The Zionist Conspiracy
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Pay Up, Alan
1. Alan Dershowitz, Letter to the Editor, New York Jewish Week, January 27, 2006:
I will contribute $1,000 to Marvin Schick's favorite charity - probably those who pay for him to have a column that no one else will regularly publish - if he can provide any documentation that I have "exalted marrying out." Schick just made it up as he has the rest of his attack on me.
2. Alan Dershowitz, Column, The Harvard Crimson, April 28, 1997:
Why Judaism Must Embrace Intermarriage
By ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ
With intermarriage, as with assimilation, it is not often the case that Jews convert to Christianity; they "convert" to mainstream Americanism, which is the American "religion" closest to Judaism. They see no reason not to follow their heart in marriage, their convenience in neighborhoods, their economic opportunities in jobs, their educational advantages in schools, their conscience in philosophy and their preferences in lifestyle. Most Jews who assimilate do not feel that they are giving up anything by abandoning a Jewishness they know little about.
We must recognize that many of the factors which have fueled the current assimilation and intermarriage are positive developments for individual Jews: acceptance, wealth, opportunity. Most Jews do not want to impede these developments. Indeed, they want to encourage them. For that reason, we must accept the reality that many Jews will continue to marry non-Jews, but we should not regard it as inevitable that these marriages will necessarily lead to total assimilation. We can take positive steps to stem that tide.
Judaism must become less tribal, less ethnocentric, less exclusive, less closed off, less defensive, less xenophobic, less clannish. We jokingly call ourselves "members of the tribe" (MOTs), as if to remind us of our tribal origins. But we are not a tribe, a clan, or even an ethnicity. Jews comprise many ethnicities, as a visit to Israel or even to [some] neighborhoods of Brooklyn should make plain. This persistent tribalism makes us less welcoming of Jewish converts than we ought to be.
Jews must adopt a different approach to the increasing reality of intermarriage. We must become much more welcoming of the non-Jewish spouse. Refusal to permit intermarriage has failed as a deterrent mechanism. We must try another way. If a non-Jew wants to marry a Jew and is prepared to have a rabbi participate in the ceremony, a rabbi should be willing to lend his or her Jewish participation to so important an event. In every way, Jews must become more welcoming of anyone who wants to be part of our heritage.