Comments: The Video Game, Cont’d

2 things... first, you're an upper west sider... deal with it you can hide behind the whole Columbia neighborhood thing if you want, but we all know better.
Second, and more important is that I completely disagree with you on the notion that intermarriage being the end of the Jews is scaremongering. Statistics on intermarriage and Jewish identity in the US show that the numbers of children of intermarried couples who identify as Jewish are dropping, and since the intermarriage rate is growing, I'm sure that the math adds up to a declining Jewish population.

Now let me make a statement here... I am NOT one to say that Jews can't date non-jews (and I don't even think I need to restate that about interracial dating), and I will never be one to tell someone who to date and not to date. At the same time, in my own life, I decided that I wouldn't be marrying a non-jew, because then my kids wouldn't be jewish, and while it might not be the end of all Judaism, it would definitely be the death of my Jewish family line. Regardless of the fact that I'm now married to a caucasian Jewess, I had no objection to marrying or even dating a Jew of any skin color or ethnic background.

Saying that you see no difference between saying that blacks and whites shouldn't date and saying that Jews and non-jews shouldn't date brings up an integral question.
Is religion something that we choose or something we're born with? We can't change what color we are (Michael Jackson notwithstanding) so not dating someone strictly based on their color can be considered racism. On the other hand, even if you are born Jewish (or Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Shinto, or anything else under the sun) you can always choose to change, but eventually you make your own choice about it, so theoretically, you would be choosing to date someone based on their values as seen through the choices they made about religion.

My choice was that my religion was an essential part of who I am, and for me to find true love, I needed to find someone who shared that feeling with me (and as a result of that, my religion).

One last thing, speaking as a paranoid Jew... I don't necessarily think its a good sign that non-jews find us romantically desirable. If they can't kill us off the traditional way, why not try to intermarry them to death?

OK... I really need to get my own blog... that was WAY too long. I just look forward to the other comments brought on by my own.

Posted by Dan at December 7, 2004 12:26 AM

Yes, Dan needs his own blog. Steve, set this boy up!

I never thought I would date outside of my religion, because I never thought I'd find anyone who I'd like who didn't have Jewish identity deeply ingrained. Of course, I discovered that I could definitely love someone who wasn't Jewish, but where would we build a home, as the adage goes? That's what keeps me targeting Jews, even though I've found non-Jews much more responsive to the totality of woman who I am.

I want a Jewish home, and there are even many Jews on JDate for whom that is not an agenda item, so I have to keep my search even narrower than to "just Jews..."

Posted by Esther at December 7, 2004 12:40 AM

I would have to agree with Dan on this one. Although i don't think people have the right to decide for anyone else, for myself it is important to be with someone who understands my background and it is important that my children grow up to be Jewish.
Judaism is a strange animal, it's can be taken as a religion or a ethnicity or as both. So i think as long you're making a choice for yourself and not for others it's perfectly to say you wouldn't date someone who wasn't Jewish.

Posted by Funnya at December 7, 2004 03:28 PM

Maybe it's because I am the son of a jew who married a gentile and married a gentile myself, but the whole idea of intermarrige being a bad thing escapes me. It seems like we don't give ourselves enough credit.

To me, the core of judeism is not the rituals or the self -identification as a jew, its the values we pass along to our kids. Even if the kids of a mixed marrige don't get bar/bat mitzvah'd, the values of respect, love and learning will get passed on, and the core of jewish life will live on.

Posted by Ivan at December 7, 2004 10:45 PM

Ivan,
While I respect your choices and those of your parents, I have to strongly disagree with your statement that "the core of judeism (sic) is not the rituals or the self -identification as a jew." If that isn't at the core of Judaism, then what is? While I agree that respect, love, and learning are great values, they are not unique to Judaism. It is that Jewish identification and the rituals that separate Judaism from every other moral construct.
I am glad that your family has passed down these wonderful traits to you, and you to your own children, but the survival of these values doesn't insure the survival of Judaism, but simply that this world will remain a good and moral place (not a bad thing, mind you, but my selfishness leads me to desire a world WITH Judaism in it).

And Steve... about that Blog space... (Thanks Esther)

Posted by Dan at December 8, 2004 08:37 AM

"...doesn't insure [sic] the survival of Judaism..."

How much is Lloyd's currently offering to cover that, exactly? Or did you mean ENsure rather than INsure?! I know this a totally non-substantive tangent but that has to be one of my biggest peeves.

Posted by Dave J at December 8, 2004 11:50 AM

Dan- You are absolutely correct that passing down the values doesn't mean that judaism as a identifiable religion/culture will survive. I guess the question becomes....

What is the point of Judaism?

I guess my answer would be " to make this world a good and moral place".

When I was in college, trying to decide on a path for my spiritual life, I came to realize that judaism isn't unique in that respect, but I am okay with that. It just means that I am Jewish by heritage/culture and not religion.

Dan- in your opinion, what is the point/core of Judaism?

Ivan

ps. sorry for the rambling post, don't have time to make it more lucid.

Posted by Ivan at December 8, 2004 11:14 PM

Dave J... yes I meant ensure. And yes it is a totally non-substantive tangent.
Thanks.

As for Ivan, your question really goes to my personal connection to my religion. To me its more than just moral values. There is the connection to a higher power, the set of traditions that bring the religion into my everyday life, the connection with my family and community. In short, Judaism is my religion. I am both culturally and religiously Jewish.
And now you know.

Posted by Dan at December 9, 2004 10:21 AM
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