Sick and Getting Sicker: Reform Rabbis Suggest Interfaith Couple Blessings


wedding-ringThe Associated Press reports: A task force on intermarriage for the largest branch of American Judaism says the movement should create blessings marking major life events for interfaith couples. The suggestion is one of many by Reform rabbis on making mixed-faith couples feel welcome.

The intermarriage rate for U.S. Jews has been above 40 percent since at least the 1990s.

The panel isn’t proposing a change in the movement’s policy on officiating at interfaith weddings. Reform Judaism formally opposes the practice but allows each rabbi to decide.

Instead, the panel is recommending creating blessings for weddings and other life events involving a non-Jewish spouse.

The report was released Monday at a California meeting of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

{Google Hosted News/Noam Newscenter}


  1. Since when is the ‘Reformed Movement'(more accurately the DEformed Movement) mentionable in the same sentence as “Judaism” (lehavdil!)???
    A sect that preaches kfira (no matter what majority their numbers may form) is NO different than Christianity, Islam and many other ‘religions’ even if r’l there are real Jews affiliating themselves with it H’ yerachem. All monotheistic religions started from Torat Emet and then went off into sheker somewhere back in their history!
    We need to re-sensitive ourselves to the fact that the words “Rabbi” and “Judaism” are as incompatible with “Reform” as they are with every other avoda zara that still exists!

  2. To “Excuse Me!!”

    Your criticsm is 100% correct, but please understand that is only reprinting an article from the Associated Press. The AP cannot be expected to understand the misuse of language and the delusional self-identification of Reformism and Conservativism with Judaism.

    By the way, Reformism is identified as the “largest branch of American Judaism” only because when surveys are taken, any assimilated Jew who still retains some measure of Jewish identification will state to the interviewer that they are “reform.” But this more of a sociological response, and not a religious one. This person is usually not a dues-paying, temple-attending congregant. So, that there are millions of American Jews who self-identify as “reform,” is almost totally meaningless.

  3. To number 2,

    I hear what you are saying, but why then repeat the ignorant words of the goyim – especially when dealing with a subject as major as outright kfira (quoted by the Arizal if I am not mistaken to be THE MOST serious of all aveirot)?? Once a religion goes away from Torah (how much more so when it pulls down so many unaware yidden with it) NOTHING it then does should surprise us

  4. We look at the concept of intermarriage as wrong and wierd.

    But in the time of the first and second Bais Hamikdosh it was looked upon as normal.

    In Megilas Ruth, we don’t know whether the two daughter-in-laws had Giyurr before they got married or when Ruth arrived with Noami back to E”Y. But the truth is, that the actual Pisukim don’t mention anything at all about any Giyurr what-so-ever. The reason is that it was not a big deal in those times.

    Sefer Yoisiffin tells a story of a certain Yiddishe King who sent his daughter to get married to another country. He explains that it didn’t matter that the groom is not jewish because “the groom was part of the Yishmieilim and they practice Circumcission”. So we see that he is not concened with the lack of Geirus.

    No-where in the Torah or Tennach do we find such a concept of physical things one needs to do to become a Ger.

  5. Yosef I am fairly certain you are a Jew for J. Please don’t post here, this site is not for you.

    Intermarriage is clearly prohibited in the Torah, in numerous places, for example in last week’s parsha Perek 34 posuk 16. We have many gemoros and rishonim that discuss just how serious an aveira it is, an example being the Rambam in Issurai Biya perek 12. The Rambam in Perek 13 there also clarifies that it is not conceivable that Rus and Orpa remained goyim when they married 2 tzadikim. The fact that you don’t go beyond what the pesukim say make me question your bona fides.

    Sefer Yosifun is far from a Jewish authority.

    Hilchos Gerus is clearly spelled out at Matan Torah where the torah tells us ‘kachem kager’ our entry into kabolas hatorah is the same as a ger does when he enters the fold; milah, tevila, acceptance of all mitzvos and a korban. which will be brought when Moshiach comes and the geirus is valid before the korban.

    I apologize if your statements are truly due to a lack of knowledge but if you are purposely ignoring our Torah Sheb’al Peh there are other sites that will welcome you.

  6. #4, cut it with re-writing history.

    It was not normal nor excepted in any way durring the first or second Beis HaMikdosh. (There was unfortunatly between the first two, but they all divorced their non-Jewish spouses. At least those that had a continuence in our glorious destiny)

    Why did Hashem kill Machlon and Kilyon (Russ’ young sons)? Because they intermarried! (And they didn’t have any other marital options.) It was and is one of the worst sins- as it destroys your future and destiny!

