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February 17, 2009

Guest Post: Is Intermarriage Really Bad For Jews?

Details:

The following is a guest post from a person who identifies as an Orthodox Jew.

Glossary: "Gerim" means "converts." "Geirus" means "conversion."

As always, guest posts reflect the opinions of their author, not necessarily the opinions of the blog owner.

Is Intermarriage Really Such a Bad Thing for Jews?

DNA evidence has uncovered something perhaps shocking about our Ashkenazic Eastern European ancestors: they married shiksas AND nobody seemed to have a problem with it.

As David Goldstein put it:

[some] Jewish men . . . travel[ed] long distances to establish small Jewish communities [by themselves]. They would settle in new lands and, if unmarried,take local women for wives

Simply put, DNA studies on Ashkenazim have consistently shown that males show a strong genetic affinity (similar mutations on the Y chromosome) with other Jewish males, no matter where they live, whereas Ashkenazic females do not show any genetic affinity with other Jewish females.

Hillel Halkin, in his article in Commentary Magazine Jews and their DNA, comments on the puzzling disparity in the distribution patterns of Jewish Y-chromosome and mitochondrial (female)DNA:


There is no doubt that statistically (and only statistically: it is important to keep in mind that any randomly chosen Jewish individual may prove an exception to the rule), Jewish males with antecedents in such widely separated places as Yemen, Georgia, and Bukhara in Central Asia are far more likely to share similar Y-chromosome DNA with one another than with Yemenite, Georgian, or Bukharan non-Jews. Jewish females from the same backgrounds, on the other hand, yield opposite results: their mitochondrial DNA has markedly less resemblance to that of Jewish women from elsewhere than it does to that of non-Jewish women in the countries their families hailed from

Halkin therefore concludes:


Presumably, these adventurous bachelors setting out (perhaps on business ventures) for far lands could not persuade Jewish women to come with them, or else they traveled to their destinations with no intention of staying there. In the absence of rabbis to perform conversions, they married local women who, while consenting to live as Jews, were not halakhically Jewish. By halakhic standards, therefore, their descendants were not Jewish, either, even though their Jewishness was not challenged by the rabbinical authorities. Although such communities must, in their first generations, have known the truth about themselves, this does not appear to have bothered them or anyone else very much.


Jewish men courting and marrying non-Jewish women is nothing new. In addition to our ancestors having done that (at least in the first generation(s)Tanach is replete with accounts of kings and commoners taking non-Jewish spouses. Of Jacob's 12 sons, at least 8 married out of their clan. King Solomon was criticized for taking many wives, HOWEVER, this stinging criticism is followed by the explication that his wives were idol-worshippers who perverted his heart against Torah. The same goes for Isaac's exhortation to his son Jacob not to take a wife from among the Canaanites. It is pretty clear that the Patriarchs hated the Cannanites (and the other pagans) BECAUSE they engaged in horrible idol worship (child sacrifice etc.) NOT because they "weren't Jewish".

In addition, it is pretty clear that Jewish ancestry (as well as tribal status) was once determined by the father and not by the mother. The "maternal ancestry rule" was instituted by later Rabbinic authorities for political and religious reasons (the Jewish exilarch Bustenai, for example, had no qualms about taking a Persian wife. It is pretty clear that she did not "officially" convert. The resulting feud among the Rabbis whether the children of that union were Jewish or not is an indication, that even among the Rabbis of that time, the "maternal descent rule" was not a unanimous opinion).

Which brings me to my point:

Many non-Jewish women (and men) in the United States express strong interest in Judaism. This interest often stems from their quest to find the ancestral roots of their own faith. However, very often this interest remains only an interest BECAUSE they are intimidated by the current geirus process. Some might argue that this is a good thing but I disagree. The notion that we need to dissuade geirim from converting is an erroneous one (such was the opinion of many Rabbis, particularly Sephardic Rabbis like Rabbi Benzion Uziel and Rabbi Yisrael Hazan).

I also think (and this is only an opinion) that the ancient Jewish reluctance to accept geirim was more pronounced for male geirim rather than female geirim. One example of this are the ancient Moabites and Ammonites. The Torah clearly prohibits any marriage among them, however the Rabbis have relaxed this stricture and ruled that the prohibition only applied to marrying the males among them and not the females (how else to explain the story of Ruth the Moabite). We also see numerous instances in tanach of Jewish men marrrying non-Jewish women, however we see very few examples of Jewish women marrying non-Jewish men and when we do, it is usually referred to in a negative context.

A quick glance through tanach (particularly the story of Ruth) would indicate that the current geirus process is completey superflouous and even anti-Torah.

If a non-Jewish women is willing to give up her faith in Jesus and accept the law of Moses, SHE IS JEWISH. No Rabbis need be involved, except to guide and teach.


The benefits we would get from accepting non Jewish females into the Jewish people are manifold.

Jon Entine in his Abraham's Children mentions that Jewish genetic disease are at an all time low and attributes this fact- to among other things- the rising intermarriage rate among Jews.

I want to make clear that I am an Orthodox Jew.

I am not proposing intermarriage at all.

What I am proposing, is making the geirus process for non-Jewish females a lot easier. This would eliminate the problem to begin with.

Related Posts: 1, 2, 3.

Comments

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We also see numerous instances in tanach of Jewish men marrrying non-Jewish women, however we see very few examples of Jewish women marrying non-Jewish men and when we do, it is usually referred to in a negative context.

"This is a man's world"

In other breaking news, the BBC is reporting that the sky is blue and that there is only one moon orbiting the Earth.

I mean really, this article is nonsense. Mr. Halkin takes an uncomfortable historical fact and turns it into a tirade against established Jewish custom.

While most non-Chareidim will agree that the current "jump through the hoops" process is different from the traditional conversion process, no one with even a basic knowledge of halacha will says "I hate JC, give me mo' Moshe!" is enough to become Jewish nowadays. Even if it was during the time of the Patriarchs, common Jewish behaviour has changed since then.

Or is Mr. Halkin, in expressing his desire for halachic behaviour like the the patriarchs, also encouraging a return to polygamy and women living in separate tents like back then?


> If a non-Jewish women is willing to give up her faith in Jesus and accept the law of Moses, SHE IS JEWISH. No Rabbis need be involved, except to guide and teach.

While Mr. Halkin's sentiments are noble, this standard of becoming Jewish is over 2000 years old now. He should stop living in the past.

Shmarya, now you could feel better about yourself for marrying a shvartze shiksa

besides the obvious health benefits to miscegenation, there is a long jewish tradition of marrying outside the faith.
david was of mixed heritage, moses married outside the faith, etc.
king david would not have been accepted as Jewish by today's modern charedic rabbis. the messiah,when he decides to come, will almost certainly be rejected by a charedi beth din in israel.

OMG - you are obsessed with this "man's world" thing.

UTTER BS - what happened in the past does not hold for the present.

Numerous studies have shown that having Jewish parents is the strongest indication that children will marry Jewish. And if people intermarry, the grandchildren will almost completely abandon Judaism.

SHmarya only posted this "orthodox" fool's guest post because he agrees with it, despite the phony disclaimer.

The essay is nonsense as their are many, many examples of proper conversions and other factors like Crusader rapes that account for the DNA findings.

The argument from Amoni & Moavi is also completely ridiculous. There are some rabbis today who are more strict with men but only because they are being strict when those nations are lost and mixed among the population, with any male possibly being an Amoni / Moavi. Women still require a halachically mandated conversion process.

