Jewish Thought

What is wrong with intermarriage?

04.11.18

Question

What is wrong with a jewish girl who choose to not be religious, marrying a nice non jewish boy? why does religion play a role in marriage, and why is it so discouraged?

Answer

 
 
To the Questioner, 

Anyone who is or was already married, can appreciate the fact that that a marriage relationship, although it seems like it should be just lots of fun and make life easier, is really one of the hardest things in life to work properly - as G-d has designed it to. 

Even someone who is not yet married, but is in touch with people around them who have gotten married, can sense that marriage is not just fun and games, but is actually hard to get it to work right. Unfortunately, many couples today do not get to grow their marriage positively for the long term, because it's not an easy thing to do. 

The reason for this is because G-d has created all men and all women with a number of opposite natural tendencies (Bereishit 2:18), and only when the couple can successfully balance their differences, can they truly continue to grow in a positive way for the long term. 

So to answer the question, what does religion have to do with marriage? The answer is, if you are a realist and not living in imagination, then you know that every couple faces a tremendous amount of differences that they have to work to bridge, if they want their marriage to last and be successful. A difference in religious beliefs makes their differences all that more hard and almost impossible to bridge, since the G-dly connection deep within each person will ultimately not allow them to compromise on its inner beliefs, and will therefore cause an underlying rift between the couple, making it that much more difficult for them to ever build a true positive relationship for the long term. 

In addition, their choices of who to marry will unquestionably have an effect on their children. Even if two adults decide that they, between themselves,  want to try to "work things out" on the religious plane by ignoring their true inner beliefs, when it comes the time later on and things don't work out between them as they imagined it would, the result of their breakup and their original choice to "try", brings havoc not only upon their own personal lives, but also on their children's lives as well. Not only is the breakup of their parents damaging for their children, but, even worse, those children born from an intermarriage generally enter an identity crises and tremendous confusion in regard to their relationship with G-d and in what they really believe. 

It comes out that while it's bad enough that a person who chooses in regard to himself to ignore the religious aspect when getting married, is really being cruel to himself; because he is willing to take a risk on adopting additional tremendous suffering during the remainder of his life by consciously trying to build a relationship in a way where it is basically impossible to bridge the gaps, but what's worse yet, is that he is willingly choosing to be cruel to his future children. He, in effect, says to himself, "I don't care what's going to be with them; it's my life right now, and I don't care if it will cause to bring a child into a horrific situation in the future, as long as I get my way now."

May G-d help and more people be saved from destructive familial situations that they don't realize they are setting themselves up for.
​ 
Rav Nachum
 

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