    The kings mentioned in Yosephus were not complete Jews. They were decendent from non-Jewish slaves, aavodim Kna’anim. They were murderers of the rightous and evil, who were brought up in Rome and not concerned with Judaism (with exceptions).

    The Torah is quite explicit about the sin of having physical relations and “marriage” with non_Jews, and mentions some of its punishment/losses.

    Who are you attempting to fool?

  7. Unfortunately there were Jewish kings that worshipped idols too.

    In additition, I’m not sure what process geirim went through to become Jewish in the times of the Torah or Tennach, but a non-Jew could not just decide to become Jewish by thought and presto, another Jew was born. First of all they definitely had a bris, because that’s the first thing that done to every male entering the Jewish nation. In fact if I remember correctly Avraham Avinu circumsized the geirim he made. Now if every Yid is mechiuv in Torah and mitzvos then obviously a ger, who is part of the Jewish nation is required to observe the mitzvos as well. This is self-understood and therefore there was no need to davka record that in the Torah or Tanach.
    Reformers who do not beleive that the Torah has divine origines, have no spiritual requirments for the so-called “geirim” they produce. In fact the Reform movement’s requirements are only physical, no sprituality involved at all. Depending on the Rabbi’s personal prefferences, there are the options of dunking into a mikvah, and mazel tov! another Jew is born. Or how about the reading of a nice poem or essay to describe the deep feelings of the individual who’s becoming a “Jew”, on the extremely special day this person will become a member of the Reform clan?
    The process of becoming a Reform convert is “very personal and very emotional” it’s only physical, with no authentic Jewish soul.

  8. To Comment #4. from Yosef

    The Torah, in D’varim/Deuteronomy, Chapter 7, verse 3, strongly states that a Jewish man is forbidden to marry a woman from the non-Jewish idolatrous nations, and a Jewish woman is forbidden to be married to a man from the non-Jewish idolatrous nations. The Talmud further states in many places that if such a “marriage” is made, “Ain HaKiddushin Tofsin” – the “marriage” did not take effect, the parties may have went through the motions of doing the marriage rituals, but no marriage actually happened; the marriage rituals they did were meaningless and worthless.

    The Book of Ruth opens with the narrative of how, during the crises of a terrible famine, one of the leaders of the Jewish people, named Elimelech, took his family and moved out of the Holy Land of Israel and settled in the neighboring land of Moav. For this sin of abandoning his people, he died (see the commentary of Rashi on verse 1). After that, his two sons, named Machlon and Kilyon, married two princesses from the royal family of Moav, named Rus/Ruth and Orpa. For this sin of marrying foreign women, they died (see the Targum of Yonasan Ben Uziel on verse 5).

  9. As to how could Machlon and Kilyon have come to lower themselves to do such a terrible sin, we should remember that their father, Elimelech, as briefly related above, had committed the crimes of being stingy, abandoning his people when they were faced with a terrible famine, and leaving the Holy Land of Eretz Yisroel. So, already, he had begun to slip away from being a perfect Tzaddik. I do not know if there is any indication that his sons were any better than him. On the contrary, as I will explain in the next sentence, it looks like they were worse. It is noteworthy that, as bad as the father was, the sons did not do the sin of marrying the foreign women untill AFTER the father had died. This implies that as long as the father was still alive, his influence and instructions to them held them back from doing this. Once he died though, they became worse.

    Furthermore, one of the leading Torah sages of the later half of the twentieth century, Rav Dovid Kronglass, ZT’L,* explains in a long essay titled “Machlon V’Kilyon,” that they had a rationalization for what they did. They reasoned that the prohibition (mentioned above) against marrying a non-Jew was only for those who were steeped in the wickedness of the idolatrous nations. However, a non-Jew who has repented from that and has accepted to adhere to the “Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach” – the seven rules of basic decent human behavior that all people are required to follow, Machlon and Kilyon felt that the prohibition did not apply. As Rus and Orpa had made this level of commitment, to keep the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach, Machlon and Kilyon felt that they could marry them.

    Of course though, as we noted above, the Targum on the Book of Ruth says that they were wrong; what they did was still very forbidden, and HaShem punished them WITH THEIR DEATHS.

