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My daughter is dating a gentile - What do I do?

Various RabbisKislev 4, 5771
1691
Question
My 20 year old daughter is dating a gentile I am ashkaenazi my wife a Yemenite. How do we impress upon her to ceace their relationship. She is currently in Israel for vacation should she consider remaining in Israel ?
Answer
Shalom and apologies for the delayed response, This question is a very personal question and though I will try, it will be best answered by a Rabbi or Youth Director who knows you, your daughter and your community. It is obvious that educating a certain value of Judaism in a vacum is useless and often counter-productive. If we raise children and provide an environent for them where Torah and Mitsvot are not obided by - where parents will drive on shabbat, and eat non-kosher etc. - It will be very hard to explain to a child the importance of marrying a Jewish person. Children are clever. A child will immediately ask him or herself - "If Torah Judaism is the true way to live and therefore one can only marry a Jew, then why don't my parents keep all the other commandments?" Step number one, is to bring the Mitzvot closer to you and your wife and to slowly increase the Jewish atmosphere in your home. To show your children (no use pretending as it will be immediately picked up) how precious the Mitzvot and Jewish tradition is to you. I would also recommend you explain to your daughter that she is the next link in the 3500 year old chain of Jewish people. Tell her that 3500 years of ancestors - including Avraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sara, Rivka, Rachel and Leah, as well as all the millions of Jews who were persecuted over history for simply carrying on the Jewish tradition- are all relying on her to bring Jewish tradition into her home and into the homes of her children and grandchildren. Relying on her to pass the torch to the next generation. Our homeland, Israel, has ironically become a safe haven for the preservation of the Jewish people. Where in places like the USA and Europe the intermarraige rate has climbed to well over 50% (in some places nearing 70%) - Israel is maintaining an almost clean slate. It seems that if your daughter enjoys spending time in Israel, maybe it is a good idea for her to come and spend a semester learning hebrew, or studying in University or even in a Seminary for beginners? If you would like more specific details, contact me and I would be happy to help out more. May Hashem bless you with children, grandchildren and all following generations who walk in the ways of our forefathers and foremothers! Rabbi Baruch Kitay
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