The Jewish fear of Intermarriage

healingrelations.pr

Intermarriage – when Jews wed non-Jews – has been called a threat to the future survival of the Jewish nation. So what happened when there were reports that the Israeli prime minister’s son was dating a Norwegian non-Jew? The Norwegian daily Dagen reported that Ms Leikanger and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair are a couple, to which the office of Mr Netanyahu has responded – according to Israeli media – by insisting they are only college classmates. But the damage has already been done. Leikanger is not Jewish, a fact that has sparked outrage in Israel, a Jewish country which since its inception has fought to have its Jewish character recognised throughout the world. While Judaism is not a proselytising religion, Leikanger, like any non-Jew, does have the option of converting should she wish to become Jewish.

Intermarriage and assimilation are quintessential Jewish fears and have been called a…

View original post 480 more words

The Jewish fear of Intermarriage

Intermarriage – when Jews wed non-Jews – has been called a threat to the future survival of the Jewish nation. So what happened when there were reports that the Israeli prime minister’s son was dating a Norwegian non-Jew? The Norwegian daily Dagen reported that Ms Leikanger and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair are a couple, to which the office of Mr Netanyahu has responded – according to Israeli media – by insisting they are only college classmates. But the damage has already been done. Leikanger is not Jewish, a fact that has sparked outrage in Israel, a Jewish country which since its inception has fought to have its Jewish character recognised throughout the world. While Judaism is not a proselytising religion, Leikanger, like any non-Jew, does have the option of converting should she wish to become Jewish.

Intermarriage and assimilation are quintessential Jewish fears and have been called a threat to the future survival of the relatively small Jewish nation. According to Jewish law, the religion is passed down through the mother, so if a Jewish man marries a non-Jewish woman, their children would not be considered Jews. The chance that children of a mixed couple would keep or pass along any Jewish traditions to future generations is radically diminished. As today’s rate of intermarriage among Diaspora Jews stands above 50%, many are worried that the nation that survived persecution, pogroms and the Holocaust could eventually die out of its own undoing.

Jewish wedding

The anxiety was expressed in an open letter to Yair Netanyahu by the Israeli organisation Lehava, which works to prevent assimilation, in a post on its Facebook page, which warned him that his grandparents “are turning over in their graves… they did not dream that their grandchildren would not be Jews”. The issue of intermarriage has largely been one for Diaspora Jews – the Jews who live outside Israel. Inside Israel, Jews (75% of the population) and Arabs (21%) rarely marry, but with an influx of foreign workers and globalisation of the Israeli community, in recent years the phenomenon has come to light. “God forbid, if it’s true, woe is me,” says Aryeh Deri, leader of the Ultra-Orthodox Shas party, to a local radio station, lamenting the news that the prime minister’s son was dating a non-Jew. “I don’t like talking about private issues… but if it’s true God forbid, then it’s no longer a personal matter – it’s the symbol of the Jewish people.”

Eretz Nehederet, the popular Israeli satirical television show, aired a parody showcasing infamous historical oppressors of the Jews including the biblical Pharaoh and the Spanish inquisitor. The show culminated with Yair Netanyahu’s non-Jewish girlfriend, whom they called the “newest existential threat”. She sang about a shikse, a derogatory term for a non-Jewish woman, sarcastically crooning that she is “worse than Hitler”. But jokes aside, even the prime minister’s brother-in-law, Hagai Ben-Artzi, spoke out strongly on their affair, warning his nephew that if he doesn’t end his relationship with Leikanger, it is as if he is spitting on the graves of his grandparents. “From my point of view, if he does such a thing, I personally won’t allow him to get near their graves,” Ben-Artzi told an Ultra-Orthodox website. “This is the most awful thing that is threatening and was a threat throughout the history of the Jewish people. More awful than leaving Israel is marriage with a gentile. If this happens, God forbid, I’ll bury myself I don’t know where. I’ll walk in the streets and tear off my hair – and here this is happening.”

Anyone who has watched Fiddler on the Roof, where Tevye says his daughter is dead to him for marrying a non-Jew, knows the issue has always been a sensitive one among Jews.

BBC News Magazine

Sometimes It’s The Hardest Thing To Say

Defining Wonderland

Kid Says No

When we were young, particularly during those Terrible Twos, we learned to stand our ground and not yield to every request that came our way.  We turned our noses at anything green on our plates.  We ran the other way when it was bedtime, bath time, or homework time.  We refused to make our bed and put our toys away.

We said no.

As we got older, something happened and we began to accept things that our toddler selves would never have tolerated.  We tried new foods and learned that maybe we were wrong about what we originally rejected.  We stuck to the daily routine of sleep, bathing, and work schedules, whether we liked them or not.  We washed dishes, dusted furniture, and vacuumed, even if we hated every minute.

We stopped saying no.

