Jews, how important is it to your God, family, friends and to yourself, that you have a spouse whom is Jewish?


Mark S, Thanks for answering! But please elaborate!

emesshalom, Christians are antiSemitic? I'm agnostic, but I grew up with a Christian background, I don't believe Christians want to wipe out Jews.

Update 2:

mr. roo (Spelling change!),

Christians want everyone "to follow Christ", not just Jews. By doing this, this may strip "curent Orthodox Judaism" as a consequence, but this is not done by the direct attempt to wipe out Jews.

Other religions, I'm sure Judaism as well, would like to have everyone convert and worship their deity.

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    == Summary ==

    This is a very complicated and controversial question, for which I will try to outline its nuances without rendering a judgment.

    == ISSUE #1: Lifestyle Incompatibility ==

    Probably the most practical and sensible objection to intermarriage is that the lifestyle of Jewish observance is highly discordant with a non-Jewish lifestyle. For example, can you imagine how complicated it would be for the Jewish spouse to keep a kosher home, when the non-Jewish spouse does not even have an understanding of the laws of kashrut? Or for the Jewish spouse to avoid certain types of activities on Saturdays, whereas the non-Jewish spouse prefers to do these activities on Saturdays?

    While a couple who is truly in love might be able to work these issues out, there is no question that this would pose a serious problem.

    == ISSUE #2: The children ==

    The communal objection to intermarriage stems from the issue over the children. Judaism, unlike other religions, does not actively seek the conversion of non-Jews. Thus, Jewish survival and continuity literally depends on Jews raising their children Jewish. There are a number of issues with raising Jewish children in an intermarried home...

    Firstly, if the non-Jewish spouse has a strong faith of his or her own, it is rather one-sided to demand that the children be raised Jewish. Secondly, even were the non-Jewish spouse to agree to raise the children as Jewish, there is always the possibility that the non-Jewish grandparents or relatives will want to invite the children to participate in Easter or Christmas, or other holidays which are incompatible with raising Jewish children. Lastly, even were the non-Jewish spouse to agree to raise the children as Jewish, it is hard to imagine that he/she would not find it emotionally difficult to miss the holidays he/she grew up with.

    In the case of an intermarriage in which the father is Jewish and the mother is not Jewish, this adds the additional issue that the children are not Jewish unless they undergo ritual conversion to Judaism, since only those born to a Jewish mother or those who undergo conversion are Jewish.

    == ISSUE #3: The official positions ==

    Due to the aforementioned issues, in particular issue #2, the Orthodox and Conservative Jewish movements officially prohibit their rabbis from officiating intermarriages. For example, rabbis ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) can lose their ordination if they officiate an intermarriage ceremony. That said, all Jewish movements try to reach out and "make things work" if a Jewish individual and a non-Jewish individual find themselves in love.

    == ISSUE #4: Love ==

    How do you deny love? Enough said.

    == Concluding Remarks ==

    Hopefully that clarified this matter.


    Regarding additional questions/statements....

    "I don't believe Christians want to wipe out Jews."

    Christians do not want to wipe out Jews. However, there are many Christians who want to convert Jews to Christianity. While we, no doubt, do not perceive this to be malicious or on the level of physically annihilating Jewish individuals, from the Jewish perspective, attempts to convert Jews to Christianity are nevertheless perceived as a threat to Jewish continuity, Jewish survival, and the existence of the Jewish people.

    "Christians want everyone 'to follow Christ', not just Jews."

    Yes. We understand that. However, at the end of the day, if they succeed, we will no longer exist. So, from our perspective, it only matters that Christians want to convert us; that Christians want to convert others, as well, does not make this any less a sore spot with us.

    "By doing this, this may strip 'curent Orthodox Judaism' as a consequence, but this is not done by the direct attempt to wipe out Jews."

    No offense, but I don't think you have a good understanding of Judaism, if you think that Christianity is incompatible with Orthodox Judaism, only. If Jews were to convert to Christianity, Judaism would cease to exist *in its entirety*. Obviously, it is not an attempt to wipe us out; the intent is to "save" our souls. However, we nevertheless perceive it as a threat to our existence. Please see comments above.

    "Other religions, I'm sure Judaism as well, would like to have everyone convert and worship their deity."

    Yes and no. The short answer, though, is no; Judaism does not desire that everyone adhere to Judaism. Judaism desires that all people adhere to the basic laws of morality (the seven Noahide laws), only. Judaism does not see itself as the only path to truth or the only path to the good life. Anyone who adheres to the basic laws of morality (the seven Noahide laws) is considered to be a good person, according to Judaism.

  • 1 decade ago

    IT is not all important, but People are naturally comfortable with people from the same background. I know people who told me they married a non-jew and she would bring it up and make a big deal about. (I dont know why) I think a lot of times people want to share their cultural or religious views with their partner.

    My family and friends could care less. I don't really believe in a formal god. What it comes down to I guess is that I always imagine my kids growing up in the same kind of background I did.

    Jewish values teach you to be a good person and treat people well and I like that. I dont really care about my spouse's beliefs, but if she has those values I'd like that

    I think all women are slightly insane anyway.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you want to raise Jewish children, it is very important.

    If one is not planning on having children, it is less important.

    I have found that sometimes non-Jews are more supportive of my keeping kosher than non-observant Jews.

    emesshalom didn't say that Christians were antisemitic; he said that Christian missionaries want to wipe out Jews. He's right - missionaries want to convert us, and if If they succeed, no more Jews.

  • 1 decade ago

    Since 'being a Jew' depends on whether the mother is Jewish, without a Jewish mother, there are no Jewish kids. And in one generation there would be no Jews. And Hitler, the Christian Missionaries and the Palestinian terrorists would win. NEVER!

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    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    It's extremely important to me, (I married my soulmate and she is Jewish) and we plan on having lots of Jewish children.

  • 1 decade ago

    G'd's imporanted to me, and my Jeweish friends and most of my family. I'm not marryed.

  • 1 decade ago


    Source(s): I'm Jewish.
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