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Jennifer Brown

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Mar 3, 1992, 1:02:59 PM3/3/92
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Can someone please give me a description of the ceremony at a
Jewish wedding?

And...if anyone can...also a description of an interfaith
ceremony, one involving religious aspects from both sides.

Thanks.
-Jennifer

Eliot Shimoff

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Mar 3, 1992, 3:16:50 PM3/3/92
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SCJ readers agree on very few issues; the absurdity of an interfaith
ceremony is one of those. How about the following statement by the
Jewish partner:

For untold generations, my ancestors lived as Jews. They prayed as
Jews, they ate as Jews, they farmed as Jews, they studied as Jews.
By entering into this marriage, I declare their efforts null and void.

For untold centuries, my ancestors experienced the joys and beauty and
splendor of Judaism. True, there were difficult times. But there was
always the peace of the Sabbath, the spirituality of the holidays, the
sense of continuity whenever a child was born. I hereby renounce that
continuity, and declare their joy to be pointless and without merit.

In many eras, my ancestors died as Jews. They stood before the
Moslems and chose to die as Jews rather than to renounce their faith.
Their spiritual victory against the Crusaders was to die as Jews rather
than to renounce their faith. They were shot, gassed, burned, poisoned,
buried alive ... but the refused to renounce their faith. I now face
their souls and their memories, and laugh. Ha Ha! you lose. I quit.
It was all in vain!

I now stand before you, my friends and family, and declare that I
herewith end a chain of Jews that has lasted thousands of years.

I know that it is possible that my children whill choose Judaism. But
I want you all to know -- as I will want them to know -- how much I
respect and care about my Jewish heritage. My Judaism means so little
to me that I cannot (will not) ask my spouse to accept Judaism. And
my religion means so little to me that I will not dignify it by
seeking a civil ceremony. Instead, I have found a clergyman whose
scorn of Judaism matches mine, and we have arranged this interfaith
ceremony. We choose not simply to ignore Jewish tradition. We
choose to make a mockery of it.

--------
I cannot suggest really appropriate readings by the non-Jewish
partner. A lot would depend on his/her faith. Maybe he/she would
want to make an analogous rejection. If the non-Jewish partner
is serious about his/her religion, an appropriate reading might
be useful. A Protestant could read from Martin Luther's anti-Semitic
diatribes. Medieval Roman Catholic literature has lots of good
rabid anti-Semitism; try St. Vincent Ferrar for a starter, or some of
the rituals about burning Jews at the stake. Sorry; I can't suggest any
Islamic source material. (So far as I know, the Eastern religions
don't have a history of anti-Semitism.)

-----

I realize this all sounds rather nasty. But, by asking about an
interfaith ceremony, you really are making a mockery of everything
that is important to almost everyone in scj.


Let the flames begin :-(

--
Eliot Shimoff | n n n
shi...@umbc3.umbc.edu | X + Y = Z . Easy to prove no solutions
Ashamnu, bagadnu, gazalnu ... | for n greater than 2. Darn. Can't fit
Better luck next year! | it into this little .sig file. Oh well.

Ken Arromdee

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Mar 3, 1992, 3:37:01 PM3/3/92
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In article <1992Mar3.2...@umbc3.umbc.edu> shi...@umbc4.umbc.edu (Eliot Shimoff) writes:
>For untold generations, my ancestors lived as Jews. They prayed as
>Jews, they ate as Jews, they farmed as Jews, they studied as Jews.
>By entering into this marriage, I declare their efforts null and void.

What if someone has some Jewish and non-Jewish ancestors? Is it then OK
because although they declared the efforts of some ancestors null and void,
they affirmed the efforts of some other ancestors, and this makes up for the
first ancestors?
--
This is a newer version of the memetic .signature infection. Now that's an
idea. Copy it into your .signature today!

Kenneth Arromdee (UUCP: ....!jhunix!arromdee; BITNET: arromdee@jhuvm;
INTERNET: arro...@cs.jhu.edu)

Eliot Shimoff

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Mar 3, 1992, 4:32:56 PM3/3/92
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In article <1992Mar3.2...@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu> arro...@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu (Ken Arromdee) writes:
>In article <1992Mar3.2...@umbc3.umbc.edu> shi...@umbc4.umbc.edu (Eliot Shimoff) writes:
>>For untold generations, my ancestors lived as Jews. They prayed as
>>Jews, they ate as Jews, they farmed as Jews, they studied as Jews.
>>By entering into this marriage, I declare their efforts null and void.
>
>What if someone has some Jewish and non-Jewish ancestors? Is it then OK
>because although they declared the efforts of some ancestors null and void,
>they affirmed the efforts of some other ancestors, and this makes up for the
>first ancestors?
>--

Being Jewish isn't a matter of genetics. When one becomes Jewish,
one becomes a ben Avraham (son of Abraham) or bat Sarah (daughter
of Sarah), and thus "buys into" all of Jewish history, and all of the
Jewish heritage.

>
>Kenneth Arromdee (UUCP: ....!jhunix!arromdee; BITNET: arromdee@jhuvm;
> INTERNET: arro...@cs.jhu.edu)

Warren Burstein

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Mar 3, 1992, 2:58:44 PM3/3/92
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In <92063.130...@psuvm.psu.edu> JLB...@psuvm.psu.edu (Jennifer Brown) writes:

>And...if anyone can...also a description of an interfaith
>ceremony, one involving religious aspects from both sides.

The traditional Jewish way of observing a marriage of a member of the
family to a non-Jew is for the rest of the family to cover the
mirrors, tear their clothes, and sit on low benches for seven days,
while accepting the condolences of their friends and neighbors.
--
/|/-\/-\ The entire world Jerusalem
|__/__/_/ is a very strange snowflake
|warren@ But the Water Commisioner
/ itex.jct.ac.il is not worried at all.

