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Jewish Journal

After Prop. 8: a ban on Jewish marriage?

by Brad A. Greenberg

November 12, 2008 | 10:42 am

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JJ Editor Eshman

Jewish Journal editor Jonathan Swift—er, Rob Eshman—tries his hand at satire with this week’s column and reports that, fresh on the heels of Californians passing a gay marriage ban, the ballot measures strongest supporters—blacks and Mormons—are looking toward prohibiting Jews from marrying each other.

The authors of the anti-Jewish marriage initiative say when leaders believe they have Scripture on their side, they can get their followers to fix any flaws in any constitution.

“People choose to remain gay, and people choose to remain Jewish,” said an organizer. “Why should the majority of us be forced to honor that choice?”

The Jewish prohibition against intermarriage is commonly attributed to a biblical passage, Deuteronomy 7:3: “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.”

But one church leader said they have an entirely different interpretation of this passage.

“It only applies to Hitties and Amorites,” he said, “and I don’t see a lot of them around.”

By his calculation, the Torah only prohibits intermarriage if the children that result from such a union are turned away from their Jewish faith.

“Moses married Tziporra, who was the daughter of a Midianite priest,” said the preacher. “Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David, was a convert. Queen Esther, who saved the Jews from Haman in the Purim story, was married to the Persian, non-Jewish King Ahashverus.”

“Don’t tell me the Bible doesn’t understand intermarriage.”

Asked whether he wasn’t simply asking voters to impose their interpretation of the Bible on a minority group, one black church leader countered, “Well, what do you think we did with Proposition 8?”

Read the rest here. If you recall, L.A. Jews overwhelmingly voted against Prop. 8.

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