Showing Sensitivity to Intermarried BTs

Rabbi Mordechai Scher of Kol BeRamah in Santa Fe post this comment in the recent intermarriage thread:

In much of this thread, there has been a lack of recognition displayed of the complexities at the level of the individual home, and sympathy for their plight. I absolutely *do not* argue with the basic premise that intermarriage is not only forbidden, but possibly far more harmful to us than other forbidden phenomena.

Nevertheless, over the years that I have spoken with rabbanim/poskim about these issues on a *practical* level, seeking paths to deal with real families in real communities, I have been tortured by the pain this issue creates for them. Moreover, all the rabbanim I worked with were pained by the difficulties facing these families in fixing the situation. I have seen grown men cry over this more than once. That pain is evident in writing as well; even in responsa from way back to Rav Eliyahu Guttmacher, or Rav Leifland (author of Gerim V’gerut, posek in Russia and later in the US). Whereas a ‘tough’ approach was appropriate in some communities in some times; this is not universally the case. Rav Leifland writes how he blames himself for an intermarriage continuing because he was tougher (in retrospect) about a conversion than maybe he needed to be.

Like any halachic issue, ultimate judgement and application is on a case by case basis. I am not advocating a touchy feely, let’s all just get along view. I am suggesting that rabbanim who shoulder the responsibility for such dealings tend to invest a lot of effort in understanding a family’s difficulties, and in seeking (not always finding) solutions for them.

Already 20 years ago, I sat in a shiur from Rav Gedaliah Rabinowitz, who questioned if some of Rav Moshe Feinstein’s decisions on these issues would still apply. He noted that it was indeed relevant to consider circumstances, time, and place. He noted how rabbanim like Rav David Tzvi Hoffman (M’lamed L’hoil) took differently nuanced approaches to the same issues, probably influenced by the atmosphere and environment they were working in. One could certainly argue that rabbanim like Rav Uziel took different approaches also because they honestly saw things a bit differently.

Maybe I am so disturbed because I have worked up close with successes and failures in helping families already confronted with the dilemma. Yes, we must prevent intermarriage. Yes, intermarriage is really a symptom of a lack of Torah. But for those families discovering Torah already after the fact, we had better be loving and patient and looking for every *legitimate* way to encourage and help them make a change.

That attitude was missing in much of this thread, and I am genuinely surprised at us. We, of all Jews, should know better. That’s why when Joshua Sachs posted here much earlier on, I was so disappointed that hardly anyone displayed any concern or sympathy over his plight. This isn’t just about being right in the argument or convincing someone; this is about caring enough about Jews with a most difficult plight to show them love and concern and encouragement.

35 comments on “Showing Sensitivity to Intermarried BTs

  1. Mordechai Y. Scher ,

    I just wanted to let you know I picked up Rav Kook book and it is amazing reading, perfect right before the high holidays.

    Thank you again for that wonderful piece of advice.

  2. Hi Mordechai Y. Scher ,

    I just wanted to take the time to thank you for your response and very interested in Rav Kook book

    Thanks again.

  3. last piece for this otherwise dead thread…

    In comment #14, mmsearch shared some of their dilemma and agony with us; as had another poster in the intermarriage thread.

    The best advice anyone can give you is to hook up with an Orthodox rabbi who has a willing ear and a listening heart. Yours is a situation that won’t change or be improved overnight. Even in the best of circumstances it is very hard to lead a Jewish life with noone to share it with and draw support from. In your case the support and guidance of a good rabbi and friends is absolutely crucial.

    Rav Kook makes an amazing comment in Orot Hateshuvah. He says that even though there are things listed in the halachah as obstacles to teshuvah, if one clings to the notion of teshuvah and refuses to let go of that desire and aspiration, then even the obstacles to teshuvah lose some of their effect even while one still holds on to them too! He says that a similar idea is true concerning prayer and the obstacles to prayer. So we see, that one who is truly desirous of teshuvah, and concerned about teshuvah should not despair and certainly should not consider themselves a hypocrite. I say cling to Hashem and His Torah and His commandments as much as you can, and find the guidance and support you and your family need to proceed.

    Aaron in comment #19 objected to ‘tolerating’ intermarriage. He’s right; but no one is advocating that we tolerate intermarriage. All that is being advocated is some time and patience. The best and deepest changes take time. If that is true for an individual, it is even more true for a family. Hashem gives each of us time and means for teshuvah; we need to emulate him when dealing with others in difficult situations. Most of us really can’t imagine in our worst nightmares how difficult and lonely this can be.

