Divers have discovered a new crustacean in the South Pacific that resembles a lobster and is covered with what looks like silky, blond fur, French researchers said Tuesday.

Scientists said the animal, which they named Shiksa Treifus, was so distinct from other species that they created a new family and genus for it.

A team of American-led divers found the animal in waters 2,300 meters (7,540 feet) deep at a site 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) south of Easter Island last year, according to Michel Segonzac of the French Institute for Sea Exploration.

The animal is white and 15 centimeters (5.9 inches) long — about the size of a salad plate.

In what Segonzac described as a “surprising characteristic,” the animal’s pincers are covered with sinuous blonde hair-like strands, ranging anywhere from $80-175 for monthly upkeep.

The AP contributed to this report. A little.

About the author

alli

47 Comments

  • That’s funny. Hey, if it was a black lobster, you could have called it “shvatza treifus.” Or is that where you draw the line with your offensive and racist use of Yiddish? Shiksa is a term of derision, no matter how cute you think it sounds. Some non-Jews might (MIGHT) actually read this blog and understand that the word means “abomination.” Those of us who might actually have non-Jewish aunts, mothers, sister-in-laws, daughters-in-law, etc., try to encourage them to engage in the Jewish community and it makes it that much harder when they are continually met with derision.

    Oh, I know, “hey, it’s just a joke.” “Can’t you take a joke?”

    You Jews can write Hymie, Heeb, Kike, Shylock, Yid, or whatever offensive words about yourselves as you like, because it’s about yourself. I think it’s ridiculous that black people call themselves “niggers,” but that’s their prerogative. However, the minute *I* say it, I fully expect a beat-down. Can we please stop cursing out our own family members?

    ps- yes, I am going to bring this up every time I see it.

  • Yes, it’s a blog. A blog that attacks “others” and “shiksas” with great fervor. Hey, speaking of which, I know Jewlicious likes to denigrate the “hipster” straw man, as if the term “hipster” meant anything. But really, one could make the argument that Jewlicious itself has uber-hipster pretensions. Take this post. Reactionary, xenophobic Judaism, with a patina of ironic “coolness.” It’s hip to hate shiksas! Itรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs edgy to trash those who consort with Gentiles! What a wonderful strategy, hipsters! The organized Jewish community must luuuuuuv you hipsters!!

    Sorry to spew the bile, but the term “shiksa” pisses me off too.

    Got’cher back, PSL. Got’cher back.

  • No one here used “shiksa” with in a way that even begins to connote “abomination.” And no one with any sense would read anything so negative into it. Folks need to chill.

  • Very snarky, Rabbi Yohah. I’m not trying to censor, and I won’t burn down your embassy. Feel free to continue perpetrating the myth about the blonde “shiksa goddess” and the Jewish men that love them, which is a hopelessly ’70s joke. That’s fine. Just understand how much of a turn-off it is, for a lot of Jews and non-Jews alike, and then don’t wonder why Jews disaffiliate from the community in droves. I can’t imagine it makes your job any easier.

    This is an issue of sensitivity. 1.5 opinions, do you really need a map to see how she went from “blonde hair” to “shiksa”? And how “shiksa” implies “otherness” from us dark-haired Ashkenazi-centric Jews (as if none of us are blonde)? And how “otherness” = “abomination,” especially when coupled with “marry”?

    I understand there is a butt to any joke. If you made fun of Armenians, I probably wouldn’t complain because it’s not my issue, though I’d hope an Armenian person would. I am simply pointing out that when you make fun of non-Jewish women married to Jews, there are people who get offended, I am one of them, and I’m not going to censor myself, Rabbi, out of fear of sounding overly P.C.

    Bottom line: “Shiksa,” “Shagitz,” “Goy,” are all words that we use to make us feel “insider” but in reality work to push people away. I think it would have been just fine for Alli—after seeing in a blonde lobster an opportunity to make fun of a blonde woman married to a Jew—to think twice about posting that joke in a public forum. I scroll down a few blog entries and I see a photo of a non-Jewish woman who, we’re told, is considering conversion. She doesn’t fit the blonde stereotype, but if she knows the history behind the word shiksa, she should feel rightfully insulted. I don’t see how that’s helpful to anyone, all for the sake of a so-so joke.

  • I didn’t mean for my use of shiksa to get all shiksalationary. Would it be better if we called the lobster ‘Nachriah Treifus’?