Ron Newman

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Mar 3, 1992, 5:52:15 PM3/3/92
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In article <1992Mar3.2...@umbc3.umbc.edu>, shi...@umbc4.umbc.edu (Eliot Shimoff) writes:

|> SCJ readers agree on very few issues; the absurdity of an interfaith
|> ceremony is one of those.

SCJ readers agree on even fewer issues than you think,
Eliot.

--
Ron Newman rne...@bbn.com

Douglas W. Jones,201H MLH,3193350740,3193382879

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Mar 3, 1992, 6:21:58 PM3/3/92
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From article <92063.130...@psuvm.psu.edu>,
by JLB...@psuvm.psu.edu (Jennifer Brown):

> Can someone please give me a description of the ceremony at a
> Jewish wedding?

Go see Fiddler on The Roof. The bride and groom stand under a
canopy - the chuppa (ch being a glottal h). The canopy can be
as simple as a bedsheet on 4 poles, or it can be wildly decorated
with flowers.

The exchange of rings is fairly typical of western marriage
traditions, in general. Glossing over the details, such as the
vows and rings and stuff that makes it a real wedding and not just
a show for the audience, the other distinguishing feature of a Jewish
wedding is that the final part of the ceremony involves a sharing
of wine between the bride and groom, and then the groom steps on the
wine glass.

The modern world being what it is, a flashbulb is sometimes substituted
for the wine glass so that there is a bit more pop and flash to the
act.


>
> And...if anyone can...also a description of an interfaith
> ceremony, one involving religious aspects from both sides.

Few Christian clergy and even fewer rabbis will officiate at a mixed
service that actually includes elements of both religions. Those
services that do involve such elements probably defy generalization,
since each one represents the result of what must be a difficult
negociation process between the bride, the groom and the two
clergypeople involved.

If your interest is just hypothetical, you'll probably be accurate
to describe such a service as involving almost anything from a
Humanist rabbi and a Unitarian minister holding a modern new-age
service that has no sectarian content, all the way to a liberal Roman
Catholic priest and a serious Reform rabbi trying to meld a traditional
Jewish service with a mass.

If your interest is more direct -- if you are contemplating such a
wedding, I seriously urge you to think twice (or thrice). Religion
really matters, and if you ever have kids, it's far better to bring
them up firmly in one religion or the other instead of trying to
mix two religions. Make up your mind now, before any wedding, how
you'll deal with kids, and then work backwards from there to how
you want to get married in order to cement that decision.

There is an intermarriage mailing list out on the network where people
dealing with interfaith relationships can share the way they've worked
out solutions to the many problems that such relationships pose.

Doug Jones
jo...@cs.uiowa.edu

hillel.e.markowitz

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Mar 3, 1992, 6:50:40 PM3/3/92
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In article <11...@ns-mx.uiowa.edu> jo...@pyrite.cs.uiowa.edu (Douglas W. Jones,201H MLH,3193350740,3193382879) writes:
>From article <92063.130...@psuvm.psu.edu>,
>by JLB...@psuvm.psu.edu (Jennifer Brown):
>> Can someone please give me a description of the ceremony at a
>> Jewish wedding?
>
> Go see Fiddler on The Roof. The bride and groom stand under a
> canopy - the chuppa (ch being a glottal h). The canopy can be
> as simple as a bedsheet on 4 poles, or it can be wildly decorated
> with flowers.
>
> The exchange of rings is fairly typical of western marriage

In a traditional Jewish wedding the groom places a ring on the
bride's finger (in ashkenaz Jewry it is the little finger of the
right hand, sephardic minhag anyone?) while reciting (in Hebrew)
"You are sanctified to me by the laws of Moshe and Yisrael". This
means according to the oral and written law and all rabbinical
enactments (takanas) that have been issued since the giving of the
Torah at Sinai. An exchange of rings invalidates the ceremony. As
long as this is done in front of witnesses the wedding is valid.
Thus a play or movie where this is done must be careful to avoid
doing this correctly or the actor & actress (if both are Jewish)
could wind up married.

Both parties must be Jewish or it is not "in accordance with the
laws of Moses and Israel".

> traditions, in general. Glossing over the details, such as the
> vows and rings and stuff that makes it a real wedding and not just
> a show for the audience, the other distinguishing feature of a Jewish
> wedding is that the final part of the ceremony involves a sharing
> of wine between the bride and groom, and then the groom steps on the
> wine glass.
>

Crushing the glass underfoot is to remind us of that even in the
midst of joy we remember the sadness of the destruction of the
Temple.

>>
>> And...if anyone can...also a description of an interfaith
>> ceremony, one involving religious aspects from both sides.
>
> Few Christian clergy and even fewer rabbis will officiate at a mixed
> service that actually includes elements of both religions. Those
> services that do involve such elements probably defy generalization,
> since each one represents the result of what must be a difficult
> negociation process between the bride, the groom and the two
> clergypeople involved.
>
> If your interest is just hypothetical, you'll probably be accurate
> to describe such a service as involving almost anything from a
> Humanist rabbi and a Unitarian minister holding a modern new-age
> service that has no sectarian content, all the way to a liberal Roman
> Catholic priest and a serious Reform rabbi trying to meld a traditional
> Jewish service with a mass.

From speaking with some Reform Jews, I have been told that this is
seriously discouraged and that Reform rabbis are not supposed to
take part in a travesty like this. However that is a matter for
those knowledgeable about the Reform viewpoint.

>
> If your interest is more direct -- if you are contemplating such a
> wedding, I seriously urge you to think twice (or thrice). Religion
> really matters, and if you ever have kids, it's far better to bring
> them up firmly in one religion or the other instead of trying to
> mix two religions. Make up your mind now, before any wedding, how
> you'll deal with kids, and then work backwards from there to how
> you want to get married in order to cement that decision.
>

In any case a ceremony of this type causes both parties to make an
invalid oath and in effect deny their religion.