Bottom line: the essay was written because the author has a strange fantasy about either marrying a non-Jewish woman or trying to head off genetic diseases.

"Shmarya, now you could feel better about yourself for marrying a ..."

So far, Negroid chromosomes have not been showing up in Jewish DNA studies.

This must have Shmarya very distressed and he likely plans on changing that.

He hates all things Jewish and has found a new image with "Black is beautiful"!

The gemara in Pesachim says:

God did not exile Israel amongst the nations other than that they should take on converts!

Of course there was an old kvetch like Archie (Rav Chelbo)who played on words in Yishayahu to say that converts are as tough to the Jews as scabs.

Who says are life in Galut should be easy?

We are here to receive geirim. We are not in an exalted state (like during Malchut David and Shlomo) where gerim were suspect.

If the morons who are against gerut will change, maybe the Galut wil end!!

http://blogs.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/philjacobs/remember_big_bob_if_so_e-mail_me/
...
Remember “Big” Bob? If So, E-Mail Me
by Phil Jacobs
...
Kellam/King AZA had as its chapter advisor a man named Bob Weisman.
...
One person I interviewed about Mr. Weisman said that Mr. Weisman tried to “seduce” him many times when he was in 11th and 12th grade.
...
I located and placed a call to the man who was the director of BBYO in Baltimore back then, and when I asked him about Mr. Weisman, he didn’t “remember” or didn’t offer a reaction.
...
He was known to show what were called back then “stag” films to the boys in his AZA chapter and to other boys in the neighborhood as well.
...
A friend told me that Mr. Weisman would ask him how much money he would accept from him to have sex with him.
...

Is intermarriage really bad for Jews? YES!

supposedly abraham and sarah went around proselytizing according the midrash.
what were they doing if not hunting for converts and fresh meat to prevent genetic diseases?

Read Rabbi Marc Angel on intermarriage and conversation....throws a whole different light on sephardic customs for intermarriage....it looks at the loss of the Jew not the non jew.

OMG - whether one is a man or woman, fat or skinny, tall or short, black or white, rich or poor - everyone has their tests. I happen to be relatively short. Nevertheless, I have achieved professionally and never let my height get in the way, despite the facts studies have shown that tall men have the advantage in the workforce. I have always been a good athlete, and lifted weights for a while. People were shocked at how much I could lift. Then they would make excuses that I had short arms so I didn't have to take the weights up as much. Well, I never told someone they got a rebound in basketball because they were taller than me. I just fought like heck to get as many as I could, and I got plenty. Excuses, excuses. We all have our tests, and we will be judged on how well we do with them. You may know a family that appears to have it all, but we don't know what tests they have, but rest assured, they do have them!

--SHmarya only posted this "orthodox" fool's guest post because he agrees with it, despite the phony disclaimer.--

And? This is a blog - what else would he post?

--Bottom line: the essay was written because the author has a strange fantasy about either marrying a non-Jewish woman or trying to head off genetic diseases.--

You know this how?

One might suspect that because you can't muster a cogent argument against what he has written - that you are simply engaging in character assassination.

But you wouldn't do.............

--He hates all things Jewish and has found a new image with "Black is beautiful"!--

------uh------nevermind.


--So far, Negroid chromosomes have not been showing up in Jewish DNA studies.--

Actually - they have. I direct you to the research done by Dr's Hanson and Ballantyne out of the University of Central Florida AND genetic research done at Texas A&M University (will post specifics later).

Dave, you have long been a proponent of opening the floodgates for hordes of non-Jews to join the tribe. In your enthusiasm, you are confusing the issues.

There is always a problem with insincere converts, despite whatever fantasies you have about recruiting them in Japan and elsewhere.

It's also funny how all of Shmarya's cohorts focus only on my mockery of him and claim I cannot "muster arguments" when I also do that all the time to defeat his lame attempts to justify any idea that waters down Judaism.

--It's also funny how all of Shmarya's cohorts focus only on my mockery of him and claim I cannot "muster arguments" when I also do that all the time--

First of all - no you do not.

You make broad statements - you make claims, but offer no proof as I pointed out in my last post you.

None.

In fact - my last post to your is an absolute microcosm of your method - I direct you to scientific study - you attack my character. That's seems to be the the AB method.

But you DO slander quite effectively.

Secondly - calling me Shmarya's "cohort" is rather laughable given that he has tried locking me out of the board 3 or 4 times since I arrived a couple of months ago.

"This is a man's world"

Posted by: omg | February 17, 2009 at 06:10 AM

Didn't know you were a James Brown fan. I did that parody, so here's another:

Oy! I feel Jewish, I knew I'm a Yid now
I feel Jewish, I knew I'm a Yid now
So Jewish, so Jewish, I got you

Nu! I feel gerut, like havdalah spice
I feel gerut, like havdalah spice
So shayn, so shayn, I got you

When I hold you in my mikveh
I know that you're no longer a shiksa
and when I hold you in my mikveh
My love will do you some "tikveh"

and I feel Yiddish, like kugel at kiddush
I feel Sephardi, like like I'm havin' a party
So Jewish, so Jewish, I got you

When I see you in in the shul
I know that everything is cool
and when I sing Eishet Chayil
My love can bring you a smile

and I feel Jewish, like Naomi and Ruth
I feel Jewish, like Naomi and Ruth
So Jewish, so Jewish, well I got you

Oy! I feel Jewish, I knew Beit Din wouldn't of
I feel good, I knew that I would
So nu, so nu, 'cause I got you
So Jew, so Jew, 'cause I got you
Peiru, u'reivuh, 'cause I got you

Once people convert, it's no longer, by definition, intermarriage. As long as the non-Jew is sincere (about observance, etc.), vetted, educated, dunked (and cut, if male), I don't care about their initial motivation being marriage. M'toch sh'lo l'shma, bo l'shma. And yes, it's good for the gene pool, lest we become inbred hillbillies or bedouin. I am not in theory against the biblical matrilineal standard, but in practise it's too divise, so I say go with the community standard of rabbinic- matrilinear. In a perfect world- anyone who has one Jewish parent, male or female, who declares them Jewish at Bar Mitzvah and has or gets milah if male is in. If not, they're gentiles. This an example of an issue where I'm heterodox rather than orthodox.

I meant to write "too divisive." My bad.

Unequal time, nice try but I did refute several points made in the essay. You're just trying to shut me up because you don't like what I have to say.

I also seriously doubt that Mr. Open Forum Shmarya tried blocking you even once from posting here.

In theory, converting to Judaism is straightforward. At a time when the Jewish community was very strong and other Nations were very tribal too, anyone who wanted to join in the Nation of Israel knew exactly what they were getting into. Today, looking at reality, one cannot be sure at all, there is so much variance; therefore the Rabbis have decided, quite honestly that one must be careful and strict to determine exactly what the actual motivations of a potential convert might be. And that takes time, and lots of education. Also, please reread the last chapter of Book of Ezra in the Tenach. You will see that the foreign women and *their* children were exiled, indicating that a Jewish father alone is not sufficient to consider a child a member of Israel.

Yoel: But before Ezra, it might have been okay. Ezra was a reformer, which is what was needed. (NB: Not the same as "Reform").

What the Orthodox Haredi movement today is doing to the righteous and sincere Jews by Choice amounts to what may be termed, "religious sodomy."

