How to Prevent a Marriage

14 08 2008

I am Jewish.  My husband is not.  We went in knowing that we would have differences of opinion, expectations, and experiences.  We talked about our issues, we set the ground rules for how we would discuss conflicts in the future, and we got married anyway.  But there are a great number of Jews in the world who think that intermarriage is the end of Judaism.  And here is one of them:

Through study, reflection and evaluation,  Rabbi Packouz found the traditional Torah way of life satisfying on both an intellectual and emotional level. Rabbi Packouz decided to work towards being an educator and a rabbi so that he could share with others the same beauty and meaning he found in his heritage. In 1976 he published:”How To Stop an Intermarriage — A Guide For Parents.”   In 2002 he rewrote and expanded the book and retitled it as:”How To Prevent an Intermarriage – A Guide For Parents to Prevent Broken Hearts.”

Now why would someone jump from sharing beauty to stopping marriage is beyond me, but what really blew me away was the 7 page questionnaire that the author has created for couples.  He might as well call it “How to Pick a Fight.”  Here are a few of my favorite questions but I recomend that you check out the whole thing here.

What is your main reason or reasons for marrying this particular person?
Are you afraid that if you do not marry this person that you will have a hard time
finding someone else to marry?
Is your main motivation in marrying this person because of a strong feeling of
attraction? How can you be certain that your strong feelings are really love and not merely
infatuation?
Do you have any ulterior motives for marrying this person (such as money or status)?
Are these a basis for a good marriage?
Does your potential spouse have any ulterior motives? How can you find out for sure?

How can you be certain that your potential spouse will be able to tolerate your faults?
Is there anything about you that annoys your potential spouse?
Is there anything about your potential spouse that annoys you?
Are there any traits or behaviors of your potential spouse that you hope to change?
What will you do if there will be no change?

Do you or your potential spouse think it is wrong to aid in the destruction of an endangered species? How do you feel about aiding in the destruction of the Jewish people?

Would you consider converting to your potential spouse’s religion? If not, why not?
Would you respect yourself if you converted?
If you are not willing to convert to your potential spouse’s religion, how can you ask
him or her to convert to your religion?
Could you respect the intellectual and moral integrity of your potential spouse if he or she would convert in order to marry you, rather than because they truly wanted to be Jewish?
Would you have respect for someone who opted for a quickie, non-universally accepted
conversion?

Are you aware that children of mixed-religious parentage often have an identity crisis? How do you plan to deal with your children’s identity crisis?

What will you do if your non-Jewish spouse surprises you by deciding to raise the
children according to his or her religion?
Do you think it is fair to create confusion in your children in an area so vital as their
basic identity?

What would be your response if your potential spouse called you a “kike”, “dirty Jew” or some other disparaging epithet?

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