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Marrying a Jewish Man

I am going to be marrying a jewish man. I do not know much about the religion, though. I cannot marry him if his religion isn’t a part of the ceremony. What do I need to incorporate into our ceremony?


This is a difficult question.

In principle, the marriage of a Jewish man to a non-Jewish woman is not legally valid. Although a reform rabbi might officiate, traditional (Orthodox, observant) Jews would not recognize the marriage.

In fact, marrying a non-Jewish woman is viewed as a serious offence, and is seen with sadness by Jews — not because of any disrespect to non-Jews, but because the children of such a marriage would not be Jewish (Judaism follows the mother, not the father). The rate of intermarriage in the States and Europe is high, and this phenomenon is eating away at the Jewish population.

According to Jewish law, a Jew cannot become a non-Jew, so this is not an option. On the other hand, a non-Jew can become a Jew, but this is a long and far from simple process, and I cannot recommend the option without your having a fair knowledge of what Judaism is about, and without the desire coming from yourself (Judaism is not a missionary religion).

I applaud you for seeking to introduce religion into the marriage. Until marriage, an individual is really “half a person,” and at marriage a person enters a new phase of life, for which Divine blessing, as granted by the ‘religious validity’ of the marriage, is a sought after commodity (especially in our times, when the institution of marriage is sadly under threat).

Your concern for ‘religion’ indicates your sensitivity to these matters, but I’m sorry that at the present I cannot offer you further guidance in this.

May God guide you on the path of truth.

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  1. HELP! I’m an Episcopalian Man and Widower. I’ve fallen in love with, and want to marry, a non-Observant Jewish Man that is also a Widower. He has agreed for us to be married in my Episcopal church by my Episcopal priests, but I want to include a Rabbi and incorporate Jewish and Episcopalian wedding traditions and customs into our wedding ceremony.

    1. My apologies, but the Jewish religion does not recognize the marriage between two men, as the union of two men is considered a serious sin.

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