Hillel Markowitz H_Mar...@att.com

Ken Arromdee

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Mar 3, 1992, 8:21:18 PM3/3/92
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In article <1992Mar3.2...@umbc3.umbc.edu> shi...@umbc4.umbc.edu (Eliot Shimoff) writes:
>>>For untold generations, my ancestors lived as Jews. They prayed as
>>>Jews, they ate as Jews, they farmed as Jews, they studied as Jews.
>>>By entering into this marriage, I declare their efforts null and void.
>>What if someone has some Jewish and non-Jewish ancestors? Is it then OK
>>because although they declared the efforts of some ancestors null and void,
>>they affirmed the efforts of some other ancestors, and this makes up for the
>>first ancestors?
>Being Jewish isn't a matter of genetics. When one becomes Jewish,
>one becomes a ben Avraham (son of Abraham) or bat Sarah (daughter
>of Sarah), and thus "buys into" all of Jewish history, and all of the
>Jewish heritage.

This doesn't avoid the problem; it only shifts it. It is now the convert who
is declaring the efforts of his [non-Jewish] ancestors null and void (by
accepting a heritage which includes a different set of spiritual ancestors).
A Jew marrying a non-Jew is affirming the efforts of very same ancestors that
his convert predecessor once rejected.

Personally I think this whole argument is silly. (Both sides.)


--
This is a newer version of the memetic .signature infection. Now that's an
idea. Copy it into your .signature today!

Kenneth Arromdee (UUCP: ....!jhunix!arromdee; BITNET: arromdee@jhuvm;
INTERNET: arro...@cs.jhu.edu)

Brian Sutin

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Mar 3, 1992, 8:40:00 PM3/3/92
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jo...@pyrite.cs.uiowa.edu (Douglas W. Jones) writes:
->->by JLB...@psuvm.psu.edu (Jennifer Brown):
->-> Can someone please give me a description of the ceremony at a
->-> Jewish wedding?
->
-> Go see Fiddler on The Roof. The bride and groom stand under a

Yes. The marriage of the last daughter is particularly revealing.

Question: If the non-jew is a Hindu, can everyone Sit with Shiva together?

Brian Sutin su...@helios.ucsc.edu
Lick Observatory, UCSC Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Fred: "May I rescue you?"
Ginger: "No, thank you. I prefer being in distress."

Mark Steinberger

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Mar 3, 1992, 11:05:08 PM3/3/92
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In article <29...@darkstar.ucsc.edu> su...@ra.ucsc.edu (Brian Sutin) writes:
>Yes. The marriage of the last daughter is particularly revealing.
>
>Question: If the non-jew is a Hindu, can everyone Sit with Shiva together?

Interestingly, membership in the Hindu religion is patrilineal, as
ours is matrilineal. So the child of a Hindu man and a Jewish woman
has a choice of faiths, while the child of a Hindu woman and a Jewish
man gets to choose between Reform and something else. :-) [please,
this is a joke, not a flame]

Hinduism is totally hereditary, as it does not permit conversion.

--Mark

Eliot Shimoff

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Mar 4, 1992, 9:03:41 AM3/4/92
to

I wrote:
>>>>For untold generations, my ancestors lived as Jews. They prayed as
>>>>Jews, they ate as Jews, they farmed as Jews, they studied as Jews.
>>>>By entering into this marriage, I declare their efforts null and void.

Ken asked:


>>>What if someone has some Jewish and non-Jewish ancestors? Is it then OK
>>>because although they declared the efforts of some ancestors null and void,
>>>they affirmed the efforts of some other ancestors, and this makes up for the
>>>first ancestors?

I answered:


>>Being Jewish isn't a matter of genetics. When one becomes Jewish,
>>one becomes a ben Avraham (son of Abraham) or bat Sarah (daughter
>>of Sarah), and thus "buys into" all of Jewish history, and all of the
>>Jewish heritage.

And Ken wrote:
>This doesn't avoid the problem; it only shifts it. It is now the convert who
>is declaring the efforts of his [non-Jewish] ancestors null and void (by
>accepting a heritage which includes a different set of spiritual ancestors).

I am Jewish, I value my Judaism, and I am writing in scj. That is why
I am concerned with the future of Judaism. I am not worried about the
continued survival of Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, or any other
faith; their continuity is the proper concern of their adherents. It is
certainly true that the descendent of a Crusader who adopts Judaism is
rejecting his/her Crusader heritage; let someone else worry about that.


Ken concluded:


>Personally I think this whole argument is silly. (Both sides.)
>--

I conclude:
The argument is silly only if you don't care about the survival of
Judaism in a form more substantial than a nebulous "Judeo-Christian
heritage." A person to whom the survival of Judaism is unimportant
will find intermarriage unremarkable and innocuous. Fine. But don't
ask for the approval or assent of committed Jews.

>
>Kenneth Arromdee (UUCP: ....!jhunix!arromdee; BITNET: arromdee@jhuvm;
> INTERNET: arro...@cs.jhu.edu)

Matthew P Wiener

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Mar 4, 1992, 11:19:39 AM3/4/92
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In article <1992Mar4.0...@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu>, arromdee@jyusenkyou (Ken Arromdee) writes:
>This doesn't avoid the problem; it only shifts it. It is now the convert who
>is declaring the efforts of his [non-Jewish] ancestors null and void (by
>accepting a heritage which includes a different set of spiritual ancestors).

Not always. I know of black and asian converts who are quite active in
their "previous" heritage. As it is, Jews naturally don't care if someone
from the majority around us chucks his heritage--it's no loss to them. Do
Catholics wring their hair over intermarriage? On the personal level, yes,
and on an institutional level, yes, but they don't find it threatening to
Catholicism itself.

>Personally I think this whole argument is silly. (Both sides.)

