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relating to cousin who intermarried


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Nisan 15, 5776
My cousin married a goy (gentile). Am I allowed to invite them into my house? Communicate with them?
I’m sorry to hear about your cousin. By all means, you should try and keep the lines of communication open, and invite him over. If he’s already married out, it won’t help to invite him without his spouse. Speak to him about the good fortune he has to have been born as part of the Chosen People, about our contribution to the world and society, about our eternity and special role. Inform him that he is very lucky and fortunate that he cannot renounce his Judaism (for Judaism is not just a religion but also a national identity- even non-religious Jews are still Jewish!). He is lucky enough to have been born to the eternal Chosen People, who have, in the words of Mark Twain, "contributed more to mankind and done more to civilize mankind than any nation in history". The reason that this virtue is irreversible is because only someone who is ignorant about the Nation of Israel would dream of leaving this great nation, so G-d does a favor to those ignorant and basically "forces" them to discover their good fortune! Like a kingly loving father, who wants to give his son a great gift, but his son isn't mature or learned enough to realize why this gift is so great- the loving father will not give his foolish son any choice, but keeps the gift waiting until the son learns to understand. Isn't he curious why the Jewish people outlast all the others? Isn't he wondering why we are the called the People of the Book, who have been awarded 22% (!) of the Noble Prizes while comprising only 0.2% of the world's population (literally 100 times more than logic), and sport most (53%!) of the world's chess masters! Isn't he curious why the nations of the world are so preoccupied with the Jews and the small State of Israel, way out of proportion to our size? Isn't he proud that his nation is the one who brought modern physics (Einstein) and Psychology (Freud), the cellphone (Motorola-Israel), memory stick and Windows XP (Microsoft-Israel), Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg), most importantly: monotheism (belief in One God) and morality, the two greatest achievements of mankind, to the world? For his sake, suggest to him that he go spend even one week in Aish HaTorah, Machon Meir or any yeshiva geared for explaining basics, to help him appreciate his great fortune, and understand why Jews can never and should never want to run away from themselves and their destiny! He may be fortunate, but his children, who will not be Jewish, will be missing out. Welcome him back, and his wife may also want to convert! With love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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