  • Although the irony is that the literal meaning of sheketz as a “creeping thing” is certainly applicable to a lobster, no?

    But let’s just learn from this that words we use might offend others. For instance, the lobster population is undoubtedly mobilizing the Crab People for an attack on our server. Not that we’d notice.

  • One of the other ironies in this debate is while is not ok to use the term shika in ANY context because it might offend, clearly it’s ok to try very hard to offend we Jews who write for Jewlicious.

    EV – I have very little idea what you are talking about. Have you actually read the post that mobius was talking about, or are you just recycling his phrases incorrectly? Cause it sure wasn’t about hipsters, nor have any of us here really addressed the phenomenon as either good nor bad.

    But maybe you’d like to tell me how stupid and pathetic we are over drinks next Tuesday? Or are you one of those people who will be far more civil without the safe distance of technology?

  • Esther, I’m trying to come up with a “bottom-feeder” joke that isn’t too vulgar. But I’m failing…

  • I HATE when that happens. What’s up with this site? It’s the slowest-loading site on the Internet.

  • Laya,

    No, I’m uncivil in my personal life too. It’s what gives me “charm.” I’m actually a bit more restrained online. Anyway, I’d be happy to tell you how reactionary and xenophobic Jewlicious can be, as I’ve told your fellow contributors Muff and Esther. As for “stupid and pathetic,” nah, those are your words. Maybe ignorant and callow, okay. (No, not the people but the posts: cherish the distinction.) But not stupid and pathetic. Give yourself some credit.

  • EV, Laya, you’re going to love one another when you meet. And me, I love shiksas. Some of my best girlfriends were shiksas–and I’ll vouch for the lot of them.

    Which brings up the point that always bothered me–When Jews marry they marry according to “Da’at Moshe v’Israel,” that is, the Law of Moses and Israel. Well–Moses married a, eh, Shiksa.

    Guess Moses was down with the Shiksas too.

  • Well, hell, I actually found the post amusing despite my dislike of the word shiksa. However, what I find amazing is that folks from a site that likes to call Israel an apartheid state that commits war crimes come here and berate us over the use of a word like shiksa. I mean, one is a cultural joke – to which some might take offense and many will not – and the other is a false accusation of human atrocities against Israel. So how about we all tend to our own little gardens first…

  • I know, EV, and so do most of our readers (and some of yours). ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Boy, I wish I could be there when you and Laya share drinks – did I mention she’s one sharp cookie?

  • You wish you could be there? I thought you’re an anonymous penguin who can’t reveal his secret identity. I’ve passed a message to you through Muff & Esther; no reply. It hurts me, tm. Makes me feel like … like … like an unlovable monster!!!

  • Fun factoid: When W.H. Auden (noted gay non-Jewish philosemite) hung out with his gay Jewish posse, he would call any non-Jew who came to join them ‘The Shiksa’. Very camp.

    On another note: Since when is GOY an offensive word?

    I like feeling “insider” with my own peeps, yo.

  • Well, it’s a sample of one, but my blond-haired, blue-eyed, orthodox wife felt that those who were complaining about the use of “shiksa” here need to “get over themselves.” And I guarantee that, as a convert, she is familiar with ashkenasi-centric biases.

  • Alli, with the word “goy,” it’s all about context. Let me give you an analogy:

    FUCK is always a curse. You can’t fit it into a rated-G TV show no matter how hard you try. However, BITCH is sometimes not a curse, when you have a veterinarian come onto Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and he’s talking about a female dog. (Though it would certainly make me giggle.)

    Likewise, “shiksa” is always a curse. “Goy” can be innocuous, but in contemporary parlance it usually isn’t.

    For example, when the Torah uses the word “goyim” to mean “the nations,” it’s just one more Hebrew word in a Hebrew sentence in a Hebrew book. (Plus Aramaic, whatever, you get the gist.) However, when the word “goy” is used as the only Hebrew/Yiddish word in a sentence or paragraph or book that is otherwise in English, there is a negative connotation. Derision is implied. The user of that word has made a choice not to use more neutral, English words like “non-Jew” or “Gentile” and went instead for a Yiddishism that carries a lot of negativity. It doesn’t just imply “them,” it implies “them against us.”

    Again, in many cases I don’t believe the user is purposely trying to be offensive. This is about a learned sensitivity. As I’ve said elsewhere on this blog, once I learned that the word “gypped” comes from the word Gypsy and is a slur, I switched over to “ripped off.” Why even risk offending someone? And it’s actually very little effort at all. It’s not like I’m walking around on egg shells or anything.