Many years ago, when I served as a rav of an Orthodox Shul in California, I will never forget the time when I arranged for a Beth Din to do a conversion for someone who had already been through a Conservative conversion. This time, after she had been through an Orthodox conversion, I recall asking her how she felt, "Did you feel any differently this time around?" Her answer still haunts me to this day, "I felt I truly became Jewish when I had my Conservative conversion, but this time I felt as though the only reason I was going through this was to please a number of Orthodox rabbis in Israel; this immersion did not have any measurable religious or spiritual significance for me."

Rabbis who actively invalidate the religious conversion of others deserve to be tarred and feathered.

Archie you write: "Bottom line: the essay was written because the author has a strange fantasy about either marrying a non-Jewish woman or trying to head off genetic diseases.".
It looks to me that you can not disprove any of the points given by the athor. Therefore you are employing this old and true taktics of ascribing ulterior motives to the author and thus disqualifying the all of the points. Same tactics that is used to disqualify converts. The only problem is - your accusations have no basis. In other words they are dishonest and are are pure lashon hara.

General Ironheart you write: "While Mr. Halkin's sentiments are noble, this standard of becoming Jewish is over 2000 years old now. He should stop living in the past."
According to your logic every new standard must be better then the old one. Why then you are not being consistent and promote modern Reform one conversion standard instead of old and outdated Orthodox one? Also, I thought that main Haredi claim is authenticity. They insist that the Torah is given for all times and will never change and that they are the ones who practice it in the most pure way, which comes directly from Sinai. If that is so, then why switch from patrelinial to matrelinial? I'm having difficulty following your logic.

Ben, stop being foolish. There cannot be lashon hara on an author who is unnamed.

I was speculating on that particular point but only because the essay is so ridiculous. There are people who feel the way the author does and it is a plausible explanation as to his motives.

And I will say this about you, Ben. I have found that any secular person I have known who fights against orthodox conversion standards is either a hot item with a non-Jew undergoing a phony conversion or has a relative in a relationship with one.

Chicago Sam deserves the stockade after being tarred & feathered himself. He is a disgrace to the orthodox rabbinate for backing Conservative "conversions".

Amazing how the loser orthodox posers get solace from this anti-halacha, anti-Judaism blog authored by a malcontent in his underwear.

I <3 you, Chicago Sam.

All of this reminds me of Daniel the Taylor (in terms of how the issue gets played out, in some ways today's geirim are like yesterday's mamzerim), who is applying a verse from Kohelet:

""But they had no comforter," rather, "on the side of their oppressors there was power" - from the hand of the Great Sanhedrin in Israel, who came to them by the power of the Torah, and sent them away, on account of, "A mamzer shall not enter the community of the Lord." "But they had no comforter" - the Holy One, blessed be He, said: It falls upon me to comfort them, for in this world they contain chaff, but regarding the future Zekhariah said: I saw him comprised entirely of pure gold."

--but I did refute several points made in the essay--

No - you expressed an opinion, and brought nothing subtantial to the table (such as, the historical data he sites predates Ezra, which is when our current definition of "Who is a Jew" became hallachically established) and those opinions were well wrapped in out and out slanderous statements about the author, Ben, Shmarya, me, and anyopne else you deem to be "liberal".

Your "opinions in this thread alone read (not a complete list):

"Chicago Sam deserves the stockade after being tarred & feathered himself. He is a disgrace to the orthodox rabbinate for backing Conservative "conversions".

Amazing how the loser orthodox posers get solace from this anti-halacha, anti-Judaism blog authored by a malcontent in his underwear."


"Ben, stop being foolish."

"Bottom line: the essay was written because the author has a strange fantasy about either marrying a non-Jewish woman or trying to head off genetic diseases."

"He hates all things Jewish and has found a new image with "Black is beautiful"!"


--I did refute several points made in the essay--

I defy you to point out a single one where you have offered a shred of evidence to back you OR one where you didn't wrap the opinion in an insult.

Even R. Yochanan referring to R. Lakish wasn't as nasty as you are - and Lakish once tried to rape Yochanan.

--I also seriously doubt that Mr. Open Forum Shmarya tried blocking you even once from posting here.--

He has it in his head I am someone else - someone with whom he appears to have had issues in the past.

itchie, I am obsessed with NOTHING. There's no need for obsession when things just come out at you. I didn't write the article. I merely quoted to the point.
Will you please tell me, then, why a man is OK to marry outside of the faith, but for a woman to do it there's a negative connotation.
C'mon, itchie, I love you, too, but ya gotta concede on this one.

sing it, James, "This is a man's world-----"

Yochanan, you really outdid yourself on this one. Sing it, boy,
Meanwhile, itchie, just you keep your hat on. How easy it is for you to refute what I say. I ask a question of you. Are you in my shoes? The answer is, "No". So don't think your words change one little biddy thing. And I am not complaining. I am just throwing into the mix the woman's point of view. So c'mon itch, go scrach it somewhere else, cause, "This is a man's world...."

OMG - It is never ok for anyone to marry out of the faith, ever! If either of my children (and IY"H more in future) would marry a non-Jew, either my daughter or son, I would not go to the wedding. I would not disown them or their children, but I would be greatly disappointed and would never give my personal approval. The bashert for each of my children is a Jew, so by marrying out, they have necessarily married wrong. I can't tell you why it is OK for a man to marry outside of the faith, because I would never, ever say such a thing.

Unequal time, your word games are getting old and tired.

Here is but one example where I refuted the essay:

"many, many examples of proper conversions and other factors like Crusader rapes that account for the DNA findings."

Now go back to your systematic attempts to belittle me so that you think you can lessen the impact of what I say.

If you weren't afraid of my message you wouldn't spend so much time & effort trying to get me sidetracked.

"Even R. Yochanan referring to R. Lakish wasn't as nasty as you are - and Lakish once tried to rape Yochanan"

Yeah, but I busted a cap in his ass before he could unzip.

Omg: Thanks for the shout-out.

--Here is but one example where I refuted the essay:

"many, many examples of proper conversions and other factors like Crusader rapes that account for the DNA findings."--

No - without citationm, this is merely an example of you expressing an opinion.

And your followup statement to the above ("the essay was written because the author has a strange fantasy about either marrying a non-Jewish woman or trying to head off genetic diseases") is an example of your absolute inability to stick to an issue without insult.

Now - if you'd care to give a citation to your "refutation" - I would be more than willing to chase it down.

--Yeah, but I busted a cap in his ass before he could unzip.--

Must have been another Yochanan, or the Talmud got the story wrong. In theversion I read, Yochanan convinced Lakish that his (Yochanan's) that the study of Torah was superior to rape and robbery, and that when it came specifically to sex, sister was the better bet where Lakish was concerned.

It ended poorly for all of them.

YL: LOL on the James Brown parody and your last comment.

itchie, you didn't say it was OK for a man to marry outside the faith. It ws the article that said it-----and i quote once again-

"We also see numerous instances in tanach of Jewish men marrrying non-Jewish women, however we see very few examples of Jewish women marrying non-Jewish men and when we do, it is usually referred to in a negative context."

I didn't say it, and you didn't say it. It was stated in the article. And that is what it saidk that when there were examples of Jewish women marrying non-Jewish men it is usually referred to in a negative context, as opposed to Jewish men marrying non-Jewish women.
No hard feeling, itchie, but from this statement it seems clear that---(let's hear it, James)--- "This is a man's world."

