1. Sex, Dating, & Relationships

Going on a Second Inter-Date

This is the first time I’ve gotten a comment filled with such bigotry on my blog. I’m quite upset, and I’m very sorry for my readers who saw the offensive comment before I deleted it.

Interfaith dating does not kill people. In fact, dating, is about people who like and respect each other choosing to celebrate that like and respect. Seems pretty life-affirming to me.

I am pro-love. I think that when people interact with each other in intimate, passionate ways — especially when they approach the process with kindness and thought — great things can happen.

Interfaith dating does not necessarily decrease the number of Jews involved in Jewish communities. Condoning the shunning of interfaith couples, on the other hand, greatly decreases those couple’s chances of finding fulfillment within Jewish life.

Why be alienating when we can be welcoming? Why decrease each other’s chances of finding home and happiness when we can increase those chances? What about traditions of hospitality, welcoming the stranger, and embracing human variation?

A special thank-you to Tabitha and samanthajess for sharing your stories in the comments section of my last post. I hope to hear more of you choose to share your stories, as well.

I want to highlight the particularly apt metaphor that samanthajess shares at the end of her post: “just say no” education does not work. Interfaith dating is a commonly known phenomenon, and it happens for many reasons. Given that, how can we welcome these couples into our faith communities in a way that promotes embracing and celebrating – yes, actively, positively celebrating—their relationships and partnerships?

Published by Mimi Arbeit

Mimi Arbeit

sexuality educator, developmental scientist, feminist.

6 thoughts on “Going on a Second Inter-Date”

  1. Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Mimi says:

    Oh my goodness… That comment went up as soon as the post went up. Is it some sort of automatically-generated comment, somewhere, spamming any blog on this topic? What is happening!

  3. Caren says:

    Thanks for discussing this hard topic Mimi. As a Jew in a serious relationship with an Atheist religion is a difficult issue to navigate without outsiders getting involved. My parents have been very supportive because of my commitment to my Jewish background and desire to raise Jewish children.

    At the same time, I know nothing would make my dad happier than if one of us had a serious relationship with a wonderful caring Jewish person (man, women, black, white, Hispanic, democrat or republican). It is certainly a challenging and slippery slope.

  4. Roger Sherwin says:

    Mimi,

    I think what all those who are "pro" (such as yourself) "interfaith dating" seem to forget, is that dating (and marriage, where it usually leads to) is not solely about the two individuals involved in the relationship. In the case of Jews, it is very much about Jewish communal responsibility as well. From both the perspectives of Jewish law and statistics, the descendants of Jews who inter-date and then intermarry are lost to the Jewish faith, people, and community within a generation or two, with exceptions being only a small minority. True, this might not be the case in Israel, but in North America, it is.
    There appears to be a selfishness or narcissism that comes with the "it's my right to inter-date" attitude. In the final analysis, dating and marriage are not solely about the two bodies and souls involved, but about the community and greater Jewish good as well.
    Your (and your parents) interfaith dating/marriage mindset put you and them above all else. There appears to be little concern for future generations (not to mention the struggles of past ones), not from a private Mimi-family bloodline perspective, but from a Jewish peoplehood perspective. In your blog, it appears that the latter is of little significance.
    Would your parents also say that, if, say, there were a draft and you (or a sibling) were conscripted, that you should refuse to serve your country/people (whomever it/they may be), because you are a good, kind, loving, etc. person, and have therefore done your share? Just as an army is made up of individuals who become a unit and – when called upon – perform the ultimate sacrifice, so too Jewish individuals become a unit and in so doing, are asked to sacrifice, for the sake of the unit's cohesion and perpetuity, potential non-Jewish "love interests". Thankfully, the Lord (or evolution if you prefer) has blessed us with plenty of Jewish potential love interests from which to choose. All we need to do is look beyond ourselves.

    P.S. – It'd be nice to see the deleted post, as I am curious as to hwy it was taken down. Perhaps, in the name of freedom of expression and so-called "progressive values", you'd allow those who read your blog to judge for themselves what is offensive and what is not. If you still do not wish to re-post the comment, you can send it to me via e-mail at sherwin.999@hotmail.com

  5. Mimi says:

    Dear Roger,

    I deleted the comment for many reasons. First of all, I deleted it because the words chosen were ones that I found deeply offensive and inappropriate, and the words were hurting dear friends of mine who read my blog, which is a space for which I consider myself responsible. Second of all, the exact same comment was repeated multiple times, which makes me think it might be an automated response. If it were a person eager to have an equal voice, I would hope for a respectful and thought-out participation in online dialogue, such as you yourself posted. Even if we do not agree, I do appreciate your willingness to dialogue. The deleted comment expressed no willingness to dialogue, so I took it down.

    Thank you for understanding.

    Mimi

  6. Anonymous says:

    Where Hitler failed intermarriage succeeds.

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