    I think most people actually want to know if they are inadvertently offending someone, and once they do will then take the simple measures to change. If the people formerly known as “handicapped” want to now be “physically disabled,” what do I care? Just let me know. However, some Jews—for some reason—feel really defensive about wanting to keep these slurs in their every-day vocabulary (Ariel Beery!). What’s the attachment?

  • 1.5, I don’t see how your wife’s hair color, eye color, or religious denomination makes her the arbiter of what should or should not offend ME. “Shiksa” is a slur. Maybe they told her otherwise in her conversion class, but then she was given inaccurate information. Regardless, if she didn’t know, I’m telling her now.

    So what if I called your wife a BITCH, for example, but assured her that it’s not meant as a slur, it’s just a cute word, even a term of endearment (just ask EV, I call him a bitch all the time)…would she be less offended with that disclaimer?

    And if she then told me she was offended, wouldn’t I be wrong to continue calling her a BITCH, or telling her it’s HER responsibility to just “get over herself”?

    I eagerly await her response.

  • Thanks Roger. I assume you mean comment #21, and I assume we would have to cut out the FUCK part for further dissemination? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Of course, if you are serious — and depending on which Roger you happen to be — I’d be happy to discuss it with you futher, but then I’d have to “out” myself, which I’d only want to do in private, and only if you’re the right Roger…and maybe not even then! (I tend not to curse as much in my professional life, even when it’s just to make a point.)

    But this is a topic I’ve thought about extensively, have actually worked on professionally, and plan to do much more with in the near term. If you have suggestions for wider dissemination, I’m all ears. Thanks!

  • Hasn’t anybody noticed that “shiksa” has been reclaimed (or whatever you call it). There is the “Boy Vey: Shiksa’s guide to dating Jewish Men”, the Shiksa T-shirt which is oh so popular with young Hollywood ect… This whole dialoge is so 90’s

  • Sarah, so what? Fran Drescher might call herself a JAP proudly; it doesn’t make me happy to hear that word. I think the Shiksa’s guide is foolish and someone should have told them that it’s hurtful, but then again, the lure of commercial dollars would have pushed that concern aside anyway.

    Still, it’s all about context. The people who “reclaimed” the word shiksa are the ones the slur is directed AGAINST, a la “niggers,” not the people hurling the slur, i.e., we Jews. That makes all the difference in the world.

    My Jewish friends can call me a cheap Jew. My non-Jewish friends cannot…no matter how true it might be. (Either way, I’m probably not going to wear it on a tee-shirt.)

  • You misread my comment. You quite clearly suggest that there is no unoffensive use of the word “shiksa.” You also point out that it is most offensive to non-Jewish women and to non-stereotypically Ashkenasi-looking Jewish women. My wife has been both. She found this use of “shiksa” to be innocuous and funny. Ergo, your assumption that “shiksa” is objectively offensive is wrong.

    Do I use the word? No. But I can certainly tell the difference between its lighthearted use and its mean-spirited use. You cannot. That’s fine.

  • PSL,

    Perhaps you’ve never heard of people using the term “bitch” in a joking, friendly fashion? My female friends used to throw it at each other playfully (if immaturely) all the time. But, again, you were thinking of purposefully using the term in a mean fashion and then claiming you were being playful. I cannot believe that you fail to see the difference.

  • PSL:
    Yes, #21.
    Sorry to have mislead you since I personally can’t do anything with you comment.
    Yet it would do well in a high school or certainly college Sociology or psychology text.
    Your brief comments reflect a good mind.

  • 1.5, I can tell when it’s INTENDED to be lighthearted and when it’s INTENDED to be mean-spirited. What I’m saying is that it’s a slur nonetheless, and a lot of people—users and recipients—don’t even realize it’s a slur. And because it is a slur, it always has the POTENTIAL to offend. In a public forum like this, I simply asked that the poster consider that potential, especially when put into the service of a so-so joke. In your wife’s case, it didn’t offend. In my case, it did. The poster should know that.

    The fact that your wife used to be a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, non-Jew doesn’t make her being not-offended any more or less valid than my being offended.

    The larger question is, what kind of outcome does the continued use of these words have on our need to integrate non-Jews (or former non-Jews) into our community? In your wife’s case, no problem. I do not believe she speaks for all non-Jews or former non-Jews married to Jews.

