Wednesday, November 06, 2013

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Raising Children as Jews and Something Else, #1

The New York Times decided the topic of Jewish mixed marriages should be the editorial focus of the week, with the Opinion title “Raising Children in Two Faiths”.  What they really meant was “Raising Children as Jews and Something Else”.

Let’s take a look-see with a bit of fisking.  Here’s letter #1…

To the Editor:

I certainly agree with Susan Katz Miller’s suggestion that the Jewish community readily embrace all who identify as Jews no matter their parentage (“Being ‘Partly Jewish,’ ” Op-Ed, Nov. 1).

- If a Muslim wanders into a Catholic church and says “I’m feeling Catholic today”, he should be embraced as Catholic.  Because how one “self identifies” makes all the difference.

And with our affiliation rates declining, our future, if not our survival, depends on the extent of our welcome of intermarried couples considering Judaism for their children.

- One wouldn’t want to examine why affiliation rates are declining and change things, nor look at those segments of Jews who’s affiliation rates are NOT declining.  No no.

However, my own experience has proved to me that far more often than not, raising children in two faiths results in their confusion about identity, alienation from the organized religious community, and, frequently, resentment toward their parents for forcing upon them a decision that their parents were uncomfortable making themselves.

- Oh well, so much for embracing and welcoming intermarried non-Jews ensuring our survival.  Why’d you suggest it if you already know it doesn’t work for the children?  Don’t the children matter?

Though many religions guide us toward the same personal and universal goals of fashioning lives of goodness and a peaceful world, each tradition offers its own unique ritual path and historic narrative — spiritual touchstones so valuable as we navigate the challenges of childhood, and adulthood.

(name) - Senior Rabbi – Temple (name) - New York

- One has to wonder how a senior rabbi who states that “many religions” have the same result, NOT finding a special place or mission or result of his own religion, expects people to be attracted to his version of Judaism.  Maybe that’s why his affiliation rate is declining?

1 comment:

  1. It's not PC or cool to tell the flock that they really do have many obligations to in a constant state of learning and self-improvement.
    It's not PC or cool to say that we are the chosen people and have a specific duty to bring light onto the nations and be a nation of priests.
    It's not easy to try to explain that being chosen does not mean we are the 'best' or 'better' but rather, we have a lot of work to do that does not always include participating in the common pop culture.


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