By Erica ChernofskyBBC Information, Jerusalem
Intermarriage – when Jews wed non-Jews – is known as a threat to your future survival of the Jewish country. What exactly occurred whenever there have been reports that the Israeli prime minister’s son ended up being dating a non-jew that is norwegian?
The Norwegian day-to-day Dagen the other day reported that Norwegian Sandra Leikanger and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair are a few, to that the office of Mr Netanyahu has answered – based on Israeli news – by insisting they are just university classmates. Nevertheless the harm was already done.
Leikanger just isn’t Jewish, a fact that has sparked outrage in Israel, a country that is jewish since its inception has fought to possess its Jewish character recognised throughout the world. While Judaism is not a religion that is proselytising Leikanger, like most non-Jew, has the choice of converting should she wish to be Jewish.
Intermarriage and assimilation are quintessential Jewish fears and also have been called a threat to your future success of this relatively tiny nation that is jewish. In accordance with Jewish law, the religion is passed on through mom, therefore if a Jewish guy marries a non-Jewish woman, their children wouldn’t be considered Jews.
The opportunity that children of a mixed few would keep or pass on any Jewish traditions to future generations is radically diminished. As today’s rate of intermarriage among Diaspora Jews stands above 50%, most are worried that the nation that survived persecution, pogroms while the Holocaust could sooner or later die away from its own undoing.
The anxiety was expressed within an open page to Yair Netanyahu by the Israeli organization Lehava, which works to stop assimilation, in a post on its Facebook page, which warned him that their grand-parents “are switching over within their graves they did not dream that their grandchildren wouldn’t be Jews”.
The problem of intermarriage has mostly been one for Diaspora Jews – the Jews whom live outside Israel. The phenomenon has come to light inside Israel, Jews (75% of the population) and Arabs (21%) rarely marry, but with an influx of foreign workers and globalisation of the Israeli community, in recent years.
“Jesus forbid, if it is real, woe is me personally,” says Aryeh Deri, leader associated with Ultra-Orthodox Shas party, up to a neighborhood radio section, lamenting the headlines that the prime minister’s son had been dating a non-Jew. ” I don’t like dealing with personal dilemmas but if it is true God forbid, then it’s not your own matter – oahu is the sign associated with Jewish individuals.”
On the weekend, Eretz Nehederet, the popular Israeli satirical tv program, aired a parody showcasing infamous historical oppressors regarding the Jews like the biblical Pharaoh and the Spanish inquisitor. The show culminated with Yair Netanyahu’s non-Jewish girlfriend, who they called the “newest existential threat”. She sang about a shikse, a non-Jewish girl, sarcastically crooning that she’s “worse than Hitler”.
But jokes apart, even the prime minister’s brother-in-law, Hagai Ben-Artzi, spoke down strongly on their affair, warning their nephew that if he doesn’t end his relationship with Leikanger, it’s as if he is spitting on the graves of his grandparents.
“From my standpoint, I personally won’t allow him to get near their graves,” he told an Ultra-Orthodox website if he does such a thing. ” This is actually the many awful thing that is threatening and had been a threat through the history of the Jewish individuals. More awful than making Israel is wedding having a gentile. Should this happen, God forbid, We’ll bury myself I do not know where. I’ll walk in the streets and tear my hair off – and here this really is taking place.”
Anybody who’s watched Fiddler on the Roof, where Tevye states his daughter is dead to him for marrying a non-Jew, knows the matter is without question a painful and sensitive one amongst Jews.
But Dr Daniel Gordis, a writer and specialist commentator on Israel and Judaism, says which includes changed in the past few decades, specially in the Diaspora community that is jewish.
Whereas when it was significantly frowned upon for the Jew of any flow to marry a non-Jew, today, among unaffiliated (no synagogue), non-denominational (those that do not recognize with any movement), conservative or reform Jews, it is not the taboo it was previously. The intermarriage rates of non-denominational Jews approach 80%, he claims.
But among Orthodox Jews and in Israel, it’s still even more controversial.
“It’s not really a racial issue, it isn’t a superiority issue, it isn’t a xenophobia issue,” he states, explaining there are two reasons behind the opposition to intermarriage, certainly one of which can be that it’s just forbidden in Halacha, or Jewish legislation.
“The other thing is that Jews came to see that the only real option to transmit powerful Jewish identification with their kiddies is to allow them to be raised by two Jewish parents. Children raised by one parent that is jewish one non-Jewish parent have more tepid, more delicate, thinner Jewish identities than their Jewish parents did.
“they truly are statistically almost certainly going to marry non-Jews. There’s no guarantee, but statistically it’s extremely difficult to produce a youngster using the sense that is same of passion that the older generation has if he’s raised by somebody who does not share that story.”
The result, he adds, is the fact that in the us, ” there is a quickly eroding sense of Jewish dedication, an entire collapsing of Jewish literacy, and a thinning of Jewish identity”.
Therefore Israelis are petrified, claims Rabbi Dr Donniel Hartman, head for the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jewish studies, because since intermarriage is so uncommon here, whenever an Israeli marries a non-Jew they notice as though he is leaving Judaism.
” When you are a tiny individuals and you lose your constituents it makes you quite nervous. We are 14 million Jews in the global world, that’s it,” he describes. ” just What’s changed in modern life that is jewish of Israel is the fact that a Jew marrying a non-Jew doesn’t necessarily suggest making Jewish life anymore.”
This is a phenomenon that is new Judaism, and Hartman claims Jews must increase to the challenge.
“The battle against intermarriage is really a lost battle. We are a folks who are intermarried – the problem is not how exactly to stop it, but just how to reach out to non-Jewish spouses and welcome them into our community,” he claims.
“Our outreach has to be better, our institutions need to be better, our Jewish experiences have actually to be more compelling, we must begin working much harder.
” Living in the contemporary world requires one to be nimble. Things are changing, I don’t know whether it’s for the even worse or perhaps not, that may depend on which we do. However the world is evolving, and now we need to evolve with it.”