    Fern in comment #20: we are indeed talking (if it comes to that) civil divorce. And I might add one doesn’t just get up and walk away, abandoning someone. Even if this most difficult course were to become necessary, there needs to be a great effort made to do it with some kind of menschlichkeit/decency.

    As for your second question, whether or not a technically flawed act of marriage still constitutes a marriage and requires a get to dissolve it; this is not simple at all. The earliest halachic authorities struggled with this issue, and some disagreement is evident among the commentators on the Shulhan Aruch. If I recall correctly, even in our time Rav Henkin and Rav Moshe Feinstein had different perspectives on this. It is true, that in some extreme cases where a get is not possible after a couple have already split, this has been seen as a possible approach to the problem.

    Ora, btw, answered this by saying “that in most cases where a woman” could not get a ‘get’, the previous marriage was ruled invalid based on such flawed procedures. I honestly do not know where such certitude as “in most cases” comes from. It is true, as I noted, that there are indeed cases where a flaw in the kiddushin may be enough to create a solution to a problem of no get. I myself have seen one such case, but it is not a simple matter. All such practical matters end up being referred to a rav with the ability and recognized authority to deal with such things.

    That’s it. I think this thread is dead.

    I want to bless us all that Hashem should fill us with a desire and determination for teshuvah, for turning only to Him; that we should be strong in His Torah and commandments.

    May we all have a blessed, sweet year. Shanah Tovah!

  4. Thanks for your reply. It’s good to see when a lot of consultation, study, thought and care go into decision-making.

  5. Continued…

    Bob Miller asked for evidence “that today’s gedolei haposkim agree with the rabbis you cited…”

    First, I’ll fall back on Mark’s citing Rav Welcher that in the case of an already intermarried couple we likely try first to bring about the conversion of the non-Jewish spouse.

    Now, since I haven’t asked permission to quote the few living poskim that I have spoken with, I cannot offer you direct evidence. I can explain to you what my influences and guides have been.

    20 years ago, when I was learning ‘practical halacha’ in the Shaal Program of Yeshivat Shaalvim, we received instruction and guidance on community halachic issues such as personal status primarily from three people: Rav Pinhas Heyman (formerly the rav in Calgary Alberta and professor at Bar-Ilan U); Rav Gedaliah Rabinowitz; and Rav Nahum Eliezer Rabinowitz. The rabbis Rabinowitz taught the shiurei halacha for years 1 and 2, Rav Hayman taught ‘practical rabbinics’. Obviously, there was overlap. In addition, I had a hevruta for a long time who had been a rav in London and was a student of Rav Nahum E. Rabinowitz from those days, and so the influence came to me by that route as well. Previously, for matters of halacha in Israel (including mostly in my personal life) I had usually gone to Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, and sometimes to Rav Shaul Yisraeli (who was a rosh yeshiva in Mercaz Harav). I only discussed conversion issues with Rav Eliyahu maybe two or three times, and that was concerning conversion in Israel. Being an Israeli, I also paid attention to the approaches of Rav Goren and Rav Uziel on these matters; though I am not expert on their teshuvot.

    It was Rav Gedaliah Rabinowitz who insisted that we become familiar with Rav David Tzvi Hoffman’s approaches to matters in Melamed L’hoil. Rav Hoffman was the Rosh Yeshiva at the Hildesheimer yeshiva, and more than anyone had to deal with all the problems of an assimilated, liberal community in Germany. Rav Rabinowitz told us to examine closely how Rav Hoffman dealt with the same issues that would be confronting us. He was, BTW, one of the original members of Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah; though he died in ’21. That is how I came to referring to the Melamed L’hoil.

    In America and Canada, I of course paid attention to the teshuvot of Rav Moshe Feinstein, and Rav Henkin as much as I could. Rav Nahum Eliezer Rabinowitz especially emphasized the importance of Rav Henkin in America.

