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New York - Chelsea Clinton's Bridegroom A Jewish Problem of Mixed Marriages

Published on: January 1, 2010 09:42 AM
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New York - Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of one of the most prominent families in American politics, has chosen a Jew for a husband. The groom-to-be, Marc Mezvinsky, is the member of a family of businesspeople and politicians. Further proof that Jews can be found in the very center of the American establishment: The former president and the current secretary of state will be the in-laws of a Jewish guy.
With all of our appreciation and very long friendship with Bill and Hillary Clinton, and despite the fact that the latter’s image serves as a role model to many women across the world – we could look at the same story from an opposite angle, and we should be concerned by it.

A guy from a Jewish family enters a mixed marriage. There is no sign that Chelsea Clinton plans to convert to Judaism. And perhaps Marc, like many of the Jewish members of his generation, is marrying the woman he loves without asking questions which are seemingly obsolete.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are true friends of Israel and the Jewish people. When Hillary spoke, as first lady, on the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Day, she began her address with quotes from the weekly Torah portion. Few Israeli politicians do so. By doing this, Hillary demonstrated an intimate closeness to the Jewish people and their heritage. During the battle for the restoration of Holocaust victims’ property from banks in Switzerland, it was Hillary who recruited Bill to the effort for the sake of historic justice. But nonetheless, our children cannot marry the Clinton family.
The number of mixed marriages in the Diaspora has increased by 200% in the past 50 years. About 55% of all Jews’ marriages are mixed ones. In one-quarter of families, the children of the next generation will no longer be Jewish, and at best will have a loose connection to their Jewish roots. A look at the future shows that within a number of generations, American Jewry will nearly disappear, excluding its religious and haredi part.

There are limits

Some may say I am old-fashioned and racist. Some may say, “Do you really think we have the right to interfere?” And there are those, like one of my friends, who said that that the differences between young people today are so small that she herself did not realize that her daughter had gotten engaged to a gentile until she attended the wedding of the groom-to-be’s brother, which was held at a church.
My response to these claims is: Yes, there are limits. The Jewish people’s power of continuity and survival throughout the generations are concealed, among other things, in maintaining marriage within, and only within. Assimilation and mixed marriages destroyed entire communities even before the Holocaust.
Judaism, as opposed to Christianity and Islam – is not a missionary religion. It does not seek to increase the number of its believers, not by persuading and definitely not by using force. But it is also not a closed religion which people cannot enter. Those who wish to join can do so, under the conditions of Jewish Law. Those who wish to marry a Jewish man or woman can convert. People do even more difficult things for love.
Unfortunately, this appears to be an almost lost battle among the Jewish community in the United States. But at least in Israel we must cover these mixed marriages accordingly. More restraint and less color, headlines and pictures. At the same time, we must work to appoint rabbinical judges with the sensitivity and understanding of present needs, who will allow those wishing to do so to convert. The mixed marriages problem is not a religious matter, but a national matter. It’s not the interest of religious people. It is the interest of Jewish Israelis, who may lose their children in favor of other religions, other people and other nation


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1

 Jan 01, 2010 at 09:54 AM Anonymous Says:

What does converting according to Jewish law mean if convert doesn't plan to live according to Jewish law? When being Jewish doesn't mean anything to people, why should they care about marrying Jewish?

2

 Jan 01, 2010 at 09:58 AM Anonymous Says:

the problem is, non observant jews have no connection to judaism, aside from being labeled a "Jew" there usually is nothing that connects them to their jewish roots, so when they "fall in love" with a non jew it doesn't affect them internally the way it affects someone with a connection to the faith.

As a people, we should try hard to connect jews to the faith, and not try alienate everyone - religious or not. Make people feel good about being jewish, eventually they will connect.

3

 Jan 01, 2010 at 10:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Think the Clintons will get divorced now that they are done with shiduchim?

4

 Jan 01, 2010 at 10:28 AM Anonymous Says:

Did she choose him or did he choose her? Whatever. Mazel Tov

5

 Jan 01, 2010 at 10:28 AM mark levin Says:

dump him chealsea, it aint 4 u

6

 Jan 01, 2010 at 10:30 AM hb Says:

I read this article with tears streaming down my face. My father lost most of his family in the Holocaust because they were jewish, because it was our religion. I accept the mantle of Orthodoxy from him with love, because I agree, not because I am forced. Assimilation may well be the holocaust of our generation, but I disagree strongly with the author. This is not an Israeli national matter. It is strictly a religious matter. You may not convert for love of another. You may only convert for love of God and His laws. Moshiach will not come because there is a state of Israel, Moshiach will come when we do teshuva!

