at the Western Wall with Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
He got angry with me. He went to his Birthright group’s tour guide and complained about me, and then he left in a huff. Why was he so angry? Because I told him that he had to marry a Jewish girl! He gave me such a dirty look…said something harsh, and ran away. I yelled after him, “You are pulling your family away from the Jewish people. You are going against your 4,000 year history. He was furious.
To my great surprise, some five minutes later, he returned. He was still angry, but he wanted to talk. “My girl friend is not Jewish, but I love her and I am going to marry her. Who says that I can’t?”
“Where’s it say that? I want to write it down. You show me”
“Abraham and his wife Sarah thought that she could not have children, so Sarah had Abraham father a child with her Egyptian maidservant Hagar. They had a baby named Ishmael. Later Sarah and Abraham had a baby, his name is Isaac. If Jews went by the father, then both those sons of Abraham would be Jews. They are not. Isaac was a Jew because his mother, Sarah was a Jew. Ishmael was an arab because his mother Hagar was an Arab.”
“What if she converts?”
“If she converts to marry you it’s not a kosher reason to convert so the conversion will not be valid and your kids will not be Jewish. How can she keep a kosher home if you do not keep kosher?”
“What can I do? I love her.”
“We’ve all loved many things at night that we didn’t love anymore in the morning. Your intellect has to tell the heart who is okay to love. But if you are really dead-set on marrying her, then try this. Discover your spiritual roots. Put on tefillin every day and make Kiddush on Shabbos. If she looks at you and says, “This is weird! What are you doing these foolish things for?” then you will know that she is not for you. But if she sees the change come over you and says, “This is very nice. I like how you are changing.” Then it could be that she could become a righteous convert and you can marry her.”
He walked away, not quite smiling, but not as angry as he was when he ran away.
Although Avraham and Sarah are the prime historical source for Jewish children going according to the mother, the actual halacha (Jewish law) is based on the warning, “You shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son. For he will cause your child to turn away from after Me and they will worship the gods of others;”[i]
[i] Deuteronomy 7:3,4