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Dear Rabbi Why Can't I Marry Her? Hardcover – December 22, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Targum/Feldheim (December 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568714106
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568714103
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,758,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brian on September 5, 2007
This book, is great! the questions are real, the answers are real, and the dialogues are real! it is a great page turner, and very insightful. highly recommended to anyone looking to understand the struggles and pains people involved in an intermarriage, or interfaith relationship go through, and the way to guide them through their situation.
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8 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ellington Bard on July 25, 2007
The odd title of this book immediately makes me wonder what qualifies a Rabbi to write a book telling me (needless to say, not a Jew) whom I can't marry. After all, I don't go around telling Jews whom they can't marry. So who told Shemtov not to extend this same courtesy? Apparently God did.

Shemtov explains the idea that if a Jew were to marry a non-Jew, it would be like a brother marrying his sister. Both acts are outlawed by the Torah & therefore they are on equal footing as sins. If the Torah did not explicitly forbid it, I could marry a Jew or my sister with the Rabbi's blessing but somehow a religion I do not subscribe to forbids me from marrying either. The modern arguments against incest (genetic dangers, etc.) need not apply - since the Torah allows marriage to a 1st cousin it must be safe.

Shemtov goes on to say is not just morally wrong, but simply impossible for a Jew to marry a non-Jew. You can have sex all you want, have babies, live together, grow old and die at each other's side, but God will never consider it a marriage. My logical reaction is to wonder what the problem is. I've never really cared what God condones as much as Santa Claus (who will at least reward my good deeds with presents). And if I can't "truly" marry a Jew no matter how hard I might try, why then did the Rabbi have to write a whole book about it? If this is unalterable law, then Mr. Shemtov clearly has nothing to worry about. Wouldn't a book about why I can't marry a Jew be as obsolete as one persuading me to obey gravity?

Shemtov reminds me about the few Jewish weddings I've been to - there is always that touching moment when the Rabbi talks about how, according to ancient Jewish beliefs, the soul splits at birth to be reunited at the later date of marriage.
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