Just a Reminder

For the last, the very last time: Judaism does not have a ritual category that includes the marriage of two non-Jews one to the other. These kids can enjoy all the appropriated symbolism they want, and I’m sure the marriage is valid according to American civil law, but from the perspective of Judaism, they have effected nothing. Sorry guys. Congrats on the nuptuals anyway. Hope you’re happy.

20 thoughts on “Just a Reminder

  1. “the eyes of judaism” – as if there is an external being that regulates this kind of stuff.
    oh, right, God.

  2. Here in Toronto, some years back, there was a freelance rabbi of dubious smichah (by which I mean NONE of the movements recognized it) who nonetheless had an Ontario license to perform weddings. In addition to the usual roster of intermarriages, he once performed a “wedding” ceremony for two pet birds. I kid you not.

  3. When people quote things (Yes, I’m looking at you Asaf) and the quote doesn’t appear anywhere in the post, I get confused. Why not just quote what Danya said? Oh well, I’m sure it’s really snarky and I’m just missing it.

  4. The rabbi looks kinda embarrassed in that picture, too. 😉 Actually, the whole scene looks a little Photoshopped, don’t you think? …All the more amusing.

  5. … and what criteria (universally accepted by the Jewish community) are used to determine that these people are not Jewish?
    No such criteria exist anymore. Tens of thousands of “Jews” are making it up as they go along. Most North-Americans-of-Jewi sh-descent (the only accurate way to descibe them) deny that Judaism relates in any way to a binding covenant or received moral code, and reserve the right to appropriate and mangle received wisdom and/or ethnic tzochkes as they see fit.
    And the blogmeister regularly celebrates this anarchy.
    So who is Danya to read these people out of the tent of Abraham?

  6. Mordy – oops. I meant to quote “from the perspective of judaism”. Literally (and in hebrew) that would mean the same.

  7. They were talking about this crap in shul yesterday, and the hasidic group decided there a rabbi needs not marry two gentiles becuase there is no kiddusha between their union.
    I think that’s a little fucked. It’s statements like that which make me stop wanting to go to shul.

  8. Well, I’m pretty sure they are aware their marriage is not officially “Jewish” since they don’t consider themselves Jews. So the tone of the post seems a bit unnecessary.
    I was thinking just now about the 1990 movie “Ghost” (Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg) and how remarkably little Demi has changed since then. Ashton must have been in 6th grade when it was released!
    In any case, congratulations … er Mazal Tov to Demi and Ashton!

  9. According to Jewish law, kiddushin is a state effected when a Jew marries another Jew. One of the big problems with intermarriage (and I’m speaking from a halakhic POV here, not a social-judgement POV–people can do what they please) is that a contract between two people, one of whom is bound by the law in which the contract is embedded and one who is not, is *legally* very problematic. As an extension of that, there’s really, truly no such thing as kiddushin between two people, NEITHER of whom are bound by the legal construct. It is patently absurd. It makes no sense. It’s like the US trying to prosecute two Dutch people for doing something in Amsterdam that’s legal in the Netherlands but illegal here–non-Jews are outside the jurisdiction of halakha, and their kiddushin has no status on them whatsoever.
    As to the question of whether Demi and Ashton are Jews–to the best of my knowledge, they have not gone through the series of rituals Judaism has set in place for conversion. Hence, they are not Jews. Personally, I think if they’re sooooo committed to this stuff that they want their WEDDING to be Jewish, it shouldn’t be too hard to get a beit din and a mikvah in beforehand. I’m not even going to play denominational tango–convert with the Kabbalists, I don’t care, just signify that you consider yourself an MOT before you go appropriating all of our rituals and symbology. Ditto Esther/Madge. One typically takes on a Hebrew name when one converts, and for all of her lifestyle yelling about how important this is to her, it baffles me that she wouldn’t want to do the thing that would actually make her a technical member of Am Yisrael, not some weird hanger-on. it would certainly help her credibility in the Jewish community–something that Madge, as evidenced by her behavior on her trip to Israel last year (if not by that annoying Luria song she’s got coming out) seems to actually want.
    Yeah, I dunno. Beats me.

  10. If we look back at Jewish history – we’ll find that there has always been these ‘weird hanger[s] on’ so to speak (Eved Ivry, Gare B’sharecha) – Jewish culture has at times been very influential on its host culture at time even becoming the pervading culture in curtain isolated pockets (the culture the prophet Mohamed grew up in). The fact that non-Jews are taking on board Jewish customs and symbolism is most irksome not because there is anything halachikly wrong with it – but rather non-Jews are embracing elements of Jewish culture that many Jews have themselves abandoned. And instead of celebrating the amazing impact of one marginal Jewish sect/cult – we set about bad mouthing and belittling them and what there are trying to do. It is really an amazing thing which the Kabbalah Center has done – to take your Jewish(ish) beliefs and actually inspire and influence non-Jews and Jews alike – that they are deep and meaningful in the 21st Contrary. The world is saying WE LOVE elements of JUDAISM! and the Jews are saying ‘F*CK OFF you dirty dreck goyim and leave us to mope around with our dowdy, depressing and two dimensional Judaism – it’s killing us and we love it – how dare you actually enjoy it, you superficial non-Jew!’ – I believe that the Kabbalah Center with all its problems – is actually doing a much better Job at promoting Judaism to the world than all of the official ‘Jewish’ organisations put together. Its time we stopped complaining that non-Jews are getting more out of Judaism than us and start ENJOYING IT! As the Hassidic proverb goes – ‘the righteous are happy when others follow their customs’.

