Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jewish and Gentile Souls do not go Together


Most of Yom Kippur I spent in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City. At the new and super posh AISH HATORAH complex right across the Kotel (Western Wall). Inbetween the prayer service, Rabbi Yaakov Marcus (from the women's seminary NEVE YERUSHALAIM) gave quite interesting classes. Mainly Q & A on Yom Kippur or Judaism as a whole. Interestingly, many questions came from young American Jews concerning "Intermarriage".

Especially the subject of "Intermarriage" seem to raise lots of interest because the worldwide figure of Jewish Intermarriage is rising. Just look at Chelsea Clinton's "husband". According to Halacha they are not married, as there is nothing in Judaism such as a Jew marrying a Gentile unless the Gentile converts to Judaism. Meaning: According to Jewish law, Chelsea Clinton is not married to a Jew because her marriage to the Jew is non - existent.

During the class, some American youngsters in their twenties asked Rabbi Marcus why a Jew cannot marry a Gentile. The Rabbi's response:
A Jew can be related with a Gentile on a Nefesh (desire) level as well as on a Ruach (emotional) level but a Jew has a different Neshama (soul) from the rest of the world and thus can never be a soulmate of a Gentile. An Intermarriage may work but the two souls can never be connected.

In case the Gentile honestly converts to Judaism:
Then he receives a Jewish soul and the two souls may fit together !


  1. Miriam:

    I'm not sure you have the guts to post this. I'm married to a Gentile and I don't care what Halacha or anybody else says. We are married whether you like it or not, 26 yrs as a matter of fact. More than my brothers who had "Jewish" marriages. I'll take the issue up with G-d and you mind your own cottin' pickin' business thank you very much!

  2. B"H

    The fact that you read my article and obviously dealing with the subject of "Intermarriage" shows that you are bothered (or even troubled) and I assume your life with a Gentile spouse is not always as easy as you want to make me believe.

  3. Miriam, I'm another anonymous commenter, and I've been around the baal tshuva world, and ultimately I am now in a serious long-term relationship with a non-Jew. The reason I found your blog is that I'm doing research for a book on intermarriage. I have to tell you honestly that as much as I was strongly inspired by so much of what I had studied through hasidut and kabbalah, unfortunately the views that come out of those two traditions in regards to non-Jews are repulsive. To me, they do not represent what is best about Jewish philosophy. Think deeply about what kind of world we bring children into that teaches those children to think they are superior or have a different kind of soul than other people. Is that what you think Judaism has to offer the world? Is that tikkun olam? The traditions in Judaism that treat non-Jews as inferior or different are just flat out appalling, and there is no way to morally get around that fact. So please don't immediately judge all Jews who are in interfaith relationships or marriages -- you are not representing Judaism in a way that will keep Judaism thriving in the future.

  4. B"H

    I don't see it as that negative. One has to understand that Jewish sources don't necessarily consider Gentiles has inferior. Why should they because otherwise why would G - d create Jews and Gentiles ?
    The answer is because both groups have their own mission in this world.

    Furthermore, I don't see the whole theology on the Jewish and Gentile soul not as rassism. But when you consider that Jews and Gentiles have different tasks in this world than the division of the souls makes sense. Without any rassism involved.

    The question is whether your Gentile partner is able to understand you ? Can he or she bring you closer to your G - dgiven goal in life ? Jews and Gentiles have different ways of spirituality and I very doubt that a Gentile partner can help you in your spiritual growth.

    I have seen it with some friends of mine who where in such relationships and I have witnessed it myself when those mixed couples spoke to each other. As soon as it comes to religion and doing something more, the Gentile spouse is against it. But even if: Where can you take a Gentile partner ? To a meal with at a Rabbi's home ?
    Well, you may think that this could influence your partner to convert but what you cause is not a pleasant atmosphere at the Rabbi's home when suddenly people have to sit with an intermarried couple.

    When it comes to certain subjects you will always feel the difference you would not with a Jewish partner.

    My article was based on Orthodox Judaism and on the teaching of the Rabbi and when you say that I am not representing Judaism - That's right. This shows me that you are looking for excused you get away with thanks to the Reform movement. However, as a matter of fact, you are lying to yourself and running away from your conscience.

  5. A good rabbi will welcome anyone into their home. It's called hachnasat orchim. And I have dated many Jewish men who did nothing for my spiritual growth. I know that your post was based on Orthodox Judaism, and I will never be Orthodox because I don't believe in it for a variety of theological and sociological reasons. And yes, Orthodox Judaism does make racism a very easy thing to justify "spiritually." It doesn't have to, but it does. I don't believe that Jews and non-Jews are inherently different and have different missions in the world. I think that Judaism is a collection of writings, teachings, customs, and practices that have evolved over time, and that have many beautiful and inspiring things to share with the world -- but not everything. All religions have inspiring ideas to share, and also their bad sides as well. The way many Jews deride non-Jews (and intermarried Jews) is lashon hara. We can do teshuvah by owning up to our own faults as well, and repairing them.

    Also, if you want to see examples of Jews who have very successful relationships with non-Jewish partners, you might want to read some of the articles on the website

  6. B"H

    An Orthodox Rabbi would never support an intermarried couple !!!

    Intermarriage is even considered as another Holocaust. Hitler didn't succeed but especially intermarried men destroy their intire heritage. That's it ! Their Jewish future generations are finished.

