By COLlive reporter
Following a chance encounter, an Israeli Jew named Gal visited Chabad Upper East Side in New York City. Gal, raised in a kibbutz, quickly fell in love with Yiddishkeit. For the first time in his life, began to study Torah and put on Tefillin on a regular basis.
He was soon coming to Chabad every day to study Gemara, and was receiving the weekly Dvar Malchus study booklet so that he could keep up with the daily Chitas and Rambam from home.
There was, however, one major complication in Gal’s newfound life.
He had been married for more than a decade to a non-Jewish woman, who was not the least bit interested in pursuing any form of conversion. The couple had two children together. Gal had arrived at a predicament and felt himself to be trapped between a rock and a hard place.
In his frustration, Gal has repeatedly told Rabbi Yaakov Krasnianski, the son of the local Shluchim, that the kibbutz he was raised in was so secular, that not a single person in his entire family or community had even warned him of the complications and heartache that would inevitably be caused by choosing to intermarry.
It was this story in particular that impressed upon Krasnianski the critical and tragic nature of this crisis facing our people and of the pressing need for action, which could prevent the same thing from happening again and again to unsuspecting Jews around the world. It was time to act and to stop looking the other way.
“Shluchim and Chassidim stand horrified at the alarming and ever-growing rate of intermarriage—well above 60%—and at the unsettling reality of assimilation and intermarriage sweeping across the Jewish world, claiming millions of our brethren in the blazing inferno of spiritual annihilation—but few know what to say, or how to broach and approach such personal, sensitive, and uncomfortable subjects,” Krasnianski says.
Additionally, he says, there is today much confusion and misinformation surrounding the official stance of our Rebbeim on the topics of intermarriage, conversion, and the acceptance of non-Jewish children into Jewish institutions.
Krasnianski worked on compiling all of the material available from the Chabad Rebbeim on the topic of intermarriage and presenting it in readable English. Titled “In Response To Intermarriage,” the book was published by Project Chassidus.
He says the book is intended to serve as a much-needed resource and wake-up call to Shluchim, and to anyone in a position to combat and prevent intermarriage in all of its many forms.
“All who read the powerful and eye-opening content contained in this book will walk away with a sense of clarity, feeling more prepared, knowledgeable, confident, and equipped to navigate the challenging but necessary conversations surrounding this issue, and to confront intermarriage head-on,” he told COLlive.com.
The book includes:
Letters of the Frierdiker Rebbe (14 entries).
Sichos of the Frierdiker Rebbe (3 entries).
Letters of the Rebbe (29 entries).
English letters of the Rebbe (51 entries).
Sichos of the Rebbe (38 entries).
Stories of the Rebbeim (8 entries).
The Kabbalah on intermarriage (2 entries).
The book is available for purchase in all Crown Heights bookstores as well as at https://tinyurl.com/Seforim-Deals
“Just as there are Jewish soldiers stationed along the borders to prevent any terrorist from entering, as later on [if he manages to infiltrate], it will be impossible to know where he is located, in order to be able to protect ourselves from him, so does this apply to the “border” that exists between the Jewish people and the nations of the world. We must stand guard to prevent the entry of even one gentile.”
(Sichos Kodesh 5736, vol. 1, p. 506)