View original post 556 more words

Doing Good Across the Pond

Image

I love to hear that Brits are doing well in America. I have had some good links with Americans and have studied hard to work alongside them. What ever I have achieved has pleased them as a nation, but it hasn’t surprises them because we should not forget that they are the ones that invented entertainment; even in the form of evangelical outreach. I love everything American but I don’t forget that I am British. What I loved about working with American organisations is that they entrusted me with many talents. And from that I have gained more: “Well done, good and faithful one! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many”. (Matthew 25:21)

Jennifer Valentine – Finding Love at that Perfect Place

by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

I am a woman (not a girl), God made me human (a living being) not a toy. I say this because as a person who has been looking for love for all the right reasons I have had my fair share of heartaches.

At school I was an ordinary child with extraordinary talents; especially when I reflect upon my sporting attributes and performing arts. I loved being at home as well as pursing my interests.  That love was developed in an environment that had loving and understanding parents. However the turning point  for me came when friends were not around to share my interests because they were developing relationships and a love life with their boyfriends.  I have always felt at the back of my mind that my time for love will come when I am at that perfect place.  So where is that place? I know a few cynics who always say don’t let your hear rule your head.  If my heart are my feelings and emotions, then why should it not rule my head? If I am at that place where I display love, affection and loyalty I believe that should be shared with approval of level headed friends. Love is one of those perfect gifts that can be can be bestowed onto anyone.  And because I am a woman, yes, I am entitled to it.  I have put aside my childish ways despite my soft spot for jelly babies. When I look up to the blues skies, is that the perfect place?  Or is it the green country place or financial stability? That perfect place has to be  where I am able to support my love.

Love is unconditional and not just based around Eros (erotica). As one of those who has experienced several failed relations am I trying to say that this perfect place is a place where there is no divorce?  If I am, then I may have to be divided because on one hand the Jewish law (Old Testament) only allows divorce if a man wants it and Christianity (New Testament) says “what God has joined together, man most not separate.”  If I am to be a bride in that perfect place then I will need to seek the groom who will nourish and cherish me as though he was nourishing and cherishing his own body.  I am told that being at that place of “love” is a wonderful experience.  There you will find no confusion over identity, and also there will be no experiences of being misunderstood!  Why do I need a groom within covenant when we all know that men and women are so different?  Hark! From the book of Hosea I hear the perfect groom say “I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, any you will acknowledge…” Although the Jewish festival Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is a solemn day, it is also a happy day to cleanse oneself (wear white) and a day to also reach a spiritual high (celebrate).  That is why this time of the year brings out my religious side which allows my actions to sit parallel with the spiritual me.  When I am up there in the heavenly thrones feeling most royal, who do I give thanks to? Where do I go? I do hope that when I am in that eminent place I do not as in the book of Ezekiel “make for myself a high place in every street, with a beauty to be abhorred.”  The correct condition is to see myself as the low person promoted to priestess of high thinking.  Therefore, no one else needs to change their inward projection, but me.

Love is one of the strongest forces in existence.  It can move a woman to rescue her children from a burning building or man to raise a vehicle that has a crushed passenger underneath.  If I am finding it difficult finding love in that perfect place then I need to learn to appreciate God’s blessings. Why? Because he loves me.

An extract from the book “Words Pressed: A Short Biography” (Available on Amazon)

Outdated?

Going out with someone is what it says it is.  Having made a date, selected a time and venue, and also asked what do you fancy to eat?  You are hopefully going out with someone as opposed to spending an evening indoors.  If only though, going out with someone was just exactly that.  Many have been doing this for years to find at the end of the day that is all it is.  Today the few disgruntled 40 plus individuals who have not even ventured beyond that. Their decision is to go back to school and start again at a more mature level (I hope this makes sense).   When the time comes for a youth leader to release their clutch from a young person so that the veer into education, the work place, or even the mission field; I hope they (the youth leaders) are not fooled into thinking that this young person does not have another agenda roaming through their minds. This is an issue that needs to be faced and addressed.

Do we pity the poor 20-something in our society?  Today’s Christian in the 20 plus age bracket are bombarded by a media and culture that urges them to have uncommitted sex at any opportunity, and on the other by a Church that tells them sharply that they should not. There are loads of books out there advising those trying to navigate the romantic pitfalls of modern society in a Christian way. But are they any good? Help is out there, apparently, in the form of Christian dating books. Do they hold the key? With contributions from various aged 20-something and authors Helen Coffey & Jamie Cutterridge © Christianity Magazine (2012), the aim is to unlock the most wanted to know questions on how to find that perfect date.