Silly or not, the Jewish side of the argument is a major part of what has
kept Judaism a going concern for millennia. It's one of the most powerful
memes in history.
--
-Matthew P Wiener (wee...@libra.wistar.upenn.edu)

Herman Rubin

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Mar 4, 1992, 2:21:11 PM3/4/92
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In article <1992Mar3.2...@cbfsb.att.com> hil...@cbnewsf.cb.att.com (hillel.e.markowitz) writes:
>In article <11...@ns-mx.uiowa.edu> jo...@pyrite.cs.uiowa.edu (Douglas W. Jones,201H MLH,3193350740,3193382879) writes:
>>From article <92063.130...@psuvm.psu.edu>,
>>by JLB...@psuvm.psu.edu (Jennifer Brown):
>>> Can someone please give me a description of the ceremony at a
>>> Jewish wedding?

>> Go see Fiddler on The Roof. The bride and groom stand under a
>> canopy - the chuppa (ch being a glottal h). The canopy can be
>> as simple as a bedsheet on 4 poles, or it can be wildly decorated
>> with flowers.

>> The exchange of rings is fairly typical of western marriage

>In a traditional Jewish wedding the groom places a ring on the
>bride's finger (in ashkenaz Jewry it is the little finger of the
>right hand, sephardic minhag anyone?) while reciting (in Hebrew)
>"You are sanctified to me by the laws of Moshe and Yisrael". This
>means according to the oral and written law and all rabbinical
>enactments (takanas) that have been issued since the giving of the
>Torah at Sinai. An exchange of rings invalidates the ceremony. As
>long as this is done in front of witnesses the wedding is valid.
>Thus a play or movie where this is done must be careful to avoid
>doing this correctly or the actor & actress (if both are Jewish)
>could wind up married.

The giving of the ring or some object of value is what is specified
by the Talmud. The School of Hillel and the School of Shammai differed
on the value. The object must be accepted, and the words are, as I
recall them, with this [object] I take thee to me. This being done
before witness is, according to Orthodox law, a marriage requiring
a get to dissolve, even if done in jest.

The remaining items are tradition, even the chuppah. None of them
are critical or required.

>Both parties must be Jewish or it is not "in accordance with the
>laws of Moses and Israel".

Even if the ceremony is not performed "in accordance with the laws
of Moses and Israel". the marriage still takes a divorce decree to
dissolve. This decree is not difficult to get if marriage was not
intended, even if the procedure is followed.
--
Herman Rubin, Dept. of Statistics, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette IN47907-1399
Phone: (317)494-6054
hru...@pop.stat.purdue.edu (Internet, bitnet)
{purdue,pur-ee}!pop.stat!hrubin(UUCP)

Vijay Samalam

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Mar 4, 1992, 12:25:30 PM3/4/92
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References:<92063.130...@psuvm.psu.edu> <11...@ns-mx.uiowa.edu> <29...@darkstar.ucsc.edu> <1992Mar4.0...@sarah.albany.edu>

Since this is not the newsgroup to discuss Hinduism I will merely
set the record straight and discussions can be carried by e-mail.

In article <1992Mar4.0...@sarah.albany.edu> ma...@fenris.albany.edu

(Mark Steinberger) writes:
> Interestingly, membership in the Hindu religion is patrilineal, as
> ours is matrilineal. So the child of a Hindu man and a Jewish woman
> has a choice of faiths,

The above statement is completely wrong.


> Hinduism is totally hereditary, as it does not permit conversion.


The above statement is even more
wrong than the previous statement.

Regards,
-Vijay

************************************
Vijay K. Samalam fiat experimentum in
GTE Laboratories corpore vili
Waltham , MA 02254
e-mail vk...@gte.com INTERNET
************************************

Eliot Shimoff

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Mar 6, 1992, 1:07:35 PM3/6/92
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In article <96...@goanna.cs.rmit.oz.au> is...@goanna.cs.rmit.oz.au (Isaac Balbin) writes:

>hru...@pop.stat.purdue.edu (Herman Rubin) writes:
>
>>Even if the ceremony is not performed "in accordance with the laws
>>of Moses and Israel". the marriage still takes a divorce decree to
>>dissolve. This decree is not difficult to get if marriage was not
>>intended, even if the procedure is followed.
>
>If the witnesses to the Reform marriage were Reform then you don't
>need a Get according to Rabbi Feinstein Z"TL.
>--
>

I think we've been through this before, and I don't have R.
Feinstein's Igrot Moshe at hand, but we may be able to
avoid some flames by recognizing that:
a. The case was on in which it was important for R. Feinstein
to anull the marriage. He was, in order to avoid the
problem of agunah and mamzerut) looking for a legal "out."
b. The "loophole" wasn't that the witnesses were Reform; it was
simply the assumption that there were no valid witnesses to
the ceremony.
c. This legal decision should not be taken as a broad rejection
of all marriages performed by Reform rabbis (NOTE -- no
quotation marks), or to set up an argument that marriages
by Reform rabbis do not requires a Get according to Orthodox
halakha.

Joel Goldberg

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Mar 6, 1992, 9:29:46 AM3/6/92
to
In article <96...@goanna.cs.rmit.oz.au> is...@goanna.cs.rmit.oz.au (Isaac Balbin) writes:
>hru...@pop.stat.purdue.edu (Herman Rubin) writes:
>
>>Even if the ceremony is not performed "in accordance with the laws
>>of Moses and Israel". the marriage still takes a divorce decree to
>>dissolve. This decree is not difficult to get if marriage was not
>>intended, even if the procedure is followed.
>
>If the witnesses to the Reform marriage were Reform then you don't
>need a Get according to Rabbi Feinstein Z"TL.

Unless you're from Ethiopia.

Isaac Balbin

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Mar 5, 1992, 6:03:18 PM3/5/92
to
hru...@pop.stat.purdue.edu (Herman Rubin) writes:

>Even if the ceremony is not performed "in accordance with the laws
>of Moses and Israel". the marriage still takes a divorce decree to
>dissolve. This decree is not difficult to get if marriage was not
>intended, even if the procedure is followed.

If the witnesses to the Reform marriage were Reform then you don't

need a Get according to Rabbi Feinstein Z"TL.

