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JDate’s mission of making ‘JBabies’ might provoke outrage, ‘Atlantic’ writer allows

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A piece by Emma Green at the Atlantic on the intermarriage crisis inside the Jewish community suggests that the whole purpose of Birthright is evidently to create Jewish couples.

Those who actually went on Birthright were 45 percent more likely [than the young people who were waitlisted for the program] to marry someone Jewish. This “is some kind of reflection of the experience in Israel, although there is no preaching during the ten days,” said Gidi Mark, the International CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel.

In relating the comments of Jews who deplore intermarriage, Green says that the language is offensive in a wider American context:

“Would you ever marry a non-Jew?” Sharon asked [a group of friends in D.C.] from the backseat. Answers varied; one person said she wasn’t sure, while another said she might consider marrying someone who was willing to convert. Debates about intermarriage, or marriage outside of the faith, are common in the Jewish community, but her question still struck me as remarkable. Here were four twentysomething women who hardly knew each other, already talking about the eventuality of marriage and apparently radical possibility that we would ever commit our lives to someone unlike us. This conversation seemed very “un-Millennial”–as a whole, our generation is marrying later, becoming more secular, and embracing different cultures more than any of our predecessors. If the same question had been asked about any other aspect of our shared identities–being white, being educated, coming from middle or upper-middle class backgrounds—it would have seemed impolite, if not offensive.

And here’s Green’s reporting on JDate, which she also suggests is offensive.

JDate sees itself as more than a dating service. “The mission is to strengthen the Jewish community and ensure that Jewish traditions are sustained for generations to come,” said Greg Liberman, the CEO. “The way that we do that is by making more Jews.”

Indeed, pictures of so-called “JBabies” featured prominently in promotional materials sent over by the JDate team. In JDate’s view, these new Jews will be the future of the people, but they’re also good for business. “If we’re at this long enough, if Jews who marry other Jews create Jewish kids, then creating more Jews ultimately repopulates our ecosystem over time,” said Liberman.

The “JBabies” that have resulted from marriages started on the Jewish dating service, JDate. (JDate advertising materials)

It’s hard to imagine this kind of language being used in other communities without provoking outrage, particularly if it was used in a racial context. But perhaps because they are so assimilated or because of their long history of persecution, Jews are given a collective pass in American culture—this casual reference to racial preservation seems almost wry and ironic

It appears that Spark Networks, which owns JDate, also runs Christian Mingle, Catholic Mingle, and services aimed at getting black people to date black people, Latinos to date Latinos, and LDS to stick to LDS dates. Sparks has Jewish leadership. And this is regarded as a worthy Jewish enterprise, to keep folks marrying other folks like themselves? This is a story for the Forward. I don’t think that Jews can be given a collective pass on language of a racist character, notwithstanding persecution. And assimilation/empowerment only increases the obligation to represent a broad society.

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189 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    November 8, 2013, 9:46 am

    Marrying “outside the faith” or “marrying outside the community” or “marrying outside The Jewish People” ? Is “Jewish” a matter of faith (belief), social practice (synagogue attendance for example), blood lines, or what?

    Could “the faith” mean a “faith” that whatever Israel does is “good for the Jewish People”?

    • Marco
      Marco
      November 8, 2013, 9:51 am

      It’s a matter of blood lines.

      Or specifically, blood lines within recent recorded history. If people don’t remember or have records, then it doesn’t matter.

      • Krauss
        Krauss
        November 8, 2013, 12:31 pm

        Or maybe they feel things shouldn’t be determined by blood but by character?

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    November 8, 2013, 10:58 am

    I still don’t understand why they don’t change the rules on who is a Jew.

    “Would you ever marry a non-Jew?” is a question they can only ask to very young people.

    Would you ever marry someone from outside Union county ?
    Would you ever marry someone from outside the M25?

    Birthright has to capture them before they start thinking for themselves, before they are exposed to the richness of the world, before they can understand that Avi, the cool paratrooper with the butt to die for, has spent his whole miserable life being indoctrinated.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      November 9, 2013, 8:46 pm

      “Would you ever marry someone from outside the M25?”

      Bit too radical, that.

  3. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    November 8, 2013, 11:06 am

    “I don’t think that Jews can be given a collective pass on language of a racist character,” Too true, in the same vein I do not like seemingly exclusive groups like “Christians for”, “Jews for” or “men in the moon for” they no doubt mean well but the particular designation does not invite participation from people not of that group, maybe it is unthinking, maybe not, similar to Wendy Sherman’s racist description of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team,.. “We know that deception is part of (Iran’s) DNA.” Had she said that of people of Jewish origin she would have been drummed out of the state department and quite rightly so. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36747.htm

  4. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    November 8, 2013, 11:08 am

    Wasn’t the creation of a Jewish state suppose to stop all that assimilation horror? Yet another Zionist promise that failed to deliver.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      November 8, 2013, 1:31 pm

      “Wasn’t the creation of a Jewish state suppose to stop all that assimilation horror?”

      No. The people who founded the Jewish state were quite assimilated, as I’m sure you know. They weren’t looking to make people religious. They were simply looking to secure a safe space for Jews, and as I’m sure you know, they themselves generally preferred the assimilated ones over the religious ones. Land tillers were more important than Talmudists.

      Had assimilation been the key to ensuring Jewish emancipation, I doubt there ever would have been Zionist movement. But it turned out that no matter how intermarried and assimilated Jews were, it did not stop antisemitism; indeed, the modern antisemitism was directly connected to the assimilation of emancipated Jews. Wilhelm Marr decried the influence of emancipated, assimilated Jews on German culture when he coined the term “antisemitism.”

      No movie illustrates the fallacy that full assimilation is the key to acceptance better than Istvan Szabo’s “Sunshine.”

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 8, 2013, 6:20 pm

        No. The people who founded the Jewish state were quite assimilated, as I’m sure you know.

        Then why not just name one of those founders who was intermarried to a Palestinian Arab or in a business partnership with a Palestinian Arab?

        The fact is that Ben Gurion’s biographer repeatedly asserted that economic, social, and geographical partition or separation were always inherent in Ben Gurion’s fundamental conception of Zionism. See pages 10-12, 43-44, 66, and 179-184 of Shabtai Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, Oxford University Press, 1985.

        Other authors have devoted entire volumes to the subject of structural racial discrimination in the economy and society, e.g. Barbara Jean Smith, The Roots of Separatism in Palestine: British Economic Policy, 1920-1929, Syracuse University Press, 1993

        The UNSCOP reported that common economic interests were so limited that they were unusual:

        Nevertheless, the economic relations between the two groups have something of the character of trade between different nations. As consumers, their separateness is less marked, but as producers (with the main exception of the citrus industry) they maintain a degree of separateness unyielding, thus far, to the pressure of the economic forces which might have been expected to bring about a greater degree of homogeneity. When all this is considered, it is not the few instances of the submergence of differences between Arab and Jew in common economic interests which are remarkable, but the fact that such instances are so few as to be unusual.

        — A/364, 3 September 1947 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/07175DE9FA2DE563852568D3006E10F3

      • Obsidian
        Obsidian
        November 9, 2013, 2:31 am

        @Hostage

        A number of Jewish women, living in Palestine, did marry Arabs and British soldiers. I don’t believe they had to wear a ‘scarlet letter’ for marrying out.

        BTW. How has your family fared in dealing with intermarriage?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 9, 2013, 9:40 am

        @Hostage . . . A number of Jewish women, living in Palestine, did marry Arabs and British soldiers. I don’t believe they had to wear a ‘scarlet letter’ for marrying out.

        That’s an unresponsive answer. Hophmi claimed: “The people who founded the Jewish state were quite assimilated, as I’m sure you know.” – and I asked him to name one of the founders of the state who had intermarried with a Palestinian.

        BTW. How has your family fared in dealing with intermarriage?

        I’m secular, so I don’t need a rabbi’s permission to love and accept my own grandkids if that’s what you mean. Our Jewish family was completely secular, although some of my siblings and their children “got religion” as they grew older. I never had any hesitation about accepting new members from other ethnic groups and we don’t impose our customs or religious tests on any of them, because they are family.

        I just happened to be a secular person of Jewish descent. I still laugh my ass off when Zionists or religious Jews run around shreying about the “existential threat” posed by intermarriage, unless of course it’s accompanied by metaphysical mumbo jumbo, including what amounts to nothing more than ceremonial tribal rites of initiation. I really have no respect for that sort of nonsense when it comes to accepting my own posterity.

      • just
        just
        November 10, 2013, 2:48 am

        Hostage– your words are a balm to those who are lucky enough to ‘listen’.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 8:12 am

        Hostage’s words are beside the point. As usual, he’s looking to score cheap political points.

        Early Zionist Jews were assimilated, and many, many were intermarried, at a much higher rate than Muslims in the Middle East, and that assimilation didn’t save them from the gas chambers and the ovens.

      • bintbiba
        bintbiba
        November 10, 2013, 9:47 am

        Hostage, Respect!!

      • annie
        annie
        November 10, 2013, 9:57 am

        Hostage’s words are beside the point. As usual, he’s looking to score cheap political points.

        hops, obs asked him how his family fared in dealing with intermarriage and he answered. if that’s beside the point why aren’t you lecturing obsidian?

        and speaking of beside the point, you say there is a site like this for every religious, ethnic, and racial group but i don’t see the promotional material associated from any of those groups about white and black babies. i checked out some of those sites, maybe i am just not looking in the right places.

        it seems like you just evade others points and claiming ‘beside the point’ or ‘nonsense’.

        and how can you claim the founders of the state were “quite assimilated” without naming even one intermarriage between one of them and a palestinian/ indigenous person? assimilated with whom? not the surrounding population in palestine, that’s for sure. and the law there doesn’t even facilitate those marriages today. don’t you have to leave the country to marry outside your religion there?

        how does this support the idea of ‘quite assimilated’. albeit jews are ‘quite assimilated’ in the US, but the zionist state that alleges to speak for world jewry, not so much!

        gas chambers and ovens

        speaking of scoring cheap political points..

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 10:40 am

        You, Annie, are the one who compared Jewish inmarriage to racial inmarriage. So I’m not sure wwhat point you’re trying to make. The comparison is ridiculous.

        Zionist founder were assimilated in the European context, and in response to your point about how many of them intermarried with Palestinians, the answer that it doesn’t matter because one can inmarry and be assimilated. My point, as you weel know, was that assimilation did not save Jews from European persecution. You ignored this point and tried to score a cheap point about I-P conflict. And by the way, how many Palestinian Muslims, or Middle Eastern Muslims in general have married non-Muslims?

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        November 10, 2013, 11:43 am

        translation of hoppy:

        “I have nothing to say in response to Hostage’s well-thought incisive rebuttal. Therefore, blah blah gas chambers blah blah Muslims blah blah.”

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 1:31 pm

        Hostage’s words are beside the point. As usual, he’s looking to score cheap political points.

        Meanwhile, you sputter-on and still can’t name one founder of the Jewish State who was intermarried to a Palestinian Arab. There are Jewish groups, like Yad l’Achim, whose mission is to demonize intermarried couples and to tout their efforts to rescue Jewish women from failed marriages to Arabs (never mind the plight of the thousands of Jewish bound or chained women, i.e, agunots who are stuck in failed marriages to Orthodox Jewish men who refuse to grant them a divorce).

        All of us here know that the Supreme Court and Rabbinical Authorities of Israel exercise personal jurisdiction over Jews and Palestinians in such a way that Jews from Palestine can marry Jews from Israel and live wherever they want, while Palestinians living in the occupied territories who are married to Palestinians living in Israel are forbidden entry into Israel. Likewise, Jews who marry Palestinians living in the occupied territories are required to live in Palestine, while Jews and Palestinians living in Israel must get married in another country.

        The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has repeatedly noted that this has nothing to do with the religious beliefs of those concerned and that the policies and practices of the State of Israel in this respect impose extreme hardships on non-Jewish families or family members and violate Israel’s obligations under the ICERD regarding racial discrimination.

        Early Zionist Jews were assimilated, and many, many were intermarried, at a much higher rate than Muslims in the Middle East, and that assimilation didn’t save them from the gas chambers and the ovens.

        That alleged “assimilation” quite obviously didn’t save the Palestinians from suffering racial discrimination at the hands of those Zionists either.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 1:34 pm

        Hostage, Respect!!

        Thank you, the feeling is mutual.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 1:56 pm

        You, Annie, are the one who compared Jewish inmarriage to racial inmarriage. So I’m not sure wwhat point you’re trying to make. The comparison is ridiculous.

        Hophmi, you either have a very short attention span or you are a two faced liar. It’s a matter of public record that the raison d’être of Zionist organizations, like the ZOA and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, is Jewish ethnicity, not the Jewish religion.

        They, not Annie, have always employed lawfare and currently advocate the use of Title VI complaints to chill speech critical of the State of Israel. They can only do that because the Courts here, and in many other countries like the UK, have recognized Jews as an ethnic group that is not limited in scope to its religious community. In fact, Kenneth Marcus, the President and General Counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and former Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights noted that Title VI does not apply to religious groups at all. See Kenneth L. Marcus, Anti-Zionism as Racism: Campus Anti-Semitism and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 15 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 837 (2007) http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/wmborj/vol15/iss3/4

        Please go tell your Zionist lawyer friends “The comparison is ridiculous” or just STFU.

      • Obsidian
        Obsidian
        November 10, 2013, 2:58 pm

        @Hostage

        Our beloved US Dept of State once published a brochure warning American citizens against marrying Saudis.

        http://www.meforum.org/520/us-department-of-state-marriage-to-saudis#_ftn4

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 3:37 pm

        “Meanwhile, you sputter-on and still can’t name one founder of the Jewish State who was intermarried to a Palestinian Arab. ”

        What does this have to do with a discussion of JDate and inmarriage versus intermarriage?

        “There are Jewish groups, like Yad l’Achim, whose mission is to demonize intermarried couples and to tout their efforts to rescue Jewish women from failed marriages to Arabs (never mind the plight of the thousands of Jewish bound or chained women, i.e, agunots who are stuck in failed marriages to Orthodox Jewish men who refuse to grant them a divorce).”

        There are also Muslim men who murder their daughters in honor killings. What’s your point? Are you an activist on the honor killings issue?

        The JDate crowd are not haredi ultra-orthodox Jews. They’re mostly secular younger Jews. And non-Jews. I’m thrilled you’re engaged on the agunot problem. There are many Jewish organizations you can join that work on it as well.

        “All of us here know that the Supreme Court and Rabbinical Authorities of Israel exercise personal jurisdiction over Jews and Palestinians in such a way that Jews from Palestine can marry Jews from Israel and live wherever they want, while Palestinians living in the occupied territories who are married to Palestinians living in Israel are forbidden entry into Israel. ”

        None of which has anything to do with JDate.

        “That alleged “assimilation” quite obviously didn’t save the Palestinians from suffering racial discrimination at the hands of those Zionists either.”

