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  1. Your photo of Chelsea Clinton and her husband make a strong argument in favor of intermarriage, or better yet, marrying someone you'd be in love with forever. I can make the same argument about myself and my Christian wife.

    Substitute "Aryan" for "Jewish" and similar arguments were made 78 years ago in the Third Reich, and were just as specious as the ones you're making in your article.

    Comment by Dan Silagi — October 10, 2013 @ 11:08 AM

  2. So Steve, what's your point? That "liberalism" leads to intermarriage, and in order to be truly Jewish, one must join the Tea Party, and kiss the dorsal orifice of Michele Bachman's alimentary canal?

    If jerks like you had their way, the U.S. government would default on its obligations and we'd be a larger version of Greece, but with about 6,800,000 more Jews, assimilated and otherwise.

    Comment by Dan Silagi — October 10, 2013 @ 11:27 AM

  3. Dan, you're the jerk. Steve's article is right on. You liberals are THE most intolerant bunch of fools on the planet. Face the facts, yo.

    Comment by Stewart Schwartz — October 10, 2013 @ 2:27 PM

  4. who's the jerk, Danny boy?

    Comment by Stewart Schwartz — October 10, 2013 @ 2:28 PM

  5. Of 10 1st cousins only three of us have Jewish spouces. Seven of the 12 children of these relatives of mine have children that are considered Jews although the actual number of the children only four are practicing Jews seeking or are maddied to Jews.
    I have two marriage age daughters that are having a very difficult time finding a practicing Jewish husband. There are plenty Liberal males that have no problem with a pork chop dinner Friday evening instead of Chicken soup, knaidelah and challah.

    Comment by Stefan Jan Lane — October 10, 2013 @ 2:58 PM

  6. Among the several definitions of Liberalismit it is in part defined by Webster as the freedom from the yoke of religious practice and ritual. The entire world that we Jews live in is populated with vicious antisemites and murderous Islamist Jihadiis. Those folks have a very liberal for the definition of a Jew.

    If you are an American Jew you are in severe jeopardy. I am reminded of Ms. Daisy remarking when the Temple in Atlanta was bomed that, "We are Reformed Jews."

    Comment by Stefan Jan Lane — October 10, 2013 @ 3:07 PM

  7. When one visits the Jewish Museum in Berlin, an on going exhibit on the Jews in German shows the Mendelssohn Family. Moses Mendelssohn was the foremost Rabbi in Germany(Prussia) of his time. Perhaps in all of Europe, yet 10 of his 12 children all converted to Christianity, including the father of Felix Mendelssohn. In fact, Felix's father even added the name Bartholdy to further Christianize the family. Now the question remains as to why they did this? I think that the level of hidden and overt anti-semitism was so great, that anyone who was anyone converted. Much the way it is today in the USA. Who wants to be shackled to "that old time religion" when you can chuck all of that and be as modern as possible. Go to Berlin and see this exhibit for yourself.

    Comment by Cody Flecker — October 10, 2013 @ 3:19 PM

  8. Look in the mirror and learn.

    Comment by Dan Silagi — October 10, 2013 @ 3:44 PM

  9. The reason people assimilate in the US and elsewhere in the West is that Jews are now fully accepted in Western society, and it's about time. There no longer is the need to circle the wagons. The main purpose of orthodox Judaism, Halacha, and the 613 so-called "Mitzvot" was to keep Jews apart from everyone else, and thus preserve the tribe. In early 20th-Century Poland that was probably a good idea; Jews WERE surrounded by enemies. Ditto for ancient Israel.

    The "price" of full integration into modern Western society is intermarriage. To those who are railing against this, I ask: Would you rather be regarded by the rest of your countrymen as "auslanders"? Would you rather live in Poland, circa 1915? Remember, one can always make aliyah. Prior to 1948, that wasn't really an option.

    Comment by Dan Silagi — October 10, 2013 @ 3:51 PM

  10. ??????

    Comment by Roger De Freitas — October 10, 2013 @ 4:01 PM

  11. Dan, the jerk be you.  It’s either liberal or nothing?  You liberals are THE most intolerant lot, aren’t you?   Steve’s right on.  Face the facts, yo.

    Comment by Stewart Schwartz — October 10, 2013 @ 5:24 PM

  12. I guess one can't be a DEMOCRAT and ORTHODOX?

    Comment by Matityahu Ben-David — October 11, 2013 @ 1:27 AM

  13. The essence of Jewishness, as compared to other religions, is the ability to question doctrine and tradition, even as they honor their past. They still want to be Jews, but that doesn't have to define who they love.

    Comment by Jay Schleifer — October 11, 2013 @ 3:54 AM

  14. I don't see how that can be the "essence" of Judaism when the religion, like other religions, has the tradition of "hokh" – doctrine that may not be questioned at all. This is why the orthodox don't consider observers of conservative or reform Judaism (one of which I presume you and I count ourselves as) as Jews. On the other hand, if we are thoroughly secular and non-practicing this is precisely the group Steve Plaut is talking about. It seems to me he has a major, even horrifying point.