Thanks, Rach.

ET: Can you prove it wasn't me? How do you know I'm not over 2000 years old? So there.

Archie Bunker--I obviously struck a raw nerve, didn't I? Oh well ...

Please find the specific sources in the Shulchan Aruch or in the Talmud where it says that one Beth Din can retroactively negate another Beth Din's conversions? If you ever bothered to study the Hilchot Gerim, you would see that what today's rabbanim (ra banim--!!)are doing violates the letter and the spirit of the Halacha as defined by R. Yosef Karo.

I commend all Orthodox colleagues to look at the merits of a conversion candidate's case and its politics.

The Haredi OJ rabbanim ought to be ashamed of the heartache they are causing so many innocents with their draconian and political interpretation of Halachah. I can assure you, if there was a substantial amount of money offered to a Haredi Beth Din, they would most certainly look the other way and take the money, approve of the conversion--with no further questions asked.

Religious sodomy? You better believe it.

The level of corruption in the Israeli rabbinate is legion; they fail to conduct themselves with the gentle humility of Hillel, and as a result--push many people away from the wings of the Shekhinah.

For those of among us who can really study and analyze a Halachic text in its original,I strongly urge everyone to read R. Ben Tzion Uziel's Responsa on this subject in his Piskei Uziel.

Haredi chevra, read it and weep--for your shame and for your medieval world view, such folks ought to live among Iranian and Taliban Muslim fanatics, where like minds exist in abundance.

Unequal time, are you really that dense?

We know there were proper converts over the centuries in Europe as well as Crusader rapes, so what "citation" do you need exactly for indisputable facts?

There was a Holocaust and Germany was defeated to end WWII. Do you require a citation for that as well?

As Bob Grant would say, get off my phone, you jerk!

I married a non-Jewish woman. Anybody who does not like it can kiss my ass,

Maybe it's "Archie's phone," but Shmarya is the Verizon here.

Archie,

If you can't substantiate your viewpoint with specific references, then you really do not know or understand what you are talking about--plain and simple.

Sam,

I agree there is much corruption in the govt rabbinate and that some rabbis are narrow minded fanatics who hurt proper converts.

I take issue with your backing of the COnservative who cannot form a legitimate beis din and who produce many illegitimate converts who are also victims of people taking advantage of convert candidates but in these cases the Conservative are the villains for misleading them.

And you can join the Conservative & Marc Angel yelling into a void over some minority opinion that may or may not be correct.

--Unequal time, are you really that dense?--

Why do you ask? because I don't see the correlation between jewish men wandering off and creating Jewish comminities and your claim that a community was created by the offspring of rape?

I ask you for a source - you reply (as usual) with vitriol.

I have trouble believing that a real rabbi would act this way.

--If you can't substantiate your viewpoint with specific references, then you really do not know or understand what you are talking about--plain and simple.--

Let's take it a step further - have you ever known a rabbi - ANY rabbi - that when asked, could not produce a source?

I think OMG is right about one thing - all of you seem to think that only Jewish men marry out. Archie claims this is the ONLY reason anybody complains about orthdox conversion - for a MAN to marry out to a hot chick. What bull-malarky. News flash, archie - some WOMEN marry out. And the children of a JEWESS are Jews, period - so your theory falls flat. Some of us are against ultra-orthodox controlled conversion standards for OTHER reasons - because requiring stringencies that our very Jewish grandparents NEVER HEARD OF and pretending they're "min har sinai" for conversion is factually incorrect, not to mention insane and divisive. But since you're a man, you can only think of hot shiskas, apparently. Try thinking with something a bit higher up next time.

Yo Ben,

>General Ironheart

Garnel, dude. The name is Garnel, not general. That's just my rank.

> According to your logic every new standard must be better then the old one.

No, my logic is that at any given time the Torah observant community has given standards that are the authoritative ones for that time. Dredging up standards that were acceptable in Poland 400 years ago or Spain 1000 years ago because you like a particular leniency they had is not part of the legitimate halachic process. 2000 years ago conversions may have been done differently but that was 2000 years ago.

> Why then you are not being consistent and promote modern Reform one conversion standard instead of old and outdated Orthodox one?

Because the only standards that matter are Torah observant standards. Even the Reform admit their conversions have nothing to do with halacha, therefore considering them is not an option.

> Also, I thought that main Haredi claim is
authenticity. They insist that the Torah is given for all times and will never change

Correct. But that's the core Torah. The basic minhagim or leniencies/stringencies in force at any given time do change.

> and that they are the ones who practice it in the most pure way,

Yeah, but we all know that's crap.

> If that is so, then why switch from patrelinial to matrelinial?

Conversion has been matrilineal for a VERY long time, based on a pasuk in the Torah itself, not some Rabbinic invention so there's no switch.

At any rate, are you in favour polygamy, of giving fathers the right to sell their infant daughters into slavery, of buying and selling human slaves? Because at one point or another in our history these were also the going standards and nowadays no one allows such things.

You cannot scour history for leniencies whilst ignoring the stringencies of history as well.

Re: rape as a means of genetic change.

Yes, rape was (and is) a problem, and it certainly played a role.

But as far as we know, that role was played much later – during the Crusades, for example – to late to have played the role we're discussing here.

Past that, the issue is what type of conversion, if any, local girls and household slaves had.

We'll never know for sure, but the evidence is very much on the side of what Archie would call "quickie" conversions.

Garnel Ironheart: So is Torah changable or not? Are Haredim the only authentic branch of Judaism? Is everything that Haredim do came to them through uninterrupted chain of tradition directly from Sinai revalation? If answer to any one of these questions is No, then it is hard to see how they can claim absolute ownership of "mi ha yehudi?" issue as well as All of the other issues? This is what began to trouble my admittedly imperfect mind.

Archie, I am definitely in favour of
"opening the flood-gates" to converts. Do you know why?
Do the math.
How many Jews are there? 13.5 million.
What's the world's population? 6 billion.
Therefore we are 0.22 percent of the world's population. What sort of "light unto the nations" are we? A Very Very Faint light !
The world is expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050. By that time, we will be even smaller than 13.5 million, an Even Fainter "light unto the nations".
Who is financially backing the Haredim? Modern Orthodox.
Who is paying for almost all of the Sefer Torahs written in the world?- Modern Orthodox, But also those naughty Reformim and Conservativim (sarcasm).
What happens when the Haredim alienate these naughty apikorsim?
Their response will be "if you Haredim take the attitude of- it's my way or the highway, then guess what, I am on the highway". And you know what, they'll leave.
So what does that leaves us with? A couple, maybe 3 million Modern Orthodox worldwide supporting themselves plus maybe 1 million Haredim worldwide.
How long do you think that is going to last?
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that, at that rate, we're looking at about 2 generations left until there will be only a "left-over" of Judaism.
I am not very observant now- but I am working on it. I have certainly given up on (American) Conservative, as I have said many times, due to their gutless stand on family values.
However, there is still Israeli Masorti, and South American Masorti.
And of course Modern Orthodox.
We can grow, because Judaism at its non-mystical best, is a highly intellectually advanced religion. We, at our best, are the best hope for pure monotheism worldwide. More and more non-Jews are recognizing this. We must welcome them. This does not compromising standards. However it does not mean burdening them with humrot- by definition observances that we would never require from the average Modern Orthodox or right-wing Conservative "born" Jew.
If you, Archie, are comfortable with a shrinking group of true believers, good luck to you. However, if you insist on being over-exacting, I can assure you that within 2 generations, your grandchildren will be down to unsustainable levels. It is your choice. I know what I am doing. I am working on this with like minded people.
If anyone wants to help me in this conversion project, please e-mail me at superdave8002@hotmail.com
I am very serious about this.
The plan will be very simple:
we will inform people through a myriad of communications methods about Judaism, help them to convert if they wish, and assist anyone materially or spiritually if they require help.

