Christian matriarchal dating

Read in their historical context, however, these verses in Deuteronomy almost certainly do not have this meaning.In the ancient Near East, religion was not a matter of private devotion but of tribal identity.A common argument for matrilineal descent given by laypeople within the Orthodox and Conservative movements (though not by their rabbis) is the “certainty” of maternity as opposed to the “uncertainty” of paternity–that is, the identity of a child’s mother is always known, whereas the identity of a child’s father is not.This argument does not bear scrutiny for two reasons: 1) In 1 Kings , two prostitutes come before King Solomon, both claiming to be the mother of a particular child–indicating that even the Bible recognizes that the identity of a child’s mother cannot always be known with certainty; and 2) in determining whether a child is a Kohen, a Levite, or an ordinary Jew, Jewish law uses patrilineal, rather than matrilineal, descent.Second, multiple sources in the Mishnah (Yevamot , , and 7:5) indicate that the child of a Jewish woman and a non-Jewish man is not an ordinary Jew but rather a mamzer, a child of various prohibited sexual relationships such as incest and adultery who is not permitted to marry a non- mamzer.Although this opinion is not followed in Orthodox and Conservative communities today, it is inconceivable that the rabbis of the Mishnah would have concluded such a child is a mamzer if their chief concern were pity for women who had been raped–for how would bearing a child who will be an object of stigma in the Jewish community, and unable to marry most other Jews, be a comfort to a rape victim?Although a convenient argument for those who feel desperate to find any ethical basis for defining Jewish identity by matrilineal descent, this argument fails for two reasons.First, the passage defining the status of children of a non-Jewish woman in the Mishnah, Kiddushin , does not deal with rape but rather with the validity of marriage between a Jewish man and various kinds of women.

Why, we often wonder, are segments of the Jewish community compelled to treat children of intermarriage in such an insensitive, cookie-cutter way–deciding that whether we are considered part of the Jewish family depends on the arbitrary fact of our being the fruit of Jewish sperm or a Jewish egg?Deuteronomy 7:3-4 states: You shall not intermarry with them [members of these peoples]; you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son, for he will cause your child to turn away from after Me and they will worship the gods of others; then [God’s] wrath will burn against you, and He will destroy you quickly.The lower-case “he” (as opposed to the uppercase “He,” God) who will “turn your son away” is taken by later sources in the Babylonian Talmud (Kiddushin 68b) to refer to a non-Israelite man married to an Israelite woman.Those of us who belong to interfaith families can see the clear ethical problems inherent in this traditional interpretation of these verses.It is no longer morally acceptable for the community to tell Jewish grandparents that they should regard some of their grandchildren as their grandchildren, and others as somehow not their grandchildren.A mamzer who is a scholar takes precedence over a High Priest who is an ignoramus.—Babylonian Talmud, Horayot 13a Since I became involved in Jewish life about seven years ago, I have had the pleasure of meeting a number of Jews who, like me, are the children of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother.Aside from the feelings of anger and alienation caused by our inequitable treatment within the Jewish community–treatment that many Jews with two Jewish parents fail to notice–the problems we experience goes far beyond being denied ritual honors or formal membership in an Orthodox or Conservative synagogue.It is sometimes argued that Judaism became matrilineal after the Bar Kokhba rebellion (a Jewish revolt against the Romans in 132-135 C.E.), when many Jewish women were raped by Roman soldiers.Hauptmann and others who make it never seem concerned that Jewish law provides no similar punishment for Jewish women who intermarry.This inequity arguably discriminates against Jewish women more than against Jewish men, because it denies Jewish women equal responsibility to choose a Jewish spouse.

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