    Comment by Ira Altman — October 11, 2013 @ 4:18 AM

  15. Ira Altman do you think that the jews of 1500 years ago would think orthodoxy religious?

    Comment by Pace Lattin — October 11, 2013 @ 7:44 AM

  16. Great comment. Unfortunately, there is a growing amount of Orthodox Jews adopting the customs of Radical Islam and Christianity. They have to be "more religious" every year, and ignore the traditions of even their parents.

    Comment by Pace Lattin — October 11, 2013 @ 7:46 AM

  17. He's not talking about Democrats.

    Comment by Ira Altman — October 11, 2013 @ 5:33 PM

  18. Pace Lattin , Yes. But not so-called Modern "Orthodox."

    Comment by Ira Altman — October 11, 2013 @ 5:34 PM

  19. Dan Silagi You've given one solution in your last line.

    Comment by Ira Altman — October 11, 2013 @ 5:37 PM

  20. Dan, the only people threatening default is Obama and the Democrats. And it's a scare tactic: there's enough funds pouring into the treasury every month to pay the interest on the debt and more.Therefore, no default.

    Comment by Ira Altman — October 11, 2013 @ 5:40 PM

  21. Also Dan, the only way we become Greece is if we continue to rack up our debt to such a height that it becomes impossible to repay it. The only solution is to rein in our profligate ways, something Obama and the Democrats are unwilling to do.

    Comment by Ira Altman — October 11, 2013 @ 5:46 PM

  22. This is the most imp[ortant article I have read in years. Thank you!

    Comment by Harry DeMell — October 11, 2013 @ 8:45 PM

  23. This is the most imp[ortant article I have read in years. Thank you!

    Comment by Harry DeMell — October 11, 2013 @ 8:45 PM

  24. My question here may be simplistic, but does the high intermarriage rate in the Pew Study only include those who are married, or does it include common law as well? Depending on the source of data, the US cohabitation rate is at an all time high, so I wonder how it reflects on the intermarriage numbers.

    Comment by Barb Wiseberg — October 11, 2013 @ 10:29 PM

  25. The U.S. is a melting pot. What happens to ALL ethnicities and nationalities that immigrate here? For better or worse, we all become Americanized. Each generation gets watered down more. So yes, this is a problem in the Jewish community, (but not the orthodox) But it is also a problem in all communities.
    This is not necessarily a "liberal" problem.

    Comment by Susan Singer — October 12, 2013 @ 12:01 PM

  26. You're absolutely correct. You want to be a Jew first? Make aliyah, you can be both a Jew and an Israeli first.

    Comment by Dan Silagi — October 13, 2013 @ 10:29 AM

  27. You're absolutely correct. You want to be a Jew first? Make aliyah, you can be both a Jew and an Israeli first.

    Comment by Dan Silagi — October 13, 2013 @ 10:29 AM

  28. As a proud, Torah-observing Jew and an Iraq War veteran, I reject completely and totally the notion that being a Jew first is inconsistent with Americanism. We don't live in North Korea. The state is not and should not be put ahead of all else. The fact that almost no Christian would answer "Yes" if asked "Are you an American before you are a Christian?" proves the utter nonsense of the idea that being 100% Jewish and obeying the mitzvot makes you less American than everyone else.

    Comment by Rob Feldmeier — October 13, 2013 @ 12:24 PM

  29. PS. Mr. Silagi, we do not obey the mitzot because we need to "circle the wagons." We do so because Ha-Shem commanded it.

    Comment by Rob Feldmeier — October 13, 2013 @ 12:25 PM

  30. Interesting article.
    For those that are interested in questioning their Jewish beliefs – check out this group, some great conversations about Jewsih issues that most Jews are faced with today –
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/612246042133148

    Comment by Yaakov Sandler — October 14, 2013 @ 9:28 PM

  31. I'm both!

    Comment by Charlie Hall — October 15, 2013 @ 2:18 AM

  32. Ira Altman Japan's per capita debt is more than double that of the US and it is causing no problems at all. The Republican Austerity policies are damaging the economy and destroying much of the US's physical and intellectual infrastructure. We are indeed headed the way of Greece of Obama doesn't stand firm.

    Comment by Charlie Hall — October 15, 2013 @ 2:22 AM

  33. Ira Altman , "This is why the orthodox don't consider observers of conservative or reform Judaism (one of which I presume you and I count ourselves as) as Jews" — that's not entirely correct. Observers of Reform and Conservative Judaism who are halachically Jewish are still considered Jews; what isn't recognized is Reform and Conservative Judaism.

    Comment by Sarah Williams — October 15, 2013 @ 5:33 PM

  34. Dan Silagi It depends on whether or not you want Jewish grandchildren. If Judaism has no value to you, you probably don't care and assimilation is fine; if Judaism is something you value as a faith-based way of life, then being Jewish is more important than being accepted by the gentiles in your society.

    Comment by Sarah Williams — October 15, 2013 @ 5:35 PM

  35. Additionally, this article explains why any criticism of the liberal ideology is so vehemently opposed–it is as if you are criticizing their religion. Wars have been fought over less.

