A Jew may not ask the intended spouse for a religious conversion but will wish children by this marriage be raised as a Jew. Also read Hindu-Jew marriages, Torah on Hindus?, Bar Mitzvah for Hindus?, Hindus, Abrahamics and Intolerants, Ketubia, and FAQ on Interfaith Marriages.
Interfaith marriage and Judaism
In general, Jews are permitted to marry any adherent of a monotheistic religion (like Christianity and Islam), as long as any children of the marriage would be able to be brought up as Jewish. Modern Conservative Judaism, which does not sanction intermarriage, but encourages acceptance of the non-Jewish spouse within the family, hoping that such acceptance will lead to the spouse's conversion to Judaism. The more popular forms of modern Judaism - Reform, Progressive (Reconstructionist), and Liberal - rabbis from these denominations are willing to officiate at interfaith marriages; they do, though, still try to persuade intermarried couples to raise their children as Jews.
In the USA between 1996 and 2001, nearly half (47%) of marriages involving Jews were intermarriages with non-Jewish partners1. The possibility that this might lead to the gradual dying out of Judaism and is regarded by most Jewish leaders as precipitating a crisis; some religious conservatives now even speak metaphorically of intermarriage as a silent holocaust.
Read this interesting article on a current high profiled - Christian-Jew divorce/child's religious labeling - court case.
No mainstream Jewish leaders think you can be raised in both religions2. If so, the most critical question a Dharmic (Sikh, Jain, Hindu or Buddhist) considering relationships with a Jew should be if Bris/Bar Mitzvah/Bat Mitzvah of children is expected to announce children by your marriage as Jews? ..and what if I say NO?
The ritual, called a bris or b'rit milah, dates to the beginning of Judaism. It is performed on the eighth day after the birth by a special trained rabbi, called a mohel, as part of a religious ceremony. The bris is so central to Jewish life that, by Jewish law, it supersedes observance of the Sabbath or Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest days. There is no more sacred rite in Judaism to be Jewish.
"There is my convent, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised," God commands Abraham, the Jewish patriarch. "Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."
Some Jewish believe that if the baby wasn't circumcised, something negative would happen to the boy.
Bris is the only Jewish ritual many secular Jewish fathers feel compelled to conduct. Read Bris.
The Ten Commandments
"I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods1 before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth2. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous3 God… punishing children for the iniquity of parents3, to the third and fourth generations of those who reject me." Exodus 20:3-5
Above are the first two of The Ten Commandments. Different scholars will interpret these statements differently. If a Dharmic is considering a lifelong relationship with an Abrahamic, it would be wise to know what kind of interpretations your intended spouse has learned during his/her life time. To make an "informed" decision, ask...1) Does Lord Krishna qualify as a/the God? 2) During Hindu wedding ceremony, the Hindu priest will invoke many Gods from heaven and earth, are you going to be okay to be part of such a wedding? 3) are you going to be scared of your Jealous God if you have to enter a Hindu, Jain or Sikh temple, or take prasad (offerings to God), or be a part of other Hindu rituals (idols worship?) at my parent's home?
Circumcision: Science or Superstition?
Abrahamic faiths believe that it is God's covenant to circumcise a male child. If the child had no Baptism/Bris/Sunat, something negative would happen to the boy or the child will not be "saved." Some try to argue that there are scientific merits to circumcision, but no compelling argument could be made. Bottom line, for scientific merits, flip a coin. If it is a matter of faith, an interfaith couple should decide whose faith (Baptism or Bris or Sunat or no circumcision) will rule your married life. Join circumcision debate here.
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