identified-Jewish person in college and falling in love? Instead of freaking out, the parents could rejoice in the fact that their son/daughter's beau is really Jewish! Or is it so '90s to even care, in this post-modern world?

Please ruminate, consider, and reply.

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