    I don't get what you are saying: On the one hand you claim that Judaism is a collection of writings but on the other hand you are mentioning Lashon HaRah.
    When Judaism is "just" an idea, so there is no Lashon Harah because there is just nothing.

    Deliberate sins cannot just be repaired within five minutes and how are you explaining this to your vanished Jewish future generations. Intermarriage is nothing but following one's emotions but emotions don't always remain. You have to use your intellect as well and intermarried Jews don't do this.

  7. Interesting that none of these people are considering the deeper implications, such as their children will not be Jewish and as we are seeing the Jewish people is being watered down and diminished,. We are doing to ourselves what our enemies have tried to do for thousands of years. I agree you can have interfaith marriages, but at what cost?

  8. B"H

    What I personally find very disgusting is how the young generations whose ancestors escaped the Holocaust are willing to give up their identity. Hitler didn't need to build an Auschwitz because those intermarried Jews have established their own, even more effecient, Auschwitz. Destroying Jewish heritage and Jewish generations. Killing themselves, so to speak. The only thing they think of is "sexual attraction" and when they are sick of it, they move over to someone else.

  9. great...i sae you there, but i was not sure if it was you

    succot sameach!!!

  10. @Miriam:

    I understand and respect that your opinions are based on Orthodox views.

    But what I don't understand is, that within all of your posts regarding intermarriage, you immediately judge about individual people who chose this way for themselves.

    When I read sentences of you like "that hopefully the man will separate from his non-Jewish wife once, etc." it almost sounds really childish.

    But the top sentence I read on your blog was this one (from an anonymous visitor):

    "they will have children, daughters, who will slowly spread their unhalachic mud blood"

    "Mud blood". Wow. If you would replace in this sentence the word "unhalachic" with any other word, people would think they landed in a Neo-Nazi board.

    How do you explain/justify such a racist statement?

    I think you forgot something:

    Us Jews, should know the best of all people in the world, where racism can end!

    And in the commentaries and in many sentences of the blog entries, I can recognize a lot of racism.

    You compare young generations with more liberal views to the WW2, Hitler and to Auschwitz? That's ridiculous, and it rather seems that it's the other way round and many Jews nowadays didn't learn anything out of the history and just keep on with prejudices and racism.

    PS: Another question: why do you never mention intermarriage couple where the man is non-Jewish, but the woman is? Because the children of such a constellation would be just Jewish as well.

  11. B"H

    It is not only me regarding intermarriage as one of the greatest dangers to Judaism today. And only by saying that the child of a Jewish mother and non - Jewish father doesn't justify the fact that the woman was willing to marry a Gentile.

    The intermarriage subject has nothing to do with racism, as the prohibition comes from the Torah.

    It is nothing against Gentiles, as G - d created Jews and non - Jews but each of them has a different task in this world.

  12. Muslims also prohibit their hatred and terror through their Quran, so what is this for an argument?

    I think it is each person's own very private business with whom he/she spends his/her life.

    The action, to judge about an unknown individual,, just because of the fact that the religion is a foreign one, already fulfills the requirement to be racist.

    Of course, it's obvious that it could possibly reduce the amount of Jewish members and every couple/family has to decide by their own how to educate their child regarding the religion(s), but I don't see how this justifies all these stubborn prejudices.

    Instead of this, wouldn't it be much, much more productive if liberal/conservative/orthodox views of Judaism would take closer steps to each other, especially regarding the way how conversions are handled? What do you think of that?

    And I will ask you again:

    Is the following statement racist or not?

    "they will have children, daughters, who will slowly spread their unhalachic mud blood"

    This sentence from one visitor on another intermarriage-topic made me furious. Or what do you think about it?

    Because I don't see any difference between this sentence and a Nazi saying the same just about f.e. the "superior white race". It's a purely racist, disgusting statement and Jew who says this should be ashamed of himself and should better go read some history books.

  13. B"H

    I have no idea whether the commentator meant it literally or just in a sense that children from marriages where the mother isn't Jewish are not Jewish either.

    Prohibiting intermarriage has nothing to do with racism, but, as I said, is a Torah law. We see that, for instance, when Avraham sent out Eliezer searching for a suitable wife for Yitzchak.

    I don't see a reason why liberal / conservative or orthodox conversions should take a closer step to each other. First of all, Orthodoxy doesn't accept liberal or conservative conversions. For many different reasons. By the way, I have met quite a few liberal and conservative US and Canadian converts who, once in Israel, underwent an Orthodox conversion, as their previous conversion was sufficient to them.

  14. "I have no idea whether the commentator meant it literally or just in a sense that children from marriages where the mother isn't Jewish are not Jewish either."

    It doesn't matter which of the two options he meant. It was a degrading, racist sentence and not excusable. But as you don't comment on this certain part, I'm not sure if you agree or not, which is sad.

    As standing in Torah or not, it's everybody's own private subject. Society and people can criticize it and being suspicious, but they don't have the right to judge about it or discriminate such couples/families.

    I know that the orthodox view doesn't recognize liberal/conservative conversions, and that's exactly the reason why I mentioned it.

    It makes me sad, that many Jewish people themselves develop more and more prejudices and racist-like views. It only leads to hatred. I don't understand it.