    (*Rav Dovid Kronglass, 1907-1973, Senior graduate of the Mirrer Yeshiva in Lithuania, Upon emigration to the US after World War II, he served as Professor of Advanced Talmudic Analysis and the Mashgiach-Student Supervisor at Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, Maryland until his passing.) (To see the above mentioned essay, the Ner Yisroel yeshiva can be contacted at: 410-484-7200; either ask the otzar hasforim – the library if a copy of the essay can be retrieved, or ask if the publications of Rav Kronglass can be purchased.)

  10. There is a principle in our Torah of “Ma’asay Avos, Siman L’Banim” – “The deeds of the forefathers are a sign for the children.” In other words, the type of problems and difficulties that were faced by our ancestors, are going to be the same type of problems and difficulties that will confront us, their descendants. And the way that our ancestors responded to the challenges, will be the same type of actions, both good and bad, that we, their descendants, will do.

    So again. The Book of Ruth opens with a narrative of a terrible famine hitting Eretz Yisroel. One of the wealthy leaders of Klall Yisroel then was a man named Elimelech. However, he was a bit stingy and thus did not want to be bothered by the numerous people who would be pestering him for assistance. So he takes his family and moves out of the Holy Land and out of the central Kehila of Klall Yisroel into a neighboring non-Jewish country.

    Despite his moral faults, he still maintains some of his high level of Avodas HaShem – Service of G-D. However, his sins catch up with him and he dies. His sons, now more independent, move even further away from Torah; they take non-Jewish women for wives, with the false “Heter” – legal leniency – that since these women keep the seven basic laws of being good, it was OK to marry them.

    In the era of over a century ago, the numerous vibrant Jewish communities that were spread out over the vast stretches of Eastern Europe were beset with horrific poverty and threatened with periodic deadly attacks by vicious mobs dripping with vehement Sinas Yisroel.

    So vast numbers of Jewish people fled from these Eastern European countries and emigrated to the United States and Canada, places where everyone — regardless of religion — was equal and welcome.

    However, at that time in these countries of the “New World,” there was very little established structure of true Jewish observance. The Jewish communal structure that was in place then was that of Jews who, very tragically, thought that our Torah was a useless relic from old Europe. Furthermore, the “everyone being welcomed” meant that Jews were welcomed to join a CHRISTIAN business world whose schedule of operation was from Monday through SATURDAY — obviously not a place for a Jew whose “Saturday” is Shabbos Kodesh. Those businesses that were owned by Jews were owned by Jews who, again, had long before discarded Torah life and thus unabashedly had their operations on Saturday going full blast.

    So, understandably, most Jews here found it severely difficult then to practice our Torah. Many tried to keep what parts that they thought they could do and felt very terrible about the parts that they could not do. Their children, understandably, did much less than that.

    However, most of this “second generation” did strongly adhere to one key thing: they made Shidduchim only with other Jews. They further attempted to strictly admonish their children about this: each son was firmly instructed that the girl he would bring home — must be Jewish; each daughter was firmly instructed that the boy she would bring home — must be Jewish!

    Then, in family after family, the horribly dreaded day came: the child came home with a “Shidduch” that was NOT Jewish!!!!

    When the parents tried to balk, the son retorted — with a strong echo of the rationalization that Machlon and Kilyon used many centuries before: “But Mom and Dad, she is a really ‘wonderful girl’!! That IS why I love her!!”

    When the parents tried to balk, the daughter retorted — with a strong echo of the rationalization that Machlon and Kilyon used many centuries before: “But Mom and Dad, he is a really ‘great guy’!! That IS why I love him!!”

    Of course, the real truth is that first of all, even according to Machlon and Kilyon’s (false) “heter,” being a “really wonderful girl” or a “really great guy” does not necessarily mean at all that the person is properly adhering to the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach.

    Second of all, from the Targum’s explanation of why HaShem punished them, we see that Machlon and Kilyon WERE WRONG!! There is no such “heter”!!

    We can well begin to understand the reason for this. That the inter-marryers argue “But she is a wonderful girl!” or “But he is a great guy!” is totally missing the point. There are countless instances of a “really great guy” and a “really wonderful girl,” yet, that does not mean that they should make a Shidduch with each other. There are numerous issues of goals of life, character traits, temperaments, interests, careers, needs, etc. that a boy and a girl need to contemplate in deciding if they should marry each other.

    So a non-Jew who is M’Kaiyeim – fulfills – the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach, who is thus doing the general service of HaShem that every human being has to do, IS obviously a great wonderful person! At the same time though, this great wonderful person of a non-Jew cannot make a marriage with a Jewish person who is in a whole different realm of specific intensive service of HaShem, with numerous additional whole areas of Mitzvos.