In a recent article published by World Jewish Digest, “Will Your Grandchildren be Jewish?” Anthony Gordon and Richard Horowitz cite some unnerving statistics:
“According to the NJPS 2000, 5.2 million people in America today constitute the core Jewish population. Of these, approximately one fifth classified themselves as having been born Jewish, but having no identification with any religious group. Forty-seven percent of Jews who married in the past five years wed non-Jews, up from a readjusted intermarriage figure of 43 percent a decade ago. Put differently: the rate of intermarriage has risen dramatically in the past 30 years, from an average of 9 percent before 1965 to 52 percent in 1990. (Secular Jews in the 18-39 age group have an intermarriage rate of 72 percent, while those over age 39 have an intermarriage rate of 35 percent.) What is more, the NJPS 1990 indicated that secular, Reform and Conservative Jews are far more likely to intermarry than Orthodox Jews.”
“According to the NJPS 1990, mixedmarriage households contained 770,000 children less than 18 years of age. Only 28 percent of these children were being raised as Jews; 41 percent were being raised in another religion; and 31 percent were being raised with no religion at all. Moreover, while 28 percent of children of intermarriage are being raised as Jews, only between 10 percent to 15 percent of this entire group ultimately marries Jews themselves.”
The intermarriage rate and cult-induced conversions of our Jewish youths are sadly found even among more observant families. Certainly, less informed teens succumb to the persuasiveness of missionaries, and to their own lack of conviction in Judaism, in even larger numbers.
Over the years, we have highlighted this problem, urging parents and educators to take real, meaningful and effective steps to halt this crime. Insuring that your Jewish schools offer mandatory classes in false religions, their flaws, and how Judaism differs based on its clear proofs and reason…is not an option. Inexcusably, many schools and parents do not respond to this holocaust, and curriculums still omit any class on this subject. This is due to parents’ and educators’ own lack of conviction in Judaism’s unique nature.
Tragically, this year we witnessed orthodox rabbis who hosted cardinals and bishops at their yeshiva, inviting them to engage in Talmud and Torah study, as if these Christians contribute to Torah understanding, and as if these religions are valid. This illustrates how liberal and opposed to truth Jewish leaders have become. These rabbis care more for social acceptance by idolatrous religionists, than they care about the truth: Judaism abhors such religions for its denial of the true concept of God, and for its destruction of human souls. Insecurities of such leaders and parents are to blame, that Judaism and Jews are diminishing. The result: 1000s of young Jews are unaffiliated with reasoning to reject other religions. But this could have been averted.
As World Jewish Digest concluded, the only recourse is education. Those of you who recognize this problem must take action, since no one else will. No one else can. The responsibility falls squarely on us.
The school year is about to resume. We have just commenced sounding the Shofar to call our hearts back to repenting. As Torah study and education is the one mitzvah that surpasses all others, the lack of this education is the greatest sin. The one area neglected in most Jewish schools, and the one area that will also correct the problem of intermarriage and conversions, is the study and education of Judaism’s Fundamentals. Make certain now, before curriculums become solidified, that your schools include at least one mandatory class at every middle and high school grade level on what makes Judaism true, and other religions false. With this knowledge, students will become convinced of their heritage, preventing any attraction to other religions, intermarriage and conversion years later. Knowledge of the falsehood and lies of other religions, teamed with clear understanding of Judaism’s Fundamentals is a powerful defense, and the most primary knowledge every Jew must know.
Can you as a parent or teacher prove to your children and students why they should not accept any other religion?
We will mention again that we have addressed alien religions, their flaws, and Judaism’s fundamental and proven truths in our JewishTimes, issues 116-126. Use these issues as a springboard to your own discussions.
Judaism is Judaism, primarily due to its foundation in a few fundamental truths. Above all else, reasoning and proof are the only barometers used in accepting any idea. Judaism rejects what is baseless, and opposed to proven knowledge. Only that which is proven by the mind, experienced by ourselves, or accepted by the Rabbis, can be part of Judaism, and is something that we must accept. It is for this reason that we reject religions based on the claims – and no witnesses – of one or a few people. Such claims prove nothing, and therefore, acceptance of that which is not proven means that one wishes to lie to himself. It is self-destructive. But these are the methods by which all other religions function: they ask adherents to blindly accept supposed events. Legends of Jesus walking on water, feeding the masses and healing the sick do not become spread until hundreds of years after the “supposed” events. Where were the supposed masses during this interval? Why the absolute silence about such miracles? Silence existed precisely because the stories of such vents were fabrications. These questions expose Christianity as lies. Few individuals were successful at generating belief in these stories initially, and only later, others created a religion based on this blind faith. But no claims were ever proven. The same with Islam, which commences as an idolatrous star worship religion, depicted in their flag. Unfortunately, many Jews are ignorant of these facts, and also accept other religions as “good for them”. These notions send a message of acceptance to Jewish youths, and so, intermarriage grows. But had these parents benefited from classes on religion, they would have developed into adults with clear conviction in Judaism, they would have insured this education in their schools, and far less Jews today would live as Christians.
In direct opposition to the blind faith nature of all other religions, Judaism demands every person – Noachide of Jew – to use his and her mind to realize what is true about all this existence we witness. Judaism demands we view prove religious truths the same way that we prove natural law. We know the universe exists, and the many laws that govern all in, and above the Earth. No missionary can cause anyone to abandon his or her conviction in gravity, math, or the sky’s blue hue. Persuasive arguments are ineffective, if they contradict proven truths. So too, we can imbue our youth with this level of 100% conviction, if we stop omitting classes from yeshivas and day schools that address other religions’ flaws, and teach Judaism’s Fundamental truths.
In this week’s Parshas Shoftim (Deut. 18:9) Rashi taught that although we must not learn the other religions for purposes of practice, we must study them so as to teach our children how damaging they are. It is only he or she who has no answers, who is susceptible to intermarriage and conversion.
Make sure your child leads a long life dedicated to what is true, to Judaism. Insure their education includes classes on Judaism’s Fundamentals, and the falsehoods of man made religions, as Rashi teaches. In this manner, your children and grandchildren will live as God deems the best life…as Jews.