--

RABBI CHARLES ARIAN

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Mar 7, 1992, 8:34:00 PM3/7/92
to
In article <1992Mar6.1...@alchemy.chem.utoronto.ca>,
jgol...@alchemy.chem.utoronto.ca (Joel Goldberg) says:
>
>In article <96...@goanna.cs.rmit.oz.au> is...@goanna.cs.rmit.oz.au (Isaac )
>Balbin
>writes:

>>
>>If the witnesses to the Reform marriage were Reform then you don't
>>need a Get according to Rabbi Feinstein Z"TL.
>
> Unless you're from Ethiopia.
This is truly fascinating.
I didn't know that there *were* Reform Jews in Ethiopia.
Please post more.

Joel Goldberg

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Mar 9, 1992, 10:16:35 AM3/9/92
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In article <1992Mar9.0...@usenet.ins.cwru.edu> ah...@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Marlene J. Miller) writes:
>Thehreoreowhethewr the Rabbi was Conservative, Reform, (non-Jewish,)
>pg ) <return>=contin)ue, h=help, q=quit ==>

Can you provide more information about this please? I know of a
number of congregations that would like their rabbis to be so
equipped.

Isaac Balbin

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Mar 9, 1992, 6:30:39 PM3/9/92
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shi...@umbc4.umbc.edu (Eliot Shimoff) writes:

> a. The case was on in which it was important for R. Feinstein
> to anull the marriage. He was, in order to avoid the
> problem of agunah and mamzerut) looking for a legal "out."

His was an assessment of Reform Marriages in general.
The context does not change the assessment.
Context cannot change the ``Jewish-quality'' of the ceremony.

> b. The "loophole" wasn't that the witnesses were Reform; it was
> simply the assumption that there were no valid witnesses to
> the ceremony.

If there were witnesses who were not reform, then we have a problem, sure.
Reb Moshe's assumption *in the context* was that there were not kosher
witnesses. This remains (>90%) true in *all contexts* of Reform marriages.

> c. This legal decision should not be taken as a broad rejection
> of all marriages performed by Reform rabbis (NOTE -- no
> quotation marks), or to set up an argument that marriages
> by Reform rabbis do not requires a Get according to Orthodox
> halakha.

It is a rejection of "STAM" Reform Marriage.
Unless you know of Kosher witnesses, I can't see Reb Moshe's psak not
being applicable.


PS. What has this to do with flames anyway?
--

Bruce Krulwich

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Mar 6, 1992, 12:55:58 PM3/6/92
to
My impression has always been that it's not so simple.

(Do you have a reference? I'M anywhere?)

Here are just a few issues that I've been told are involved:

(1) Were there two guests at the wedding who would be proper witnesses
according to Halacha? If so, they may count as witnesses, at least
b'safek. This might make the couple need a Get [Jewish divorce] if
unfortunately they seperate. Remember, a safek kiddushin still needs
a Get.

(2) Did the couple ever live together in a Jewish neighborhood? If so,
I've heard it said that being treated as married by a community makes
the members of the community witnesses to their being married.

The halachos [Jewish laws] involved here are complicated. It may be that in
many cases a marriage can be said not to require a Get, but my impression is
that it's impossible to state a general rule like Isaac says above. If I'm
wrong about this, I'd appreciate references or other sources of information.

In any case, anyone who actually needs to deal with situations like this (say,
to marry someone who never got a Get) should speak to a competent Orthodox
Rabbi. This isn't an area to mess around with.

Dov (Bruce) Krulwich
krul...@ils.nwu.edu


Eliot Shimoff

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Mar 10, 1992, 4:24:57 PM3/10/92
to
In article <96...@goanna.cs.rmit.oz.au> is...@goanna.cs.rmit.oz.au (Isaac Balbin) writes:

Again, I do not have Igrot Moshe at hand. But is it the case that
R. Moshe categorically asserted that we can assume that there
were no valid witnesses, and that therefore there was no valid
kiddushin? What I find surprising about this is that it would
lead to the conclusion that marriages between Reform Jews need not
be dissolved by a Get! (It all sounds suspiciously similar to
a decision rendered by R. Shlomo Goren -- for which he took a great
deal of flak.)

ajop!...@uunet.uu.net

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Mar 11, 1992, 11:57:46 AM3/11/92
to

Sorry for a previous post that misstated my address. Here it is again in a
more legable format, I hope.

In article <1992Mar6.1...@umbc3.umbc.edu> Elliot Shimoff writes:
>In article <96...@goanna.cs.rmit.oz.au> is...@goanna.cs.rmit.oz.au (Isaac Balbin) writes:

>>hru...@pop.stat.purdue.edu (Herman Rubin) writes:
>>
>>>Even if the ceremony is not performed "in accordance with the laws
>>>of Moses and Israel". the marriage still takes a divorce decree to
>>>dissolve. This decree is not difficult to get if marriage was not
>>>intended, even if the procedure is followed.
>>
>>If the witnesses to the Reform marriage were Reform then you don't
>>need a Get according to Rabbi Feinstein Z"TL.
>>--
>>
>

>I think we've been through this before, and I don't have R.
>Feinstein's Igrot Moshe at hand, but we may be able to
>avoid some flames by recognizing that:

> a. The case was on in which it was important for R. Feinstein
> to anull the marriage. He was, in order to avoid the
> problem of agunah and mamzerut) looking for a legal "out."

> b. The "loophole" wasn't that the witnesses were Reform; it was
> simply the assumption that there were no valid witnesses to
> the ceremony.

> c. This legal decision should not be taken as a broad rejection
> of all marriages performed by Reform rabbis (NOTE -- no
> quotation marks), or to set up an argument that marriages
> by Reform rabbis do not requires a Get according to Orthodox
> halakha.

Perhaps just as a clarification, if I may.

The officiating Rabbi does not *Marry the couple* as in other ceremonies.
There is no *Power vested in him* by which there becomes a spiritual bond
between the man and women.