1. Look in my own church. This is a slightly unnecessary tip, because if you have got to the point where you are reading 20 First Dates for inspiration, you have probably considered (or dated) and dismissed every single man at your church. Even so, I went so far as to purchase a date with the only eligible bachelor at our church. We had a charity auction of promises, and the guy offered Italian lessons. I ended up bidding my entire month’s food budget, but I won. ‘Maybe we’ll get married in Italy!’ I thought…but our second lesson brought me down to earth with a crash when he brought along the (non-Christian) girl he was dating. Cancel the Italian chapel, return the imaginary wedding dress, get back the deposit for the caterers when the time comes around etc…..

2. Friend’s recommendation. Yes, I went on a blind date. Well, for me it was blind – he had the advantage of picking me from the line-up of single girls my friend showed him on Facebook. He was perfectly nice (as any friend of my friend was bound to be), but there was no spark. Or so I thought. Apparently for him there were sparks aplenty; he could not understand how I didn’t feel ‘it’ too. There was an awkward conversation, my friend was put in an awkward position; awkwardness really was the watchword of the whole encounter.

3. Internet dating. This has had a makeover in recent years and is no longer considered the haunt of people who don’t have good enough social skills to meet people ‘normally’. I dipped a toe in the water, going through the cringe-making process of writing a profile, uploading photos and waiting for someone who didn’t come across as an axe murderer to drop me a line. I went on quite a few dates, and met quite a few nice people. The only problem I found was that dating this way is like interviewing for a job you’re not even sure you want – the position of future girlfriend/wife – and it takes all spontaneity and romance out of the proceedings. And, as with everything Christian, the girls outnumber the boys.

4. Meeting with someone by not dating? This is based on the idea that you should not be in a relationship with anyone unless you are seriously considering marrying them. Therefore instead of dating, you begin courting someone on a path that very clearly leads to the altar. The problem for me is that I don’t think I could start thinking about marriage before I started going out with someone. Nor do I think it’s sinful or a waste of time to have a relationship when marriage is not the intended goal from the outset. But the idea of embarking on something with the distinct aim of not playing games with each other is refreshing. In fact, it sounds amazing – not wondering if you’ll ever hear from someone again, not having to pretend you’re not that fussed when you can’t stop thinking about them.  This is impossible to do, unless the man in question is from the ‘courting, not dating’ school of thought.  And how do you establish that date before you have even been for a drink?  Well, you can’t!

An extract from the book “Words Pressed: A Short Biography” (Available on Amazon)

Words_Pressed_Cover_for_Kindle

Healing From Damaged Emotions

HEALING FOR DAMAGED EMOTIONS
For what ever reason there are many individuals whose emotions are strained from all its natural resources. However, there are far too many who also keep a hold of their mental strains!

There are those too who keep up outward observances by praying but inwardly they are going deeper and deeper into disillusionment and despair. There are those whose problems were buried underground, now only find that they reappear later in all manner of illnesses, eccentricities, terribly unhappy marriages. Sometimes this can lead to the cause of emotional destructive children. There are many Christians for example who have found release from emotional hang ups and by experiencing the healing memories through God’s way of repairing. The result is wholeness and transformation for those crippled with emotional despair.

Just like a tree, the rings of the bark reveal their developmental history year after year and the autobiography of its growth. The rings are the scars of long stand painful hurts, which cause all kinds of interpersonal difficulties.

Within the rings lie our long suffering thoughts and emotions which deeply and effectively affect ones concepts, feelings and relationships.

We are made aware that counsellors constantly have to pick up the pieces of people who have been utterly disillusioned and devastated because immature Christians have tried to cast out imaginary demons. And we all know what the simplistic syndrome is. It is instructions like: read your Bible, pray, have more faith, and the most classic being you would never get depressed if you didn’t have these hang-ups. Those who say such things are not only being far from the truth but they are also being extremely insensitive towards someone who has a deep emotionally rooted problem. But most importantly, they are denying that person the pastoral care they so desperately need.

I discovered three good pointers when reading the book *Healing from Damaged Emotions by David Seamands:

(1) Does an individual want to be healed? This is what Jesus asked the sick man who was lame for thirty years (John 5:6). Do you really want to be healed or do you just want to talk about your problems.

(2) Prayer: We need to continually ask the Holy Spirit to show us what are problems are, and ask Him how we need to pray. The book of James reminds us that sometimes we do not receive because we pray for the wrong things (James 4:3)

(3) Forgiving yourself: Many will say, yes, I know that I am forgiven but I cannot forgive myself. Terms cannot be contradicted; God cannot forgive us unless we forgive ourselves. It has also been quoted that areas of darkness are buried in the sea of forgetfulness and forgiveness.  Corrie Ten Boom (a survivor from the Nazi’s occupation of Holland) once said “He then puts a sign on our past emotions which says No Fishing!  Let us not entertain our past hurts.  Leave them with Him and just walk away.

Copyright © Jennifer Valentine 2012

*Seamands, David (1981), Healing From Damaged Emotions