Thursday, May 15, 2008 I was asked the following question:
I have heard that Orthodox Jews, must sit shiva for any of
their children who marry out of the faith. Is this true, and if so, how can a
parent be required to do such a thing against their own child.....consider them
was my response:
Many Orthodox Jews do sit shiva for a child who marries out
but it is not, to my understanding, mandatory that they do so.
As far as I am concerned, any parent who would consider their living child dead,
violates far more Torah Laws than did the child in his/her choice of a mate.
Hashem gave that child both life and free will. Ostensibly, that free will was
to lead that child-person on a Torah path. However, free will is just that and
allows for walking off the path and either returning to it or not at some later
date. Wishing for or considering "deathing" anyone is, by my standards, an
absolute sin against the creator.
Interfaith marriage is a very common practice these days which I attribute to a
lack of adherence on the part of the parents. Telling a child to go to Hebrew
School, synagogue, marry Jewish is, of course, all well and good. However, all
those instructions become meaningless when the parents don't practice what they
preach...3 days of shul a year and a nice family get-together called a seder
with tons of food and zero spirituality hardly sets an example for children to
Furthermore, with the divorce rate reaching closer and closer to the marriage
rate, many parents have little, if any, problem "dating" a non-Jew. The message
to the child, then, becomes, it's no big deal to violate our religious laws.
That being the case, it is totally hypocritical for a parent to object to any
violation of Jewish law.
you have questions about a personal matter, or jewish practices
and customs, you can submit them to me by e-mail.
I answer all queries directly, or through this column, when the
question is informative to our community.
you for your kind attention and this opportunity to share with you,
Rabbi Dan S. Wiko
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