        Alleged assimilation? Yeah. Sorry. I forgot about those Jews who outright converted to Catholicism, like Gustav Mahler. Maybe that’s what you mean by assimilation.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 3:49 pm

        Our beloved US Dept of State once published a brochure warning American citizens against marrying Saudis.

        link to meforum.org

        There are plenty of stories in the Jewish or Hebrew press about adulterous rabbis having husbands beaten or killed on behalf of their married mistresses or abused and abandoned wives who can’t get a divorce and remarry because of a spiteful Jewish husband. Why do you suppose the State Department doesn’t have a pamphlet describing that problem?

        From your link: “The straightforward and talkative frankness of “Marriage to Saudis” also led to its retraction by the department.” I doubt that its use of racial stereotypes had anything to do with it. On the same note: Rep. Peter King once held hearings on Muslim American terrorists that were a political farce and our beloved Constitution once condoned practices of slavery and licensed piracy too.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 3:53 pm

        “hops, obs asked him how his family fared in dealing with intermarriage and he answered. if that’s beside the point why aren’t you lecturing obsidian?”

        Because the discussion is about JDate, not about Israeli rabbinical policies on intermarriage.

        “and speaking of beside the point, you say there is a site like this for every religious, ethnic, and racial group but i don’t see the promotional material associated from any of those groups about white and black babies. i checked out some of those sites, maybe i am just not looking in the right places.”

        And your point is . . . Annie, the site is called JDATE. Is it really that difficult for you to fathom why they would highlight successful matches and call the children JBabies? The question you have to ask yourself (as usual) is why this bothers you so much, because trust me, most people could not care less.

        “and how can you claim the founders of the state were “quite assimilated” without naming even one intermarriage between one of them and a palestinian/ indigenous person?”

        In the European context, Annie, the European context. Theodore Herzl was an assimilated Viennese Jew. His idea for a Jewish state was an idea hatched in despair when Dreyfus, another assimilated Jew, was persecuted for his faith. Get it now? And by the way, are you incapable of understanding how someone can be assimilated and still marry someone Jewish? Is that the definition of religious for you? Someone who marries someone of the same faith?

        “gas chambers and ovens

        speaking of scoring cheap political points..”

        No, sorry Annie, just because I mention gas chambers in the context of a debate over whether assimilation was an effective approach to gaining acceptance for European Jews does not mean I’m looking to score a cheap political point.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 3:56 pm

        “There are plenty of stories in the Jewish or Hebrew press about adulterous rabbis having husbands beaten or killed on behalf of their married mistresses or abused and abandoned wives who can’t get a divorce and remarry because of a spiteful Jewish husband.”

        Plenty of stories? You must be kidding.

        “Why do you suppose the State Department doesn’t have a pamphlet describing that problem?”

        Because it isn’t a problem.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 4:15 pm

        There are also Muslim men who murder their daughters in honor killings. What’s your point? Are you an activist on the honor killings issue?

        Yes, and we are discussing that very sort of sanctioned bigotry. I’ve always pointed out that the origin of the Palestinian conflict has been the unwillingness of both sides to accept and implement the principle of equal constitutional rights under law contained in the minority protection plans that came with the territory. That included women’s rights that are routinely violated on religious grounds by both Israelis and Palestinians.

        Both the Jews and the Arabs grudgingly made declarations that accepted those terms. I intend to point out that fact and promote the idea that they are still legally required to comply with those terms in any territory subject to their jurisdiction.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 4:49 pm

        No, sorry Annie, just because I mention gas chambers in the context of a debate over whether assimilation was an effective approach to gaining acceptance for European Jews does not mean I’m looking to score a cheap political point.

        Yes you are, since neither of the so-called assimilated Jews you’ve cited died in a gas chamber or was intermarried. In historical terms, the overwhelming majority of such highly assimilated Jews didn’t die in gas chambers either and most are still living in the Americas, not in Europe.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 4:56 pm

        “In historical terms, the overwhelming majority of such highly assimilated Jews didn’t die in gas chambers either and most are still living in the Americas, not in Europe.”

        Which ones are you talking about, exactly? Do you disagree with my contention that assimilation did not save an emanicipated Jew from persecution and murder during WWII?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 5:41 pm

        Plenty of stories? You must be kidding.

        As usual you aren’t very well read or you are just playing stupid. It’s a centuries old scandal regarding a double standard and that’s why there is a Jewish legal term of art employed by the community and rabbinical courts to describe the situation.

        There have been several instances over the years where rabbis obtained a get for their mistresses from a reluctant husband or refused to grant their own wives a divorce or even murdered them when they themselves took on a mistress or concubine. There have also been sex scandals involving rabbis who fraudulently provided conversion papers in exchange for sex. Those sort of corrupt situations and practices do exist. If you had been reading the Jewish and Israeli press for the better part of 7 decades you’d have heard about plenty of them by now:

        (CBS) – It sounds utterly bizarre: a group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbis allegedly accepting tens of thousands of dollars to kidnap and torture Jewish men to force them to grant their wives a divorce.

        But Benny Rogosnitzky, a New York cantor and a representative of the Frum Divorce organization, told CBS News’ Crimesider that although he was disappointed when he heard that the FBI had raided a yeshiva in Rockland County, N.Y. and a rabbi’s Brooklyn home late Wednesday, he was not shocked.

        “There is a breakdown in the Orthodox community when it comes to divorce,” he says. “The system lends itself to corruption.”
        — Rabbi divorce “gang” reveals perils, complexities of divorce in ultra-Orthodox world, insiders say http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57606921-504083/rabbi-divorce-gang-reveals-perils-complexities-of-divorce-in-ultra-orthodox-world-insiders-say/

        Disgraced and Exiled Rabbi Is Back in Business http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/124946/disgraced-and-exiled-rabbi

        Senior rabbi rules that if a married man does not have any offspring because his wife cannot or does not want children, he is entitled to take a concubine

        The Chief Judge of the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court, Rabbi Eliyahu Abergel, has ruled that in cases where a man has not fathered any children, and his wife cannot or does not want to bear children, the man may take a concubine.

        Rabbi Abergel even relates in the book that he allowed the head of a major yeshiva in Jerusalem to take a concubine when it became clear that his wife could not have children.
        http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=5086

        Get lost! Women struggle to get Jewish divorce from their Orthodox husbands: Without a get, a new marriage would be considered adultery in Orthodox Jewish community http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/lost-women-struggle-jewish-divorce-orthodox-husbands-article-1.1085440

        Rabbi’s Mistress Testifies at N.J. Murder Trial http://articles.latimes.com/2001/oct/17/news/mn-58296

        Mistress Apologizes to Rabbi’s Wife http://anopenapology.com/2013/08/20/mistress-apologizes-to-rabbis-wife/

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 6:09 pm

        Which ones are you talking about, exactly? Do you disagree with my contention that assimilation did not save an emanicipated Jew from persecution and murder during WWII?

        Yes I’m denying it, because that sort of assimilation saved millions right here in the USA, even during WWII. We didn’t, and still don’t need a Jewish state to avoid persecution and murder.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 10, 2013, 8:06 pm

        Not just in the USA, either.

  5. Hostage
    Hostage
    November 8, 2013, 11:19 am

    Debates about intermarriage, or marriage outside of the faith, are common in the Jewish community, but her question still struck me as remarkable.

    No vague or evasive circumlocutions about “faith” are used to disguise the lack of personal religious belief. Tribal rites of initiation performed on a parent or other qualifying relative will usually suffice.

  6. annie
    annie
    November 8, 2013, 11:36 am

    the paragraph at the end of the last blockquote above was not included, but i think it makes a good point so i’m copying it here:

    Jews are given a collective pass in American culture—this casual reference to racial preservation seems almost wry and ironic. Companies like JDate use the strong association between humor and Judaism to their advantage: JBabies sounds like a punchline, where “White Babies” or “Black Babies” might sound offensive. But the company is also being serious—they want more Jewish babies in the world.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      November 8, 2013, 12:06 pm

      “Jews are given a collective pass in American culture—this casual reference to racial preservation seems almost wry and ironic. Companies like JDate use the strong association between humor and Judaism to their advantage: JBabies sounds like a punchline, where “White Babies” or “Black Babies” might sound offensive. But the company is also being serious—they want more Jewish babies in the world.”

      It’s nonsense. As the article says, there is a site like this for every religious, ethnic, and racial group. Jews are not getting any kind of special pass.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 8, 2013, 3:40 pm

        As the article says, there is a site like this for every religious, ethnic, and racial group. Jews are not getting any kind of special pass.

        You are deliberately avoiding the question the article asked:

        It appears that Spark Networks, which owns JDate, also runs Christian Mingle, Catholic Mingle, and services aimed at getting black people to date black people, Latinos to date Latinos, and LDS to stick to LDS dates. Sparks has Jewish leadership. And this is regarded as a worthy Jewish enterprise, to keep folks marrying other folks like themselves?

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 8:44 am

        Right, so because Sparks is run by someone Jewish who favors inmarriage, favoring inmarriage in other faiths is somehow a “Jewish” project.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        November 10, 2013, 11:46 am

        hophead said:

        Right, so because Sparks is run by someone Jewish who favors inmarriage, favoring inmarriage in other faiths is somehow a “Jewish” project.

        Not Jewish, Zionist.

        Zionist.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 1:00 pm

        Right, so because Sparks is run by someone Jewish who favors inmarriage, favoring inmarriage in other faiths is somehow a “Jewish” project.

        No it means that Sparks websites are under common management and that the Jewish leadership sets the agenda.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 9, 2013, 1:09 am

        “there is a site like this for every religious, ethnic, and racial group.”

        But that doesn’t make it right.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 8:47 am

        It’s not a matter of right and wrong.

      • annie
        annie
        November 10, 2013, 9:12 am

        It’s nonsense. As the article says, there is a site like this for every religious, ethnic, and racial group. Jews are not getting any kind of special pass.

        well it’s the same article written by the same person. and i do think if there was a site promoting racial inbreeding for the sake of more white babies or more black babies it might raise a few extra eyebrows.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 9:45 am

        ” well it’s the same article written by the same person. and i do think if there was a site promoting racial inbreeding for the sake of more white babies or more black babies it might raise a few extra eyebrows.”

        This is the second or third time I’ve seen this racial comparison. Religion and race are not remotely the same thing. Judaism connotes a tradition, a set of practices, and a value system. It is not a skin color.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 4:05 pm

        This is the second or third time I’ve seen this racial comparison. Religion and race are not remotely the same thing. Judaism connotes a tradition, a set of practices, and a value system. It is not a skin color.

        The JDate site doesn’t say word one about Judaism. Lawyers, just like yourself, right here in the USA have repeatedly gone to court and successfully defended the proposition that “Jews” and “Jewish” are terms that describe an ethnic group, not merely a religious group. That has even been the case when religion was a factor, e.g. in the St. Francis and Tefila Congregation Supreme court cases. Stop pretending to be ignorant, those type of cases have been discussed here before, and you never complained that it was ridiculous to apply Title VI protections for ethnic minority groups to Jews.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 4:31 pm

        “The JDate site doesn’t say word one about Judaism. ”

        Total nonsense. The profiles include detailed descriptions of Jewish affiliation and practice, including level of kashrut and so on, and the site features articles with Jewish content.

        “Lawyers, just like yourself, right here in the USA have repeatedly gone to court and successfully defended the proposition that “Jews” and “Jewish” are terms that describe an ethnic group, not merely a religious group. ”

        And your point is WHAT? As I’ve pointed out numerous times now, whether you want define Judaism as a religion or as an ethnic group, the emphasis of Jewish leaders or websites on inmarriage is in no way unique.

        “Stop pretending to be ignorant, those type of cases have been discussed here before, and you never complained that it was ridiculous to apply Title VI protections for ethnic minority groups to Jews.”

        I’m not pretending to be ignorant of anything. You’re attempting to suggest that campaigns to encourage Jews to marry Jews is somehow unique and that furthermore, Jews are somehow at the forefront of some campaign to encourage general ethnic exclusivism. Jews, who have an intermarriage rate of 71%. You’re full of it!

        You think you’re very clever. I get it. You know that for most Jews, they look at this at inmarriage within a religious group. But you also know that Jews claim to be an ethnicity, so you claim that what Jews are really doign is encouraging ethnic exclusivity. So when it suits you, i.e., when you want to disparage Jews, you say they’re the ethnic group you spend the rest of your time claiming that they are not. This way, you can turn a website that does something similar to many others – serving a niche population – into some nefarious racial plot.

        It’s disgusting enough to read the stuff you write. In a country where most Jews do indeed intermarry, and at least one major Jewish denomination makes it a point to reach out to such couples, and most Jews, including most Modern Orthodox Jews, are at least tolerant of intermarried couples, you complain about JDate. It’s really disgusting. It’s transparently disingenuous, like so much of the stuff that you post here.

        The only solace is that most people do not think this way, thank G-d.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 11, 2013, 1:54 pm

        “The JDate site doesn’t say word one about Judaism. ”

        Total nonsense.

        One more time: The term “Judaism” does not appear on the pages linked by this article and secular Jews are being targeted.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 11, 2013, 2:09 pm

        It’s disgusting enough to read the stuff you write. In a country where most Jews do indeed intermarry, and at least one major Jewish denomination makes it a point to reach out to such couples, and most Jews, including most Modern Orthodox Jews, are at least tolerant of intermarried couples, you complain about JDate.

        Here is a link to a video of Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue (Reform) in Manhattan “reaching out” to intermarried couples by denouncing “the disease of assimilation”. This bigoted jackass still has his job: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/03/peter-beinarts-offense-against-liberalism-and-the-spiritual-crisis-zionism-has-wrought.html

        Here is a link where he explains that “The central objective of the [second year rabbinical student program at the Jewish Theological Seminary] is to build a Zionist mindset.” http://mondoweiss.net/2011/05/awakening-liberal-american-rabbinical-students-are-turning-away-from-zionism-sometimes-with-disgust.html

        I assume that you know about the Zionist state policy on the subject of assimilation and intermarriage.

  7. hophmi
    hophmi
    November 8, 2013, 12:05 pm

    “A piece by Emma Green at the Atlantic on the intermarriage crisis inside the Jewish community suggests that the whole purpose of Birthright is evidently to create Jewish couples.”

    It is not the entire point. It is a byproduct. The point is to connect kids with little Judaic background with some of their heritage. If they meet someone on the trip, great.

    I’m glad you can intermarry, Phil. I really am. I support your ability to make that choice. What I don’t understand is why you seem to have no tolerance whatsoever for people who choose otherwise. Why can’t you be supportive of people who choose to make the choice to marry within the faith? You’re in the majority, after all. Most choose what you chose, to marry someone who is not Jewish. Your position is simply intolerant. As the article says, in most minority faiths, including Islam and Mormonism, the in-marriage rates are much higher.

