Controlling Love is not only a Jewish problem

  • Interfaith marriage in America is from the highest in Jewish history.
  • Interfaith marriages are in the spotlight like Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff.
  • Religion attempts to control love and make it productive.

Love is difficult to control. Love makes the world go around. Woman abuse is a problem in America and the whole world. The healthy way of controlling love is to get married to the one you love. Love in this way becomes productive through procreation. Family is the cradle of life.

The Jewish people are dependent on Jews marrying Jews. When Jews marry out of Judaism the nation loses important souls.  The survival of the Jewish nation depends on fighting intermarriage, interfaith marriage.

The choice was made by the Jewish people in the wilderness to be a Jewish nations the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Even in the wilderness of Sinai the nation was threatened by interfaith marriage. In the Bible Numbers:25, Zimri a leader of the tribe of Shimon was caught having relations with a distinguished Midyanite woman by Pincas the son of Aharon the high priest.  This was not the only case of interfaith relations with Midyanite women amongst the people in the wilderness.

Pincas related the forbidden interfaith relations which was in their camp to be the cause of a deadly plague which had caused the death of 24,000 Jews. He took upon himself the duty to stop the plague by killing Zimri and his girlfriend.  He speared them both on one blade.  These relationships were endangering the future of the Jewish people. Pincas demonstrated before all of Israel that God was against interfaith relations between Jews and gentiles. As a reward for the bravery of Pincas, protecting the covenant of peace between God and the Jewish people, Pincas and his descendants were given the rights to be priests to serve in the holy temple. Interfaith relations is considered in Jewish law to be a severe sin.

Jews have been given the duty to control love. Love is beautiful but also dangerous. When the Jewish people entered Israel, Joshua the leader of the Joshua people the successor to Moses fell in love with Racav the most beautiful woman in the world. Even gazing at Racov a man could not control his evil inclination. Racov helped the Jewish people on the way to the destruction of Jericho. She later converted to Judaism and married Joshua.

Jared Kushner married Ivanka Trump after she converted to Judaism

Samson was a Nazirite who vowed not to cut their hair, which gave him exceptional holiness. He was also a warrior for Israel and a judge. He met Delilah a very beautiful woman Philistine woman, fell in love with her, and married her. Samson valiantly led the Jewish people in Israel for twenty years until Delilah betrayed him and cut off his hair. As a result he lost all his power and was captured by the Philistines, blinded and mocked by his captors.

The Jewish people were instructed by Moses in the Torah to make a Monarchy after conquering the land of Israel with strict laws against interfaith relations and other forbidden relationships designated as incest. Jews were commanded to control love, not to marry out of love and beauty alone but to be discriminant about who to marry. Love and freedom were enemies of the survival of the Biblical Nation of Israel. The Law of Moses was strict to punish Jews for having forbidden relationships called incest. The children born from relations called incest including adultery were forever cut off from the nation of Israel with the designation of being called Mamzer today translated as Bastards.

To prevent these harmful relationships it was prohibited by the Nation of Israel for a man to be alone with a woman which could come to a forbidden sexual act or to be alone with a gentile woman.  In sex with a gentile woman their children would not be Jewish. Jews are children born from a Jewish mother. Later came a prohibition even against a single Jewish man and unmarried woman to be alone to prevent promiscuous sexual relations.

Having children out of wedlock do not make these children bastards but it is looked down upon and prohibited in Jewish law. Jewish children have to be watched over carefully when they are single, not to damage their respectability and future through promiscuous sexual relations.  The Torah recognizes how difficult it is to control love. Men are cautioned in the Torah not to look at women, to go after their eyes and heart. Woman are obligated to dress in the most modest way. These customs are continued today in religious Jewish communities throughout the world.

Jews living in the Western world Europe and America have for centuries been confronted with the need to control love and watch over their children from forbidden relationships mainly interfaith marriages. The Biblical nation of Israel could control these relationships through law enforcement.

Jews living in the diaspora the prohibitions of forbidden relationships, interfaith relationships is left over to their Jewish conscience. Religious Jews live in Shtetels, exclusively Jewish communities, and their children learn in Jewish schools where boys and girls learn separately. Families prefer to supervise over the choice of the mates for their children rather to let their children find their own soul mate. There are matchmakers in each community to assist families to find suitable mates for their children.

