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.
“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.”