Jewish law only requires a Rabbi to be present in order to
*officiate*, which as it sounds, he is there only to assure that the process
was done according to Torah Law (yes, by this I mean Orthodox). In fact if
it was done according to Torah Law, even if there was no Rabbi present, the
marriage would be Halachikly binding.

Therefore whether the Rabbi was Conservative, Reform, (non-Jewish,)
Orthodox or not has no bearing in essence as far as *his* presence is
concerned. Accept that one would be more likely to assume that w/ a
non-orthodox rabbi officiating, there very likely are strong possibilities
that there are other factors missing necessary to assure that the marriage
was in fact done w/ all pre-requisite requirerments according to Halacha.

(Please don't flame, I writting from *my* viewpoint and I therefore equate
Halacha with Orthodox tradition, so if you dissagree with that, then you
dissagree with all that I am answering, O.K. I got that and I understand
your position.)

Of course part of Torah Law is that there be two Torah observant witnesses
to the proceedings. Rabbi Feinstein's (ZT'L) position was that one may
assume where the ceremony lacked a Torah observant Rabbi to officiate, then
there probably were no T.O. witnesses too. This is not a *rule* only an
assumtion which needs further investigation, in each individual case.

If in fact there were no T.O. (Torah Observant) witnesses, then in fact the
wedding *ceremony* is invalid. There may however be other factors
making a Get necessary (for this you must consult a competent Halachik
authority).

>--
>Eliot Shimoff | n n n


Avrohom Mordechai Alter

aalter%ajop...@uunet.uu.net

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ajop!...@uunet.uu.net

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Mar 11, 1992, 11:55:05 AM3/11/92
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ajop!...@uunet.uu.net

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Mar 11, 1992, 11:47:45 AM3/11/92
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ajop!...@uunet.uu.net

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Mar 11, 1992, 11:42:08 AM3/11/92
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Isaac Balbin

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Mar 11, 1992, 5:55:16 PM3/11/92
to
shi...@umbc4.umbc.edu (Eliot Shimoff) writes:

>Again, I do not have Igrot Moshe at hand.

Nor do I.


>But is it the case that
>R. Moshe categorically asserted that we can assume that there
>were no valid witnesses, and that therefore there was no valid
>kiddushin?

Yes. And frankly, tell me why this isn't a valid assumption for
a STAM reform wedding? That is, you assume this to be the case
unless you have information otherwise.

>What I find surprising about this is that it would
>lead to the conclusion that marriages between Reform Jews need not
>be dissolved by a Get!

A Halachik Get is only meaningful when there is a Halachik marriage.
A specific *instance* of a reform marriage can be checked.

>(It all sounds suspiciously similar to
>a decision rendered by R. Shlomo Goren -- for which he took a great
>deal of flak.)

Reb Moshe's opinion isn't held by everybody, but having learnt
a few Tshuvos on this matter, I have every respect for his analysis.


Tinok Shenishba may be an excuse people put up regarding *why*
Reformed Jews are the way they are, but that does not absolve us
for the need for Halachikally mandated witnesses.
--

Eliot Shimoff

unread,
Mar 12, 1992, 9:02:28 AM3/12/92
to

I asked:


>>But is it the case that
>>R. Moshe categorically asserted that we can assume that there
>>were no valid witnesses, and that therefore there was no valid
>>kiddushin?

Isaac Balbin replies:


>Yes. And frankly, tell me why this isn't a valid assumption for
>a STAM reform wedding? That is, you assume this to be the case
>unless you have information otherwise.

The consequences for in incorrect assumption are _serious_: eshet ish
and mamzerut. At the very least, we would have to be sure there were
no valid witnesses. Given the sociology of the Americna Jewish
community, it is not uncommon to see a Reform wedding with valid
witnesses (either "frum-from-birth" or ba'alei t'shuvah).

Me:


>>What I find surprising about this is that it would
>>lead to the conclusion that marriages between Reform Jews need not
>>be dissolved by a Get!

Isaac:


>A Halachik Get is only meaningful when there is a Halachik marriage.
>A specific *instance* of a reform marriage can be checked.

Some poskim (sorry, I only heard second hand, or I'd be scholarly and
cite sources :-( ) that kiddushin be recognized if the couple were
publicly living together as man and wife.

In any event, as you point out in your last sentence, specific details
must be reviewed by a competent authority. The _worst_ mistake
one might make is to assume that _any_ marriage performed by a
Reform rabbi would not need a get.

Joshua Proschan

unread,
Mar 14, 1992, 3:12:05 PM3/14/92
to
Subject: Re: Marriage


Eliot Shimoff, in a discussion with Isaac Balbin, writes:

>I asked:
>>>But is it the case that
>>>R. Moshe categorically asserted that we can assume that there
>>>were no valid witnesses, and that therefore there was no valid
>>>kiddushin?
>
>Isaac Balbin replies:
>>Yes. And frankly, tell me why this isn't a valid assumption for
>>a STAM reform wedding? That is, you assume this to be the case
>>unless you have information otherwise.
>
>The consequences for in incorrect assumption are _serious_: eshet ish
>and mamzerut. At the very least, we would have to be sure there were
>no valid witnesses. Given the sociology of the Americna Jewish
>community, it is not uncommon to see a Reform wedding with valid
>witnesses (either "frum-from-birth" or ba'alei t'shuvah).
>

The problem is that even if some people who would be acceptable as
witnesses are at the wedding, other people who are disqualified as
witnesses are almost always present (for example, the couple's family,
or two brothers). If the witnesses are not explicitly designated, the
presence of those disqualified witnesses may invalidate all others who
are present. Note also that this can happen even if everyone there
would, individually, be acceptable as a witness. Thus, the common
practice at Orthodox weddings of announcing under the chupah who the
witnesses will be.

[material on a different point deleted]


>
>In any event, as you point out in your last sentence, specific details
>must be reviewed by a competent authority. The _worst_ mistake
>one might make is to assume that _any_ marriage performed by a
>Reform rabbi would not need a get.
>
This (the need for competent review) is always true, and is well worth
repeating.

