And The Intermarried Jewish Woman Award Goes To ... Esther!
03/02/2012 - 13:54

Apologies for the infrequent attendance here in blogland. I was on a reporting trip in Florida last week, and am still catching up on things. Plus, I managed to get drafted (OK, I recklessly volunteered) to chair my temple’s Purim carnival, which, as you can imagine, consumes just a fair amount of time.

Speaking of Purim, I believe The Book of Esther is the only Bible story in which a) a Jewish woman intermarries and b) the intermarriage actually directly benefits the larger Jewish community, since Esther is able to use her standing with the king to rescue her people.

A few people (including me, several years ago ) have written about this, so I link to their articles: Rabbi Kerry Olitzky, in an article originally published in The Washington Jewish Week (no relation to the New York Jewish Week)  and Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael

Read, enjoy and chag sameach!

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You are wrong on all fronts. Intermarriage has been a disaster for the Jewish community. Jews who marry other Jews are at least producing Jewish children which is a "rescue" of the Jewish people. Esther didn't have a choice but to marry the non-Jewish King. To use her story for the purpose of pro-intermarriage propaganda is absolutely ridicolous.
You obviously don't see the distortion in Julie's column because you are also pro-intermarriage.

Asher - Saying that intermarriage can have a positive outcome is not the same thing as saying that all Jews should intermarry. It's just saying intermarriage isn't necessarily the horrible thing some people make it out to be.

Martin - I'd be interested to learn what you think what, in Julie's post, constitutes deceit or distortion. I don't see it. Nor do I see where she defines a Jew, unless you think, for some reason, that Esther wasn't Jewish.

HS - Even if an intermarriage doesn't save all the Jews in the country, that doesn't mean it is bad. After all, the vast majority of Jews marrying Jews don't save all the Jews in the country, either.

Esther is often touted by various people involved in intermarried outreach as an example of a successful intermarriage. But it raises a couple of questions. First, I wonder how many of today's intermarried can make the case that their own intermarriage will result in a similar rescue of the Jewish people (maybe if Chelsea Clinton runs for President some day, and American Jews are threatened, and Mark convinces her to do something about it? But seriously. . . )

Second, if Esther is trotted out on Purim, then shouldn't Ruth also be trotted out at Shavuot as a great example of the possibilities open to non-Jewish spouses? Just wondering.

As usual, Julie, You continue to use deceit and distortion to attempt to give your less than Jewish perspective on what a Jew is, what Jewish living is. When will you divorce your Gentile husband and live as a Jew in the Torah directed way that will truly give your life meaning?

Today, we became aware that exists. We are impressed. This little Ester story is a great reminder of what wonderful values Hebrew people of G-d have always given to all of humanity, even to those who hate all descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We love your website, we love you, and thank you for being who you are. You mean a great deal to G-d and to all he loves.
Richard J. Fields, Editor