    “Debates about intermarriage, or marriage outside of the faith, are common in the Jewish community, but her question still struck me as remarkable. Here were four twentysomething women who hardly knew each other, already talking about the eventuality of marriage and apparently radical possibility that we would ever commit our lives to someone unlike us.”

    That’s such complete BS. It essentializes Judaism as the only trait a person has. So, if I decide that I want to raise my children with someone who shares my faith and my values, I’m somehow offensive to American values? Like, it means that the person likes all of the same foods, colors, sports, and restaurants that I do?

    Once again, Phil, how many times did you strongly consider marrying someone who was a Christian conservative anti-gay rights, pro-life Republican? You never did, and that’s why this whole line about how it’s offensive for Jews to encourage their kids to marry within the faith is so completely hypocritical.

    You know, the whole idea of online dating is to find someone who shares your passions and interests. It causes people to be much more circumspect about who they date and marry, not less. People are digging through these profiles looking for someone who is more like them. Why on Earth do you think that there is a site for every religious and ethnic group? They wouldn’t be there if there wasn’t a demand.

    “It’s hard to imagine this kind of language being used in other communities without provoking outrage, particularly if it was used in a racial context. But perhaps because they are so assimilated or because of their long history of persecution, Jews are given a collective pass in American culture—this casual reference to racial preservation seems almost wry and ironic”

    It’s not a racial reference. It has nothing to do with whether the babies are black, white, blue, or green. And as you point out, there is literally a dating site, multiple dating sites, in fact, for every ethnic and religious community. Jews. Muslims. Christians. Buddhists. Bah’ai. Indians. Pakistanis. Arabs. Greeks. Puerto Ricans. African-Americans. Asians. Etc., etc.

    “It appears that Spark Networks, which owns JDate, also runs Christian Mingle, Catholic Mingle, and services aimed at getting black people to date black people, Latinos to date Latinos, and LDS to stick to LDS dates. Sparks has Jewish leadership. And this is regarded as a worthy Jewish enterprise, to keep folks marrying other folks like themselves? This is a story for the Forward. I don’t think that Jews can be given a collective pass on language of a racist character, notwithstanding persecution. And assimilation/empowerment only increases the obligation to represent a broad society.”

    Please stop. The only offensive idea here is the idea that the Americans should somehow not be permitted to marry within their own ethnic and faith communities. I know literally not a single Jew anywhere who has ever advocated the position that Jews or other ethnic and religious groups should be prohibited from marrying outside of their faiths as a matter of American civil law.

    And by the way, if you knew anything about JDate, you’d know that despite their mission statement, there are many non-Jewish members who join JDate because they want to marry someone Jewish.

    • philweiss
      philweiss
      November 8, 2013, 1:18 pm

      Hophmi, it’s true I’m still ticked by the guilt trip I got from inside the Jewish community about marrying my wife, which was the best decision I ever made in my life, till I approved your latest comment. I have never objected to anyone marrying inside the faith, any faith; what I work against is campaigns by traditional religious communities to govern moderns’ choices, because I think they cause pain. And on a side note, I do think that promulgating such ideas while holding offices in liberal establishments is somewhat inconsistent. Not subscribing to the ideas; lots of folks subscribe to idiosyncratic ideas of how to be happy. But promulgating them, that’s problematic, when you have responsibility for a diverse population. The Bob Jones U policy against Catholics dating Protestants was justly held to be politically objectionable in 2000, when pols went to the school.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 8, 2013, 1:44 pm

        “what I work against is campaigns by traditional religious communities to govern moderns’ choices, because I think they cause pain. ”

        First of all, if that’s true, I think you’re starting in the wrong place. The Jewish community is much more assimilated that other minority religious groups like, say, Mormons or Muslims.

        Second of all, I don’t think you could describe the Reform movement, at least, as having a campaign to govern anyone’s choice. As far as Jewish organizational efforts, these are hardly campaigns to govern choices as much as they are to promote one choice amongst many. As I’ve said before, it’s different when you’re in a minority group. Christians have these intermarriage discussions too. But they are also the majority of the population. It just doesn’t present the same problem for them.

        As far as causing pain: I have personally seen quite a bit of pain caused by intermarriage, particularly when one party is practicing. It is like any other deeply-held value. If the person you’re with doesn’t share it, it can lead to problems.

        “The Bob Jones U policy against Catholics dating Protestants was justly held to be politically objectionable in 2000, when pols went to the school.”

        That was a ban, Phil. And it was a ban on marriage between the form of Christianity subscribed to by a plurality of Americans and a form subscribed to by a very large minority of Americans. I don’t think it’s remotely the same thing as encouraging people to inmarry in a faith subscribed to by 1.5-2% of the country, especially when the intermarriage rate is very, very high, and out of whack with other minority faiths.

      • Donald
        Donald
        November 9, 2013, 8:46 am

        On this issue I’m with hophmi. It’s common for people with a particular religious belief to want to marry someone else with the same set of beliefs. And I suspect many secular parents would look askance at a marriage between their child and some religious fundamentalist. So long as there is no coercion and it doesn’t involve any member of my family, what business is it of mine? None. It might be a personal issue within a family if someone wants to marry outside the faith, but life is full of these little struggles.

        You might find all this stuff interesting for personal reasons, Phil, but its relationship to the I/P conflict is pretty nebulous. If we have to change the way many people think about every aspect of life in order to bring justice to the Palestinians, the problem is even more hopeless than I realized.

      • yrn
        yrn
        November 9, 2013, 10:15 am

        Much of Phil thought regarding the I/P conflict are an output of his personal life, that’s why those who follow his view will come to the same hopeless attitude as you mentioned.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        November 9, 2013, 12:43 pm

        It’s common for people with a particular religious belief to want to marry someone else with the same set of beliefs. And I suspect many secular parents would look askance at a marriage between their child and some religious fundamentalist.

        True. However, I think that most Jews don’t define “Jewish” in terms of religious faith. To them, so-called “secular Jews” are Jews, too. A religious Jew and a secular Jew do NOT have a common religious belief. Just because both are Jewish doesn’t mean they have compatible views.
        If you asked me whether I would marry a Jew, then I’d say that it depends on how you define the word “Jew”. As a secular person, I would only marry another secular person. Therefore, a secular Jew would be fine, but a religious Jew would be out of the question.
        I think it’s important that a couple has common values. “Jewish” is not a value. “Christian” is not a value either. Christians can have totally different values despite their common belief in imaginary beings.
        JDate’s mission statement says that they are “deeply committed to Israel and Jewish cultural programs”. Apparently, to them “Jewish” means “Zionist”. They want to make Zionist babies. More supremacist ethnic cleansers.

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        November 9, 2013, 1:31 pm

        Donald, I think you don’t get Phil’s point (may be because you don’t want to?). It’s not just the preachiness and sanctimoniousness in these exhortations to marry “Jewish”. It’s the implications in doing this within the context of the democratic, ideally inclusive, American culture. Whether acknowledged or not, one of the most unique aspects of the American experience (again, ideally, if not always in practice) is the “melting pot” concept. At its very best, and very fundamentalist level, it is about erasing tribal boundaries, so all may partake – on an equal-before-the-law basis in the “tribe of men (and women)”. That’s where the best of the individualist streak has sprung from, and that is what is enshrined in the American constitution (with all the amendments and interpretations it allowed over the decades). It is also what attracted – and continues to attract – people from all over the world to come to and become American.

        What this kind of “Jbabies” concept – raised to level of outright campaign – conjures, is a return to tribal mode of being. And what is a tribe if not an exclusivist club? a tribe is something to which some belong and others are excluded by virtue of a birthright and/or some ritual of initiation, such as a conversion. Tribes tend to be fundamentally intolerant, virtually by definition, hence the negative reaction among the population at large, to prohibitions – or even encouragements – to marry within the tribe. Though many religions in America overtly encourage marriage within their religious set, using even various shunning rituals to “exile” the non-compliant (mormons, Amish and ultra-orthodox jews come to mind) this is hardly the American model that the great society of America was built on.

        As an example, consider the difference between exhorting, say a Chinese-American to explore his/her roots and continue some traditions in the home, and an outright campaign to “make Chinese babies”. While the first may appear to be part of a wholesome quest for a complete identity – on an individual level – the last would be considered somewhat xenophobic and would indeed be frowned upon.

        Exclusive “societies within societies” are actually well tolerated in America, as long as they don’t resort to coersion. So dabbling in “new age” religions is well enough but Scientology, with its cultish over-tones is not considered quite “kosher”. The same is true of ultra-orthodox jewish communities – OK if they stay to themselves, not OK if they overdo the prosleysizing or resort to coersion to discipline wayward members. I think it’s fair to say that cultism and/or overt tribalism is generally not considered representative of what we refer to sometimes of American values (yes, I know. There’s a special dispensation here for the America Indian tribes. Those are somehow OK, but that’s a separate and unique situation).

        To me personally, the beauty of American society is that it brought forth some of the most creative people and innovators the world has ever known. and being “mongrels”, of mixed heritage may well be part of it. So yes, assimilation as an enrichment ingredient is an American value, as long as it proceeds in a “let nature take its course”, without any overt enforcement, one way or another.

        Naturally, this has always caused huge resentment and a backlash from cultures that felt they are being wiped out in the assimilation process. And that includes religious as well as ethnic cultures. JDate’s calls to ‘turn the clock back” and go all Jewish can be seen as part of this backlash phenomenon – no different than Catholics lamenting the erasure of catholic life. Unfortunately, in the jewish case there’s something more going on – partly represented by deeper and more corrosive guilt trips as Phil has experienced. Though the more disturbing part is what has actually been happening to that vaunted Judaism, which has been largely swallowed whole by zionism. That Judaism – which people are encouraged to embrace and ‘continue” is unfortunately not only about staying in touch with ancient roots and traditions. It is now also about celebrating and supporting an ethnocratic, intolerant state that’s gone nearly biblical in its zealotry. And that zealotry – as it emanates from the judean “land of the Jews’ is increasingly at loggerheads with American – and indeed – humanistic universalist values. There is a whiff of that in JDate, as well as in birthright. And that whiff goes somewhere that has less to do with religion and more with tribalism, one that’s become allied to a colonialist, ultra-nationalistic enterprise. Which is, yes, problematic.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 9, 2013, 4:27 pm

        There’s a special dispensation here for the America Indian tribes. Those are somehow OK, but that’s a separate and unique situation).

        It depends. I believe that some, like the Seminole nation, strictly apply blood quantum law and descent from persons recorded in the census conducted by the Dawes Commission. Others, like the Cherokee nation use the Dawes census or grant citizenship using the same criteria as the US government to naturalize citizens. So an alien child legally adopted by a member of the Cherokee nation would be legally eligible to obtain citizenship too, without regard to any descent, religion, or blood quantum criteria.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        November 9, 2013, 10:20 pm

        German Lefty:

        However, I think that most Jews don’t define “Jewish” in terms of religious faith.

        Exactly. Crucial point. Excellent analysis.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 8:57 am

        ” As a secular person, I would only marry another secular person.”

        Exactly my point.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        November 10, 2013, 12:16 pm

        Exactly my point.

        No, Hophmi! That’s not your point. JDate is NOT about Jewish religion. I am pretty sure that they define Jewishness as ethnicity or as something race-like.
        In a documentary about Jews in Germany, young German Jews said that they have non-Jews as partners, but nevertheless they plan to ultimately marry a Jew. In other words: Non-Jews serve as a pastime until the right Jew crosses their path. This sounds as if non-Jews were not good enough as spouses. If that’s not offensive, I don’t know what is. When asked why it is important for a Jew to marry another Jew, a young German Jew replied that otherwise Jews would die out. This shows that the reason for Jewish inmarriage is not compatibility in the partnership. The actual reason is the “greater cause” of their own group’s long-term survival. Clearly, this kind of thinking is the result of parental pressure and indoctrination.
        As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have the long-term survival of secular people in mind when choosing my partner. I really just want someone who is compatible with me.

      • yrn
        yrn
        November 10, 2013, 1:25 pm

        LG
        “A religious Jew and a secular Jew do NOT have a common religious belief”
        Another Ignorant who becomes a specialist in Judaism.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 2:05 pm

        ” As a secular person, I would only marry another secular person.”

        Exactly my point.

        So why doesn’t Sparks or any Secular group promote Sbabies or run a Secular dating service that excludes non-secular persons? Your point is still beside the point that we happen to be discussing here. Secularism is not opposed to intermarriage.

      • Donald
        Donald
        November 10, 2013, 2:18 pm

        The campaign to increase marriage within a group (or whatever it is we are talking about here) is problematic if it is part of a bigger overall sense of superiority that leads to actual mistreatment of people in the “out-group”. But the precise point where I am concerned is where the actual mistreatment begins. The celebration of an apartheid state, for instance, is wrong and that’s what I’m interested in criticizing, not whether people want to maintain a particular culture.

        Incidentally, I know that self-identification as a Jew doesn’t necessarily mean that one is a believer in Judaism. That’s interesting to me, but again, if people self-identify in that way it’s no skin off my nose, none of my business, etc… People self-identify in all sorts of ways–two people on the Big Bang Theory (a show I watch sporadically) had their romance fizzle because one was a string theory supporter and the other a fan of loop quantum gravity. I doubt anyone has actually taken the “marry within the group” notion quite that far, but if they have I don’t care–well, I do care, because if someone does that I want to know so I can laugh at them. But it becomes serious when people take their religious or political or ideological beliefs and use them as a justification for oppressing others.

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 10, 2013, 2:39 pm

        >> Much of Phil thought regarding the I/P conflict are an output of his personal life, that’s why those who follow his view will come to the same hopeless attitude as you mentioned.

        Better Phil’s view – which comprises justice, equality and morality – than your hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist view.

        By the way, please stop cowering and provide your authoritative answers to the following five questions. (You can find hophmi’s answers here.)
        __________________________
        For my education – and the education of others – please provide clear, definitive and unambiguous answers to these five questions:

        1. What are the criteria for considering a person to be a Jew? Please don’t omit any.

        2. Is being a Jew the same as being Jewish?

        3. Under what circumstances – if any – can a Jew be stripped of his Jewish identity and rendered not a Jew?

        4. Can a person be a Jew and not belong to “the Jewish people”?

        5. Can a person belong to “the Jewish people” and not be a Jew?

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 4:13 pm

        “JDate is NOT about Jewish religion. I am pretty sure that they define Jewishness as ethnicity or as something race-like.”

        You are pretty sure? You are pretty wrong. Anybody can sign up for the site. You don’t even have to be Jewish.

