In-marriage Experts Too Cloistered

In-marriage Experts Too Cloistered

Regarding “We’re Losing The Continuity Battle. Who Cares?” Editor’s column, Jan. 24: What do you get when you gather a group of conservative thinkers in a room, most of whom don’t have ongoing existential experiences with real Jews confronting the vexing issues of the day, but who rather spend their time in cloistered academic and institutional settings where they get to prognosticate and know that publications like The Jewish Week will gleefully publish their stratospheric opinions? You get suggestions like: We should tell Jews to marry earlier and have more children. And we should tell Jews that intermarriage is bad.

One wonders if these scholars and academics ever spent any real time in liberal Jewish communities. If they did, they would know that parents of marrying-age children fret over their kids’ choices for spouses, and try, delicately, to influence them and then try, delicately, to guide their kids to raise their own children as Jews.

They would know that most young people want to marry young enough to raise families. And that berating them for the circumstances that get in the way, or for their decisions to intermarry, sounds naive, insulting and deeply out of step with this demographic cohort. It’s not only a waste of time, it’s massively destructive.

No one argues with the statistics, with the attrition we have faced and continue to face. But this article sounds like the Catholic bishops continued railing against contraception. If these so-called experts want to lace their judgments with some grounded truths, they should spend a year living with the Jews they judge. Maybe then they would respond with some humility and some useful advice.

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