S atire is at its most effective when it plays with stereotypes. In a piece on relationships between Jewish men and non-Jewish women in last week's G2, however, the Guardian fashion correspondent Hadley Freeman - albeit with only playful intent - merely rehashes them. According to Freeman, Jewish men are "the most desirable properties on the market. Freeman begins by looking back on her Sunday school days - "the only advantage as far as I was concerned was the food," she recalls. The boys, sadly, weren't much of a draw:
If a Jewish man were to marry a non-Jewish woman, their children would not be considered halachically Jewish. In a community still enveloped by post-Holocaust trauma, "marrying out" is seen as granting Hitler a posthumous victory.
Of course, all this isn't necessarily so clear to outsiders, who see the Jewish community as a confident and successful ethnic group, with little to fear. As a result, Jewish concerns about intermarriage are often dismissed as unadulterated racism.
Who people marry or don't marry is their business and nobody else's. But whether we like it or not, our life choices affect those close to us. That doesn't mean we should make decisions on the basis of what our parents want. But those in the public sphere have the responsibility to discuss sensitive issues, such as intermarriage, appropriately.
Appealing to old prejudices, as Freeman's article does, is of no help to anybody, however humorous the intended effect. Oh, and did I mention funny? It would be interesting to hear what her actual experiences of Jewish men have been.
Is this a justification for sticking to non-Jewish men?
Does she actually think she has to justify this in the first place? Or is it anger at the stereotype of Jewish women - "spoilt, nagging and well endowed in the nasal department"? Finally, Freeman begins to tap into the core of the issue: This issue is examined sensitively in Shiksa: From the Bible to Philip Roth, Benvenuto discusses how the Jewish world has been simultaneously attracted and repulsed by the non-Jewish woman.
In the book, Benvenuto shows how non-Jewish women have often been central to flourishing Jewish communities, despite their often-hated status, embodied in the word "shiksa". It's important to note that "shiksa" is possibly the most disgusting racial epithet ever coined, intimating at abomination, detestation, loathed and blemished.
All at the same time. It's worth noting its casual usage in a Guardian piece, however satirical the intention.
In the United States of America, other causes, such as more people marrying later in life, have combined with intermarriage to cause the Jewish community to decrease dramatically; for every 20 adult Jews, there are now only 17 Jewish children. Some religious conservatives now even speak metaphorically of intermarriage as a silent holocaust. On the other hand, more tolerant and liberal Jews embrace interfaith marriage as an enriching contribution to a multicultural society. Regardless of attitudes to intermarriage, there is now an increasing effort to reach out to descendants of intermarried parents, each Jewish denomination focusing on those it defines as Jewish ;  secular and non-denominational Jewish organisations have sprung up to bring the descendants of intermarried parents back into the Jewish fold.
In some cases, children of a Jewish parent were raised in the non-Jewish parent's religion while maintaining a sense of Jewish ethnicity and identity.
Interfaith marriage in Judaism
In ChristianóJewish relations, interfaith marriage and the associated phenomenon of Jewish assimilation are a matter of concern for both Jewish and Christian leaders. A number of Progressive Christian denominations have publicly declared that they will no longer convert Jews. They have made use of dual-covenant theology. Many Israeli Jews oppose mixed relationships,  particularly relationships between Jewish women and non-Jewish Arab men. A opinion survey found that more than half of Israeli Jews believed intermarriage is equivalent to "national treason".
A group of 35 Jewish men, known as " Fire for Judaism ", in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev started patrolling the neighborhood in an effort to stop Jewish women from dating Arab men.Dating & Marriage Advice : Jewish Dating
The municipality of Petah Tikva has also announced an initiative to prevent interfaith relationships, providing a telephone hotline for friends and family to "inform" on Jewish girls who date Arab men as well as psychologists to provide counselling. The city of Kiryat Gat launched a school programme in schools to warn Jewish girls against dating local Bedouin men.
In February Maariv has reported that the Tel Aviv municipality had instituted an official, government-sponsored counseling program to discourage Jewish girls from dating and marrying Arab boys.
Dating a jewish girl as a non-jew
According to supporters of the program, the girls are often ostracized for being Jewish, and some fall into drugs and alcohol or are prevented from leaving their Arab boyfriends. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The New York Times. Singer, Isidore ; et al. All Quiet on the Religious Front? Retrieved 17 March What is Wrong with Intermarriage? Archived from the original on 3 February Retrieved 6 May Municipal program to prevent Arab boys from dating Jewish girls". Archived from the original on 27 February Retrieved 1 March Retrieved from " https: Jewish marital law Judaism-related controversies Jewish society Negative Mitzvoth Interfaith marriage.
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