    When I have had to take some interest in these issues for myself, my first step has been to see what I can find in the literature I have at home. I at least want to know ‘what am I asking’. I will look in the Shulhan Aruch, sifrei halacha, and teshuvot I have available to me to try and clarify somewhat what confronts me. Next, I’ll call one of the community rabbanim who I respect and know have pretty broad shoulders. Some I have worked with enough in the past that I can comfortably work through and clarify the issues with their help. If someone among these experienced rabbanim tells me I’m crazy, I’m a little less likely to even call Chicago or NY and bother them with my dilemma. Not always, mind you; but these experienced rabbanim are very important for understanding the issues and applying the halachah appropriately. I have been blessed by having a few such people available to me, and are patient with me and my limitations, and entertain my questions anyway.

    So, I’m afraid I can’t name names; but I think my approach to these issues is fairly well considered and the rabbanim I deal with are varied but all pretty mainstream. If I am really called upon to help in a real situation, then I may make many repeated phone calls as I try to understand and deal with the nuances of the individual evolving issues. I certainly don’t have broad enough shoulders to go it alone.

    To my way of thinking, Rav Haim David Halevy z”l of Tel Aviv was certainly a rabbinic figure with very broad shoulders. Today I sincerely regret having never gone to him when I had the opportunities years ago. His published teshuvot are intended for the general public, and so lack some of the thoroughness of other teshuvot. Nonetheless, he writes that the approaches among rabbanim vary from one extreme to the other where conversion is concerned, and the halacha has left much up to the judgement of the rav and the beit din. That being the case, we may find and have to tolerate variances and variations on these issues. If that is true about ‘simple’ conversion, it will certainly be true about ‘kiruv connected’ conversions where we are dealing with spouses and children and people whose status is doubtful.

    Interestingly, I just found out that the beit din in a big city ‘overruled’ me on such an issue. After thorough consultations, I had determined that a particular person really did need to convert despite evidence of Judaism in the family several generations ago. We had decided that this was not a conversion to remove doubt, but a real conversion of a non-Jew, albeit one who was very involved with the community for a long time. This individual decided to move to a big city, and with our blessings and assistance connected with the beit din there. They re-examined the whole issue, and decided that this is a conversion to remove doubt. As such, they have also instructed this person in the meantime to keep Shabbat, etc. because they may really be already Jewish. Most likely, they will also move along this conversion more quickly because the circumstances are different in their opinion.

    Whenever these issues come up, I think of the last mishnah in the first chapter of Yevamot. Beit Shamai and Beit Hillel disagreed on a marriage principle that left someone as a mamzer according to the other. It doesn’t get more serious than that. Even so, the mishnah tells us, they didn’t avoid marrying women from each other’s communities. The g’mara explains that they would quietly let each other know if the other would disapprove of the status in a particular case. They respected each other’s positions whether ‘lenient’ or ‘strict’, and even in such a grave matter did not invalidate each other’s decisions and the implications and consequences thereof.

    One more small continuation coming. I think this thread is essentially done, but I feel responsible to respond to a few comments or queries that were made…

  6. I apologize for my absence. I think I have neglected responding to some questions or comments that were meant for me; so I’ve tried to revisit what was written the last few days.

    Back to the beginning (Bob Miller and LeahL), the idea that is considered is to encourage, maybe even persuade, the non-Jewish spouse to convert. As I was taught by Rav Nahum Eliezer Rabinowitz (formerly Rosh Yeshiva at Jews’ College, rav in Toronto, Rosh Yeshivat Birkat Moshe in Maaleh Adumim) this entails encouraging the couple to become observant Jews. The non-Jewish spouse’s conversion is, in one sense, part of the family’s overall move of teshuvah. As some of us know, couples aren’t completely coordinated internally or behaviourly in these things. It takes time and patience and steady support and encouragement. Sound familiar?

    Even encouraging someone to convert is highly problematic as the halachah is normally presented. As Rav David Tzvi Hoffman clearly formulates it, we are already dealing with b’diavad-the deed is done. Consequently, the application of halachah is also in a mode of problem solving and salvaging, not a mode of setting up an a priori ideal situation. If there is any interest at all on the part of the family qua family, then we need to work with and encourage them and facilitate their moves in teshuvah (just as we would anyone else). We, of all Jews, know that the kind of changes we’re talking about can be slow. In some cases it may become readily apparent that all efforts are going nowhere. In other cases long term patience and stamina may be called for on the parts of all parties, and may pay off nicely. The rav and beit din have to apply their best judgement. It is a very difficult and sensitive responsibility.

