Hannukah is the festival of miracles, not intermarriage.
Let me be clear- I am nobody’s rabbi and although I am a proud Republican, this article is based on my take of Halakha, not the executive actions coming from the Biden administration.
The past few days among all the fried food and community candle lighting ceremonies, the media has been flooded with pictures and stories of Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff, lighting the candles as the Jewish representative of the administration.
He is being praised by Orthodox rabbis as a “Jew.”
Yes, he was born Jewish. Yes, there have been photo opportunities using Emhoff as the “token” Jew in the White House eating our foods, sharing our traditions and attending events.
Any person in his position would do it.
But, praising his “Jewishness” is another story.
He is an example of one of the worst kinds of Jews. With Jews like Doug Emhoff, we don’t need antisemites like the “Squad” or Black Lives Matter to call for the destruction of Israel and attacks on Jews internationally.
His two intermarriages (without halakhic conversions)and his lack of bringing up Jewish children make his choices and actions far worse.
While the fashion press fawns over his daughter Ella Emhoff, Ella enjoys the attention of the media for a very public statement she made on Inauguration Day, 2021.
Emhoff made statements that she was not brought up Jewish, does not consider herself Jewish and doesn’t want to discuss her personal feelings about why with the public.
Little is discussed about Cole, her brother.
Funny, I recall the campaigning in 2020 how Kamala Harris fooled potential Jewish voters and donors by using her stepchildren in a campaign strategy addressing her pro-Israel stand by her speaking about her nickname, “Momala.”
Her professional history or public statements didn’t matter, her “Jewish” stepchildren did.
Even respected Jewish media outlets included in headlines the historic Jewish second family. We now know, it was a campaign game plan and nothing more.
But even worse, religious leadership is still pushing this Jewishness and it sends a dangerous message: If you are an important person who intermarries and raises your children to be goyim, it’s okay and acceptable.
Have these rabbis and leaders heard that there is a “shidduch crisis?”
Have these leaders addressed the problems that assimilation from intermarriages like this have caused?
We must be honest, few intermarriages produce few Jewish children that totally identify themselves as Jewish. These children have less of a connection with Israel. And, Israel has its own issues regarding Halakha and intermarriage.
These same Jews had issues when observant Ivanka was “First Daughter.” Remember the controversial discussions about her Orthodox conversion? How about the anti-Semitic hate every time she and Jared Kushner were involved in a pro-Jewish and/or Zionist policy?
Her toddler children were the targets of hate for wearing yarmulkes and tzitzit while attending Jewish day schools.
So- How Can Doug Emhoff Help His People?
Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff, can help the Jews, but not as a Jewish spokesperson.
He should use his influence and power as Second Gentleman in the same manner that Karen Pence did, a supporter of Jewish issues and the state of Israel, including the Embassy in Jerusalem and recognition of Judea and Samaria.
Rabbis should stand with him like they did with Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden himself.
By the way, have you noticed how first daughter, Ashley Biden, who is married to Jewish doctor Howard Krein, is “missing in action.”
Jewish intermarriages are nothing new in the White House. Vice President Al Gore’s daughter and Chelsea Clinton come to mind from recent previous administrations.
However, in 2020 and now in 2021, Rabbis, Orthodox rabbis, who believe that a person’s Jewish lineage is from a Jewish mother, a halakhic given, are setting a dangerous precedent.
It’s not political, it’s Jewish survival.
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Cindy Grosz is the host of Cindy’s Political Corner which can be downloaded through iHeartRadio, Spotify and all major podcast outlets. She is the chair of Jewish Vote GOP. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org