    Comment by Linda Goudsmit — October 15, 2013 @ 8:13 PM

  36. Additionally, this article explains why any criticism of the liberal ideology is so vehemently opposed–it is as if you are criticizing their religion. Wars have been fought over less.

    Comment by Linda Goudsmit — October 15, 2013 @ 8:13 PM

  37. you can also make the argument that most non-orthodox people like sports. Therefore, sports leads to intermarriage. Make sense?

    Comment by Rachel Flank-Lisbon — October 16, 2013 @ 2:31 AM

  38. How many Jews are there is the world compared to Israel and according to these statistics when will there be a Jewish majority in Israel, do you guess?

    Comment by Bat Yisrael — October 16, 2013 @ 2:55 PM

  39. Kind of a shame that Rachel Flank-Lisbon never bothered to read Plaut’s article.  If assimilationist Jews misdefined Judaism as sugar and then promoted sports instead of Judaism as a pseudo-theology, then yes indeed sports would be behind the massive intermarriage plague.

    Comment by insecticide — October 17, 2013 @ 6:50 PM

  40. It's just awful, Stefan! I've told Lee that one of my nightmares is that, a couple if hundred years from now, history books will speak of this great civilization known as Jews!!!!!

    Comment by Nanette Nirenberg Schriftman — November 5, 2013 @ 8:23 PM

  41. This is so true! I often joke that the real 'intermarriage' would be if my daughter brought home a Democrat!! don't know how we'd deal with that. Who would want a wimpy doormat for a son in law, someone whose reaction to every insult Obama and Company hurl at Jews would be to say 'thank you sir, may I have another'??

    Comment by Suzanne Israel Tufts — November 23, 2013 @ 7:21 PM

  42. Be nice Suzanne! Right now the problem remains that BOTH Republicans AND Democrats need a frying pan to the head!

    Comment by Sandy Ruth Kleinberger-Dobres — November 23, 2013 @ 9:12 PM

  43. Dear Steven,

    You article “Assimilationist Liberals Reap What They’ve Sown” is a gross oversimplification of the status of American Jews and Judaism. It is so rife with slights, insults, cavalier generalizations, and editorial negligence it is hard not to conclude it represents little more than a thinly masked public airing of the writer’s personal disappointments.

    Thank you for writing off, with the click of a few keys, the thousands of hours of food drives, tending to the sick, and raising money for the needy both locally and in Israel, all done through our reform temple here in eastern Pennsylvania. Thank you for negating with your all-knowing intellect the teaching we’ve done over many years of prayer, of Torah, of Talmud, and Jewish history in that same reform temple. Yes, some of us are married to people not born into the Jewish faith. And yes, more than half of us—I think—are registered Democrats. But we all have one thing in common—our tikkun olam is real. You are a sorry individual to dismiss it.

    I think you could learn a lot from being around us. I question whether your own practice of Judaism is satisfying when you feel compelled to turn around and scold millions of self-actualized people who may have let go of your narrow tribalism. If you were so content with your place in our tradition and your guaranteed loophole-free rendezvous with olam haba, what possible emotional need would you have to fire verbal buckshot into our extended minyans? The truth is, you are not content in who you are. You need to feel “better” than your fellow Jews, to the point where you are compelled to denigrate their very Jewishness in comparison to your own.

    Well, guess what kind of people have driven me, my wife, and hundreds of thousands of stellar, dedicated individuals out of orthodox and conservative temples?

    Yours truly,

    Rich Herschlag

    Comment by Richard Herschlag — November 24, 2013 @ 6:41 AM

  44. Suzanne, are you so obsessed with this antiquated, useless Democrat-Republican dichotomy that you missed what an arrogant prick the writer of that article is? I certainly hope that it the case. If not, then you agree with him, even though he has next to nothing positive to say about your choices either. If I ever run into him and discern that he is at least ten years my junior, I will smack him across his smug punim.

    Comment by Richard Herschlag — November 24, 2013 @ 6:46 AM

  45. could be a female democrat! LOl

    Comment by Ron Perkowski — November 24, 2013 @ 4:12 PM

  46. could be a female democrat! LOl

    Comment by Ron Perkowski — November 24, 2013 @ 4:12 PM

  47. Suzanne, your comment makes me very sad. I opened your FB page to post a birthday greeting and, curious about who was joining me in wishing you well, I scrolled down to find this posting. Leaving aside what I think of the article, I have always thought that, knowing that our political views were different, we respected each other as human beings and as friends … and then I found this. Our country was founded by people whose views were deeply different and who hammered out masterful compromises within those views. Our nation is, therefore, premised on its citizens understanding the value of a respectful dialogue that recognizes the value of give and take between citizens whose views differ. How can our form of government work when, instead of respecting that I see things differently than you do and engaging in a meaningful conversation in the hopes of hammering out something that neither of us like entirely but both of us can live with, you insult me?

    Comment by Gwen Feder — December 2, 2013 @ 12:58 PM

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