++mordecai | February 17, 2009 at 04:30 PM++

Mordy, my 'significant other' is a wonderful Irish Catholic girl. Love, caring and tenderness know no religion.
God is not filled with hate, nor does He discriminate. Only people do those.

And, as you so astutely observe, anybody who doesn't like it can kiss my ass.

Archie,

Every Beth Din has the right to make a decision that is apropos for its community. That is a simple Halacha you cannot ignore or shove under the carpet; this concept has several important implications, namely, if a person wishes to be accepted by a different a community, that community has the right to define its expectations and criteria for social acceptance.

Example: If I wished to be a rabbi in a Haredi community, the Haredi community would have every right to expect that I subscribe to their religious standards before I would become a rav in their midst. By the same token, if I wanted to become a convert in a Haredi community, they would have every right to make the standards as strict as they like.

A more liberal community could not realistically expect it to be otherwise, since they have no jurisdiction over that Haredi community.

By the same token, a Haredi community has no jurisdiction over those Orthodox communities that adhere to a more liberal view of the Halacha.

Therefore, the more Haredi community would not be able to geographically invalidate the conversions, marriages, or divorces of another community that is more lenient than they are, kapish?

Let me repeat: A community, does not have the right to invalidate the religious status of someone, whose community of origin has already accepted them as bone fide members.

Lastly, you have not cited any textual support for your Halachic position re. conversions from the Shulchan Aruch, or for that matter--Maimonides MT.

However, at least your tone is mildly more civil and that is much appreciated!


Without going into specifics, I know for a fact that there are several Modern Orthodox communities where the rabbanim have accepted Conservative conversions on the basis of the latter's sincerity in their kabbalat hamitzvot, calling CJ rabbis "villains" is nasty, for one could say the same about Haredi "villains" where IMO, the epithet is much more well deserved.

You cannot scour history for leniencies whilst ignoring the stringencies of history as well.

Sure you can, and such cherry picking is a proud Jewish tradition going back thousands of years. Any time some well-known rabbi makes a decision, he backs it up with "selected" text, often ignoring other "not selected" text which would refute his position. So what? That's the way the halachic game has always been played.

And, as you so astutely observe, anybody who doesn't like it can kiss my ass.

Posted by: WoolSilkCotton | February 17, 2009 at 08:47 PM

I believe the Irish term is "Pogue Mahon."

The love of my life turned out to be an agnostic Italian Catholic girl. I find Jewish women attractive, and I don't buy into the JAP stereotyping, but the heart wants what it wants, and will have it no matter what your ideology is. Provided, of course, one has a heart.

Chicago Sam, Orthodoxy needs more ravs like you. But, from what I've seen, you guys are mostly from the older generation and have fought a losing battle to the agudath and haredi influenced day-school generation of "Modern Orthodox" rabbis. It's a true tragedy for the Jewish people, and despite the perceptions of some fanatics that post here, it has lead to the strong downward trend in memberships to Orthodox shuls located outside of a small number of high density urban places. Every Orthodox shul in my area is dying and only the Conservative shul is doing well in terms of membership.

Neo: great to hear from you. My ortho shul is small but growing, because our rabbi is old-school Modern Orthodox and is very caring and welcoming. The people we're getting are not Ortho- BTW.

In some areas, conservative is losing ground to Reform or ortho. It depends. Rather than keep score, like this is a sporting event, why not just be the best you can be?

Let me also add a personal story about the impact of haredi insanity upon the RCA and the "Modern Orthodox" community in the USA. I know two people that were the most sincere potential converts one could hope to have attracted to the 'Am Yisrael. Both were comfortable with Orthodoxy in terms of halachic positions, but also made friendships in the Conservative community and/or the liberal halachic "independent minyan" community. The RCA, having bent over for the Israel haredim, no longer perform local conversions.

As a direct result of the inability and/or unwillingness of local RCA rabbis to work with these candidates in a rational manner, both people decided to pursue alternative routes to geruth. While I think those paths are halachic, they will not be accepted by many in the Orthodox communities - which is a loss for involved.

Let me be clear: these two people are willing to lead a life of mitsvoth unknown (God forbid) to the vast majority of Jews. At the end of the day, they have learned to temper their love of Judaism with hurt (and I suspect, anger) toward some of the very rabbis that should have encouraged their path with loving kindness.

Mordecai - Anyone who believes in the Torah is saddened by a Jew marrying out of the faith. Nevertheless, I decline the offer to kiss your behind. I also feel sorry for the woman that was destined for you, because she too is suffering without her bashert. It's bad enough that you married out, you make it even worse by flaunting it. You betrayed your parents, your grandparents, and all of the generations prior. It is very sad.

YL, as always, you rule.

At the end of the day (as it literally is right now), you sip your nightcap, watch the news, and think about what really matters. 99% of what I read on this site does not qualify.

Earlier today on this site, I saw a comment where Conservative Jews were insulted because seltzer they drank on Pesach might have contained gas that had been derived from hametz sources. What an insult to God Almighty that some people here think that He would become angry at Jews for drinking seltzer on Pesach that had CO2 derived from grain. What have religious Jews become, when this is their concept of God?

But I digress. My special love feels the same towards her religion as I do towards mine. It is amazing that our complaints at the religious powers-that-be are so similar; and then, I realize how very similar we all truly are. At age 52, you start to realize what is truly important to you and what isn't. Love is all that is truly important.

One of the guys I work with recently was diagnosed with cancer. He underwent radical surgery and is now getting chemotherapy and radiation. He recently returned to work. His future remains uncertain, and yet he has become the most open-minded, liberal, kindest person at work (he was a pretty decent guy before all this, too). Nothing rankles him anymore. One day at work, I became very stressed out over some nonsense, and I was rude to another guy. My friend with cancer interrupted me, and said "Mark, you know what you need? You need to get cancer." I was jolted back into realizing how derailed I had become over some stupid unimportant matter at work. i immediately apologized and then thanked my friend for restoring my perspective.

Well, goodnight, and love to you and all the chevra here at FM.

Friends Yochanan & WSC:

And the love of my life is ill and now in hospice care. As I look to the end of her life, recognizing that we are all here for a limited time, I am increasingly saddened by hypocrisy and prejudice. Man is a tribal beset by partisan bickering and factionalism. Of course there is never an end to it. Even among our own tribe (Jews) we have bitter disputes among the various denominations. Such is the lot of manking, it seems. At the end of the day we must recognize the genuine people among all the nations and find common cause.

