The Jewish “Intermarriage Crisis”

On Yom HaShoah, I had read someone’s Facebook status about how “on this day, we need to pray to G-d that he has Jews marrying Jews.” I hate to be a buzzkill, but stopping intermarriage accomplishes virtually nothing. Or should I say, it merely delays the perceived “problem” by one generation.

As a Jew born in the former Soviet Union, I can tell you that people in my community were told to marry Jews, but the reasons given were not exactly the reasons I’d give today, which are: to build a Jewish home, illuminate the world, teach your children Torah, etc etc.

The reasons or REASON we got was: “Well…love is love…but one fine day, you’ll get into an argument and she’ll blurt out “zhid poganiy!”…(dirty kike). Do you want that? Do you?” My answer at the time (I was maybe 17 or 18) was: “well…they can’t ALL be anti-semites. I’ll take my chances.” And it’s true…not all of them are.

At the end of the day, it wasn’t our parents’ fault. They were “tinokot shel nishba”. Kids who were taken from their parents and raised essentially as non-Jews.

Therefore, if Torah tells us that the Jewish people will NEVER disappear off the face of the Earth, even if there ends up being one Jew left (G-d forbid), then the point of “kiruv” or bringing Jews closer is NOT to merely stop intermarriage.

“Stopping Intermarriage” is a political line for our philanthropists, organizations and donors that we say to get money for our 10-day drinking-fest time share trips to Israel…where 90% of people treat it as just another vacation and go back to their lives after.

For those who say: “Well, Torah says Jews should marry Jews because its not two bodies that are becoming one, it’s two souls. A Jewish soul can spiritually connect only with another Jewish soul. A half plus a half then makes both of you whole. This is not accomplished when someone marries a non Jewish spouse. They can live together, but their souls don’t unite.”

Ok. Fine. You will unite their souls and THEN what. Their children will marry non-Jews?

Did Pew ever try doing a study on people who DID marry Jewish? I bet the results would sound equally as daunting.

It just kills me when I hear stories of Jewish guys who date non-Jewish girls, where those non-Jewish girls are more interested in Torah than the guys and other Jewish girls.

When I literally have a Jewish friend, who met his non-Jewish girlfriend at Kabbalah Center, of all places, asking me:

“Greg…why am I not allowed to date my non-Jewish girlfriend, who I love and who I click with perfectly…and who cares about kashrut and counting the Omer more than any Jew and even more than I do…and instead I have to date these nasty girls in NYC who care about Chanel bags and what kind of car I drive…and who think Hannukah is Jewish Christmas???”

True story. What do I answer this guy? I have no clue.

The only answer I could give him was “she needs to do an orthodox conversion”.

Really? Now the next question is: does this guy want to be with an orthodox woman? The answer he gave: “no, no I don’t. At least not at this time.”

So now where do we go from here?

We are telling people to marry Jews. Then they go on JDate and they see what they see on there, and then it makes them hate their own kind.

Girls not wanting to date ANY Jewish guys in NYC because of the prototype they saw on JDate…which is basically a “sexually depraved Woody Allen.”

And guy’s who don’t wanna date Jewish girls because of chronic materialism.

Sure, there’s a few good people on there. But by and large, JDate has the opposite effect when it comes to intermarriage.

JDate is making people actually want to intermarry.

If you want to solve both intermarriage and apathy towards Torah, ie kill two birds with one stone…then teach Torah, instead of fighting intermarriage. Bring light, instead of trying to fight the darkness.

Then people will intrinsically want to marry a Jew. Not because we say so, but because HaShem says so. But first, they have to be given a concept of who HaShem is.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for Jews marrying Jews. I’m not gonna sit here and tell people to intermarry. Believe me.

But before they do that, I wanna explain to them the deeper reason of why they should do it.

I’m not gonna tell them: “Well…we are disappearing and intermarriage is killing more of us than the Holocaust ever did”…as I once heard from the secular Israeli founder of my Birthright trip.

All of that doesn’t matter, as the Jews will never disappear. Even if intermarriage kills 12 million, G-d forbid…there’s still 2 million of us who are will remain Jews and will live more or less Torah lives.

So let’s illuminate those closest to us and then they illuminate those closest to them. It’s a “spiritual pyramid scheme”.

We should do this by way of example (not force), to the few people around us…friends, family and others we come across. Instead of telling people “well…you HAVE to marry a Jew”, and then wonder about what happens after that.

We don’t need 20 million Jews-by-name-only. Let’s start with the 14 million we already have today, so that they ALL bring more light into the world.

About the Author
Born in Ukraine and grew up in the NYC metro area. After working as a trader on Wall St. for 8 years, made aliyah in 2010. After living in Jerusalem, Tzvi returned to NYC and started a company to import boutique wines from Judea & Samaria. He uses his business and my website as a vehicle educate young Jews about Israel, the Middle East and Judaism. His ultimate goal is to return to Israel and inspire young Russian-speaking Jews in the US to make aliyah.
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