    Even if we only offend one out of ten readers of this blog, was it worth it?

  • EV, baby, I have only received one email in my life from you through Esther and I recall asking her to pass along that it was very well written but I disagreed with the premise. Have her give you my email and feel free to contact me at will.

    As for meeting you, under the right circumstances and if Mobius isn’t wearing steel toe boots at the meeting, I might consider it. Of course, first I’d have to come out to NYC and that just isn’t on the agenda right now. But have fun with Laya and don’t get into any debates cuz she’ll win. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • OK, Muffti is going to lay down the law!

    1) Exactly what Sarah Nadav said. PSL and EV, what exactly is the worry here? That the term ‘shikseh’ is inherently offensive? That you don’t like it when it gets used in a lighthearted manner? Jewlicious is NOT here to make everyone feel comfortable; we never said we were and we never will. That’s why atheists are allowed to post the attributes of God coupled with pictures of horrible events. In any case, if the word really had cache as an obviously offensive word that would be one thing but as Sarah pointed out, it clearly doesn’t. In any case, as well all know, including defenders of PC -ness, it’s not really teh word that is offensive but the context of use and the intentions of the person using. WHich brings the Muffti to:

    2) While posters hae some responsibility to make clear their intentions (or disguise them if thats’ teh intended effect) when dealing with potentially offensive things, the reader also has a responsiblity to read the blog and get in tune with its general features and quirks. Surely anyone who does that for a minute or two will realize that the jewlicious bunch are a group of jokers on the whole, who call Ariel Sharon ‘teh fat man’ (well, used to!), Steinhard ‘Pimp Daddy’ and who can remember the rest. You, PSL, have been a reader for a long time (and you too EV). So relax. You know we ain’t here to be dissin’ none of the non-jewish girls. Quite a few of them has made Muffti’s life a better life than it would have been with out them. Anyhow, point is, when people see a slur, they have some responsibilty to not lose their cool and do some work into what the context of use was like. If after all that they still get offended, and if 1/10 are like that, then Muffti says that it was worth it and they are just being oversensitive assholes ๐Ÿ™‚

    3) Jewlicious loves shiskehs: the Muffti intereviewed proud self attributing shikseh Kristina Grish when her book for shikseh’s came out. Under these sorts of cultural conditions, the word is fair game and those who get offended have only their knee jerk reactions to blame.

    OK, ya stupid shegetz?

  • I’m sorry, but integrating non-Jews into the Jewish community isn’t on my list of ‘things to do’. I think we got enough problems on the inside of the bubble to work with for the next 300 years until moshiach moshiach moshiach ay yay yay yay ya yay…

  • Alli, there are 2.9 million households containing Jews in the US today. Among those households are 1.5 million non-Jews. It’s probably one of the most relevant issues facing American Jewry today. (Not that you’re in America.) There may even be a couple of non-Jews in your own family, and I assume you were nice to them at your Passover Seder. That counts as trying to integrate them, in my book.

    No, Muffti, it really IS the word that’s offensive. I’m not pointing out when I’m offended just to be a dick. I’m pointing it out because I’m offended. I hear what you’re saying, which is basically the same as “get over yourself.” That’s fine. I say I’m insulted, you say you’re going to keep on insulting. But don’t make it sound innocuous by saying it’s part of the “general features and quirks” or you’re “a group of jokers.” There’s something else going on among those who feel the need — and defend that need — to continue to use words like shiksa, and that to me just looks like ugly tribalism. As said in that lovely post elsewhere on Jewlicious bashing Jews who can only define themselves by what they’re not, this is the ultimate word to berate the “other” and define yourself by what you’re not.

    I get the humor, you know I do, but when a non-Jew makes a Jew joke — no matter how funny — we don’t like it, and we sic Abe Foxman on their ass. So just consider me the less old, less formerly-bloated-but-now-somewhat-svelt Abe Foxman of non-Jews living with Jews.

    By the way, it’s great that you’ve been with non-Jewish girls Muffti, and I hope you got a good rate because I know you weren’t getting it for free; I’ve seen your face. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just kidding, you’re a beautiful human being.

    Personally, I would have called this lobster Muffti Treifus, you blonde mo’fo.