Joshua H. Proschan Internet: 00048...@mcimail.com
JPro...@MCIMail.com

Hillel Applebaum

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Mar 15, 1992, 8:22:36 AM3/15/92
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In article <92063.130...@psuvm.psu.edu>, JLB...@psuvm.psu.edu (Jennifer Brown) writes:
|> Can someone please give me a description of the ceremony at a
|> Jewish wedding?

Ask me again in three weeks, after I'll get married (IY"H) I'll be
smarter :-)
--

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*--*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
/// Hillel P. Applebaum |>> ISRAEL - where all
/// Jerusalem, Israel | jews should live !

____ ____ _ ___ _ _ _ ____ ___ _ ____
| | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | ___|_ __`/ | | | | | _| |
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*--*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

Hillel Applebaum

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Mar 15, 1992, 8:19:18 AM3/15/92
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In article <1992Mar4.0...@sarah.albany.edu>, ma...@fenris.albany.edu (Mark Steinberger) writes:
|> Interestingly, membership in the Hindu religion is patrilineal, as
|> ours is matrilineal. So the child of a Hindu man and a Jewish woman
|> has a choice of faiths, while the child of a Hindu woman and a Jewish
|> man gets to choose between Reform and something else. :-) [please,
|> this is a joke, not a flame]

I don't know (nor care ) what the Hindus think about those kids. The simple
FACT (!!!) is that the first one is a Jew, wether he likes it or not, and the
second one must convert if he wants to be a Jew.

Sean Philip Engelson

unread,
Mar 16, 1992, 11:26:33 AM3/16/92
to

In article <35...@shum.huji.ac.il>, aple...@shum.huji.ac.il (Hillel Applebaum) writes:
|> In article <92063.130...@psuvm.psu.edu>, JLB...@psuvm.psu.edu (Jennifer Brown) writes:
|> |> Can someone please give me a description of the ceremony at a
|> |> Jewish wedding?
|>
|> Ask me again in three weeks, after I'll get married (IY"H) I'll be
|> smarter :-)

M A Z A L T O V ! ! ! !

Sh'tehei b'sha`ah tovah umutslachat!


Oh, and BTW, judging from my married friends, you don't get smarter, rather
more the opposite.... :-) But then, the more fool I, to shoot for it as
well...

Only three more shopping days til Purim!


-Shlomo-
--
Sean Philip (Shlomo) Engelson May He who makes peace on high
Yale Department of Computer Science Mercifully make peace for us
Box 2158 Yale Station And for all of the House of Israel
New Haven, CT 06520 And let us say: Amen.

Jody Gevins

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Mar 20, 1992, 3:17:30 PM3/20/92
to
In article <35...@shum.huji.ac.il> aple...@shum.huji.ac.il (Hillel Applebaum) writes:
>I don't know (nor care ) what the Hindus think about those kids. The simple
>FACT (!!!) is that the first one is a Jew, wether he likes it or not, and the
>second one must convert if he wants to be a Jew.

Firstly, I think it's interesting, if nothing else, how different
religions treat issues, unlike our friend Hillel here. He doesn't
CARE about other people? Okay, okay, I'm reading a little far into
this, but I've seen this attitude before. It's a very hateful thing
to say, especially from those who are supposed to be a Light Unto the
Nations.

Secondly, It really drives me crazy that someone can be raised in a
Jewish home, go to Jewish day school, whatever, and then have Jewish
people treat them like they're scum because their mother isn't Jewish.
How dare anyone treat *anyone* like scum! I saw a case of this when I
was in Israel visiting the Old City. I've also seen it in the US in
the orthodox communities. I know the halachik reasoning behind it,
but what about treating people with respect and dignity!

-Jody

Rob Strom

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Mar 20, 1992, 5:56:24 PM3/20/92
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In article <1992Mar20.2...@kronos.arc.nasa.gov>, gev...@kronos.arc.nasa.gov (Jody Gevins) writes:
|> In article <35...@shum.huji.ac.il> aple...@shum.huji.ac.il (Hillel Applebaum) writes:
|> >I don't know (nor care ) what the Hindus think about those kids. The simple
|> >FACT (!!!) is that the first one is a Jew, wether he likes it or not, and the
|> >second one must convert if he wants to be a Jew.
|>
|> Firstly, I think it's interesting, if nothing else, how different
|> religions treat issues, unlike our friend Hillel here. He doesn't
|> CARE about other people? Okay, okay, I'm reading a little far into
|> this, but I've seen this attitude before. It's a very hateful thing
|> to say, especially from those who are supposed to be a Light Unto the
|> Nations.
|>

I think you're reading *a lot* far into this. What does this
have to do with caring about other people? It's just a feature
of Jewish law.

|> Secondly, It really drives me crazy that someone can be raised in a
|> Jewish home, go to Jewish day school, whatever, and then have Jewish
|> people treat them like they're scum because their mother isn't Jewish.
|> How dare anyone treat *anyone* like scum! I saw a case of this when I
|> was in Israel visiting the Old City. I've also seen it in the US in
|> the orthodox communities. I know the halachik reasoning behind it,
|> but what about treating people with respect and dignity!
|>

Well, I'm not Orthodox, but it seems like an *enormous* leap
from a discussion over a person's status as Jewish to
a discussion over a person's status as scum. My understanding
is that kindness to strangers is commanded of us. So
ruling that someone isn't Jewish has nothing to do with
whether the person is entitled to respect and dignity.
If there are places where people are mistreated for not
being Jewish, that's deplorable, but has nothing to
do with Hillel's comment.

I'm assuming that if a person was raised Jewish, and
identifies as Jewish, but is not Jewish according to
one or more branches of Judaism, that person would
still be treated with respect and dignity. If the
person wanted to marry a Jew, or count toward a minyan,
only then would the issue come up. Presumably the
person could undergo a ritual conversion if this
was important.