        “In a documentary about Jews in Germany, young German Jews said that they have non-Jews as partners, but nevertheless they plan to ultimately marry a Jew. In other words: Non-Jews serve as a pastime until the right Jew crosses their path. This sounds as if non-Jews were not good enough as spouses. ”

        Oh please. Please. I can’t take this crap anymore. You will look for anything to turn into an accusation and to complain about. If the Holocaust hadn’t happened, there would be 40 to 50 million Jews in the world, including several million in Germany. Your country 50 million Christians and 200,000 Jews. And you’re complaining to me about Jews who date non-Jews but say they’d still like to marry Jews. Boo-hoo for you. Unbelievable.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 4:36 pm

        Non-Jews serve as a pastime until the right Jew crosses their path. This sounds as if non-Jews were not good enough as spouses. If that’s not offensive, I don’t know what is.

        Well how about the Zionists who foam at the mouth while complaining that Jews were treated as dhimmis by the Ottomans, while concealing the fact that the situation was largely the result of the insistence of their own religious leaders who created what amounted to segregated Jewish fiefdoms that they could farm for taxes in return for a cut of the proceeds? In addition, Ottoman government and Court records indicate that it wasn’t unusual for upper and middle class Jewish dhimmis to own Christian and Muslim slaves and concubines, but you don’t hear the Zionist complaining about any of those inconvenient historical facts. See for example Yaron Ben-Naeh, “Blond, tall, with honey-colored eyes: Jewish ownership of slaves in the Ottoman Empire.” Jewish History 20.3-4 (2006): 315-332. http://pluto.huji.ac.il/~yaronbn/No.26.pdf

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 4:54 pm

        “Well how about the Zionists who foam at the mouth while complaining that Jews were treated as dhimmis by the Ottomans . . .”

        Again, another off-topic post. Jews owned slaves (just like their much more numerous Muslim brethren slave-owners, who officially prohibited Jews and Christians from owning slaves for much of this time). So they could not have been targets of persecution. Right.

        What exactly this has to do with

        1. JDate

        2. German Lefty’s nonsense about non-Jews “not being good enough” as spouses

        3. Jewish inmarriage versus intermarriage

        is not revealed.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        November 10, 2013, 5:04 pm

        Strictly speaking, a “secular” person is someone who believes in separating religion from politics or from the state. So a person can be secular and religious at the same time. In this debate, however, “secular” is being used as a euphemism for “non-believing” or “atheist/agnostic.” And you can hardly deny that an atheist, even an atheist of Jewish origin, does not share a common religious belief with a religious Jew (or any other religious person).

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        November 10, 2013, 5:08 pm

        Anybody can sign up for the site. You don’t even have to be Jewish.
        I know. But that wasn’t what I was talking about.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        November 10, 2013, 5:29 pm

        Your country 50 million Christians and 200,000 Jews. And you’re complaining to me about Jews who date non-Jews but say they’d still like to marry Jews.
        I complain about their mindset and about the indoctrination that they probably received. Children should be able to freely choose their partners. They should not be put under pressure by the parents to marry a certain kind of person. The parents’ priority should be that their children are happy. Parents shouldn’t misuse their children as tools for a “greater cause”.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 6:04 pm

        Again, another off-topic post. Jews owned slaves (just like their much more numerous Muslim brethren slave-owners, who officially prohibited Jews and Christians from owning slaves for much of this time

        Sorry I was replying to a post which discussed the fact that some Jews do not consider non-Jews good enough to serve as spouses. It’s a historical fact that Jews have used gentiles as concubines or slaves and shunned or disinherited the offspring. The prime example is part of the founding myth of Judaism, which its hopelessly bound-up in the conflict between Israel and the Arabs. So it isn’t off topic here.

        Of course you have no defense against the historical fact that rich Jews subjugated Muslim and Christian slaves for centuries. I’d be interested in any Ottoman decree that you can cite which prohibited Jews from owning Christian slaves “for much of this time”. The journal article that I cited contradicts that unsupported assertion. Zionist do deploy the dhimmi card to portray themselves as vicarious victims, without ever bothering to check the facts about the many rich or middle class slave-owning Jewish dhimmis.

        The same thing applies to the Zionist use of the Holocaust card, which attempts to portray 20 centuries of Jewish life in Europe as unrelenting hell, which really wasn’t, and isn’t the case.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 10, 2013, 7:52 pm

        ” one was a string theory supporter and the other a fan of loop quantum gravity”

        That’s a pretty important difference, but my case is even worse.

        I’m a man, and I’m married to a woman!

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 8:50 pm

        “Sorry I was replying to a post which discussed the fact that some Jews do not consider non-Jews good enough to serve as spouses. It’s a historical fact that Jews have used gentiles as concubines or slaves and shunned or disinherited the offspring. The prime example is part of the founding myth of Judaism, which its hopelessly bound-up in the conflict between Israel and the Arabs. So it isn’t off topic here.”

        You were replying to a post which quoted a documentary in which young Jews allegedly said that they while they dated non-Jews, they were planning to marry other Jews, which was spun here as evincing that these young Jews somehow thought of non-Jews as less than worthy. That claim was risible enough; I hate, again, to appeal to basic logic with mundane examples, but if I’m a fan of the New York Mets, it does not mean that I don’t think the Boston Red Sox are a great baseball team. If I love Beethoven, it does not mean that Chopin is a less worthy composer. If I prefer to marry those who share my religion, it does not mean that I think other religions are less worthy or bad. That’s the world I inhabit.

        You chose to respond to this by citing an article about Jewish slave owners in the Ottoman Empire. This, you claim, is “on-topic.”

        “It’s a historical fact that Jews have used gentiles as concubines or slaves and shunned or disinherited the offspring.”

        Uh-huh. And you think this has something to do with JDate. It’s also an historical fact that concubines and slaves existed for most of human history, and in the Ottoman Empire, that most of the slave owners were not Jews. It’s also an historical fact that what history you think this is has nothing to do with JDate, and it’s also an historical fact that decontextualized insinuations like this are what leads to mass slaughter. And I must say, it’s also an historical fact that making them won’t lead to any justice for the Palestinians.

        “Of course you have no defense against the historical fact that rich Jews subjugated Muslim and Christian slaves for centuries.”

        I never denied it. I never said the Jews were angels, much as many in the world, and on this site in particular, seem dedicated to making them out to be devils. But in context, it has no relevance today, certainly not in a world where there are billions and billions of Christians and Muslims and 15 million Jews. And your constant harping on points like these, and your disingenuous presentation in fora like this make your cause plain. You make my skin crawl.

        “interested in any Ottoman decree that you can cite which prohibited Jews from owning Christian slaves “for much of this time.”

        Did you read the article? It is against Muslim law for non-Muslims to own slaves, including the dhimmis. The Ottomans just didn’t enforce it very aggressively.

        “Zionist do deploy the dhimmi card to portray themselves as vicarious victims, without ever bothering to check the facts about the many rich or middle class slave-owning Jewish dhimmis.”

        Again, as if owning anything is the same as not experiencing persecution. Jews in Germany owned many things. It didn’t stop them from having their store windows smashed and their synagogues burned 75 years ago this weekend.

        “The same thing applies to the Zionist use of the Holocaust card, which attempts to portray 20 centuries of Jewish life in Europe as unrelenting hell, which really wasn’t, and isn’t the case.”

        I have never attempted to portray it that way. But there was a lot of hell. And a lot of it was driven by the deicide charge. A lot of driven by hatred of the other. But Jews were indeed expelled at one time or another from most European countries. They were subjected to frequent pogroms. And these are also historical facts.

        Somehow, you’ve got it in your head that talking about this hell is the same thing as saying Jews were perfect, or that it was persecution every second of every minute of every hour of every day. It’s you who plays the reductionist game, not me.

        But, I’ll say it again. Jews began to secularize in the 18th and 19th centuries. They became active in their countries. They were proud citizens of them. There was no Zionist movement. There was no Israel. There was no dual loyalty charge nonsense. And all the European democracy and Enlightenment and culture did not stop the persecution, and ultimately, the Holocaust from happening.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        November 11, 2013, 9:33 am

        hophmi:

        If I prefer to marry those who share my religion

        Why do you keep repeating this nonsensical argument? “Marrying a Jew” clearly does not mean marrying someone who believes in some form of Judaism. If one marries a non-religious Jew, one has still married a Jew.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 11, 2013, 12:52 pm

        You chose to respond to this by citing an article about Jewish slave owners in the Ottoman Empire. This, you claim, is “on-topic.”

        And by pointing out that using concubines and disowning the offspring is part of the founding myth of Judaism. I also gave you a link to an article from the head of the rabbinical court of Jerusalem who ruled that a Jewish man can still take on a kosher concubine if his wife refuses to have children in order to make Jbabies.

        Did you read the article? It is against Muslim law for non-Muslims to own slaves, including the dhimmis. The Ottomans just didn’t enforce it very aggressively.

        In fact the article specifically cited another by Gerber which explained that the absolute Ottoman policy against non-Muslim slave ownership gradually gave way to ownership of non-Muslim slaves and that in many cases in Palestine and elsewhere the prohibition against owning Muslim slaves was the one that wasn’t enforced.

        So my question still stands. Can you cite a source which prohibited Jews from owning Christian slaves during most of this era? The article I cited is based on Ottoman Court records which prove that Jews were not just slave owners, but were slave traders too in many cases and that the Ottoman law allowed both practices. The article also notes that the Jewish law, contained in the Shulcan Aruch, did not prohibit Jews from owning slaves and that there are more than 80 rules regulating the practice and discussing the legal status of offspring from unions that were only prohibited “before the fact”. The article also points out that Jewish public opinion was divided about the rabbinical instructions to free and marry the women and that they were simply ignored.

        But, I’ll say it again. Jews began to secularize in the 18th and 19th centuries. They became active in their countries. They were proud citizens of them. There was no Zionist movement.

        LOL! The article I cited illustrates that the Jewish public was already ignoring the rabbis on the subjects of slaves and concubines in the 12th century and engaging in practices condoned under secular laws. There are accounts which say that the majority of European Jews believed that Shabbetai Zvi was the Messiah who would conqueror Eretz Israel and restore it to the Jews. In any event, Sokolow’s “History of Zionism” covers the period from, 1600-1918 and details the political movement led by Mannaseh Ben-Israel (1606-1657) who led the movement to petition the government of England to readmit the expelled Jews to that country as a preliminary step to their eventual resettlement in Palestine. http://books.google.com/books?id=8rgpAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA15#v=onepage&q&f=false

      • American
        American
        November 11, 2013, 2:59 pm

        Donald says:
        November 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm

        The campaign to increase marriage within a group (or whatever it is we are talking about here) is problematic if it is part of a bigger overall sense of superiority that leads to actual mistreatment of people in the “out-group”.>>>

        Well I think that basically nails it Donald – it’s not thats it’s right or wrong to stay within your group.
        It’s the mentality that can creep into it or be cause by in grouping when taken to extreme and the group looks down on and is hostile and/or aggressive toward out groups.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 11, 2013, 4:56 pm

        “And by pointing out that using concubines and disowning the offspring is part of the founding myth of Judaism. ”

        I’m sorry, was there a discussion here where someone claimed that concubines and fraternal strife was not a part of the bible? No. You know exactly why you were bringing it up, Hostage. You’re not fooling anybody.

        “I also gave you a link to an article from the head of the rabbinical court of Jerusalem who ruled that a Jewish man can still take on a kosher concubine if his wife refuses to have children in order to make Jbabies.”

        That’s great. Let me know the statistics on Jewish concubines.

        “In fact the article specifically cited another by Gerber which explained that the absolute Ottoman policy against non-Muslim slave ownership gradually gave way to ownership of non-Muslim slaves and that in many cases in Palestine and elsewhere the prohibition against owning Muslim slaves was the one that wasn’t enforced.”

        As I said, it was a policy that was not always enforced by the Ottomans. If it was a policy, it was officially prohibited. If it was official prohibited, it speaks to the second-class status of non-Muslims in the Empire.

        ” The article also notes that the Jewish law, contained in the Shulcan Aruch, did not prohibit Jews from owning slaves and that there are more than 80 rules regulating the practice and discussing the legal status of offspring from unions that were only prohibited “before the fact”.”

        Again, no secret there. The Gemara discusses slavery fairly extensively. The Shulchan Aruch dates from the 15th century, when slavery was still widely practiced. Again, this discussion is about JDate.

        “LOL! The article I cited illustrates that the Jewish public was already ignoring the rabbis on the subjects of slaves and concubines in the 12th century and engaging in practices condoned under secular laws. There are accounts which say that the majority of European Jews believed that Shabbetai Zvi was the Messiah who would conqueror Eretz Israel and restore it to the Jews.”

        Once again, this is all totally beside the point. There is no one who would argue that Jews were secularizing in the 12th or 13th century. They certainly may have had strong relationships with their neighbors, but that is a different issue.

        ” In any event, Sokolow’s “History of Zionism” covers the period from, 1600-1918 and details the political movement led by Mannaseh Ben-Israel (1606-1657) who led the movement to petition the government of England to readmit the expelled Jews to that country as a preliminary step to their eventual resettlement in Palestine.”

        Again, still beside the point.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 11, 2013, 11:19 pm

        I’m sorry, was there a discussion here where someone claimed that concubines and fraternal strife was not a part of the bible? No. You know exactly why you were bringing it up, Hostage. You’re not fooling anybody.

        Yeah check the time stamps on the comments. I was responding to another person who said that some modern Jews dated Gentiles, but would never consider them suitable spouses. I was pointing out that Jewish mythology and culture have historically condoned that sort of behavior or attitude. You claimed it was irrelevant, and I replied that the story was inextricably linked to the conflict with the Arabs and not off topic in a discussion of the Middle East or Jewish mores, e,g. customs, values, and behaviors that are accepted by a particular group.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      November 10, 2013, 6:18 am

      @ Hophmi

      So, if I decide that I want to raise my children with someone who shares my faith and my values, I’m somehow offensive to American values?

      In another thread you’ve made much of the recent (flawed) survey on perceptions of anti-semitism in Europe.

      Are you aware that one of the questions asked, and one of the things the sample of European Jews apparently found “anti-semitic” was the idea of a non-Jew stating “I wouldn’t marry a Jewish person.” Now if it’s bigoted to make this statement on the part of us non-Jews, why are you not only making but defending the mirror statement when it comes from Jews?

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        November 10, 2013, 4:36 pm

        Are you aware that one of the questions asked, and one of the things the sample of European Jews apparently found “anti-semitic” was the idea of a non-Jew stating “I wouldn’t marry a Jewish person.”

        Thanks a lot, Ecru. I hadn’t looked at the entire study yet and missed that statement. Another statement that is viewed as anti-Semitic is “Does not consider Jews living in [COUNTRY] to be [COUNTRY NATIONAL].” This would mean that ALL Zionists are anti-Semitic.

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        November 11, 2013, 1:34 am

        @ German Lefty

        Yes I caught that one, thank you for reminding me though. It’s not too surprising when you look at it a bit more closely, the “survey” data was gathered and analysed by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research – a Zionist think-tank, and as we all know Zionists not only love smearing as many goyim as possible but also have a vested interest in finding “anti-semitism” everywhere.