    Rav Manis Friedman has a great bit about how Hashem did a tremendous hesed with us, and gave us guidelines or methods for working with b’diavad, the situation where we already messed up. That too is part of Hashems’s Torah, and appears in every area of halachah. Dealing with an intermarried family, or an adopted/improperly converted child who grew up in the community is not at all the same situation as dealing with a non-Jew who comes with no previous connection to Am Yisrael and says ‘I want to be one of you’. Our interests and concerns with these conversions are different, as defined by the circumstances themselves. So, too, the application of the halachah is different. When milk has already spilled into the cholent, we look for ways to salvage it. Sometimes we can, sometimes we can’t. But people who keep a strictly kosher kitchen are often surprised to find what is being allowed after a problem has arisen. When such has not yet occurred, then we more stridently ensure that we can prevent it. Here too, it is a mistake to think that converting a child who grew up ‘Jewish’, or a non-Jewish spouse, calls for the exact same approach as dealing with a potential convert who has no ties to the Jewish people.

    These are generalities, but true as far as they go. Any given situation has to be dealt with by the rav in that place, time, and situation.

    I intend to continue and address a few other points raised in the continuation…

  7. Thanks Ora and basically my Rabbi said similar advice. At this point I think it is more of a mental issue where I keep on getting stuck feeling horribly guilty, and cannot get rid of this guilt. I have tired to move past it but it keeps creeping back.

  8. Hi Dovid,

    Thank you for that link I will definitely check it out. I live only about 40 minutes away North of Monsey so not too far from me.


  9. Dovid, I am a proud alumnus of Kol Yaakov, and I think it’s “the finest” too, but I don’t think it’s necessary for us to insist that it to be acknowledged “the best” in the absolute sense for everyone. There are different yeshivas just as their are different situations and different personalities.

    Reb Leib is great, though! Mamish the best.

  10. Rabbi Leib Tropper, Rosh Yeshiva of Kol Yaakov Yeshiva in Monsey, NY has an ongoing program designed specifically for intermarried couples.
    The website link is below. The program has been extremely successful, and has helped familes all across the country…

    Kol Yaakov, the finest yeshiva dedicated exclusively to BT’s here in the States, can be found here…

  11. To Aaron:

    Perhaps I was not clear in my comment about not counseling divorce when there are children involved. I am far from reform/conservative! What I meant to say is that where a couple is already married with children, we do not have to reach out to counsel them to divorce! We can leave them alone, let the children grow up (hopefully in a stable home), and later (if they are halachically Jewish) give them information about various kiruv trips, classes, etc.

    If one of a couple wants to learn and become frum, and the non-Jewish spouse is not interested, as was written above, this is a heart rending situation and obviously rabbonim should be consulted. However, it is not clear to me that rabbonim with experience in this area automatically counsel divorce if there are children. That is all that I am saying. There are other factors to consider. I am not advocating reaching out to the intermarried and welcoming them to officerships in our shul. I was thinking of a more kiruv context where the couple (or one party) approached a kiruv center.

  12. mmsearch–
    Every step you take towards observance is important in and of itself, whatever your family situation. Don’t lose sight of that. Also, you are not a hypocrite, you’re just doing the best you can in a tough situation.

    IMO the best way for you to do teshuva is to take on a bit at a time, like anyone else.

    About divorce: If you ever get to the point where you absolutely do not want to be in your marriage anymore, whether because your wife is not Jewish or for whatever other reason, IMHO (as the daughter of divorced parents) it’s best to divorce. Staying together for the kids is nice in theory, but in practice, children can tell when their parents are unhappy and tense, and the situation often causes them more harm than a friendly divorce would. As for your daughter’s attitude towards Judaism in such a scenario, I think it would depend on your attitude. Many couples divorce because of differences, so as long as you don’t make it a “I dumped your mom because she’s not Jewish” thing, she probably won’t either.

    (The above is not meant to discourage conversion in the case of intermarriage, or serious efforts at reconciliation in the case of troubled marriages in general. I would only encourage divorce for couples who have seriously tried to solve their problems but remain absolutely miserable together, and would divorce if not for their children).

  13. Fern–
    A Jewish couple always needs to observe taharas hamishpacha, even if they are unmarried. While Ashkenazi authorities say an unmarried woman should not use the mikvah, that prohibition is much less severe than the prohibition of niddah.