  • Et tu, Muff? My point was just that: Jewlicious’s “edgy” jokes are often in the service of xenophobia (e.g., the Bratman/Aguillera post; the Weisz/Aronofsky post). It seems paradoxical, like s spoonful of syrup coating a creepy message. Kinda like “Christian Rock,” which I know you love, Muff, but I won’t tell anyone. Oops.

  • Hold your horsies, EV, those particular posts are very worthwhile as they document the slow and certain assimilation of so many of us. There are however, a multitude of voices on this site with respect to how one should view these relationships.

    Besides, it’s fun. Or should we be all stodgy and stuff and show pictures of apartheid. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • oh, PSL and EV, Muffti loves you both but you guys are inviting the pain. EV, the Muff is an atheist and so could care less about a lot of the posts that point fingers at celebrity jew/non-jew relationships. But, seriously, calling that xenophobia is like pointing an elephant gun at a flea. There are times when the Muffti thinks that things are more xenophobic than he would like (like those ridiculous posts about studies showing the effects of intermarriage on future generations) but surely playful jabs at bratman do not really qualify even by the Muffti’s liberal standards. As for christian rock, well, what can Muffti say? Those girls from Prussian Blue have some great pipes!

    PSL, Jewlicious has NEVER endorsed sicking abe foxman on anything. We, sometimes to Muffti’s horror, are the ones who berate those who play the holocaust card! The word ‘shikseh’ may have been offensive at one point, but live with it dude: words change their status as Sarah Nadav pointed out. If you are hopelessly behind the times, there is not much we can do about it, amigo, other than to hope you manage to keep a little more current! In a society where Kristina Grish (a shikseh Muffti would love to get with!) can write a book with the word ‘shikseh’ in the title, the word has lost all cache as something patently offensive that makes decent people blush, Only indecent people like yourself are now victims of being real prudes. And maybe EV ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for the suggestion that Muffti is paying for his shikseh (did that use offend your delicate sensibilities?) sex, dude, c’mon. That shot was even cheaper and forced (and even more terribly implausible) than EV’s christian rock comments. Muffti has had drinks with you both: you’re funny people! Surely you can use your combined 105 IQ to come up with something better ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • themiddle – uhh, thanks for the compliments…can I take them as straight forward compliments? It’s very unusual coming from you, and I don’t quite know what to think.

    PSL you say
    “I get the humor, you know I do, but when a non-Jew makes a Jew joke รขโ‚ฌโ€ no matter how funny รขโ‚ฌโ€ we donรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt like it, and we sic Abe Foxman on their ass.”

    Right, and we have criticized the shit out of him for jumping to the emergency red anti-semitism phone whenever anyone says kike. I say to Abe Foxman “chill the fuck out”.

    I’d say the same thing to you, but I might drop the fuck. I’m a big believer in context. I’m also a believer that in a multicultural world if we are walking on eggshells trying to be overly PC and never offend anybody ever we’ll never actually learn to really get along. As those who slurs were originally aimed at reclaim them (like “heeb” “nigger” or “bitch” for instance) they lose thier once offensive power. As societal understandings of a word change, then less and less things are actually offensive and we can all just be around each other with ease.

    That to me is the higher goal.

    For instance: ck and I were working in an office with a Polish girl who was joking that if we forgot to bring her cd back she’d bring in a pitch fork and have a little pogrom the next day. It was said in humor and we took it as such. In fact it probably broke down barriers and uncomfortabilities three generations old.

    EV – is wanting Jews to marry Jews in and of itself xenophobic? Gotta disagree with you heavily there. Sometimes multiculturalism is making sure each culture continues to flourish.

  • It’s a good question whether or not wanting jews to marry jews is xenophobic. Muffti has trouble seeing why it isn’t. So, ummn, why isn’t it?

  • The funny thing is, PSL and I are the most un-PC people you could imagine. It’s not an issue of being PC, not to me at least.

    Anyway, no, I don’t think encouraging inmarriage is inherently xenophobic. But encouraging inmarriage while cursing Gentiles, or disdaining those who have already intermarried, is xenophobic. Admittedly, it isn’t easy to encourage inmarriage without sending a message of exclusion to those who have already intermarried (and esp. to their children). It’s something the community’s been wrestling with (see Esther’s recent post, Reaching Out, re. that whatsitcalled Jewish reachout org).

