Saturday, July 5, 2014

One Jew, Two Opinions

When I was a kid I believed in true love. Thanks to all of those false-reality Disney movies I used to think that you should marry whoever you want to because deep down inside you truly love them.

As I grew older I grew more skeptical over the idea of true love and became more picky over who I would want to spend the rest of my life with. I started to care more about Judaism and marrying someone Jewish.

Today we were having our typical Shabbat discussions, when I walked in late. Upon walking in, I noticed some delicious snacks in our Shabbat stash, across the room. After picking up a few tasty treats and tossing them in my mouth, I noticed a piece of paper with the question: 'How important is it to marry someone Jewish?' I brought the paper to our group and upon asking the question above, everyone stopped what they were doing and the room erupted with people arguing their views on the topic and what I heard from everyone totally shocked me.

Being a Bay Area reform Jew I grew up with the notion that you should marry whoever you want. Yes marrying a Jew would be nice, but if you truly love someone go for them and don't let religion hold you down. I expected everyone in my group to respond to the question with this response, my expectations were wrong.

For the first few minutes I sat their in bewilderment of people's responses. "We need to marry Jewish people because our community is so small and we need to populate."
"We shouldn't have the choice to marry whoever we want, the person we marry needs to be Jewish."

Don't people have the freedom to marry whoever we want? It's a free country for gods sake and people in my group were arguing against freedom? I sat their in awe of my group members responses.

Although I was shocked by their responses, I didn't necessarily disagree with all of them.

I am somewhat shaky on the topic of the importance of Jewish marriage. I believe it is important, yet I don't think it should be too important.

One of the reasons why I would advocate for Jewish marriage with one another is because of our similarities. All Jews have similar traits. That is why we bond with one another so easily, and that is how we have such a strong community.

However I would say that if you choose to not marry a Jew, it's not the end of the world. As long as you love the person and he/she agrees to raise your kids Jewish, I say go for it.

In the end, I believe it's about the kids your raising. The next generation. I believe that raising your kids Jewish is important, but you don't necessarily need two married Jews to make that happen.

As my dad likes to call it, "if you marry a non-Jew your out of the will."

Although I know he's joking, like him I believe that Jewish marriage is important, but it's not the end of the world if you find a lovely non-Jew to marry.

-Johnny Scher

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