7

 Jan 01, 2010 at 10:33 AM pinny Says:

the biggest modern day threat to judiasm isnt islam but REFORM rabbis who say it is perfectly mutar to neglect halacha as long as you have a "JEWISH HEART".

8

 Jan 01, 2010 at 10:34 AM Shimon Says:

Some very salient points about assimilation, but I must take exception to the glowing opinion of Hillary Clinton expressed in this article. Let's not be fooled by politicians employing Jewish staff members who feed them torah portion items and dogma in their speeches so they can ingratiate themselves to the Jewish community. Does anyone remember the demonstration against Iran at the UN in 2008, when Hillary, in a huff, cancelled her appearance because Sarah Palin was to be in attendance? Domestic politics trumped support for Israel..and she hasn't exactly been a warm and loyal friend to Israel since she's been Secretary of State.
Maybe this upcoming marriage will work - it is a union of the progeny of crooks, liars, and philanderers. As my father used to say, "A Pisher Nempt a Cocker."

9

 Jan 01, 2010 at 10:40 AM Anonymous Says:

FYI Bill said a whole shtckl Toirah about Yitzchok Avinu quoting Chazal by Rabin's Levaya.

10

 Jan 01, 2010 at 10:55 AM Gershon Says:

As the article points out, the observant Jews will not assimilate and will be fruitful. Despite assimilation of Jews that don't have any idea what Torah true Judaism means, this country is very, very good to Jews.
We will do kiruv, we will get our share of gerim, and we will thrive.
Any article that has the word assimilation without the word kiruv has missed the point of why we are here in this diaspora.

11

 Jan 01, 2010 at 11:08 AM Eli Says:

Why dosen't she convert like Ivanka Trump did?

Ivanka Trump has married her Jewish boyfriend Jared Kushner in New Jersey.

The daughter of millionaire businessman Donald Trump, Ivanka, 27, converted to Judaism during her engagement to New York Observer publisher Mr Kushner, whose family are Orthodox.

She converted at Kehilath Jeshurun Synagogue in Manhattan's Upper East Side.

12

 Jan 01, 2010 at 11:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
hb Says:

I read this article with tears streaming down my face. My father lost most of his family in the Holocaust because they were jewish, because it was our religion. I accept the mantle of Orthodoxy from him with love, because I agree, not because I am forced. Assimilation may well be the holocaust of our generation, but I disagree strongly with the author. This is not an Israeli national matter. It is strictly a religious matter. You may not convert for love of another. You may only convert for love of God and His laws. Moshiach will not come because there is a state of Israel, Moshiach will come when we do teshuva!

best thing to do is to stop the tears when you can, and use that emotional energy to help other yidden come closer to Torah and Mitzvos. Thats when Moshiach will come closer. Not because of our tears over "spilled milk".
~from a former assimilated Jew, currently a baal teshuva~ (so I've been in both places). Action will only come from Am Yisroel, we are the only ones who can reach out and bring Jews back to their natural heritage.

13

 Jan 01, 2010 at 11:27 AM Anonymous Says:

it is better that these people intermarry and stop calling themselves Jewish, hopefully he will convert to another religion and not confuse the kids. Rabbenu Yitzchak D'M"Acco, zt"l, a talmid of the heilige Ramban, zya, said not to worry when Jews are not frum, as it is a sign that their neshamos were not Jewish anyway. The shulchan aruch anyway says a mechalel shabbos is akum l'chol davar, and an apokorus is worse than that. if we stop counting these people as Jewish, klal Yisroel will have much fewer problems.

14

 Jan 01, 2010 at 11:41 AM Anonymous Says:

The Clinton's are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Jews due to their support of Oslo and the 2 state solution. Now their daughter will kill one more Jew...spiritually.

15

 Jan 01, 2010 at 12:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

FYI Bill said a whole shtckl Toirah about Yitzchok Avinu quoting Chazal by Rabin's Levaya.

He also finished off his eulogy "oiseh sholom bimromov hu yaseh sholom aleinu v'all kol yisrael v'imru amen" It hit me like a ton of bricks that from all the jewish speakers Bill Clinton was the only one that mentioned a JEWISH word.

16

 Jan 01, 2010 at 12:49 PM Anonymous Says:

More conversions is not the answer. Promoting Judaism through education to those families that are non-observant is the right direction.