It is not always possible to arrange marriages for children for love is hard to control. Children can meet accidentally, fall in love before their parents have chance to marry them off. Even though today legally it is prohibited to marry before the age of 18, religious families would like sometimes to marry off their children before 18 as soon as possible to the boy or girl of their choice. The Torah recommends for a girl to look to marry a Torah scholar with lineage. Love is not an issue for parents but sometimes makes problems for them when their children are fussy about appearance.  In all cases there has to be some attraction when the children meet for the first time. Dating for a long time is discouraged.

America is a wonderful country which offers a home for Jewish people. In America there is freedom of religion. Jews emigrating from Europe found a home in America.  American law will not defend parents who want to stop their children from marrying interfaith. The parents have to educate their children in Judaism at a young age to give them the incentive to control love and marry only a Jew.

Kamala Harris democratic vice president candidate with her Jewish husband Doug Emhoff.

The diaspora and freedom is a problem for Jews, also because it allows Jews to become exposed to the influences of other religions and ideologies. Many Jews became communists in Russia. The children were influenced to live according to communism and leave Judaism. Christianity has competed with Judaism since it was established claiming to represent the New Testament. This has caused interfaith marriages between Jews and Christians.

In many nations in Europe Christianity was forced on Jews but in America a Jew has free choice. The Jewish establishment works to prevent intermarriage but the percentage of intermarriage in America is over 45%. In 2013 44% of all Jews were married out of their faith. Intermarriages are accepted in reformed Jewish congregations, less in conservative and condemned in Orthodox.

To take justice in your own hands like Pincas who killed Zimri and Cusbi the Midyanite woman would require life imprisonment in America. The vice president candidate in the Democratic Party is Kamala Harris who is married to Doug Emhoff a Jewish attorney. They fell in love and married. Judaism and the Jewish conscience could not interfere with their love and affection. Joe Bidden has two children married to Jews. The daughter of President Trump and Jared Kushner fell in love with each other. They were not able to marry until Ivanka converted to Judaism. Jared was from an Orthodox Jewish home. They were lucky to find a Rabbi that would accept the conversion of Ivanka since they had already been known to each other.

Love and freedom are big problems for Judaism. The world has changed. Once the Nation of Israel was a theocracy which would not allow interfaith marriages. Today Israel is a democratic state. Jews living in America and abroad have more freedom to live without the need to control love and can marry who they want.  In Israel divorce and marriage are controlled by the Orthodox Rabbinate which makes it difficult for Jews living in Israel to interfaith marry.

There are ways of getting around the law like marrying in Cyprus. Russians in Israel who have intermarried in Russia have difficulties with the Orthodox Rabbinical system. Avigdor Lieberman representing the Russian community in the Knesset wants to bring into Israel a reform marriage system. Love is out of control in Israel but 75% of all Israeli are Jews. Religious Jews living in Israel can fall in love with Jews not religious but they are Jews and their marriage is accepted by the Rabbinate.

The most Ultra – Orthodox Jewish communities have no problem with Jewish intermarriage in America or anywhere else in the world. They keep their own religious bloc strong through controlling love. Sometimes they fail and one of their children may marry for love alone and not for religion. These families sadly will send away their own children which go out of the Ultra-Orthodox way. They have big families and if one child finds freedom more exciting than Judaism it is a great loss but not the end of the Jewish people. In this way the Jewish people have survived throughout the diaspora. The Law of Moses is very strict about the identity of a Jew. Jews which interfaith marry are a gift of the Jewish people to the world like the children of Kamela Harris and the grandchildren of Joe Bidden.

All the religions in the world, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam agree that promiscuous sex is forbidden and marriage is an obligation. The world has forgotten about morality. Love is out of control bi-sexually and homosexually. Abortion is the result of sex out of wedlock. In Biblical times sexual promiscuity was the cause of plagues upon Israel. The world has still not escaped from Corona Pandemic. Love can be controlled but not completely. Love makes the world go around.

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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