Intermarriage is one of the most sensitive subjects for Jews and Arabs living in this land. This article, written by Gershom Schocken, is being republished in light of the Education Ministry’s decision to ban a book about an Arab-Jewish love affair
The main reason the rabbis oppose encounters between Jewish and Arab youths is that such meetings might lead to intermarriage. Even give the small chance that this would be the result of such interactions, there’s no denying that the rabbis have touched on a most sensitive issues for Jews and Arabs living together in this land.
Ezra the Scribe is the person who banned intermarriage between the Jews who had returned from Babylon to the Land of Israel and the other nations already living here. He not only declared this prohibition but also forcibly broke up many mixed marriages that he discovered when he returned to Jerusalem from Persia. These were mainly between priests and members of distinguished families.
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Source Credits: Gershom Schocken in Haaretz Opinion