17

 Jan 01, 2010 at 12:59 PM zaly Says:

her father BILL he's the one started love with jews don't u remember?

18

 Jan 01, 2010 at 01:03 PM OMG Says:

The best think you could do is to understand every Jewish soul is precious, regardless of what you perceive he is doing and instead of pushing them away you need to show your love and when someone is writing on a orthodox site and you pronounce how evil he is because he is not fully in agreement with your perceived hardened views, shouldn’t you say at least this person is on this Torah site not blogging at some trashy or pornography site at least he is reading and discussing pertinent Jewish issue, no some of you are will to push this person away, This goes for all the people who trash me because I told the truth, I for one will not be pushed away from my Jewish roots.

19

 Jan 01, 2010 at 01:06 PM Anonymous Says:

why is this article praising the Clintons as freinds of Israel... this is totally not true they have caused more damage to Israel than any other president.. inviting cheif terrorist to the whitnouse and forcing Israel to the Onslow process that caused further loss of lives in irael.

20

 Jan 01, 2010 at 01:12 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Other US Presidents who have living Jewish relatives include Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt, and John Kennedy.

21

 Jan 01, 2010 at 01:51 PM Anonymous Says:

"Bill and Hillary Clinton are true friends of Israel and the Jewish people."

They are the worst nightmare for Israel, worse than Carter. Under their term in office, Fatah, Hamas and the future Palstinian state was created.

22

 Jan 01, 2010 at 02:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Anonymous Says:

why is this article praising the Clintons as freinds of Israel... this is totally not true they have caused more damage to Israel than any other president.. inviting cheif terrorist to the whitnouse and forcing Israel to the Onslow process that caused further loss of lives in irael.

The Clintons were great friends of EY so its not clear who you are talking about. Their new machatonim, the Mezvinsky family are ehrleche yidden. The mother was a congresswoman from Pennsylvania who had the courage to cast the deciding vote to help pass Clinton's historic budget deal in the 90s. Much mazel and hatzlacha to this wonderful young couple.

23

 Jan 01, 2010 at 02:10 PM Joey Says:

Comment 13 has a big point, although we should never give up on any yid, but till they come back- so-long kol tuv.!

24

 Jan 01, 2010 at 02:11 PM si girl Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

What does converting according to Jewish law mean if convert doesn't plan to live according to Jewish law? When being Jewish doesn't mean anything to people, why should they care about marrying Jewish?

I agree with you. If one is less observant it is very hard to remain Jewish in America with so many attractive boys and girls who are not Jewish. I also think that even in less obsevant families people have to teach their childeren what Jewish means including more secular historical, emotional prospectives.

To those who say if he is not religious then the hell with him and let him fall out from the Jewish people. It is very, very wrong. First of all as long as you remain Jewish there is a hope. Look at Trotsky's grandson. He is an observant Jew living in Israel. If Trotsky knew about it he probably would have turned in his grave.

Also on more massive scale with anusimwe know that some of the returned back to Judaism though a lot of them were lost for the Jewish people.

All of us should agree though that if a Jewish boy is marrying a non Jewish woman (no matter how prominent and good this non Jewish person is) it is a loss for the whole klal Israel.

25

 Jan 01, 2010 at 02:30 PM ubet Says:

She could convert till the cows come home.... IT's not worth her conversion if she does it only because she is marrying a Jew.

26

 Jan 01, 2010 at 03:00 PM Anonymous Says:

IF she converts, it must be a KOSHER conversion, otherwise, nobody has asked, what will their children be?? She should decide before they get married. It is the right thing to do, not for her or her parents or in=laws but for future generations. They have to decide what religion they will observe.

27

 Jan 01, 2010 at 03:13 PM Anonymous Says:

The Navi said that Am Yisrael is being sent out into galus of the midbar of the Nations. Only those worthy of being called Bnai Yisrael will remain to fulfill the mission of Am Yisrael, the Am HaShem. This boy may not be zocheh to remain part of Am Yisrael, R"L. If you know him or his family talk to them. Save his neshama while there is time. We are areivim zeh l'zeh. Who knows, maybe he is supposed to take all that Saudi and EU money donated to the Clintons and donate it to Yeshivos?

28

 Jan 01, 2010 at 03:25 PM hanavon Says:

let me explain something to you guys, intermarriage has taken place for thousands of years, we're still here. the strong will stay, the weak will leave, don't worry yourselves with it. i will say this, this is actually something about which we should keep our mouths closed. it will be good for the jewish people as a whole in the long run, and it's similar to the gemara that says that rabban gamliel allowed everything for 'krovei malchus', those who are close to government officials. wish them well and keep your mouths shut, taking a fundamentalist stance may cause alot more damage to the jewish people in this instance than the intermarriage of this one jew.

