Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Messianic Marriage Crisis: A Unique Solution to a Unique Problem

50% of Jewish marriages are inter-marriages.  

We see this in the Messianic movement too.  When I attended a UMJC synagogue, the last two rabbis had intermarried.  And intermarriage has touched my life personally though I'm not going to go into specifics.  My point:  though they'd hate to admit it, intermarriage is a reality in large Messianic organizations.

Is this a problem?

On the one hand, if the Jews and Gentiles in Messiah are all called to the same Torah (i.e. One Law) then what could end up happening is similar to how Judah subsumed Benjamin--both are now only known as Jews.  

But there's another possible scenario.  

This is just an idea so don't shoot me for discussing a possible option.  We might need to create slightly different ketubot (marriage contracts) for Jews and Non-Jews.  This is the part where I ask you to lower your weapon.  Don't shoot!

Why am I even suggesting this?  Many reasons.  The main reason though would be to preserve Jewish tribal identity.  So Messianic Jews, for example, could have ketubot that identify them as Jews;  Messianics, on the other hand, could have ketubot that identify them as Non-Jews.  This way, if a Jew and Non-Jew wish to intermarry (which is fine) then the non-Jewish spouse can take on the Jewish tribal identity.

Keep in mind, I'm not suggesting that Torah should be different for Jews and Non-Jews.  I'm merely suggesting we may have to update halachah to a new situation:  the New Covenant reality that Jews and Non-Jews will have virtually the same set of beliefs and same set of practices (e.g. both will be keeping the so-called "sign commandments").

Well, it's just a thought.  If everyone hates this idea then that's the last you'll hear about it from me.  

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