Meeting a Half-Jew in Douglasville, Georgia

I had already paid my check at the restaurant in Douglasville, Goergia, about half an hour west of Atlanta. I had time on my hands and I was spending it learning the ta’amei hamikra, the

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7 Responses to Meeting a Half-Jew in Douglasville, Georgia

  1. Dana says:

    Douglasville!! That’s where I used to live. Funny little town, huh? I enjoyed this post…and not just because you were in D’ville. 🙂

  2. geoffrobinson says:

    Is “half-Jew” really a valid term? Are her kids “one-fourth Jews”?

    Thinking in terms of tribal affiliations as opposed to racial categories may be more beneficial. She might just be caught between two worlds in some respects.

  3. geoffrobinson says:

    I didn’t mean that to be critical of you, but of how all of us think of these things in general. I do the same sometimes.

  4. Geoff:

    Your point is a valid one to bring up. You know me well enough to know I am aware of Jewish identity issues. I tell people being Jewish is not primarily about religion or ethnicity. It is a family, it can be joined, and you don’t lose Jewishness by failing to adhere to the religion.

    As for the term half-Jew, I find that the many people I meet in this category think of themselves as half-Jews and often use the term. Google it and you will find websites for children of intermarriage.

    Derek

  5. grandstaff says:

    Derek,

    Could you take some time and explain more of what is happening in Israel on your blog at the present moment. Historically, culturally and biblically what we should be seeing and hearing that our typical media and western way of thinking would not pick up right away?

    Thanks for all your help.

  6. grandstaff says:

    Derek,

    Thank you for your last post. Very helpful as we watch and pray for God’s chosen. Thank you for the resources. One last question (sorry to nag)…is there anything biblically that we should be looking at during times like this? Anything historically that sheds more light into these events? Not really trying to get at an “ends times” type of conclusion, but just wanting to be more in tune with the historic and cultural aspects of these types of moments. Thank you so much for your time and responses. They are truly helpful.

  7. Gene Shlomovich says:

    “As for the term half-Jew, I find that the many people I meet in this category think of themselves as half-Jews and often use the term. Google it and you will find websites for children of intermarriage.”

    Derek, I think more often than not it’s the children of patrilineal Jewish descent (via the father) who identify themselves as “half-Jewish”. Those with Jewish mothers (thou not all) tend to view themselves as fully Jewish (since that’s the prevailing standard in today’s traditional Jewish communities, which also insist that there’s no such thing as a “half-Jew”). It’s the patrilineal Jews who are most confused since many of them are rejected as Jews.

    I think that intermarriage is indeed a scourge on the Jewish people, especially those residing in the Diaspora. The reason Jews and Gentiles intermarry (in most cases) is because (at the time of marriage at least) neither cares much about preserving their identity and passing it on to their children.

    Even among a great majority of intermarried Messianic Jews I see conflicts in marriages when it comes to observances of Jewish holidays vs Christians holidays, allegiances to churches or synagogues, problems with church-going Gentile in-laws not relating to their “Jewish” grandchildren.

    Many Jewish believers are content with the minimum standard: as long as the future partner is a “believer”, it’s all that matters. It matters not to them if that future spouse wants to become part of the Jewish people (with everything that entails). For many Messianic Jews it’s quite a rude awaking when they finally decide to leave churches and join messianic synagogues – their believing Gentile spouses are not so willing to come along and leave the comforts of their beloved church.

    Most children of such marriages (thou certainly not all) grow up confused, and many (most) end up intermarrying with non-Jews.

    The answer is developing a stronger sense of Jewish identity in children of intermarriage. In Diaspora especially, the Messianic Judaism with traditional observances is the key.

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