29

 Jan 01, 2010 at 03:37 PM Anonymous Says:

It would be a real kidush hashem if she were to convert to yiddeshkeit since it will provide a new link between the Clinton mishpacha and klal yisroel. Since the Mezvinsky family is Conservative, why would anyone expect her or her financee to become chareidim after the geirus?

30

 Jan 01, 2010 at 03:46 PM Anonymous Says:

this is proof we need to be moderate and not radical if we want to lower intermarraige. judaism cannot survive on orthodox or chradiim alone...when we are machmir on a garious we are loosing thousands of jews. do the rabbonim understand this ,my guess is they have no idea...!!! a true leader, a true rav, always sees the big picture not just his steebel or world....will the real rav please step up!!

31

 Jan 01, 2010 at 04:07 PM Pentakika Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Did she choose him or did he choose her? Whatever. Mazel Tov

Mazal Tov? Are you out of your mind! What kind of mazal can come from such a marriage. First and for most, there is no Jewish offspring/propinquity and statistically those marriages fall apart. In short, a Jew that marries a gentile, is being disingenuous to that individual and is totally disregarding the fact that their marriage will NOT be a harmonious and long one (unless both are not religions, one stoops to the other), which still means nothing since every other person in US is getting divorced.

Mazal tov, more like Chas V'shalom.

32

 Jan 01, 2010 at 06:40 PM esther Says:

Reply to #28  
hanavon Says:

let me explain something to you guys, intermarriage has taken place for thousands of years, we're still here. the strong will stay, the weak will leave, don't worry yourselves with it. i will say this, this is actually something about which we should keep our mouths closed. it will be good for the jewish people as a whole in the long run, and it's similar to the gemara that says that rabban gamliel allowed everything for 'krovei malchus', those who are close to government officials. wish them well and keep your mouths shut, taking a fundamentalist stance may cause alot more damage to the jewish people in this instance than the intermarriage of this one jew.

let's see how quiet you'd be if your kid were marrying a shiksa.i think youd worry yourself with it more than a bit.

33

 Jan 02, 2010 at 05:23 PM Anonymous Says:

The Clintons are sonei yisroel. From the twat Hillary kissing Arafat's wife (yimach shemo) on the cheek, to both of them pushing through Oslo, whose vitriolic legacy endures until today. They believe that we should give up our land to the Arabs in order to achieve a false "peace" which is really just our land being sliced up salami style, resulting in the murder of yidden, r"l. Also, the family into which Chelsea is marrying are crooks and swindlers- the grandfather was behind the Nigerian e-mail scams, and an uncle of his is a liberal professor who has published a vicious anti-Zionism book. Klal yisroel is sadly ending here with this nudnik marrying the daughter of the worst president in the history of this country, who was impeached by the House of Representatives, nonetheless. An American tragedy.

34

 Jan 02, 2010 at 05:39 PM Anonymous Says:

The Clintons have been bought and sold by the Saudis. I doubt the daughter is any different. Very sad when one of our own marries outside.

I really do wish people commenting on this site would stop fighting over how jewish anyone is, when they are Jewish. This is how we lost the Temple. It is time to unite.

35

 Jan 02, 2010 at 06:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Mazal Tov, sach nachos

36

 Jan 03, 2010 at 04:57 AM mechelson Says:

"ohev es habrios" love of all god creations
we can only do our part and surely hashem will do his
to make sure that the outcome will be right
look at queen esther

37

 Jan 05, 2010 at 05:50 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
Anonymous Says:

this is proof we need to be moderate and not radical if we want to lower intermarraige. judaism cannot survive on orthodox or chradiim alone...when we are machmir on a garious we are loosing thousands of jews. do the rabbonim understand this ,my guess is they have no idea...!!! a true leader, a true rav, always sees the big picture not just his steebel or world....will the real rav please step up!!

The kind of jews that you seek to gain by lowering conversion standards is the kind of jews that we do best without. The satmar holocaust survivor that died today with 2500 descendants is the type o people that keep Judaism going. not intermarried shiksa that might have two kids and a dog.

38

 Jan 06, 2010 at 01:55 AM Esther Says:

You can't convert just to be married-a Kosher conversion that is.To me this whole thing is just so sad.

39

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