    I don’t know the answers to all of your other questions. However, I do know that in most cases where a woman remarries and has children without getting a get from her first husband, the children have been ruled to be free of mamzer status because the original marriage (usually not orthodox) was not valid.

  14. I have a question, and realize that this may not be the best forum, so I will be sure to ask my Rabbi when I see him as well. But in the meantime, can someone explain to me how a Jew can be married to a gentile in the first place? I thought such a thing was not technically possible (from a Jewish law perspective). So, if my understanding is correct (and I fully admit that there is a big possibility that I am wrong) how can someone divorce if they are not married? Are we talking solely about a civil divorce and not a get?

    I have another tangentially related question. If two Jews are married, but the ceremony and/or ketuba do not conform to Orthodox standards, are they married according to halacha? Lets say for the sake of conversation that something was inadvertantly left out of the ceremony or ketuba. Would they need a get if they were to divorce? Would the couple need to observe taharas hamishpacha? Would the answer change if the ceremony was a Reform or Conservative ceremony and the “incorrect” aspect of the ceremony/ketuba was not inadvertant?

  15. While I tend to be somewhat liberal (on the Orthodox paradigm of course) regarding alot of religious issues, on this one I am very hard line. I don’t think that anybody is against being compassionate towards baalei teshuva in such situations, but if the implication is that we should find a way to tolerate intermarriage as long as it was done before they became religious is a very slippery slope.
    The view posted earlier that “There would be no hope of returning them to the fold if they were damaged by the breakup of their parents’ marriage” struck me as remarkably close to the conservative/reform view of intermarriage generally. Basically, an “accomodation at all costs” attitude that ignores the fact that children born after the fact wouldn’t be halachically jewish in many if not most cases and even if they are halachically jewish it is quite unlikely that they would become practicing Jews themselves in such a confused and split household (this is assuming that the other spouse does not convert).

  16. To Anonagirl and mmsearch:

    I have heard some say that in this generation it is not wise to counsel divorce if there are children involved. It is more important for children to grow up in stable families and have a stable personality; from there, the children can be approached and taught Torah when older. There would be no hope of returning them to the fold if they were damaged by the breakup of their parents’ marriage.

  17. Shalom Anonagirl,

    It depends on the person. People are complex and not so easy to predict. Sometimes things turn out just the opposite of what one might think.

    There is no way to be a mindreader here or to see the future.

    We are still obligated however to do what Hashem mandates that we do, even if it’s hard, even if we may not like the ramifications.

    Still, in my opinion, one really should have a proper rabbi to discuss things with prior to initiating any particular course of action.

  18. Why in the world would the daughter NOT hate Judaism for splitting up her family? Especially since she is not Jewish by halacha?

  19. Shalom,

    It’s a difficult situation but the basics of teshuva apply to this situation just as they apply any other “off the derech” situations in Jewish life.

    The bottom line is to find a way back to proper Torah observance. It doesn’t matter how easy or hard the situation, the goal remains the same.

    I’m not sure your analysis concerning your daughter is correct but the concern is certainly well placed.

    I would recommond finding someone you can talk with privately, an experienced observant community rabbi might be your best bet.

    Regards, Eliahu

  20. Hi,

    This article hits home for myself. I struggle with this daily as my wife and daughter are not Jewish. I come from a family that celebrated the non jewish holidays more then the Jewish ones and everyone in my generation has married out.

    I do not want to break up the family, because if I were to do that my daughter would grow up hating Judaism and blaming it for the breakup. That is just not good and no one in my family would understand since everyone is not religious.

    even though I know Judaism is not all or nothing, I do feel like I am a hypocrite many times, and the more I read and study Torah, sometimes the more depressed i get. I struggle on a daily basis of giving up on Torah Judaism just because of the intermarriage issue. I know I can do teshuvah, but how does one do teshuva when you are still married? Conversion is not an option, there is no interest at all.


  21. Shalom Mordechai,

    It starts with a plain reading of the text, which is flawlessly logical. Rashi tells us that every Jew (that means halachic Jew) will be recovered.

    Rashi says even if there is but one Jew is a city he will be recovered. Redak, Rabbi David Kimchi expands upon this to say that if there were but two Jews in an entire nation they would both be recovered.

    However you slice it, the message is clear, every Jew who God will accept as being Jewish will be coming to Israel at the designated hour.