        In fact I think I just read somewhere that when NASA decommissions Hubble, a group of Zionists (possibly led by our dear Professor) are going to buy it to look for the antisemiteon, the fundamental particle of antisemitism. Apparently that’s what really makes up Dark Matter and the bulk of the entire universe.

        Perhaps an article on this “survey” here on Mondoweiss would be a good idea?

  8. American
    American
    November 8, 2013, 12:13 pm

    Jdates might produce a few jbabies as they call them but I doubt it will produce any large increase of the Jewish population.
    Unless we have some huge trend of going back to the old days of ‘sticking strictly with your own kind’ then assimilation and intermarriage are here to stay.
    I don’t have any ideology about marrying in or out of your own relig or group, let people do either as they please.
    But I am against religious or racial programs that promote either assimilation or non assimilation—they can be a slippery slope to ‘prejudice ‘ attitudes in people imo.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    November 8, 2013, 12:27 pm

    RE: “It appears that Spark Networks, which owns JDate, also runs Christian Mingle, Catholic Mingle, and services aimed at getting black people to date black people, Latinos to date Latinos, and LDS to stick to LDS dates. Sparks has Jewish leadership. And this is regarded as a worthy Jewish enterprise, to keep folks marrying other folks like themselves?” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: David Duke must certainly approve!

  10. Krauss
    Krauss
    November 8, 2013, 12:37 pm

    Call me a reactionary if you want, but if someone wants to date within their race and/or ethnic group then I don’t see the problem. So long as you don’t hurt anyone.
    I’m sure there are white gentile equivalents of people like the CEO of JDate. There are Asian, Black and Latino equivalents.

    Intermarriage rates seem to level off around 50% for native-born 2nd generation peoples. I think the Jewish intermarriage rate is problematic to compare to, say, the white/hispanic intermarriage rate because race is a stronger bond than culture, even if both are to some extent linked.

    Most Jews who are intermarrying are intermarrying white gentiles. For Jewish men, there’s a significant proportion who marry Asian women. Jewish women seem to be more racially conservative by comparison. It’s also true that you’ll more often find Jewish men with Arab women rather than vice versa. The only exception I can think of is Jewish women and black men, which seem to be more prevalent than the other combination. But this is following the national pattern, so there isn’t anything distinctly Jewish about this.

    Around 50% of each community are racially ethnocentric. It can be 40% some years or 58% others, but 50% is the touchstone which it centers around over the long haul.

    This is human nature. We cannot change it. And to force people who are ethnocentric to marry outside their ethnic/racial group is discriminatory in the same way as forcing people who are not ethnocentric to stay in the fold.

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty
      November 9, 2013, 1:08 pm

      if someone wants to date within their race and/or ethnic group then I don’t see the problem.

      I depends on the reason. If a black person only wants to date other black people because he is prejudiced against white people, then there’s a problem. If a black person only wants to date other black people because he simply doesn’t find whites or Asians visually appealing, then that’s fine.

    • Scott
      Scott
      November 10, 2013, 6:05 pm

      Call me a reactionary if you want, but if someone wants to date within their race and/or ethnic group then I don’t see the problem. So long as you don’t hurt anyone.
      I’m sure there are white gentile equivalents of people like the CEO of JDate.

      They used to be called “coming out” or debutante parties. Not sure if they still exist, or under what guise.

  11. dimadok
    dimadok
    November 8, 2013, 12:50 pm

    More Jewish babies, stronger Jewish communities. Nothing wrong with that. Especially in view of antisemitic re-surge (e.g. NY state, where the author lives)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/08/nyregion/swastikas-slurs-and-torment-in-towns-schools.html?pagewanted=3&_r=0&hp&adxnnlx=1383932477-1NUJ32eh2bPUxgE5WpmEvA

    • yrn
      yrn
      November 9, 2013, 5:21 am

      dimadok

      Don’t worry, the author phil will find one of his rational answers to claim it’s not antisemitic .

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 9, 2013, 8:58 am

        Hey, yrn.

        Now’s a great time to stop scurrying away from my five questions, man up and answer them. (You can find hophmi’s answers here.)
        __________________________
        For my education – and the education of others – please provide clear, definitive and unambiguous answers to these five questions:

        1. What are the criteria for considering a person to be a Jew? Please don’t omit any.

        2. Is being a Jew the same as being Jewish?

        3. Under what circumstances – if any – can a Jew be stripped of his Jewish identity and rendered not a Jew?

        4. Can a person be a Jew and not belong to “the Jewish people”?

        5. Can a person belong to “the Jewish people” and not be a Jew?

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 9, 2013, 6:09 pm

        Why? So you can distort his answers as you did mine?

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 10, 2013, 6:59 pm

        >> Why? So you can distort his answers as you did mine?

        You chose to reply to questions you weren’t asked.

        I accepted your surprisingly concise answer to Question 1.

        And I asked for clarification of your answers to the other questions, because your answers were not clear, definitive and unambiguous.

        I distorted nothing.

        Quit your whining.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 11, 2013, 2:15 pm

        If you ask ambiguous questions, don’t be surprised when you get ambiguous answers. My answers were not ambiguous. You’re acting like your usual jerky self.

        A Jew is someone with a Jewish parent or someone who converts to Judaism. The definition is not universally shared by all Jews. Orthodox and conservative Jews require that that Jews have a Jewish mother. Reform Jews accept both parents. The orthodox have stricter conversion standards.

        What is universally agreed upon is that the child of a Jewish mother is Jewish, and that it is possible to convert to Judaism.

        As I said before, your question of whether being a Jew and being Jewish are the same is imprecise. The short answer is yes, if you’re using the term “Jewish” as a description of religion. If you’re using it as descriptive of some cultural attributes, I suppose it is possible for one to exhibit something “Jewish” without being a Jew, just as it is possible to exhibit something someone might call “Christian” without actually being Christian. But that would be using Jewish as a colloquialism.

        As I said before, there is no way, within Judaism, to not be a Jew. We do have forms of excommunication, but they are relatively rare, and they do not equate to rendering someone “not a Jew.” You asked about Jewish identity. That’s different from the fact of being a Jew, which has a clear definition. I do believe that it’s possible to give up one’s Jewish identity; if one practices nothing, forswears one’s affiliation with one’s religious faith, and so on, I suppose you can “give up” your identity. But “identity” is a mushy term, so I really can’t give you a very unambiguous answer unless you tell me what you think Jewish identity is.

        Jewish people is a social construct. All collectives are. Nations are social constructs; peoples are social constructs. We choose the categories to which we want to belong. History, anthropology, and society has recognized this approach to human existence. Can a person be a Jew and not belong to the Jewish people? Again, it depends. You’re a vegetarian. You can belong to the vegetarian community. If you decide to eat meat, but you sympathize with the goals of the vegetarian community, are you still part of that community? I would say yes; some would say no. It’s the same with your other question. The vegetarian community is surely a social and political construct. Surely, there are vegetarian spokesmen who speak in the name of that community. There are people who are not practicing vegetarians who might donate to PETA. There are practicing vegetarians who might hate PETA because of its tactics.

        So your question is not unambiguous. Therefore, you don’t get an unambiguous answer.

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 11, 2013, 6:37 pm

        >> If you ask ambiguous questions, don’t be surprised when you get ambiguous answers.

        My questions were very precise.

        >> My answers were not ambiguous.

        Except for your answer to Question 1, your replies failed to be clear, definitive and unambiguous.

        >> You’re acting like your usual jerky self.

        You’re acting like a smart-ass who hates being shown just how stupid he is.

        >> A Jew is someone with a Jewish parent or someone who converts to Judaism. … What is universally agreed upon is that the child of a Jewish mother is Jewish, and that it is possible to convert to Judaism.

        You’ve changed your answer. But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that this time you got it right and haven’t omitted anything. Nothing about religion, nothing about “Jewish State”. Therefore, my other points in regard to your reply still stand:
        – A person’s religious affiliation (Judaism or some other religion) or lack thereof has no bearing on whether or not a that person is a Jew.
        – Acceptance of, devotion to and/or support for a “Jewish State” have no bearing on whether or not a person is a Jew.

        >> Jewish people is a social construct. All collectives are. Nations are social constructs; peoples are social constructs. We choose the categories to which we want to belong. … Can a person be a Jew and not belong to the Jewish people? Again, it depends. … So your question is not unambiguous. Therefore, you don’t get an unambiguous answer.

        OK, so I can expect never again to see an unambiguous comment from you or your hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist co-collectivists regarding who is a Jew / Jewish or who is or can be part of the Jewish people, yes?

        No pronoucements to the effect that Jews who choose another faith can’t be Jewish or belong to the Jewish people; that Jews who don’t support the “Jewish State” aren’t really Jewish or Jewish enough; that Jews who oppose circumcision or support inter-marriage aren’t Jewish enough; and so on, yes?

        Or is this where you get all stupid again and accuse me of distorting what you’ve said?
        _________________________

        Meanwhile, yrn, where are you? What’s taking you so long to answer five simple questions? On this site, you have – time and again – demonstrated through your pronouncements that you see your self as some sort of authority on Jew / Jewish. Please share your wisdom with us.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 11, 2013, 10:20 pm

        Eljay, I’ve never taken the position that any of this makes a person “not a Jew.” What I have said is that people who have no affiliation with or affinity for the Jewish community, people who spent their time railing against circumcision, are atheists, use the cover of their ancestry to make antisemitic remarks, bash not only the Jewish state, but the Jewish inhabitants of it, have very little credibility when they claim to care about Judaism or when they say that they are acting in the name of Judaism.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 11, 2013, 10:29 pm

        And additionally: You are, of course, conflating the dictionary definition of who is a Jew with what practices are normative within Judaism. Endorsing intermarriage is not a normative practice outside of Reform Judaism. Endorsing the observance of non-Jewish faiths is not normative. Neither is being anti-circumcision. So you may think you’re clever, but really, you’re not. You’re being silly.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 12, 2013, 4:32 am

        And additionally: You are, of course, conflating the dictionary definition of who is a Jew with what practices are normative within Judaism.

        Correction: I’ve always pointed out that Zionists specialize in playing fast and loose with the definition of “Jewish”-ness or who they consider to be “a Jew”, and that Zionist commenters here do too. Zionist just don’t like the repercussions when their tactics backfire and someone points it out to them, e.g. http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/hitchenss-jewishness.html#comment-404136

        So you may think you’re clever, but really, you’re not. You’re being silly.

        You are the one who looks clueless when you pretend that its “nonsense” to compare Jews to other ethnic groups. Zionist lawyers, like Ken Marcus, have make their living doing exactly that at the Brandies Center and on the US Civil Rights Commision staff.

        What I usually think is that: If this is a battle of wits, you Zionists always “bring a ham sandwich to a banquet”. There’s no way you’re going to pull the wool over the collection eyes that congregate here at Mondoweiss.

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 12, 2013, 7:48 am

        >> What I have said is that people who have no affiliation with or affinity for the Jewish community …

        Who are you to say which people do or do not have affiliation with or affinity for any given Jewish community? One minute you’re unable to explain what being part of the “Jewish people” means bcause, according to you, “it depends”, and now here you are once again making pronouncements about who is or is not part of a “Jewish community”.

        >> … people who … use the cover of their ancestry to make antisemitic remarks, bash not only the Jewish state, but the Jewish inhabitants of it, have very little credibility when they claim to care about Judaism or when they say that they are acting in the name of Judaism.

        Setting aside for the moment the fact that, according to you and in your own words, neither Judaism nor “Jewish State” has any bearing on who is a Jew, you’re of the opinion that Jews who protest Jewish supremacism, theft, occupation, colonization, oppression, murder and nation-state idolatry have little crediblity as Jews / members of the “Jewish community”, but Jews who advocate for Jewish supremacism, theft, occupation, colonization, oppression, murder and nation-state idolatry are shining examples of Jews / members of the “Jewish community”.

        1. Once again, “it depends” flies out the window and you’re able to make a pronouncement. Funny how that works.
        2. You need to have your head examined.

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 12, 2013, 8:00 am

        >> And additionally: You are, of course, conflating the dictionary definition of who is a Jew with what practices are normative within Judaism.

        What dictionary definition? I’m working with the answers you provided.

        >> Endorsing intermarriage is not a normative practice outside of Reform Judaism. Endorsing the observance of non-Jewish faiths is not normative. Neither is being anti-circumcision.

        You’ve made it very clear that:
        – a Jew is i) a person with a Jewish parent, or ii) someone who converts to Judaism;
        – whether or not a Jew or non-Jew is or can be part of the “Jewish people” depends (although what it depends on – and who gets to decide what it depends on – isn’t clear).

        So are you now saying that there are definitive things that make a Jew not part of the “Jewish people”? If ‘yes’, what happened to “it depends”? Are you the arbiter of what makes a Jew (or a non-Jew) part of the Jewish people? If not, who is? If there is no arbiter, who are you – or who is any Zio-supremacist – to make proclamations about who is or is not part of the “Jewish people”?

        >> So you may think you’re clever, but really, you’re not. You’re being silly.

        I’m not clever enough to be clever. But you’re immoral enough to be dishonest.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 12, 2013, 6:22 pm

        “Who are you to say which people do or do not have affiliation with or affinity for any given Jewish community?”

        Oh boy. Here we go. If it has four legs and goes “woof”, we don’t call it a cat, no matter how much you insist on it.

        “One minute you’re unable to explain what being part of the “Jewish people” means bcause, according to you, “it depends”, and now here you are once again making pronouncements about who is or is not part of a “Jewish community”.”

        And we’re back to being disingenuous. Your questions did not include any on what a Jewish community is. I guess you forgot that one. No, I don’t consider you part of the Jewish community when you adopt none of its practices and spend all of your time telling me why it sucks. You can opt out of the Jewish community.

        I’m always amused by all of this – you hate on the community, and then you ask why you aren’t part of it. It’s like, you eat meat, wear a shirt that says “Carnivore” and go out and club baby seals and then ask why you can’t be an animal rights activist.

        “Setting aside for the moment the fact that, according to you and in your own words, neither Judaism nor “Jewish State” has any bearing on who is a Jew, ”

        I never said that Judaism has no bearing on who is a Jew. Where do you think the standard comes from? Are you that dense?

        “you’re of the opinion that Jews who protest Jewish supremacism, theft, occupation, colonization, oppression, murder and nation-state idolatry have little crediblity as Jews / members of the “Jewish community””

        No, I think that people who do this and talk about how circumcision is bad and how intermarriage is fantastic tend to have an ulterior motive that has little to do with the Middle East, and that saving Judaism or making Judaism or the Jewish community is better is not really their concern. If the Jewish community is not your concern, you’re not going to find much of an audience in it.

        “2. You need to have your head examined.”