Chicago Sam - I am skeptical of your claim that there are several MO communities that have accepted a conservative conversion. How can Rabbis that preach apikorsis, which by definition includes all conservative "Rabbis", convert anyone to Judaism. I find this very difficult to believe. Moreover, any MO communities which allow this are doing a disservice to the "converts".
Dave Marshall - We don't have to have big numbers to be a light unto the world. The fact is reform and conservative (what a misnomer) Judaism are dying. I DON'T WANT A WATERED DOWN JEWISH PEOPLE. You are damn right I am protective of my Jewish blood. This Kushner or whatever his name is decides to date Trumpess and is willing to pay big bucks to get her converted. What a joke. I don't want the trumpess. They should just fornicate and call it a day.
Chicago Sam - I do agree that no ortho conversions should be undone, assuming the Beis Din took the proper steps. However, shame on those Beis Dins that convert people for the wrong reasons (money). That person will then be judged as a Jew, which if they don't intend to keep the mitzvos, only makes their judgment day more difficult.
Dave Marshall - I don't care what percentage we are of the world population. I think your "opening the flood gates" idea is a simple-minded idea.
I have seen your posts, and you seem like a really nice guy, so forgive me for being so harsh, but you really have touched a nerve. Look at how many muslims there are, and how little they contribute to society relative to their population. Look at how much Jews have contributed, in many ways we are a light unto the world even with our small numbers. We still have a long way to go spiritually, but we are the most successful people in the history of the world relative to population. Thank you, and good night!

Mordecai - While I can't take back what I wrote, please know that however strong my beliefs may be, I still don't lose sight of having compassion for my fellow man. May God give you the strength to get through your trying situation.

Itchie, what you feel about Mordecai (or me) is your business. I was already married for 20 years, and then divorced 9 years ago. The whole 'bashert' thing is just another way to drive ourselves nuts and feel guilty about nothing. I was already married to my bashert. It didn't work. Yeah, yeah, you'll say she wasn't really my bashert, but- sorry, Itchie- I can't waste any more personal energy worrying about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Betrayed my parents, etc? Nice try with the guilt trip. I have had a Jewish mother, wife, sister, and daughter. Think you can induce a guilt trip in me? Guess again. What kind of religion do you believe in when we must remain in a constant state of misery in order to satisfy the always-pissed-off Jewish God?

Eventually, we all choose our path to spirituality. Good luck with your journey.

Mordecai, so sorry to hear. Love will be the source of comfort for you both. Enjoy your precious time together.

I will worry about my beshirt after I pull up my bepants.

Mordecai: I am praying for you and your wife, assuming God listens to heretics like me.

The love of my life was born catholic. She constantly got in trouble as a child for wanting to pray directly to G-d and not jc or mary. She was in tears when a nun told her that Jews had no hope of salvation (until another kinder nun told her that not all Jews would go to hell).

She went to church only when with her parents at the time that I had met her, and was in a rebelious phase myself. Not knowing who to talk to she went to a reform rabbi who when apprised of my orthodox history told her to forget it, she would never be accepted.

We married and I did not ask her to convert. My parents sat shiva and disowned me. Without any coercion on my part, my wife seeked out education and first converted reform and then webt to the mikva before an orthodox (hareidi) bet din and along the way brought me back.

She is shomer torah u mitzvot - kashrut, shabbat taharat mishpacha - but does wear pants - again anyone who feels pink pants are mens clothing is just wrong (and just a little too precious) - and she spends so much time and effort quietly helping unfortunate individuals with tzedakah that I think she is working on becoming a lamed vavnik.

My parents accepted and loved her at least as much as the spouses of my siblings.

Our genetic material may not have mingled in millenia but we are stronger for it. I have daughters who are beautiful inside and out, who are at the top of their classes in limudei kodesh and chol, who will have Jewish homes while becoming doctors or lawyers or whatever they wish.

I look at my girls and I have hope for the future of our people that strongly counteracts the shtuyot I read posted here by the choteim umachteim who deny legitimacy to geri tzedek an thus deny the torah and HKBH!!

A great story Dr. Dave. I have so much admiration for those who commit to true Torah Judaism when they have no obligation to do so. It is overwhelming. Some of the best Jews I know are Jews by choice, which of course means to me an orthodox conversion.
Dr. Dave, If I can find a woman that keeps taharas mishpocha, shabbos, and kashrus, I'll buy her the pink pants! Now, I really don't condone the wearing of pants by women, but chas v'shalom that it would ever invalidate a geirus. That would be criminal. I would go out with a woman who might wear pants from time to time, but if they would not be committed to kashrus shabbos, and taharas mishpocha, then I could not consider them. You are a lucky man!


Thanks for the feedback Ichiemeyer, I enjoy a good-hearted discussion,but the response you wrote indicates a large part of the problem: Who is an Apikoris? According to R. Moshe Feinstein, it was anyone who denies the Thirteen Principles of Faith as articulated by Maimonides, but every true scholar knows full and well that there exists many contrasting principles on virtually every one of the Thirteen Principles, so what does this prove?

If you can define who or what is an Apikoris, then we can further investigate whether or not a non-Orthodox practicing or believing Jew deserves to be designated by such a disparaging epithet. I can certainly argue that nowadays this is certainly not the case.

Even today's atheist needs to be treated with respect and dignity, for more often than not, the atheist today is the product of a "religious" society that acts contrary to its highest principles and merely pantomimes religious ferver--today's Haredi rabbi, IMO, more typically acts insufferably self-righteous and is indistinguishable from the Taliban Muslim.

Tragically, as Prof. Norman Lamm has often said, today's Rabbinute in Israel would rather that Jews in Israel and elsewhere believe in NOTHING rather than be good Conservative or Reform Jews.

Frankly, this website does a wonderful service that all Frum Jews ought to appreciate: Failedmessiah gives them a good kick-in-the-ass, and Kudos go to Shmarya for showing a shadowy side of the Orthodox world that its members refuse to look at.

Reality bites, and when leading Haredi rabbis are open pedophiles in their community, the integrity of the entire Jewish frum world is at risk.

If Freud were alive, he would have had a field day dealing with these self-righteous pismires.

For the Modern Orthodox world, I would encourage you to stop enabling those forces that seek to destroy you. Show some backbone and stand up for religious pluralism--which is a good thing for everyone--even the Haredim.

Unequal Time, you really are a fool. I said that over the course of 1000 years there were proper converts and rape cases in Europe that could account for the DNA findings.

It is not an entire "community created by the offspring of rape" as you so crudely framed it while sleazily attributing ugly words to me that I never said.

Ahavah, I think you misunderstood me, at least as far as my overall thinking.

And may I ask why you are against Charedi control of conversions if let's say charlatans like Tropper and corrupt figures in the Israeli govt rabbinate are excluded?

Dave Marshall, you are truly wasting your time with a hopeless fantasy. G-d promised that the Jewish people will never disappear. Sadly however, it is those who stray from the Torah who write their own obituary. Those who stay true to the Torah are the manifestation of the promise.

Sam, those left-wing modern orthodox rabbis are unfortunately rubberstamping the great disservice perpetrated by the COnservative. While it is technically possible in the odd case for a convert to have sincere kabalas ol mitzvos in front of a fake beis din, the halacha is that ANY Conservative conversion must be redone out of doubt. Any so called modern orthodox rabbi who ignores this is violating halacha on that end AND because he is giving credence to heretics.

Get a clue, please.

And Charedi molesters are "leading" rabbis? Nice try at smearing the Charedi world. Scum like Mondrowitz were further down the totem pole than modern orthodox perverts like Lanner.

Your hatred of anyone to the right of Avi Weiss is very apparent.