  22. “Even if there are only two halachic Jews in a family (meaning a Jewish mother and child)…”

    Where do we see that as the meaning of the prophet’s ‘two from a family’? I admit my ignorance; I’m not familiar with the source for that.

    BTW, in Rabi Yohanan’s rebuff to Resh Lakish, and Rav’s rejoinder to Rav Kahana on the same point, he says “it is not pleasing to your Master (Hashem, see Rashi on the g’mara) that you speak this way”.

    Maybe that should influence our perspective and approach?

  23. I’m afraid I’ll have to return to this later, but I do want to address the text from Yirmiyahu. Two major influences in my learning as a young man (Rav Meir Kahane, h”yd; and Rav AY Hacohen Kook z”l, whose yeshiva I was priveleged to spend some time in when Rav Tzvi Yehuda Hacohen Kook z”l was alive) emphasized the absolute necessity of learning Tanach thoroughly.

    (It is Rabbi, right?) Eliahu Levenson presents what is essentially the explanation of the Baal Hametzudot. He does not tell us what conclusion to draw. According to Resh Lakish in the g’mara Sanhedrin it would seem to mean that ONLY [my emphasis] a small minority, the righteous, will be returned from exile in the final redemption.

    But the application is incomplete, IMHO. The Radak and Mahari K’ra both present as the tradition of our sages Rabi Yohanan’s rebuff of Resh Lakish, “our sages explained that one brings merit to the whole city and two from the family bring merit to the whole family and by their merit EVERYONE [my emphasis] will leave the exile”! The Radak, BTW, previously explained ‘family’ to mean a nation or country; see his commentary there.

    If Resh Lakish is correct, we should be mourning this terrible outcome. I take comfort in the fact that the conclusion seems likely according to Rabi Yohanan (Resh Lakish’s rebbi, interestingly enough). That means that those who are more aware should be doing t’shuvah not only for their own sake, but for the sake of all who will benefit from that merit…

    Now there’s a powerful thought before Rosh Hashanah! :-)

  24. On The Coming Ingathering Of The Jews

    Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 3:14 – “I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Tzion.”

    When the ingathering occurs: Even if there is only one halachic Jew in a city, he will be found and brought: Even if there are only two halachic Jews in a family (meaning a Jewish mother and child), those two will be found and brought.

  25. What happens to the kids when the “recommended” civil divorce happens? I saw a lot of people who thought that Noah Feldman should divorce his non-Jewish wife, but they have two kids, and that just doesn’t sound right when there are children involved, even if they are “illegitimate” by halacha.

    And is it truly such a huge issue when the kids are halachically Jewish (e.g. their mother is Jewish?)

  26. Mark,

    In this thread I was asking Rabbi Scher regarding those rabbis he cited.

    Regarding Rabbi Welcher (thanks for your info!), can I assume he is open to “convincing” the non-Jewish spouse in some cases—as you defined “convince”?

  27. Bob, with all due respect Rabbi Welcher is recognized as the major Posek for the entire Chofetz Chaim network and all their yeshivas and affiliates as well as for Queens. He learned under Rav Eliyashav and consults him on the most difficult situations. In America, there are few others who would pasken the types of life and death sheilos that he does.

    For starters here are dictionary definitions of the difference between

    convince – To bring by the use of argument or evidence to firm belief or a course of action.

    coerce – To force to act or think in a certain way by use of pressure, threats, or intimidation; compel.

    But when it comes to these issues you need a real Posek, paskening in real situations. Rabbi Welcher generally doesn’t like difficult hypothetical questions, because there is no Siyata D’Shemaya in a hypothetical. Here he was giving a general path.

  28. Also, what can you (Rabbi Scher) show us to establish that today’s gedolei haposkim agree with the rabbis you cited above.

  29. Mark,

    What does your phrase “try to get the spouse to convert” exactly mean in the absence of pressure?

  30. I spoke to my Rav about this today and he said that the first course of action, when people are already married, is to try to get the spouse to convert. He did not say pressure.

    If not, then divorce is the proper course of action.

  31. Shalom,

    I have a further question. If a spouse is not going to be pressured to convert, what happens to the marriage between a Jew and a Gentile? It stays intact? Isn’t that an out and out violation of Jewish law?

    Thank you,


  32. It’s my understanding that we do not pressure or persuade non-Jews to convert. Which, if any, of the rabbis cited above sanction applying such pressure or persuasion to the non-Jewish spouse of a Jew?

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