    But to take an example from a different culture: If black people encourage dating other black people for reasons of shared history, experience and culture, that’s great. But if black people encourage dating only black people because Whitey’s a Cracker Ass Serpent (like Muff), well I’d probably have a problem with it. Not that I’d say much, b/c I’m not black, so it’s not an issue I’m particularly passionate about. But I am Jewish, so when Jews send off those kinds of signals, I bristle. And comment on the blog that sends the signals.

    I think it’s possible to talk about the value of perpetuating Jewish culture and values without calling Gentiles shiksas, hussies, etc., as in the posts I referred to above.

    Also, as I was telling The Muff elsewhere, it’s not that this discussion is so 90s, it’s that the blonde “shiksa” stereotype is so 70s. I think that’s another reason it reeks, to me at least, of a reactionary community attitude I associate with an older, more insular generation. If you’re gonna bandy about stereotypes, at least you can update them beyond blonde women! Cultures’s a lot more “multi” these days… I think I put that in slightly less PC terms to my dear friend MUFF.

  • grandmuffti wrote: Itรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs a good question whether or not wanting jews to marry jews is xenophobic. Muffti has trouble seeing why it isnรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt. So, ummn, why isnรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt it?

    Geez. Look up the definition of xenophobia in the dictionary. Here… let me help you out:

    an irrational fear of foreigners or strangers or, from Wikipedia: Xenophobia denotes a phobic attitude towards strangers or of the unknown and comes from the Greek words รŽยพรŽยญรŽยฝรŽยฟรโ€š (xenos), meaning “foreigner”, “stranger”, and รโ€ รล’รŽยฒรŽยฟรโ€š (phobos), meaning “fear”.The term is typically used to describe fear or dislike of foreigners, but racism in general is sometimes described as a form of xenophobia.

    Wanting Jews to marry Jews is not a form of Xenophobia. I don’t fear non-Jews. I fear marriage to non-Jews. And that fear is not irrational – it is based on the very rational notion that mixed marriages leads (though not in all cases) to a decline in Jewish identity and a weakening of the Jewish community and Jewish continuity. Generally (but again, not in all cases), when Jews marry Jews these concerns are not at issue.

    Anyhow, see the difference? I do not fear non-Jews, I am not unfamiliar with non-Jews, I don’t even have anything against non-Jews. I am simply stating that if Jewish continuity writ large is a priority, then it is best to encourage Jews marrying Jews. If this is not a priority, then folks can do whatever they like for all I care.

  • That’s a load of crap, CK. Intermarriage is no good because the rabbis so decry. You may explain it as an attempt to preserve jewish identity but you know that is just a nice side effect. If Muffti told you that, by some strange coincidence, only intermarriage would lead to a preservation of jewish identity (coz the kids would rebel) you wouldn’t endorse it. In any case, what is the real worry here: that jewish identity will be gone or that there will be fewer jews? What is wrong with the latter?

  • I dont understand the meaning of the “article” . Lobsters are not Kosher so it’s meant to insinuate that blondes are a type super non-kosher foreign gentile trash or somthing? Ashkenazi Jews trace thier origins to Eastern Europe. And correct me if I’m wrong but isnt the blonde haired blue eyed genotype found out of this area even today? I have seen Several Blonde Jewish women. Are they “racially” non Jewish or somthing ? Becuase from what I can see you could say that about 80% of all Jews today right ? Only 20% or so are Sephardic ? Please correct me if I’m wrong here. All I can see is a (sic) Joke. I just dont get it. Please feel free to email me at surfermsc123@yahoo.com with the answer becuase I’d love to know..

  • Huh? Intermarriage without a conversion to Judaism surely eliminates or severely depletes the opportunity to preserve Jewish identity regardless of any rabbi’s dictates.

    And yes, the worry is that Jewish identity will be gone – perhaps not altogether, but in significant measure because that goes hand in hand with having fewer Jews. And why does that matter? Well, just from a pragmatic point of view, it means that the likelihood of the childen and grandchildren identifying as Jews is diminished greatly; there is less money and volunteer effort given to the community to sustain its institutions and needs; which, in turn, leads to even less outreach and contact within and among the community, thus further enhancing the prospects of more Jews leaving the fold.

    If I want my son to have a pool of Jewish women large enough to find a spouse, I need other parents to raise their children as Jews. Otherwise, I had better prepare to have my grandchildren with a christmas tree in their home, and for their kids to probably be entirely unfamiliar with their Judaism.

    Why does this matter if one is not a god-fearing believer? Because it represents the demise of a millenia old culture that has quite a bit of beauty and meaning to it.

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