  11. sorry about the above spelling/grammer – don’t know wots up today – didn’t take my dyslexia medication – I may have taken the dylsexia meditation in stead! curtain/certain Contrary/century etc…

  12. Max — I would be more than happy to enjoy non-Jews getting something out of the Kabbalah Center, except that what that organization pushes is neither Kabbalah nor Judaism. It is watered-down, distorted, new age pap. Furthermore, the Kabbalah Center uses the same tactics as Scientology: rope the celebrities in with a wining-and-dining, feel-good, no-demand version of your “religion.” Then, as the celebrities fans pour in like sheep, hit them up for progressively larger “donations” they can’t afford, give the terminally ill false hope by claiming you can cure them, tell members that if their spouse or family is against their involvement, the members should break off contact with them. Oh, and sue the pants off anyone who dares criticize you. All of this is documented in the articles at http://www.rickross.com/groups… .

  13. This is the thing – I don’t hear people bitchin about the Chabad Telethon – or about Aish’s, Ohr Samiach’s or Chabad’s Brain washing programmes that you send your kids to in Israel (or the US) over the summer – (in conjunction with CST, UJS, UJIA, Beni Akiva etc), in the name of ‘Birthright’ ‘Discovery’ or ‘Jerusalem Fellowship’ etc… all teaching ‘neither Kabbalah nor Judaism’ but ‘watered-down, distorted’ ‘Jewish’ Education – in-other-words narrow minded right wing (zionist nationalism). Do you know that Aish & Ohr Samiach – let you stay almost free of charge at their Yeshiva’s for up to year – (all time indoctrinating you) and try and get you to agree to give 10% of all future earnings to them for life! & that compared to Aish, Ohr Samiach, UJIA & Chabad – the Kabbalah Center makes peanuts!
    Aish, Ohr & Chabad all make you cut your family and friends out of your life – if they aren’t frum? Do you know how many Rabbi’s – Rebbe’s community leader within the religious world who do exactly the same thing as the Kabbalah Center – with regards to health, wealth and miracles? where do you think he got the ideas from? – Berg didn’t look at Scientology for his blueprint of how to invent and run a religious cult – he just looked within religious Judaism – we’ve got it all and worse! What really pisses people off is that they are making Judaism engaging! as for ‘no-demand version of your religion’ – haven’t your heard of Reform Judaism? as for ‘wining-and-dining, feel-good’ – if you’re loaded – I know a whole line of Chabad Rabbi’s who’ll happily wine and dine you and make you feel really good – just to get that cash out of your pocket – to support their good cause. You know its all well and good criticising – groups outside of ‘traditional – stereotypical Jewish scene – how about having a critical look at those Jewish organisations within – you’ll soon find that the Kabbalah Centre isn’t that terrible after all. Even if they do believe that Aids is spread by nuclear radiation, the Holocaust happened because the Jews of Europe didn’t learn enough Kabbalah and the only way to pray is ‘through’ Rav Berg & Karen? – really it’s nothing compared to the sh*t which many Jewish religious organisations – which you support believe and promlogate in the name of ‘real and authentic Judaism’.

  14. I agree with dybukkinggolem. I have issues with Aish, Chabad and the rest as well, but I don’t think that they’re in the same category as the Kabbalah Center. My nephew is involved heavily in Chabad; he’s just left his Modern Orthodox day school in his senior year, and has eschewed college in favor of a Chabad yeshiva. I’m outraged, and I do see Chabad as a cult, but I can’t accuse them of using the same tactics as TKC. He hasn’t been encouraged to avoid contact with his non-observant family; in fact, he’s home visiting his mother right now while he’s off for the holidays.

  15. cipher – i’d say he hasn’t YET been encouraged to avoid contact – give it time – wait and see – Chabad’s tactics are different but no less worrying.

  16. Thanks for the kiddusha explananation. It seemed to me that the people at the local chabad I attend were implying that there was no holliness when non- jews get married. If non jews have their own contract with G-d ( which they do), then if they get married, to me, it seems like a holy union has taken place. When two people come toghther and consumate their marriage, they become one with eachother and with G-d regardless of whether they are Jew or Gentile, and that seems holy to me.
    Furthermore, if we as Jews are suppose to be a light on to nations, to bring all people closer to the service of Hashem ( which we pray for daily) then how do we propose that Noachides tie the knot, or go through life’s important events. Don’t they deserve spiritual rituals? Or as some of the people at my shul said, should they justget married in a civil court. What a way to bring Hashem to Noachides, what a way to bring Hashem into all marriages.

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