Part 2 of 2: the solution
Part 1 suggested that the real question we need to address is not “Why exogamy?” but, rather, “Why endogamy?” What can Jews offer that both differentiates us and makes us desirable – to ourselves (each other) and, similarly, to the world?
What does “Jewish” offer that French, English, German, Spanish and all others lack? What, indeed, is so special or important about being a Jew or Jewish? If there is nothing special about being a Jew or Jewish, then there’s nothing special about remaining Jewish or marrying a Jew.
Denial: the Blameshift
Yet, we Jews remain defiantly – even arrogantly – insistent that all of these internals are irrelevant; it can’t be our fault; all of our ills are caused by externals, due to misojudaism, Christian missionaries and the bad influence of those contaminating converts!
We deplore when non-Jews blame everything on Jews. Or Arabs blame everything on Israel. Yet, here we are, blameshifting our self-inflicted travesties and injustices on messianic Christian missionaries, converts and “antisemites.” When they deny it, we call them liars and deceivers. Baffling how the world could dislike us.
What is important about being a Jew? Or Jewish?
Instead of blameshifting our ills on externals like antisemites, Arabs, Islamists, Christian missionaries and contamination of “converts,” it would be productive to wonder, instead, what is it that draws converts who aren’t romantically involved? Might that same attraction bind Jews together?
What attracts the few friends we haven’t alienated in the world (yet)? Maybe what draws our friends would likewise bind Jews together? Why do they visit Israel instead of Disney or the Riviera? If they were looking for Disney or the Riviera wouldn’t they simply go there instead of here? So why do our leaders want to transform Israel into a Mediterranean Riviera instead of capitalizing on who we are?
People of the Book, Who Abandoned the Book, Chosen?!?
It is an apocalyptic catastrophe that “Jews” have traded our historical Anchor and Treasure, the Creator-Singularity, ha-Sheim, and His Life’s Instruction Manual, the Tan”kh, to woo, instead, approval from anti-science fanatics who defiantly refuse “secular” (“epikoros”; phewy, phewy!) science and math education, dismissing evidence (the historical record, along with the archeological, geological and other sciences) and routinely overruling Tan”kh through casuistry; implying that their authority is on the level lᵊtzad ha-Sheim (Daniyeil 7.25; Hosheia 13.4; Yᵊshayahu 45.21-22).
All the while, their Ultra-Orthodox followers reflect their rule, behaving in the most blatant contraventions of Tor•âhꞋ: spitting on Orthodox schoolgirls, throwing dirty diapers at people, harassing women on buses, orphaning thousands of converts and slandering everyone who disagrees with them – even each other!
How did we come to perceive the Omniscient Creator-Singularity of the universe – governed by His unerring laws of physics, logic (math) – and His Torah as anti-science?
“Jews”: Self-obsessed, arrogant and uncaring? Or kind and loving?
Dismissiveness and disdain toward the “uncommitted” who intermarry, or other “seculars”, or even Christians and other peoples, beside being uncaring, exposes arrogance – part of the exogamy problem (as well as our image problem in the world) rather than part of the solution.
Where are the “People of the Book”?
Like sheep, the people of the Bible have been “dumbed down” into a people expected to NOT know, NOR expect answers to life’s deep questions from their rabbis; just unquestioningly and mindlessly obey (worship) their absolute authority – flirting with idolatry. Does this not describe a sheep nation being led astray by roei ha-elil – feckless-idol shepherds (Yeshayahu 19.1; Yekhezqeil 34; Yirmeyahu 10.21; 23.1-8; 3.15; Zekharyah 11.16-17)?
“Jews”: Anti-Science, Backward, Bible-abusing Sanctimones?
Tragically, the contra-Biblical and defiantly contra-historical and anti-science, Medieval sanctimonious Ultra-Orthodox / Khareidi (Haredi) rulers of Judaism form the face of “Jews” that most attracts the media and, therefore, is most seen by the world. It is unreasonable to expect the world to understand the enormous complexities within the Jewish community – which regularly exceeds Jews’ abilities to grasp – to place the Ultra-Orthodox Khareidim in proper perspective and see the great majority of kind, compassionate, Torah-loving, moderate Jews.
What the world sees as “the Jews” are the ones spitting on little Orthodox elementary schoolgirls, harassing women on buses, throwing dirty diapers at people, rioting against the internet and cellphones, slandering everyone who disagrees with them (routinely including each other), orphaning countless “converts” and blameshifting assimilation on Christian missionaries – even ostracizing, discrediting, slandering and discounting the already-too-few rational, moderate, Orthodox rabbis who practice Tor•âhꞋ (Mikhah 6.8).
And what the world sees as “the Jews” has something to do, not only with the world’s attitude toward “Jews” – “antisemitism”, but also with the great majority of our most educated Jews rejecting the Ultra-Orthodox Khareidi definition of “Jewish” as their #1 priority in choosing a spouse for life.
“We have met the enemy and he is us.” (Pogo)
This also suggests why the traditional campaigns against exogamy are all feckless. They all blame-shift to evade the real cause: us (which, ironically, is the one factor in our control).
The Treasure, sought by the world, is where it has always been. The problem is that the rulers over the Jews of the Book no longer go by the Book! Too many Jews confuse our Treasure either with the one extreme of materialism and hedonism or the other extreme of Dark Ages supernatural superstitions. Moderate Torah practice has become a pishtah keihah (a flickering-out wick; Yeshayahu 42.1-4, the title of one of my books).
Maybe Jews would likewise find the same Treasure valued by converts and our friends worth pursuing, studying, preserving, living and holding onto – including in their choice of spouse – as much as our converts and friends? How ironic that converts and friends value the Treasure many of us have lost sight of.