"cherry picking is a proud Jewish tradition going back thousands of years"

Neo-preservative is either a liar or incredibly ignorant (or both).

Again, there is a specific halacha that it is forbidden to seek out every leniency but Neo wouldn't be able to justify his pathetic COnservative existence unless he denied it.

The guy is also a practical joker. It may be possible that one ortho shul near him is declining but that is the story of the Conservative movement's life. Every month, there are temples closing with the scattered remnants merging with each other.

It's precisely because they don't follow halacha that their kids have no interest in even a watered down semblance of Judaism and marry out of the faith.

Dodos like Neo are "shining" examples how the the entire movement is going the way of the Dodo.

"anyone who feels pink pants are mens clothing is just wrong"

I think a whole host of "guys" including RIchard Simmons & Elton John would be offended by that statement.

Now it makes sense why WoolStink hates orthodox Jews so much. It's bad enough that he was once a failed Lubab but he resents that orthodox Jews follow teachings that utterly oppose his choice of bed mate.

No wonder he went on & on about guilt. He lives with guilt inspired hatred every day. What a miserable man and poor excuse for a Jew.

Shmarya is trying to weasel his way out of a jam with misleading information again, but what else is new?

Even if the majority of European DNA is traced to before the Crusades, there were still proper conversions before that time just as their were rapes before such time. There were Viking marauders, highway robbers and local ruffians all over the place.

Shmarya thinks that manufacturing a historical fiction about improper conversions will help him make violating halacha easier in today's age as a widespread thing.

Doesn't he wish.


Chicago Sam - I am skeptical of your claim that there are several MO communities that have accepted a conservative conversion. How can Rabbis that preach apikorsis, which by definition includes all conservative "Rabbis", convert anyone to Judaism. I find this very difficult to believe. Moreover, any MO communities which allow this are doing a disservice to the "converts".
Dave Marshall - We don't have to have big numbers to be a light unto the world. The fact is reform and conservative (what a misnomer) Judaism are dying. I DON'T WANT A WATERED DOWN JEWISH PEOPLE.

You have drunk the kool-aid, which has led you to these conclusions. But, what if your basic premises are mistaken? Think about it. What if: many Conservative rabbis encourage their congregants to observe more mitsvoth, including being shomer Shabbat? What if the definition of "apikorsis" has been in the eye of the person spitting it for thousands of years, and it has changed now to suit the hateful rhetoric of Orthodoxy? What if: your desire to avoid "a watered down Jewish People" is, in historic fact, a modern bizarre invention of thought that occurred as a result of the breaking up of Askenazi Jews into 3-4 political/theological groups? What if: in traditional Jewish groups, there was always a diversity of thought and practice, and the rabbinic leadership understood that fact?

I find it remarkable that despite Archie's Haredi bravado, neither he or his colleagues have yet to answer my original challenge that one Beth Din has the right to invalidate another Beth Din's converts. Notice my friend has yet to substantiate a scintilla of evidence cited from the Shulchan Aruch, or for that matter from the MT. In Talmudic nomenclature, I say LHDM.

You clearly do not know the texts you are attempting to talk about, your lack of textual knowledge in the Shulchan Aruch is embarrassing, as it is alarming. Study the Hilchot Gerim, and you will see that you are dead wrong re/ the negation of Beth Din's conversions.

You should not try to be holier than the great Rishonim and Acharonim who never utilized or subterfuge such pseudo-piety in their deliberations of the Halacha.

BTW, Care to define an Apikoris???

Neo-preservative is either a liar or incredibly ignorant (or both).

Again, there is a specific halacha that it is forbidden to seek out every leniency but Neo wouldn't be able to justify his pathetic COnservative existence unless he denied it.

Are you referring to "safek d'oraita l'humra; safek d'rabbanan l'kula", or something else? Every time previously I've asked you for specific text references you've blustered and avoided providing them. Put up.

The guy is also a practical joker. It may be possible that one ortho shul near him is declining but that is the story of the Conservative movement's life. Every month, there are temples closing with the scattered remnants merging with each other.

The simple fact is that all three Orthodox shuls in my area are at bare minimum levels to keep the lights on. Those shuls once were full with hundred of families.

It's precisely because they don't follow halacha that their kids have no interest in even a watered down semblance of Judaism and marry out of the faith.

Dodos like Neo are "shining" examples how the the entire movement is going the way of the Dodo.

My shul is usually packed on Shabbat, my kids attend religious day schools, and you are an idiot.

I can't sleep on the right night as this thread is still lively with more nonsense from Neo-preservative and Son of Sam.

Just listen to the nerve of Neo. His COnservative come along after thousands of years to make a break with Torah Judaism ans he is chewing out others about supposedly creating divisions.

And you can't make this stuff up. He grunts about "hateful rhetoric of Orthodoxy" when he is the most acerbic poster on this blog.

Sam, you keep repeating the same bubkis that the COnservative have valid batei din. That doesn't even deserve a response.

How dare YOU twist the Shulchan Aruch and Rishonim to apply to disqualified heretics.

The poskim outline the definition of a heretic. I'm not going to get sucked into silly exercises with you while you try to distort the Torah here too.

"safek d'oraita l'humra; safek d'rabbanan l'kula"

Nothing of the sort. Try reading what I wrote again as it is almost a word for word translation from the Hebrew.

"my kids attend religious day schools"

Let's see if they make it to the next generation as Jews.

"Will Your Grandchildren Be Jews?"
REVISTED 10 YEARS LATER

By: Antony Gordon and Richard Horowitz[1]

Intermarriage Rates and the Dwindling Jewish Population

The NJPS 2000 found that 47% of Jews who married in the past five years had wed non-Jews, up from a readjusted intermarriage figure of 43% a decade ago. The rate of intermarriage has risen dramatically in the past 30 years, from an average of 9% before 1965 to 52% in 1990.

The 1990 NJPS indicated that Secular, Reform and Conservative Jews are far more likely to intermarry than Orthodox Jews. Secular Jews have doubled their intermarriage rate, while Reform and Conservative Jews have tripled theirs. Secular Jews in the 18 to 39 year age group have an intermarriage rate of 72%, while those over age 39 have an intermarriage rate of 35%. Younger Reform Jews now at a 53% rate, compared to a 16% rate for the older group. Among younger Conservative Jews, the intermarriage rate has increased to 37%, compared to 10% for those over age 39. Only Orthodox Jews have reversed this trend: Their intermarriage rate has fallen from 10% among those over 39 to 3% of the 18-39 group today.

Hashem gave the Torah at Har Sinai, not Judaism. The point is that when Israelites took wifes outside of the tribe the wifes were expected to follow the husbands lead in all things.
Like Ruth, any non Jewish woman who tells her Jewish boyfriend that his God will be her God, is acceptable in Hashems eyes.
The Rabbis are the ones who made a big to do about studying for conversion etc. The Torah is very clear on its demands on the Israelite nation. Miriam got punished for her shamefull behavior towards her brothers wife. The Rabbis also are worthy of leprosy for disdaining the non Israeiite/Jewish partner in a marriage.

Solomon sinned for having wifes that followed Elilim Achairim, strange Gods. If they all had been dedicated to the one true Borei Olam, it wouldnt have mattered one iota where they came from.

