THE CONVERSATION.

 
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AN EXCELLENT ISSUE

THANK YOU, MOMENT

It's about 6 a.m., and I am catching up on the November/December 2017 issue. I'm 86, living in a retirement community and busier than I ever was as a working wife and mother. Moment often gets sidelined, but when I finally pick up an issue, I am just delighted at its diversity and intellectual heft (as well as light-heartedness when warranted). In this issue,"What American Jewish Children Learn about Israel" was my first read, and I applaud it. Then I found "No Patience for Patriarchy," and before I even finished the first page, I had to write to thank you for it. I'll finish it now. As the kids say, "You rock, Moment!."

Bindy Bitterman

Chicago, IL

INTERMARRIAGE

THE RICHNESS OF JUDAISM

I married a Jew in 1975 in Massachusetts. At the time there were only two rabbis in Massachusetts, both Reform, who would conduct mixed marriages ("Is Intermarriage Good for the Jews?" November/December 2017). We chose one, and four years later he gave me a Reform conversion. We moved to New Jersey and joined a Conservative congregation. By that time I had learned enough to lead services, but the rabbi there decided that anyone leading services should get a halachic conversion. I did so, and I've been a happy Conservative Jew ever since, and so has my daughter. She also intermarried, but the kids are getting plenty of Jewish life. The issue of Jewish continuity, of flagging shul membership, is not only a Jewish issue; just about all American denominations face it. I'm confident that the richness of Judaism can attract plenty more people like me.

Charles Hollander

Cambridge, MA

JUDAISM NEEDS CONVERTS

There is no doubt that Judaism thrives on converts and needs more of them. At a minimum, they increase the number of Jews in the world, and ideally, when they marry born-Jews, they create more Jewish families and children. And by the way, if what we object to in intermarriage is that their children won't be raised in Judaism, why do we prevent older Jews from "marrying-out"?

Maggie Anton

Los Angeles, CA

INTERMARRIAGE IS DANGEROUS

Like Rav Chaim of Valozin said, if the Jew doesn't do kiddush, then the non-Jew will do havdalah (the ceremony marking the end of Shabbat). Remember, the Reform movement promoted intermarriage in Germany, starting the spiritual destruction of the Jews. Soon to follow was the physical destruction of the Jews. If you're going to promote self-destruction, say it like it is; don't try to put a kosher stamp...

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