        Yeah, Eljay, I get that a lot here; it’s a typical comment by conspiracy-minded people who are looking for proof of their own sanity. Come up with something original next time.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 12, 2013, 6:25 pm

        “So are you now saying that there are definitive things that make a Jew not part of the “Jewish people”? If ‘yes’, what happened to “it depends”? ”

        You seem to be conflating people with community. But in the sense that a community is a construct with certain norms and values, no, you cannot be said to belong to it if you subscribe to none of its tenets and adopt none of its practices.

        ” Are you the arbiter of what makes a Jew (or a non-Jew) part of the Jewish people? ”

        I can give you a good idea based on my experience what it entails.

        ” If not, who is? If there is no arbiter, who are you – or who is any Zio-supremacist – to make proclamations about who is or is not part of the “Jewish people”?”

        Do YOU want to be part of the Jewish people?

        “I’m not clever enough to be clever. But you’re immoral enough to be dishonest.”

        When out of arguments, fall back on ad hominem attacks. The moderator will always let them through.

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 13, 2013, 8:09 am

        >> You seem to be conflating people with community. But in the sense that a community is a construct with certain norms and values, no, you cannot be said to belong to it if you subscribe to none of its tenets and adopt none of its practices.

        Okay, so, please provide clear, definitive and unambiguous answers to the following questions:
        1. What is the “Jewish community”?
        2. What are its tenets and practices? PLEASE DON’T OMIT ANY.
        3. Who determines what are its tenets and practices?
        4. What is the minimum number of tenets to which a Jew must subscribe and practices a Jew must adopt in order to remain in the “Jewish community”?

        ++ Are you the arbiter of what makes a Jew (or a non-Jew) part of the Jewish people?
        >> I can give you a good idea based on my experience what it entails.

        Is that a yes or a no?

        >> Do YOU want to be part of the Jewish people?

        1. No.
        2. Funny that you should even ask that, since you already know (because you already stated) that a person who is not a Jew can “probably not” be part of the “Jewish people”.

        >> When out of arguments, fall back on ad hominem attacks. The moderator will always let them through.

        You threw the first punch, hophmeee. Stop being such a cry-baby. :-(

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      November 9, 2013, 2:45 pm

      Especially in view of antisemitic re-surge (e.g. NY state, where the author lives)
      link to nytimes.com

      Oh gimme a break. You have to cite an article about 6th graders taunting one another. Even in this case, the school system receives federal funding, so the Governor has ordered an official investigation. See Anti-Semitism rears up in New York county: Students in Pine Bush school system report swastikas painted over playgrounds, walls, lockers, and even forcefully on girl’s face. ‘”Jew” became an insult,’ student explains. Governor orders investigation. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4451257,00.html

      Now compare that with Israel , where the government does absolutely nothing in response to surveys which show that half of Israeli high schoolers oppose equal rights for Arabs. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/poll-half-of-israeli-high-schoolers-oppose-equal-rights-for-arabs-1.264564

      • yrn
        yrn
        November 11, 2013, 1:53 pm

        Neo-Nazis Stage Rally on Kristallnacht Anniversary in Kansas City
        http://abcnews.go.com/US/neo-nazis-stage-rally-kristallnacht-anniversary-kansas-city/story?id=20839380

        Getting closer to your home don’t they.
        But still “Oh gimme a break……”

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 11, 2013, 4:08 pm

        Neo-Nazis Stage Rally on Kristallnacht Anniversary in Kansas City
        link to abcnews.go.com

        I think you are confusing a protest about immigration reform with actual threats or violence. True threats are illegal in the USA, protests of government policies are not:

        A Neo-Nazi Group has chosen today, the 75th anniversary of one of the deadliest and most violent pogroms during the Nazi reign in Germany, to stage a rally in Kansas City, Mo., protesting immigration reform.

        FYI, Kristallnacht was state sponsored terror, this protest in Missouri is not. In any event, most historical reports indicate that Kristallnacht resulted in < 100 Jewish deaths. It was hardly the most deadly or violent pogrom during the Nazi era and it pales in comparison to the devastation and killing during Operation Cast Lead or the death and destruction Israel visited in urban settings like the Dahiya quarter of Beirut and southern Lebanon during the 2006 war.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 11, 2013, 4:59 pm

        For no known reason, Hostage compares Kristallnacht to Cast Lead. Once again, it’s beside the point.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 11, 2013, 10:51 pm

        For no known reason, Hostage compares Kristallnacht to Cast Lead.

        Hoppy stop playing stupid. We’ve discussed the allegations in the Goldstone, HRW, AI, and Arab League Commission’s report here at great length.

        The officials of the two states in question fabricated flimsy excuses to commit acts of state terror that killed unarmed civilians and destroyed their businesses and homes. The responsible Israeli officials have been dodging arrest warrants ever since, while bragging that they “went a little berserk – and it was a good thing”. See the latest example here: Attempt to arrest Dichter, Meridor in Spain fails http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4451285,00.html

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 11, 2013, 11:09 pm

        P.S. It’s your stupid Zionist tag team partner who brought-up the subject of Kristallnacht in a lame-assed attempt to make it appear that something similar is brewing in Kansas (not).

      • yrn
        yrn
        November 12, 2013, 4:59 am

        “True threats are illegal in the USA, protests of government policies are not:”
        Well you know better how to hide activities and make them Kosher by a legal
        disguise.
        Sure they will find a “legal argument” for the protest and hide the real reason behind it.
        As mentioned you will find always the way to defend those activities, I wonder where is you limit…..

      • yrn
        yrn
        November 12, 2013, 5:11 am

        Hostage

        Where did anyone made a comparison between Kristallnacht (Wow thank for letting me know about Kristallnacht) and that occasion ?
        that’s your routine speculations and defend.
        The issue is to inform the readers, that in this memorial day Neo-Nazis (guess you don’t accept they exists in your area and no pure Jew hate) found a legal way to protest.
        Again your tactic to try to push it away and glue to this occasion, something to do with Israel and Zionism is pathetic.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 12, 2013, 5:20 am

        Well you know better how to hide activities and make them Kosher by a legal disguise.

        Neo-Nazis aren’t Kosher. It’s preposterous to claim that the scheduling of an immigration reform protest on the anniversary of Kristallnacht somehow is illegal or requires a “legal disguise”. It’s merely repugnant. Get over yourself.

        As mentioned you will find always the way to defend those activities, I wonder where is you limit…..

        If you ever cite an example of Neo-Nazis engaging in illegal behavior or some state-sponsored fascism or terrorism, I’ll be glad to condemn it. In the meantime, Israel keeps making headlines over petty vendettas, hate crimes, war crimes, and crimes against humanity that make life in Kansas look like Utopia in comparison.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 12, 2013, 6:03 am

        Where did anyone made a comparison between Kristallnacht (Wow thank for letting me know about Kristallnacht) and that occasion ?

        You made a pathetic attempt to claim that a protest rally against immigration reform by a few Neo-Nazi nutters in Missouri meant that there is illegal or dangerous anti-semitic activity going on near my home in Kansas, but that really wasn’t the case – and there’s no danger these people will influence the outcome of a Congressional vote on the question.

        The issue is to inform the readers, that in this memorial day Neo-Nazis (guess you don’t accept they exists in your area and no pure Jew hate) found a legal way to protest.

        No, they aren’t really active in my area and there’s not really any Jewish immigration to protest about in rural Kansas anyway. I think it’s more likely that they are opposing significant reforms that effect other groups, like the Hispanics, that do live and work here and vote in much greater numbers than the Neo-Nazis.

        You’re still comparing legal protests and sixth graders in New york taunting one another (which still triggers federal and state Title VI civil rights investigations here in the USA) to unchecked state-sponsored or supported discrimination and indoctrination against non-Jews in Israel and occupied Palestine. Your government has implanted illegal settlers in Hebron and they have spray painted “Death to the Arabs” on the only Palestinian kindergarten in the Israeli controlled portion of the town. That is a “True threat” and illegal incitement that arises from an illegal situation created by Israel and Zionists. There is something the state and the Zionist movement can do to eliminate that problem. http://972mag.com/death-to-arabs-sprayed-on-palestinian-kindergarten-in-hebron/81540/

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 12, 2013, 6:37 am

        Again your tactic to try to push it away and glue to this occasion, something to do with Israel and Zionism is pathetic.

        I’m simply pointing out that Palestinians and Lebanese people have a perfect right to compare the State of Israel’s berserk behavior during the 2006 war and during Operation Cast Lead to Nazi conduct on Kristallnacht in terms of using a very flimsy pretext related to acts of terror to cause widespread destruction of businesses and homes + plus reckless behavior that resulted in unnecessary loss of innocent civilian lives. Your attempt to make the acts of private individuals here in the USA, including sixth graders, appear ominous, dangerous or precursors to anti-semitic violence are pretty pathetic.

        Even if you live in Israel you should know that Jews here are only 2% of the US population, but: “US Jewish organizations get $9m. for ‘homeland security’: Security grants for non-profits narrowly escape sequestration threat, with Jewish groups garnering 90% of available funds”.
        * http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-jewish-organizations-get-9m-for-homeland-security/
        * http://www.ou.org/general_article/orthodox_union_applauds_2013_security_funding
        * https://www.facebook.com/JFNA.DC

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 12, 2013, 7:56 am

        But still “Oh gimme a break……”

        You know, when the day comes that you thin-skinned Zionists stop shreying about the demographic threat posed by declining Jewish birth rates and the rise of Gentile intermarriage, I’ll stop ridiculing you.

        Until then, we have been swamped by a couple of decades of reports that say Reform and Conservative conversions and marriages to converts from those streams aren’t considered valid in Israel and the offspring aren’t eligible to be married or buried as Jews there. There are reports of Gentile widows and orphans being deported after their Jewish spouses pass away, legal migrant workers being deported for simply having children who were born in Israel, and women being arrested or assaulted for praying or singing in public, or refusing to move to the back of the bus. Then add agunot to all of those halachic problems. The Zionist Utopia created this impression about a ridiculous obsession to produce more of a certain type of Jewish baby, while discriminating against the mixed multitudes of Jewish persons that we already have living among us.

        Even the Reform movement’s outreach to intermarried couples in strictly limited and qualified. It has created almost as many legalistic dilemmas within communities here in the United States as it was intended to resolve, e.g. http://blog.rabbijason.com/2012/07/patrilineal-dissent-solving-jewish.html

        It’s ridiculous to ask us not to talk about that situation, when you literally fuss and fight among yourselves non-stop on this very same subject, as if it’s a holocaust.

  12. goldmarx
    goldmarx
    November 8, 2013, 12:55 pm

    So what’s the solution – making intermarriage mandatory, Phil? Sounds like you’re trying to rationalize your own personal choices.

  13. Ludwig
    Ludwig
    November 8, 2013, 1:05 pm

    Everything Jewish is a target it here. I gues LDSdating.com or muslim dating or any other is just fine. No it’s the JEWISH dating service you guys have a problem with. Typical Mondoweiss antisemitism.

    • libra
      libra
      November 8, 2013, 1:33 pm

      Ludwig: Everything Jewish is a target it here.

      I think bagels have had a pretty easy ride so far.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      November 8, 2013, 3:45 pm

      Everything Jewish is a target it here. I gues LDSdating.com or muslim dating or any other is just fine.

      The article actually wondered out loud why LDSdating.com is run by a company with Jewish leadership?

      • Ludwig
        Ludwig
        November 8, 2013, 4:13 pm

        True yes. I’ll wait for the day when bagels are attacked too. Stolen from the “palestinians” or some such thing.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        November 8, 2013, 4:26 pm

        I’ll wait for the day when bagels are attacked too. Stolen from the “palestinians” or some such thing.

        You mean ka’ek? Everybody knows they’re Palestinian (although the Palestinian street vendors humour the Jews and shout “beigaleh! beigaleh!”)
        ;-)

      • piotr
        piotr
        November 8, 2013, 8:24 pm

        And what else? Palestinian borshch?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bublik

      • MahaneYehude1
        MahaneYehude1
        November 9, 2013, 12:02 am

        @Shmuel:

        The Begalleh’s were brought by European Jews to Israel. I still remember the old bakery in the region of Daniel square opposite the New gate with the fresh hot Begalleh:
        http://velvetunderground.co.il/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/%D7%91%D7%99%D7%99%D7%92%D7%9C%D7%94.jpg

        The Ka’ek is a Palestinian, although the street sellers say “Begaleh”. I don’t think people claim it is not Arab and I don’t remember I saw a Jewish seller sell them in Jerusalem, only Palestinians:
        http://www.xnet.co.il/PicServer2/pic/052012/210074/YE0683205_360.jpg
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/he/archive/2/24/20111119170138!Beigel_yerushalmi.JPG

        The Palestinian “Begalleh” is eaten with Falafel balls (Taamiya in Egypt) and Za’atar. Even Angel and Berman can’t mimic this taste. Bon apetite!!!

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        November 9, 2013, 2:56 am

        The Palestinians invented latkes too. Ibrahim Mohammed ibn Felafel went to Minsk and showed them to the Bal Shem Tov on the first day of tisha B’av one year. The Baal was a real whiz in the kitchen and he picked it up real quick.

      • MahaneYehude1
        MahaneYehude1
        November 9, 2013, 3:03 am

        @seafoid: I wonder why such comment, full of nonsense, BS and racism, was published. You always mock us by your ugly comments. Where is the moderator of this site?

      • amigo
        amigo
        November 9, 2013, 7:25 am

        “True yes. I’ll wait for the day when bagels are attacked too. Stolen from the “palestinians” or some such thing.” ludwig

        Your illegal squats are built with bagels on land stolen from Palestinians.

        The use by date is getting nearer ludee.Better be gettin along.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        November 9, 2013, 9:09 am

        Borshch is of Ukrainian origin but eaten by many East European groups, including East European Jews (but not by Jews originating from other regions).

        A number of foods often perceived as Jewish are of Arab origin: the Israelis did “steal” felafel, and halva comes from Arabic halawah (“sweet”) though it has spread to many parts of Eurasia. However, if you say these are “Arab” foods that does mean they also belong to Jewish Arabs.

        “Challah” is a Hebrew word, but even here this is not a purely Jewish food — there are words for it in a number of East European languages.

        Not only foods but other characteristics often seen as “Jewish” are in fact general East European — I think they have come to be mistakenly seen as Jewish in places where most or all immigrants from Eastern Europe were Jews. Most East European Jews themselves have yet to absorb the fact that there are many other kinds of Jews in the world who apart from religion are quite different from them.

        Foods demonstrate that Jews ceased to be a nation long ago: for millennia they have been a collection of diverse cultural groups, more or less assimilated into the peoples surrounding them though sharing a religion and presumed (semi-mythical) common origin.

        Nowadays more and more people have cosmopolitan tastes, enjoying foods from many different countries (Indian, Chinese, Ethiopian, Greek etc. etc.). The origin of foods is an interesting intellectual topic but let’s not use it to score political points.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        November 9, 2013, 9:41 am

        To the Mahanes

        you love it, you old tarts . Reminds you of the hasbara dunnit.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        November 9, 2013, 3:07 pm

        Mahane
        May I suggest you use google translate on seafoid’s name. Irish is the language.

