By Erica ChernofskyBBC News, Jerusalem
Intermarriage – whenever Jews wed non-Jews – happens to be called a risk to your future survival of the nation that is jewish. What exactly happened whenever there have been reports that the Israeli prime minister’s son had been dating A norwegian non-jew?
The Norwegian daily Dagen last week reported that Norwegian Sandra Leikanger and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair are really a couple, to which the workplace of Mr Netanyahu has answered – according to Israeli news – by insisting they’re just college classmates. Nevertheless the damage had been done.
Leikanger just isn’t Jewish, an undeniable fact who has sparked outrage in Israel, a country that is jewish since its inception has battled to own its Jewish character recognised around the world. While Judaism just isn’t a proselytising religion, Leikanger, like any non-Jew, does have the option of converting should she wish to be Jewish.
Intermarriage and assimilation are quintessential Jewish fears and also have been known as a risk to your future success of this relatively little nation that is jewish. Based on Jewish legislation, the religion is passed down through the mother, so if a Jewish man marries a non-Jewish woman, their children would not be considered Jews.
The chance that kiddies of a mixed few would keep or transfer any Jewish traditions to future generations is radically diminished. As today’s rate of intermarriage among Diaspora Jews stands above 50%, most are concerned that the nation that survived persecution, pogroms as well as the Holocaust could die out of eventually its own undoing.
The anxiety ended up being expressed within an letter that is open Yair Netanyahu by the Israeli organisation Lehava, which works to stop assimilation, in a post on its Facebook web page, which warned him that his grandparents “are switching over within their graves they failed to dream that their grandchildren wouldn’t be Jews”.
The problem of intermarriage has mainly been one for Diaspora Jews – the Jews who 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.
“God forbid, if it is true, woe is me,” states Aryeh Deri, leader of this Ultra-Orthodox Shas party, to a local radio station, lamenting the news that the prime minister’s son ended up being dating a non-Jew. ” I do not like referring to personal problems but then it is not any longer a personal matter – it is the expression associated with the Jewish individuals. whether it’s real God forbid,”
The popular Israeli satirical television show, aired a parody showcasing infamous historical oppressors of the Jews including the biblical Pharaoh and the Spanish inquisitor over the weekend, Eretz Nehederet. The show culminated with Yair Netanyahu’s non-Jewish gf, whom they called the “newest existential threat”. She sang about a shikse, a non-Jewish girl, sarcastically crooning that this woman is “worse than Hitler”.
But jokes apart, perhaps the prime minister’s brother-in-law, Hagai Ben-Artzi, spoke away strongly on their affair, warning their nephew that when he doesn’t end his relationship with Leikanger, it really is as if he’s spitting in the graves of their grandparents.
“From my viewpoint, if he does anything, I personally won’t enable him to have near their graves,” he told an Ultra-Orthodox web site. ” This is actually the most awful thing that is threatening and had been a risk through the entire reputation for the Jewish people. More awful than leaving Israel is marriage having a gentile. In such a circumstance, God forbid, We’ll bury myself I don’t understand where. We’ll walk in the roads and tear down my hair – and here this is certainly taking place.”
Whoever’s watched Fiddler on top, where Tevye claims their child is dead to him for marrying a non-Jew, understands the matter has long been a sensitive and painful one amongst Jews.
But Dr Daniel Gordis, an author and expert commentator on Israel and Judaism, says who has changed in the past few decades, specially within the Diaspora Jewish community.
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 who do not recognize with any movement), conservative or reform Jews, it’s not the taboo it used to be. The intermarriage rates of non-denominational Jews approach 80%, he says.
But among Orthodox Jews and in Israel, it is still a lot more controversial.
“It is not a racial issue, it’s not a superiority problem, it isn’t a xenophobia problem,” he states, describing there are two reasons behind the opposition to intermarriage, certainly one of that will be it is just forbidden in Halacha, or law that is jewish.
“The other thing is that Jews came to observe that the sole real option to transfer effective Jewish identification to their young ones is to allow them to be raised by two Jewish parents. Kids raised by one Jewish moms and dad and one non-Jewish parent have significantly more tepid, more fragile, thinner Jewish identities than their Jewish moms and dads did.
“they’ve been statistically more prone to marry non-Jews. There’s no guarantee, but statistically it is almost impossible to create a son or daughter utilizing the exact same sense of Jewish passion that the older generation has if he is raised by an individual who does not share that story.”
The end result, he adds, is in America, ” there exists a sense that is rapidly eroding of commitment, a whole collapsing of Jewish literacy, and a thinning of Jewish identity”.
So Israelis are petrified, says Rabbi Dr Donniel Hartman, head for the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jewish studies, because since intermarriage is really uncommon here, when an Israeli marries a non-Jew they see it as if he is making Judaism.
” When you are a people that are small you lose your constituents it makes you quite nervous. We have been 14 million Jews within best adventure dating apps the global world, that is it,” he explains. ” What’s changed in modern life that is jewish of Israel is the fact that a Jew marrying a non-Jew doesn’t invariably suggest leaving Jewish life anymore.”
This is a brand new event in Judaism, and Hartman says Jews must rise to the challenge.
“The battle against intermarriage is just a missing battle. Our company is a people that are intermarried – the issue is perhaps not how to stop it, but just how to reach out to non-Jewish spouses and welcome them into our community,” he says.
“Our outreach has to be better, our institutions need to be better, our experiences that are jewish to be more compelling, we have to begin working much harder.
” Living in the modern world calls for you to be nimble. Things are changing, I don’t understand if it’s for the worse or perhaps not, that will depend on what we do. Nevertheless the world is evolving, and now we need to evolve along with it.”