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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
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Hashkafa Differences and Jewish Survival

Rabbi Yehoshua Weber

Rabbi Yehoshua Weber
Photo Credit: Jewish Tribune

His epiphany occurred when Rabbi Lau started talking about the 2000 National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS) from the perspective of a Jew who survived the Holocaust. That study, said Rabbi Weber, had some bright spots. It noted that if 100 Charedim that have 6.72 children per family and a low intermarriage rate, it will produce 3,401 Jewish descendants after 4 generations. 100 Centrists with their average 3.39 children per family and equally low intermarriage rate will produce 434 Jewish descendants in that time.

Sadly, 100 Conservative Jews with their average 1.74 children per family and 32% intermarriage rate will only produce 29 Jewish descendants. Reform Jews with their 1.36 children per family and intermarriage rate of 46% will produce 10 Jewish descendants; and secular Jews with their 1.29 children per family and their 49% intermarriage rate will produce only 7 Jewish descendants.

Now I don’t know how accurate these numbers are. Nor do I necessarily believe in linear projections – since trends can change for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is an increasing dropout rate among observant Jewry. But I do think that in a general way, it is a fair assumption that Judaism will mostly survive in increasing numbers and percentages via those of us who are observant.

I don’t mean to sound triumphalist. I am not and am in fact saddened that so many Jews will be lost after only 4 generations. But I mention this statistic for the same reason Rabbi Weber does. We have a responsibility to unite and to try and change that trend. When it comes to Jewish survival all of our Hashkafic differences are trivial and irrelevant, says Rabbi Weber. I could not agree more. Furthermore we can all learn from each other. Every community has its strengths and weaknesses. I only wish that message would enter the hearts of the dividers.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah .

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


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3 Responses to “Hashkafa Differences and Jewish Survival”

  1. It is sad however that you do not understand that there are non-Orthodox Jews that are as thoughtful about Jewish life as Orthodox Jews are. Do you not think that non-Orthodox scholars and thinkers such as Rabbis Abraham Joshua Heschel and Mordechai Kaplan are as worthy of inclusion as the anti-Zionist Satmar Rebbe?
    Ephraim Yisrael Rubinger

  2. Ronny Mol says:

    Speaking about Achdus, there is a new political party forming called Jews1stNOW. Why a new political party? None of the parties in the Knesset address the fact that agreements do not work if they are one sided. There are NO palestinians. Before the advent of TV, their were no palestinians, no history of palestinian Kings or ancient cities. It is a BIG lie of the generation and none of the parties address this fact. No other country in the world that I know of, releases murderers as a gesture. In fact, they execute terrorists when found guilty of their crimes. If you want to add to this platform, email Jews1stnow@gmail.com Everyone is welcome to join. No demonstrations, no violence. Help make this party a reality and change the political landscape. The other parties have failed. Shas abstained when the vote for Gush Katif was taken. Labor gives up land for peace but as long as it is not their home for peace. Likud bounces rightward to center to left as long as it gets votes. We need a party that says no and will not compromise on its principals. We live in a world that values our inventions but hate us just the same. It is time for Jews1stnow. Jewish blood is NOT cheap.

  3. Roy Neal Grissom says:

    'Achdut, huh? Does that include Qorach, Datan, and 'Aviram? How about the man the "right wing extremist" Pinechas killed?

    Is mere political unity really the most important thing?

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Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
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