I would call the "Rabbis" in the conservative, reform, and reconstructionist groups to be apikorsim. I believe they know what they are doing, going against the ways of the Torah in a blatant manner (as with their policies with regard to homosexuals), and they deceive their congregants into thinking that which is not ok, is ok. I do not call their followers apikorsim because they don't know better, and deserve the benefit of the doubt. I am not sure how these leaders who, in most cases will allow mixed marriages and in some cases gay marriages can be considered anything but apikorsim.

Dave Marshall, you are truly wasting your time with a hopeless fantasy. G-d promised that the Jewish people will never disappear. Sadly however, it is those who stray from the Torah who write their own obituary. Those who stay true to the Torah are the manifestation of the promise.
Posted by: Archie Bunker

Archibald - Amen to that, brother. I even here the Jeffersons, next door, giving you a standing ovation!

Arch's comments about percentage of Jews who intermarry from the different branches of Judaism really says it all. Game over.
Reform and conservative Judaism, they are dying. It's over. They have lost because they have no core principles other than making people feel good by permitting them to do whatever they want. These numbers are extremely relevant and noone can argue against the picture they paint, that the liberal streams are dying.

Archie: You are a valuable resource when you make the right-centrist Orthodox case. I don't FM to become an amen choir. But you loose me when you make fun of people's screen names, or attack their personal integrity. And I don't like it when people do it to you. Stick to the issues, please.

Yes, it's true that valid conversions and ch'v'sh rapes occured in the past. But it is easy nowadays to trace both paternal and maternal lineages. The Y chromosome is passed (either unchanged or at a predictable rate of mutation) from the father. The mitochondrial DNA is passed (either unchanged or at a predictable rate of mutation) from the mother. That way, scientists can tell if Hagar the Horrible, or Helga was your ancestor.

Itchie: Neo was merely reporting on what he sees in his community. It may just mean that Orthodox Jews are moving to other areas, and no one is replacing them in his area. He is not dishonest. Personally, I think Reform, Recon, and conservative will merge, as R&R become more traditionally flavored, and conservative becomes more "progressive." But I could be wrong.

Dave Marshall's idea is as absurd and quixotic as Herzl's crackpot theory that there would be a Jewish State, preferably in Palestine, in 50 years. We all know how that turned out.

Sorry to put the kibosh on PishPosh but his/her logic is difficult to follow.

While it's true that acceptance of mitzvos is the determining factor to receive a Jewish soul, here as elsewhere the Torah vests in the rabbis the authority to set up structures that must be followed. The Torah actually commands the Jewish people to listen to the rabbis.

Miriam was not punished regarding her brother's "wife" but for making a disparaging remark about a Black woman who Moses never lived with or even looked at. She was a Black Kushite descended from Canaan who the forefathers implored that no Jew should marry. (Do you get that, Shmarya?)

--Unequal Time, you really are a fool.--

And you continue to make my case with each and every nasty post you make.

--I said that over the course of 1000 years there were proper converts and rape cases in Europe that could account for the DNA findings.--

And I said prove it - and you have failed to produce a single source in support.

The problem you have is that genetic research is to the point (if you'd read the two studies I've already referenced, you'd know this) that it can effectively establish WHEN a genetic string enters the mix AND whether it entered on the matralineal or patralineal side.

THIS is how we know that Kohainim has a common anscestor that joined on the father's side ~5000 years ago - THIS is the evidence that actually supports the article Shmarya posted to began the thread (matralineal DNA added ~3000 years ago v. YOUR scenarion where it would be patralineal - less than 1000 years ago).

He has facts - you have insults, wishes and unsupported opinions.

I'll leave it to the readers to determine who the real foll is in this discussion.

--Miriam was not punished regarding her brother's "wife" but for making a disparaging remark about a Black woman who Moses never lived with or even looked at. She was a Black Kushite descended from Canaan who the forefathers implored that no Jew should marry. (Do you get that, Shmarya?)--


If it was so wrong - why then did HaShem punish Miriam and not Moshe?

Blah blah blah, "equal time".

The things I cite are historical facts that do not have to be proven just like the Holocaust & WWII need not be proven, except to lunatics.

ANd there are plenty of mentions in Jewish writings over the centuries about converts & rapes. If you weren't so uneducated you would be familiar with it.

א וַתְּדַבֵּר מִרְיָם וְאַהֲרֹן בְּמֹשֶׁה, עַל-אֹדוֹת הָאִשָּׁה הַכֻּשִׁית אֲשֶׁר לָקָח: כִּי-אִשָּׁה כֻשִׁית, לָקָח. 1

And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman.

י וְהֶעָנָן, סָר מֵעַל הָאֹהֶל, וְהִנֵּה מִרְיָם, מְצֹרַעַת כַּשָּׁלֶג; וַיִּפֶן אַהֲרֹן אֶל-מִרְיָם, וְהִנֵּה מְצֹרָעַת.


10 And when the cloud was removed from over the Tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow; and Aaron looked upon Miriam; and, behold, she was leprous.

This is the 1917 JPS translation, which is a Jewish translation, albeit one influenced at times buyy the KJV. (The more recent JPS is better, but is not online).

Clearly pshat said that Moshe married a Cushite; usually understood to mean Ethiopian or black African. Secular scholars think it meant from Upper Egypt/Sudan, whose people were of mixed Black African, Semitic, and North African (dark caucasian) ancestry. That would still make the Cushite a shade or so darker than the Semitic Jews, who themselves were of dark-olive complexion (this is before they went north and married local women, who "whitened" their color).

Tzara'at, mistranslated as leprosy, are snowy scales, like psoriasis. The punishment is midah keneged midah: "You complain that she's black; I'll make you even whiter!" (This disease was a punishment from God, and found only in miqra.)

Following Occam's Razor (the simplest explanation is usually the best), if the miqra can best be understood by pshat, that is what I go by. If pshat seems to contradict known facts, then I go by an allegorical/homeletical reading, as rationalist rishonim such as Saadia and Rambam advocate.

I see no good reason to reject the idea that Moshe married a black woman; whether the verse indirectly refers to Tzipporah or a second wife. I can see many bad reasons to use mental gymnastics to deny pshat.

90% of American Jews vote with their feet every Saturday morning by not going to an orthodox shul.
Until the ortho's drop their medieval 'our sages were infallible, and so you must not change anything' mindset, it's ortho that's doomed. More babies does not equal more orthodox.

A religion where everyone must be made to do what they don't really want to do, is heading in the wrong direction. People don't respond to fear and guilt like they used to. Itchie and Isaac, please come up with better ideas for the future of Judaism.

Miriam was punished because of the untrue insinuation that Moshe had something going on with the Black woman.

You are confused if you ask why Moshe was not punished. As I said, he had nothing to do with that Black woman in Ethiopia. She was gifted to him when he was made King but he never went near her.

"Herzl's crackpot theory that there would be a Jewish State, preferably in Palestine"

Well, that guy who didn't have a bris mila first wanted to take either Uganda or Madagascar first. Jews would have been mince meat for the likes of Idi Amin and Communist guerillas.

Equal Time, my cyber-friend:

Here is a good explanation of what's going on here, and how you can save a lot of energy by not responding to an internet troll:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

WSC - The statistics Archie cited speak for themselves.

--The things I cite are historical facts that do not have to be proven--

No one is arguing the rapes - what IS being argued is your contention thatthey explaining the entirety of the intermingled DNA - especially in the face of genetic evidence that disagrees.

OK - I get it. You have nothing, and are not a big enough man to admit it.

No problem.

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