Sunday, July 13, 2014

Different Opinions with the Same End Goal

       As a group, I didn’t realize how different our views on what I thought to be a simple topic would be. I Speak Israel was having their typical 4 pm Shabbat activity when the question, “How important is it to marry another Jew?” was posed. Immediately the rapid fire of passionate responses began.

     “As long as the final outcome of the child is a child that has a strong connection with Judaism, it shouldn’t matter.”

     “Parents should not force religion upon their children, everyone has a choice and if someone doesn’t want to be involved they shouldn’t have to be.”

     “If two Jewish people get married, but they have no connection to the religion and Israel, isn’t that worse than marrying a non-Jew but still having more of a connection with Israel and Judaism?”

      “While the way that the children come out is incredibly important. It’s also important to recognize that Jews relate and identify with other Jews in a far more effective way than non-Jews. There is more of an immediate connection.”

     The conversation went on and everyone started to bring up specific examples of parents, and aunts and uncles in their families in which the marriage between a Jew and non-Jew have and have not worked. Coming from a family with very specific values on this issue, I was very surprised when I heard that most people did not believe that everyone should marry a Jew. I believe that it is the duty of the Jewish people to stick together and develop more of a community. I believe that in most cases of intermarriage by the time two generations pass, all sense of religion will disappear. After discussing the issue, however, I was able to realize that not one single opinion is correct. Many members in the group actually believe that the way in which one marries does not matter as long as the Jewish community lives on and flourishes as a group of strong people. And that’s the beautiful thing about being Jewish. We have the freedom to think and feel the way we want, but in the end we are one community with the same end goal.

--- Sydney Sussman

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