How much of a problem is this in practice? For example, suppose
a boy with Jewish father and non-Jewish mother is
brought up Jewish, becomes Bar Mitzvah, is possibly considered Jewish
by the Reform branch, then later wishes to marry
an Orthodox girl. If he's knowledgeable, he already
knows he's not Jewish by Orthodox halacha. If he
were willing to undergo a conversion ceremony, would the Orthodox rabbis
give him a harder time than they would give a
Catholic boy in the same situation? If that were true,
then Jody might have a valid objection, but otherwise
I don't see why Hillel's statement drew such a violent
reaction.

--
Rob Strom, st...@watson.ibm.com, (914) 784-7641
IBM Research, 30 Saw Mill River Road, P.O. Box 704, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

Jody Gevins

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Mar 21, 1992, 7:03:35 PM3/21/92
to
>|> >I don't know (nor care ) what the Hindus think about those kids. The simple
>|> >FACT (!!!) is that the first one is a Jew, wether he likes it or not, and the
>|> >second one must convert if he wants to be a Jew.
>|>
>|> He doesn't
>|> CARE about other people? Okay, okay, I'm reading a little far into
>|> this, but I've seen this attitude before. It's a very hateful thing
>|> to say,
>What does this
>have to do with caring about other people? It's just a feature
>of Jewish law.

Jewish law defines being Jewish, if that's what you mean. I'd like
to understand why Hillel felt it necessary to add "nor care" to his
statement. He showed intolerance through such a statement. That's
the issue that I was addressing.

>|> Secondly, It really drives me crazy that someone can be raised in a
>|> Jewish home, go to Jewish day school, whatever, and then have Jewish
>|> people treat them like they're scum because their mother isn't Jewish.
>|> How dare anyone treat *anyone* like scum!

>Well, I'm not Orthodox, but it seems like an *enormous* leap


>from a discussion over a person's status as Jewish to
>a discussion over a person's status as scum.

I wish it were a leap. I'm just showing that a hateful statement like
that gets acted upon in real life. I told of how I *saw* people being
treated hatefully because their mother isn't Jewish. Oh no, in fact,
her mother converted to Judiasm, but it was a Reform conversion. She
was treated like traif. They basically told her, "Why are you even in
Israel, you're not Jewish. Go home." She cried! She was raised
Jewish, as far as I was concerned. She was interested in learning and
being with Jews. And then they treated her awfully. What, they
didn't want their boys meeting her? I'm sure she would have an
orthodox conversion if she felt like she needed to under Jewish law.
But if I were her, I wouldn't want to join a crowd like that. It made
me so mad that she was treated like that.

Does anyone agree with this girl's treatment? I'd really like to hear why.

> So
>ruling that someone isn't Jewish has nothing to do with
>whether the person is entitled to respect and dignity.

Right. They should be given respect. You and I agree on that. It seems
to me that they're not, despite the commandments.

>If there are places where people are mistreated for not
>being Jewish, that's deplorable, but has nothing to
>do with Hillel's comment.

I think it does. I can't believe that a statement so strongly worded
doesn't go across to his dealings with non-Jews.

I have a lot of pent up anger based on things that I've seen in the
communities I've mentioned. I don't mean to blame this on Hillel.
I'm just saying that statements remind me very strongly of how those
people have been treated.

> If he
>were willing to undergo a conversion ceremony, would the Orthodox rabbis
>give him a harder time than they would give a
>Catholic boy in the same situation?

Don't you think he should be given less of a hard time than a Catholic
person (by virtue of trying to dissuade a non-jew from converting)?


samuel.saal

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Mar 22, 1992, 12:41:37 PM3/22/92
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In article <1992Mar20.2...@kronos.arc.nasa.gov>
gev...@kronos.arc.nasa.gov (Jody Gevins) writes:

>How dare anyone treat *anyone* like scum! I saw a case of this when I
>was in Israel visiting the Old City. I've also seen it in the US in
>the orthodox communities. I know the halachik reasoning behind it,
>but what about treating people with respect and dignity!

Would this case happen to have been you or someone dear to you? If so,
isn't it easier to blame some big, impersonal group, than the error of a
beloved parent?

Note, I agree that all humans should be treated with dignity and respect,
commensurate with that which they treat others. And I'm willing to be the
one to start off giving the absolute benefit of the doubt. I'm just
curious about the bitter tone of your post.
--
Sam Saal homxb!saal OR sa...@homxb.att.com
Vayiftach HaShem et Peah Ha`Aton

Jody Gevins

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Mar 26, 1992, 1:45:51 PM3/26/92
to
>>How dare anyone treat *anyone* like scum! I saw a case of this when I
>>was in Israel visiting the Old City.

>Would this case happen to have been you or someone dear to you? If so,


>isn't it easier to blame some big, impersonal group, than the error of a
>beloved parent?

Good try, but it wasn't even someone I knew. I met this woman, saw
how people treated her, and watched her cry. I talked to her about it,
too. I could blame it on the person that I saw treating her that way,
but she told me it was the whole group that was treating her that way.

> I'm just
>curious about the bitter tone of your post.

It bugged the hell out of me, and I was reminded of it by the tone of
another person.

-Jody

Tyson J R

unread,
Apr 9, 1992, 12:50:57 PM4/9/92
to
I am being exiled to Belgium tomorrow, so I don't have time
to find the reference for this query. I hope someone
out there knows what I am talking about and can enlighten me
and any other interested people.

I remember reading a passage in _The Guide for the Perplexed_
where Maimonides discusses the treatment of women "taken in
war". As I recall such women cannot be forcibly converted
and are to be allowed to practice the mourning rituals of
their religion even if these are repellant to Jews, they
may retain their religious beliefs. I think that it is implied
that they should be treated as a wife (I am sure they cannot be simply
"put away" for example).

What would be the status of the relationship between a Jewish
man and a non-Jewish woman taken in war? What would the status
of any children born to the couple be?

Is this a sanctioned inter-marriage?


Jim Tyson

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