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Many poskim, understanding that intermarriage is becoming a fact of life, recognize that rejection will alienate and erase any possibility of interest in authentic conversion.Besides, in half the circumstances of intermarriage, the grandchildren will be Jewish and will benefit much more from the Torah influence and love of their family, rather than denunciation and estrangement.My concern is for the attitude and trends towards intermarriage in orthodoxy.It is not only the CEO of United Synagogue who sees intermarriage as a fact of life.For millennia, Jews didn’t have the luxury of asking why be Jewish.We had no other choice as our hostile host countries, through persecution and oppression, reminded us we were different.A few years ago, I was standing with a friend who had recently moved from South Africa when we met someone who shared in passing that his wife was not Jewish.

A Jew in America can wake up one day, simply shed his or her Jewish identity, and society will welcome them with open arms, with no discrimination, and with no reminders of their roots and origins.It would be easy, I explained to the teenage boys, to argue that we owe it to our grandparents who suffered through the Holocaust and lost so much in the name of Judaism to remain Jewish.But, as Rabbi Korobkin demonstrated so importantly in a recent article, teenagers and millenials are not moved, convinced or inspired by what they perceive as clichéd answers.Trying to strike the delicate balance of communicating displeasure and terrible disappointment with their decision while maintaining love for them as a person is tremendously complicated and difficult to achieve.While for centuries the response of Torah Jews to intermarriage was to sit shiva, disassociate, and ostracize those who married outside the faith, today not only is there no rejection, but there is often too much tolerance towards the intermarried and even gestures of welcoming, in an effort to maintain a connection and an avenue of Jewish influence.

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