      • MahaneYehude1
        MahaneYehude1
        November 9, 2013, 3:34 pm

        @bumblebye: Thanks for your recommendation. I used the translator and received “nonsense” but didn’t receive “racism”.

      • James North
        James North
        November 9, 2013, 3:57 pm

        @MahaneYehude1 I think Shmuel and seafoid are pulling your tail.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        November 9, 2013, 4:14 pm

        I used the translator and received “nonsense” but didn’t receive “racism”.

        That’s rich coming from a bot, baby.

      • jon s
        jon s
        November 9, 2013, 4:45 pm

        Seafoid, I’ve usually respected your comments, despite disagreeing. This one is in really bad taste (literally), offensive to both Jews and Palestinians, certainly not funny, if that’s what you were trying to be.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        November 9, 2013, 5:19 pm

        I guess his sense of humor was amputated and replaced with the zio-pump! Seems to be an essential operation for the bots.

      • MahaneYehude1
        MahaneYehude1
        November 9, 2013, 11:45 pm

        @Bumblebye: The Zio-pump will continue as long as you continue to produce more falsehoods in your lies factory!!!

      • Walid
        Walid
        November 10, 2013, 12:17 am

        “offensive to both Jews and Palestinians” (jon s)

        Don’t know about the Jews but not at all offensive to Palestinians, especially in light of Ibrahim Mohammed ibn Felafel, like most Palestinians, having probably Jewish or Christian roots dating back to the Islamic conquest of 640 AD. What’s the name of that Palestinian village in Israel where Muslim Palestinian-Arab crypto Jews today live and speak Hebrew “en cachette” between themselves and observe Jewish holidays?

      • annie
        annie
        November 10, 2013, 12:49 am

        where’s your sense of humor mehane…Ibrahim Mohammed ibn Felafel ? lol!

        jon: certainly not funny, if that’s what you were trying to be.
        oh noes, don’t mess with their potato pancake!

        Potato pancakes are associated with cuisines of many European and Middle Eastern century-old traditions including Austrian, Belarusian (as draniki), Czech (as bramborák or cmunda), German (as Kartoffelpuffer or Reibekuchen), Hungarian (as tócsni and other names), Iranian, Jewish (as latkes or latkas, Yiddish: לאַטקעס, Hebrew: לביבה levivah, plural לביבות levivot), Latvian (as kartupeļu pankūkas), Lithuanian (as bulviniai blynai), Luxembourg (Gromperekichelcher), Polish (as placki ziemniaczane), Russian (as draniki, драники), Slovak (as nálečníky), Ukrainian (as deruny) and any other cuisines which have adopted similar dishes. It is the national dish of Belarus. In Germany, potato pancakes are eaten either salty (as a side dish) or sweet with apple sauce,[2] blueberries, sugar and cinnamon; they are a very common menu item during outdoor markets and festivals in colder seasons. In Swiss cuisine, the Rösti differs insofar as it never contains egg or flour. It is a traditional favorite in southern Indiana during holiday festivities.[3]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato_pancake

        seriously tho, it’s my favorite Hanukkah food. it’s hard to top a great latke!

        but the question of who invented(discovered) the potato first…must have been the irish! but now that we know lord sandwich didn’t invent the sandwich…well…this is very serious stuff.

        This one is in really bad taste (literally), offensive to both Jews and Palestinians

        uh oh….don’t mess w/their latkes!

      • jon s
        jon s
        November 10, 2013, 12:57 am

        Well, Walid , I suppose you’re more qualified to know what offends Palestinians. I just thought that inventing a dumb name for a Palestinian, and expressing disrespect for an important figure in Jewish history and for the traditional Jewish day of mourning and fasting…qualified as “offensive”.
        As to your question, I heard something like that regarding part of the population of Yatta, in the WB. Can’t vouch for it.

      • annie
        annie
        November 10, 2013, 1:07 am

        james..where have you been? way too long, i have missed you.

      • Walid
        Walid
        November 10, 2013, 3:29 am

        “I heard something like that regarding part of the population of Yatta,”

        No, jon s, the cryptos registered as Palestinian-Arabs are inside Israel proper; a small community of less than a thousand, read about it in Haaretz about 3 years ago. Will try to dig it up.

      • Walid
        Walid
        November 10, 2013, 3:45 am

        Annie, the potato, like the tomato originated with the Amerindians. But try to convince an Arab of that.

      • bintbiba
        bintbiba
        November 10, 2013, 10:10 am

        Ka’ek with kunafah.!!! yum yum!!

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 4:39 pm

        “Foods demonstrate that Jews ceased to be a nation long ago”

        Different regions of Italy have different food cultures. I guess Italy is not a country and Italians are not a nation.

      • ziusudra
        ziusudra
        November 11, 2013, 12:00 pm

        Greetings Shmuel,
        … I’ll wait for the day when Bagels are attacked too…..
        If Bagele was so kocher, why did it get started in Poland?
        ziusudra
        PS There was a North Italian Friar, who not only taught
        children, but worked as a backer.
        One day, ca. 1750 he noticed that the italian children folded their
        arms at prayer & he brained stormed ‘Braccioli’ Italian for Arms.
        The Austrians couldn’t pronounce Braccioli & quipped Brezen,
        hence the Pretzel was born.

    • yrn
      yrn
      November 9, 2013, 5:23 am

      That’s a great article for readers to explore the direction of Mondowiess.

  14. RoHa
    RoHa
    November 9, 2013, 1:06 am

    ” intermarriage crisis”

    That phrase is repugnant.

    • just
      just
      November 9, 2013, 8:14 am

      It is repugnant.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        November 9, 2013, 9:42 am

        And they are not pregnant

    • eljay
      eljay
      November 9, 2013, 8:50 am

      >> That phrase is repugnant.

      But at least it’s well constructed…right? ;-)

      (I would have hyphenated the word “inter-marriage”.)

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 9, 2013, 8:43 pm

        Lighten up, eljay.

        Stop fussing about these grammatical minutiae.

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 9, 2013, 9:58 pm

        >> Stop fussing about these grammatical minutiae.

        Yeah, sorry about that. Sometimes I just can’t, seem to let it go.

        :-D

      • just
        just
        November 11, 2013, 10:23 am

        LOL, eljay!

  15. Talkback
    Talkback
    November 9, 2013, 3:32 am

    Let’s hope they never change their name to Lebensborn.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      November 9, 2013, 5:25 am

      Isn’t there a middle ground between calling intermarriage a silent holocaust and the attitude of Phil that trashes rabbis who encourage Jews to marry other Jews? Are rabbis supposed to be encouraged by Jews with Christmas trees who can’t read or write Hebrew, Yiddish or Ladino and who are more familiar with a church service than they are with a synagogue service?

      Doesn’t Phil’s attitude encourage “Talkback’s” type of reaction which equates JDate to Nazism?

      Mondoweiss is not only opposed to Zionism for the decent reasons of supporting the Palestinians and straightening out American foreign policy, but it is also opposed to anything which talks about Jewish continuity as a positive value.

      • Donald
        Donald
        November 9, 2013, 8:54 am

        “Mondoweiss is not only opposed to Zionism for the decent reasons of supporting the Palestinians and straightening out American foreign policy, but it is also opposed to anything which talks about Jewish continuity as a positive value.”

        Yeah, Phil, it can come across that way. You might feel strongly about this, but if the entire constellation of opinion on religion and society and intermarriage and assimiliation has to line up with your views before the I/P conflict is solved, we’re going to have a long wait.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 9, 2013, 11:50 am

        You might feel strongly about this, but if the entire constellation of opinion on religion and society and intermarriage and assimiliation has to line up with your views before the I/P conflict is solved, we’re going to have a long wait.

        I tend to agree, except when Judaism claims to exercise all of the rights and duties of a State, while complaining about all of the logical and legal consequences of being just another subject of the applicable international laws which accompany that status.

        None of the 613 commandments required the establishment of a territorial Westphalian state. If Judaism insists on being treated like one, then it can’t legally prohibit intermarriage with other ethnic groups without being accused of practicing one of the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid and violating a number of Universal Human Rights instruments. Those other ethnic groups and the corresponding legal obligations literally “comes with the territory” as they say.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 9, 2013, 12:16 pm

        Donald please examine this statement about the statecraft of “Judaism” and remember it comes from a member of the governing coalition of a State that legally prohibits intermarriage. Rather than advocate a state that serves all of its citizens, he simply throws up his hands and says that Judaism and democracy are incompatible and that legal problems of non-Jews can’t be solved:

        Israel’s definition as a Jewish Democratic state is a contradiction that cannot be solved, Finance Minister Yair Lapid said Tuesday in a speech that cut deep into the fundamental problems facing Israel’s minorities.

        “The unsolvable problem is that Israel is defined as a Jewish State – both by law and by a decisive majority of its residents – as a Jewish Democratic state,” he said at the Prime Minister’s Conference on Arabs in the economy at Tel Aviv University. “Judaism is a whole line of values that have existed for thousands of years, but the democratic idea is a new idea, and significant parts of it stand in contradiction to Judaism.”

        Israel gave up the kings and prophets of Judaism in favor of a democratic vote, he said, while practices such as slavery and animal sacrifice had long gone out of favor.

        “The meaning of democracy is equality before the law. How can Israel say that everyone is equal before the law – that you’re equal before the law – when the law defines Judaism as the cultural, national and legislative basis for the state?” he asked the Arab participants at the conference.

        — See Lapid: Israel’s definition as Jewish and democratic is an unsolvable contradiction http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Lapid-Israels-definition-as-Jewish-and-democratic-is-an-unsolvable-contradiction-330067

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        November 9, 2013, 12:41 pm

        I don’t know whether to say that it’s nice or that it’s rather shocking to have such a stark admission from such a highly placed person. Mind you, democracy and Judaism are not new vs. old: they’re roughly coeval sets of ideas and values, both somewhat mutated after a couple of millennia.

      • Donald
        Donald
        November 10, 2013, 2:22 pm

        Hostage–I was speaking of the situation within the US, not the situation in Israel. In the US people have the legal right to marry in or out of the group, and people can preach for assimiliation or against it. There’s no legal coercion. (There has been against gay marriage, but that’s changing.) I have no interest in defending Israel’s noxious discriminatory policies.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 10, 2013, 3:21 pm

        Hostage–I was speaking of the situation within the US, not the situation in Israel.

        It’s not a separate situation. Israeli authorities steadfastly refuse to establish a secular Israeli nationality or permit civil marriages precisely because they might create another Jewish people that couldn’t intermarry with the ones living here in the USA. Jewish leaders here pretend that the Jewish people are some sort of alien immiscible race that faces extinction or is betrayed and looses a member any time an intermarriage occurs.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 9, 2013, 11:26 am

        Isn’t there a middle ground between calling intermarriage a silent holocaust and the attitude of Phil that trashes rabbis who encourage Jews to marry other Jews?

        You have to establish some reasonable “boundaries” as a preliminary to discussions about where “a middle ground” might exist. For example, if the rabbis are really worried that I might put “the sign of the covenant” where it doesn’t belong, they should probably wait and obtain my consent before they simply take it upon themselves to carve one into my penis in the exercise of some official capacity. {sarcasim off}

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        November 9, 2013, 2:07 pm

        yonah: “[Phil is] opposed to anything which talks about Jewish continuity as a positive value.”

        That is a serious misrepresentation. It is not jewish “continuity” that is opposed, but the subversion that occured as zionism became grafted to Judaism, producing a golem. I believe that if it had been just about Jewish “continuity” there would be issues, but they would be more like the issues with say, Mormonism. Yes, it’s exclusive and yes, it has this whiff of “superiority” about it that is well, a bit un-American. But it would also be understood as one more attempt by a people, now American, to preserve bits and pieces of a culture and a set of traditions.

        really, not so different from Catholics (with all that implies), right? except that Catholics are not subverting the US’s entire foreign policy to conform with the vatican’s wishes. Whereas the jewish establishment is out there, as we speak, banging their loud drums for netanyahoo’s vision of destroying Iran, for no reason other than – well, why not. for better but more likely the worse, netanyahoo who looks more and more like some Middle easter tin pot zealot, IS what the jewish voices of America track with, whether through AIPAC or ADL.

        We look at the hysterics and hystrionics emanating from land of Judea, and we must wonder – is that where jewish “continuity” leads? many would shrink in feigned horror – of course not! we are all for 2 state! but the reality is what it is. And jewish “values” have become wedded to the israel that we see. In so doing they are less about that mysterious “continuity” and more about something a lot simpler – cover-up for greed for land not theirs.

        The negative reaction towards these overt ‘continuity” campaigns in an American context, are quite different – in spirit and in practice – from the desire to preserve Judaism, as promoted by the rabbis of the middle ages. Then Judaism was a tradition and a religion practiced by a minority, which incurred persecution as happened to all minorities that tried to remain distinct – in a European land mass, busily splitting up into regions and nations, even with Rome’s fiercest resistance. The “continuity” in a modern American context is, unfortunately some say, tied up in knots with the israel experiment, which has gone rogue, sweeping jewish religion and jewish “values” with it.

        The question that’s being implicitly asked is – can “continuity” be a good thing if it comes at a cost of greatly increased misery inflicted upon another people? Most Jews in America avert their eyes – quite successfully – from that misery and persecution inflicted in their name. It is only natural that in such a context, the “continuity” itself will be questioned as long as it continues to give a hand to and cover up evil deeds.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 4:44 pm

        “except that Catholics are not subverting the US’s entire foreign policy to conform with the vatican’s wishes.”

        Neither are Jews. But it’s nice to see you admit that your views on Jews in America are rooted in anti-Catholic rhetoric.

        “The “continuity” in a modern American context is, unfortunately some say, tied up in knots with the israel experiment, which has gone rogue, sweeping jewish religion and jewish “values” with it.”

        No, it isn’t. That’s a load of nonsense. The campaign to encourage Jews to marry one another has nothing to do with Israel. Two anti-Zionist Jews marrying one another is still a Jewish marriage.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 11, 2013, 1:42 pm

        “except that Catholics are not subverting the US’s entire foreign policy to conform with the vatican’s wishes.”

        Hoppy: Neither are Jews. But it’s nice to see you admit that your views on Jews in America are rooted in anti-Catholic rhetoric.

        He didn’t say anything anti-Catholic. He simply said the Catholics here are NOT subverting US foreign policy in order to make it conform to the wishes of the Vatican, which is a foreign state.

