September 15, 2010 | 5:16 pm
Posted by Noa Tishby
One of my closest friends lives in Sydney, Australia. Let’s call her B.
B is a fine specimen of a gal. She is a former model and actress turned lawyer, which means she is hot AND smart. In addition to all of this, B is a fantastic girl; she’s nice, a good friend and one of those ‘girls you marry’ not ‘girls you sleep with and dump’.
In the ‘which character from Sex and the City are you’ game – she was always Charlotte.
A few months ago B found a lovely man. They started dating and it turned serious pretty quickly as they moved in together and begin to talk about the next steps. The boyfriend is Jewish. B was raised Catholic but she is pretty much ‘no religion’ in particular, as the Australian Catholic Church seems to have a fantastic way of scaring children away from its faith. Being my friend, B has been to Israel and loved it, and knowing the guy came from a Jewish family she was getting used to the thought of converting.
B started studying Judaism and loved it. She connected to the message (You know, not believing in anything outside of yourself and all of that) she loved the sense of community in her Shul and so she committed herself to a full Orthodox conversion. She was in! She was ours to keep!
And then came the mother. After the son told his parents that his intentions towards B were serious, the family was introduced to her again, this time with future plans known. I don’t know the guy’s mother, all I know is this: after meeting the super lovely B, the mother turned to the son and flat out declared “I don’t care what kind of conversion she goes through, she is not Jewish and as far as I am concerned - and over my dead body - I will never accept her. If you marry her you are dead to me”.
Yup. Just like that. After a couple of weeks of inner deliberations, the boyfriend, not surprisingly, choose the mother over the girlfriend. After all, she IS a Jewish mother.
And to this I have to say – REALLY?! Madam, I don’t know you but I sure hope this post reaches you somehow. I don’t know if you are aware of this, but the Jewish population of the world is mere 13.3 Million. That’s it. 13.3 Million. The world religion’s population is divided to approximately 33% Christians, 21% Muslims, 14% Hindus, 6% Buddhists and only 0.22% Jews. That is IT! Most of the Jews live in Israel and the US, however there are 490,561 Jews in France 393,660 in Canada, 350,000 in the UK and in your country, Australia, there are a proximately 103,000 Jews. The Jewish population growth worldwide from 2000-2001 was 0.3%, which basically means - close to ZERO.
What is wrong with you? You are actually turning down an amazing woman who wants to go through a full Orthodox conversion for your son because she was not born a certain way? We need MORE of us, not less! Not only will B’s conversion effectively make her more Jewish than me (I do after all, love my cheeseburgers) but you are also making us all look like what I will gently describe as ‘discriminating people’. And I am not actually calling it what it actually is. You know, that thing us Jews scream against at any opportunity.
I understand the desire to keep the tribe alive. I also understand how hard it must be for any parent to see the child find a life and a religion of his or her own. But seriously woman, back off. B was not making your child go to Durkadurkastan and convert to a statue-worshiping pagan religion that only eats fruit that has fallen from vines on southern slopes in the summertime and are forbidden to visit their mothers.
B was going to convert at YOUR Shul with YOUR Rabbis. And from what I know by observing those around me, every girl I know who converted to marry became more in love with the Jewish religion than most of us born Jewish ever will be.
So to the rest of you Jewish mothers out there reading this post I say – judge your future daughters in law by their merits and not by their parents. And to the mother of B’s now ex-boyfriend I say – your loss.
Visit Noa’s website at www.noatishby.com.
We welcome your feedback.
Your information will not be shared or sold without your consent. Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com has rules for its commenting community.Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com reserves the right to use your comment in our weekly print publication.
10.14.10 at 11:59 am |
10.11.10 at 11:28 am | I remember the first time I heard Norah Jones’s. . .
9.15.10 at 5:16 pm | One of my closest friends lives in Sydney,. . .
9.1.10 at 5:18 pm | In her homeland of Israel, Noa Tishby’s name is. . .