Rahm Emanuel’s Orthodox Rabbi Does NOT Condemn Clinton-Mezvinsky Intermarriage

Rob Eshman emails: In an under-the-radar but utterly groundbreaking post at the blog “Morethodoxy,” Rabbi Asher Lopatin, the Orthodox leader of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Chicago– which White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel attends– challenged the overwhelming sentiment of Orthodox Jewry and offered a qualified “welcome” to the marriage of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky.

Orthodox Jews firmly oppose intermarriage. Clinton, a Methodist, wed Mezvinsky, a Jew, at a ceremony in New York last week. The wedding was conducted by a minister and a Reform rabbi. Traditional Jews decry intermarriage, which they say contributes to the assimilation, if not the disappaerance, of Jewry.

But Rabbi Lopatin took a different tack.

“We are living in a world where what was once taboo, intermarriage, has the possibility to expose millions – millions of Jews – to a tallit they may never have known about,” he wrote. “And it was a Reconstructionist rabbi Ponet who did the ‘dirty’ work. For now, Orthodox rabbis, even Conservative, don’t want anything to do with an intermarriage. But this Mezvinsky guy was willing to wear a tallis and a kippa in all the pictures – should we shun him forever? No, certainly after the wedding, we welcome him – and Chelsea as well.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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