        On the other hand, you are dissembling again. You yourself have claimed time and again that we are a fringe group and that the majority of Jews support and defend Israel. The Bnai Brith, ADL, US Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and The Jewish Federations of North America certainly do. They are all registered lobbies or run by registered lobbyists who publicly admit that Israel is their top political issue, e.g. http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/news/national_world/article_e85429d4-9529-11e1-b4b2-001a4bcf887a.html

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        November 10, 2013, 5:37 am

        yonah fredman says: “Doesn’t Phil’s attitude encourage “Talkback’s” type of reaction which equates JDate to Nazism?”

        Not Phil’s attitude. Hostage pretty much summed it up.

        But I have to admit that around the same time I was commenting a Jewish Zionist’s posting somewhere else. And he had the attitude that Jews as such were direct descendents of ancient Hebrews and not only therefore intermarriage was Rassenschande, especially with ze ‘dirty Arabs’.

        So I’m going to be a litte bit more careful, especially when writing one- liners.

      • Walid
        Walid
        November 12, 2013, 2:41 am

        “Mondoweiss is not only opposed to Zionism for the decent reasons of supporting the Palestinians …”

        Yonah, Mondoweiss is not opposed to Zionism for the sake of supporting the Palestinians, it’s doing it to save Judaism from its evil. The Palestinian cause is one of the vehicles it’s using to that end and the Palestinians are surely benefitting by it and grateful for it.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        November 12, 2013, 10:21 am

        Zionism (considering it to be a claim to exclusive rights in the Holy Land for people who are Jewish) is an unjust – that is false – idea. That is the basic and valid – in the end the only valid – reason for opposing an idea.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        November 12, 2013, 11:13 pm

        Walid- It is weird arguing with you about whether it is accurate to say that Mondoweiss is trying to save Judaism from Zionism. But, weird or not, here you have it-

        Phil is not devoted to Judaism and never has been (not on the pages of this blog). He is devoted to America and individualism. Zionism may be giving Judaism a bad name. That is Marc Ellis’s domain and argument. Phil really has never shown much concern for Judaism. He wants to celebrate Christmas and promote intermarriage, to denigrate Jews giving Hebrew or Jewish names to their children, to point out the disadvantages of giving one’s children a full Jewish education rather than a token one and call the Talmud bullshit and have the Jews fess up to having too much power in Hollywood (I would add and Washington, but that’s back to the Zionism issue, which I am avoiding in this argument.) How do these add up to a concern for Judaism? They do not. He is not here because of a concern for Judaism. He is concerned with America and with himself as an individual. Nothing wrong with individualism and America as ideals worth protecting. Something wrong with pretending his concern is somewhere that it is not.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        November 13, 2013, 12:33 am

        yonah fredman:

        … whether it is accurate to say that Mondoweiss is trying to save Judaism from Zionism.

        Perhaps “trying to save Jewishness from Zionism” would be more accurate.

  16. Keith
    Keith
    November 9, 2013, 2:17 pm

    JBABIES????

    Take a long hard look at the pictures, folks. These babies represent Judaism and/or Jewishness? They look more like ABabies to me, with all that implies about Ashkenazi misrepresentation. Perhaps we should examine some of these labels more closely.

    • miriam6
      miriam6
      November 9, 2013, 5:17 pm

      ABabies?

      And Keith has been the very one just clamouring and campaigning for more Mizrahi voices to be heard on Mondoweiss to correct Ashkenazi misrepresentation..

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 10, 2013, 4:45 pm

        “JBABIES????

        Take a long hard look at the pictures, folks. These babies represent Judaism and/or Jewishness? They look more like ABabies to me, with all that implies about Ashkenazi misrepresentation. Perhaps we should examine some of these labels more closely.”

        More nonsense. There are people of all races and backgrounds on JDate.

  17. Stogumber
    Stogumber
    November 10, 2013, 5:30 am

    In these matters, the only sin is hypocrisy – like, I promote communitarianism and endogamy for “us”, but promote anti-communitarianism and exogamy for all “others”.

    I think, Spark Network represents a part of the Jewish Right, which has overcome this hypocrisy and which treats “us” and “the others” on equal terms. That is in my eyes a positive development.

  18. miriam6
    miriam6
    November 10, 2013, 5:38 pm

    More nonsense. There are people of all races and backgrounds on JDate.

    If that is so ( I am not acquainted with the JDate site ) then those aforementioned pictures of babies of European/ European Jewish appearance used to accompany Weiss’s latest self conscious attempt to promote out – marriage – were clearly chosen to have a somewhat subliminal effect on most commenters here.
    It suggests yet again that MW definitely regards Ashkenazi Jewry as almost inherently problematic..
    Though of course – simultaneously MW choses to value anti Zionist assimilated and out – married Ashkenazi opinions over those opinions of Jews of non- Ashkenazi descent.

    It appears that Spark Networks, which owns JDate, also runs Christian Mingle, Catholic Mingle, and services aimed at getting black people to date black people, Latinos to date Latinos, and LDS to stick to LDS dates. Sparks has Jewish leadership. And this is regarded as a worthy Jewish enterprise, to keep folks marrying other folks like themselves?

    And why exactly is Philip Weiss’s promotion ( limp wristed though that promotion is ) of the values of out – marriage any better?

    There are good and perfectly acceptable reasons why Jewish people / Muslims / African and Latino Americans wish to facilitate marriage between those of the same backgrounds.
    I suspect Weiss feels deeply threatened by those who have a much stronger sense of their own identity and community than he does and have the understandable desire to maintain and pass on to their resulting off- spring – the continuity of those shared values.

    By contrast – all Weiss seems to have to offer by way of values is a rather limp – wishy – washy liberalism – with Weiss and his fellow travellers only otherwise really firmly united by the sole certain conviction that Zionism / Israel is ‘evil.’

    • just
      just
      November 11, 2013, 10:22 am

      Why are you even here if all you have is vitriol toward the people who run this site, miriam?

      It’s boring and predictable. Your schoolmarmish lectures are so very tiresome.

      (Zionism, as it’s practiced, is completely “evil”, btw. And your arguments are “limp” and will wither on the vine. Nice smear though– I guess you really do discriminate.)

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      November 11, 2013, 1:27 pm

      And why exactly is Philip Weiss’s promotion ( limp wristed though that promotion is ) of the values of out – marriage any better?

      Let’s try to remember that it’s the Zionists and the Orthodox who demonize the 60 percent of Jews in this country who choose to marry out. They use propaganda tactics to libel others and say assimilation is a “disease”, an “existential threat”, and go so far as to label it “another Holocaust”. Then you come along and are stupid enough to climb up on your soap box and publicly complain about Phil’s liberal acceptance of human equality, value, and worth. Stay classy Miriam.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      November 11, 2013, 2:19 pm

      “I suspect Weiss  feels deeply threatened by those who have a much  stronger sense of their own identity and community than he does and have the  understandable desire to maintain and pass on to their resulting off- spring  – the continuity of those shared values.”

      I think this a great insight. I think the community that religion provides is often what makes it most attractive, and I think that most secular people lack that level of community. Perhaps that’s why so many seem to feel guilty about their choices.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 11, 2013, 4:26 pm

        I think this a great insight. I think the community that religion provides is often what makes it most attractive,

        I think we’ve pointed out that if you must pass-on shared religious values to your off-spring, there are religions which allow changes and don’t: teach theism, or practice statism, racism, or tribalism; don’t mutilate their off-spring’s genitals, don’t ritually slaughter animals for table use, and don’t try to enforce a medieval code of laws, like the Shulchan Aruch. You dimwits just chose to ignore those insights.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        November 11, 2013, 11:41 pm

        Hostage- You are clear as glass about your opposition to circumcision and ritual slaughter. (Question: Is ritual slaughter so much more painful than modern slaughter that it rates up there with circumcision as something you oppose?) But a little more clarity on which parts of the Shulchan Aruch you oppose would be helpful. (And is that opposition only to a state that tries to enforce the Shulchan Aruch or is it also to parents who teach the Shulchan Aruch to their offspring?) And because Judaism is less mutable than say Christianity, does that mean that it is cruel to pass it on to one’s children?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 12, 2013, 12:49 am

        (Question: Is ritual slaughter so much more painful than modern slaughter that it rates up there with circumcision as something you oppose?)

        The question is moot. I was pointing out that many religions do not impose any such criteria at all. Modern slaughter and ritual slaughter methods can both be found objectionable to modern sensibilities and the values of animal rights activists or vegetarians. Both slaughter systems have been, and still are, subject to corrupt practices and abuses of codes designed to prevent unnecessary cruelty to animals.

        But a little more clarity on which parts of the Shulchan Aruch you oppose would be helpful. (And is that opposition only to a state that tries to enforce the Shulchan Aruch or is it also to parents who teach the Shulchan Aruch to their offspring?)

        It reflects the primitive ideas of its own 12th century medieval era about the natural order of things and the rules of normal society. It also attempts to rationalize a crude and arbitrary man-made legal code and myths as the product of a just and divine God inherited solely by God’s chosen people, Israel. I don’t think that any of its authoritative claims about the subjects it deals with are true.

        If you want to teach your children that this is the way things used to be in the dark ages, that’s fine with me. The first Knesset rejected a proposal that it be adopted for official state use as fundamental law.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 12, 2013, 1:05 am

        And because Judaism is less mutable than say Christianity, does that mean that it is cruel to pass it on to one’s children?

        I think that the Reform Pittsburgh Platform established that Judaism could be just as mutable as Christianity. It is cruel to hand down superstitions, and legal fictions to your children as if they are immutable or were ordained by God.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 12, 2013, 6:47 am

        “If you want to teach your children that this is the way things used to be in the dark ages, that’s fine with me.”

        Thanks, King Hostage. You are for imposing your views on all. You’re not the first, and you won’t be the last, but you’re certainly not very American.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 12, 2013, 8:13 am

        Thanks, King Hostage. You are for imposing your views on all.

        I haven’t imposed my views on anyone pal, that’s your schtick.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 12, 2013, 1:56 am

        the understandable desire to maintain and pass on to their resulting off- spring – the continuity of those shared values.”

        Yet you wouldn’t have much trouble finding an Orthodox forum where you would get lots of hostile responses to children of gentile mothers and Jewish fathers. There are many rabbis who would claim that the father had no obligation at all to pass on any values to a non-Jewish child. They usually recommend that the best thing would be to sever relations with any woman who is not willing to convert and avoid contact with the children who will pressure you to fall back into the sinful relationship. There is no obligation to raise such as child as Jewish, since they aren’t, and are under no obligation and aren’t encouraged to convert.

        Spouses can end up feeling like second class citizens or property. See “Frimet Goldberger tells about her personal struggle against the practice of forced head shaving”. http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-features/1.556877 That isn’t typical, but we’ve seen articles here about all sorts of other slights to women that are.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 12, 2013, 6:49 am

        “Yet you wouldn’t have much trouble finding an Orthodox forum where you would get lots of hostile responses to children of gentile mothers and Jewish fathers.”

        Yes, unfortunately. But most JDate subscribers, in fact, probably very few, belong to such a community. So it’s a red herring.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 12, 2013, 8:18 am

        Yes, unfortunately. But most JDate subscribers, in fact, probably very few, belong to such a community. So it’s a red herring.

        No it’s not. The Jewish press here, and in Israel, are full of reports from people who consider themselves typical Jews, until they move to the Zionist Utopia and get informed otherwise by the Jewish, Zionist state officials there who are in charge of making legal determinations about their personal status and that of their offspring. You never get tired of trying to downplay that fact of life.

      • talknic
        talknic
        November 12, 2013, 9:17 am

        @Hostage “You never get tired of trying to downplay that fact of life”

        Denial is the propagandists ‘fact of life’

    • tree
      tree
      November 11, 2013, 2:23 pm

      If that is so ( I am not acquainted with the JDate site ) then those aforementioned pictures of babies of European/ European Jewish appearance used to accompany Weiss’s latest self conscious attempt to promote out – marriage – were clearly chosen to have a somewhat subliminal effect on most commenters here. It suggests yet again that MW definitely regards Ashkenazi Jewry as almost inherently problematic.

      Miriam, once again you show your intellectual laziness, and your penchant for blaming Phil Weiss for things that others have done. The “aforementioned pictures” are clearly labelled in Phil’s piece as coming from JDate advertising materials. So obviously any “subliminal effect” they may have was created by Jdate itself, not by Phil. The very same picture with the same description was feature in the Atlantic article that Phil discusses, thus proving convincingly that Phil was NOT responsible for the selection of “Jbabies” pictures. All it took, miriam, was reading the caption for the picture in Phil’s piece to find the source of the picture, and then clicking on the Atlantic link in Phil’s article to find the SAME PICTURE with the SAME CAPTION in the Atlantic article, thus conclusively proving that you would have been better off in this case to keep your mouth shut instead of falsely accusing Phil of something that was obviously done by others.

      Evidently you are either too desperate to blame Phil for everything to read for comprehension, or you are just too lazy to do the same. Are you sufficiently honest and moral enough to apologize to Phil for your mistake?

      • gamal
        gamal
        November 11, 2013, 3:43 pm

        all very well tree, but he is an elitist too you know, is Miriam inherently..problematic as she comments but can not read, a nutritious spud from the Mehane collective may be helpful, sorry to reveal myself but white babies, sweet though they are, are a little funny looking, i think inter-marriage should be compulsory, as i contemplate my cafe au lait skin and bastardised physiognomy.
        Blue Mink it would appear are less than Kosher, in this context.
        http://youtu.be/4HHT_V294Co

      • Walid
        Walid
        November 12, 2013, 2:54 am

        “i think inter-marriage should be compulsory, as i contemplate my cafe au lait skin and bastardised physiognomy….” (gamal)

        These marriages also usually make very beautiful babies.

      • gamal
        gamal
        November 12, 2013, 4:13 am

        yes, but how am I to demonstrably pass on my genetic heritage and all those cherished values I use to belittle others and glorify my insignificance? beats me, may have to give it a pass, my kids dont look anything like me and unanimously ignore my profound wisdom, it seems they have their own things and are not much in need of mine.

        This is the way of the world, perfectly healthy and in tune with the new worlds coming into being, we all going to die you know, there is no posterity in death, and so none of these cosmic burdens need trouble us, I can barely make out the present, the past and future are utterly opaque, other than as vivid illusions, they can take care of themselves, all I need do is feed whom I have to feed care for those I can and be gentle with all those I come into contact with, beyond that fuck values and traditions save the culinary and artistic. and those of revolt and incorrigible disobedience and most especially solidarity, but perhaps the new world will see things differently, no one ever checks with me about the fate of humanity, perhaps because its none of my business.

      • Walid
        Walid
        November 12, 2013, 5:54 am

        “my kids dont look anything like me and unanimously ignore my profound wisdom…”

        My “inter” resulted in my kids looking somewhat like me but as you with yours, they too ignored my profound wisdom. Maybe that profound wisdom we cherish so much is only in our minds and they were wise enough to distance themselves from it.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        November 12, 2013, 6:11 am

        my kids … unanimously ignore my profound wisdom

        That’s their job. The rest of us are under no such obligation :-)

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