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My wife and I have several Jewish female friends in their mid-30s who are still single.When any of them visit, our Shabbat talk inevitably turns to the people they are dating and how difficult it is to find a nice Jewish guy with whom to start a Jewish family and raise Jewish children.Also, my wife doesn’t care that this boy isn’t Jewish; in fact, I seem to be the only one in either my wife’s family or mine who opposes this relationship or that it could result in marriage, God forbid a billion times over. I love my daughter very much and I want a relationship with her, but I don’t know what to say or do to make her understand how important it is for her to marry within the Jewish faith.I am a regular Sabbath and holiday shul-goer, and we do at least try to observe in the house, although my wife does it mostly in deference to me.I’ve brought my children to shul over the years much as possible, and tried my best to foster in them the desire to embrace and continue their involvement in the Jewish faith, but has it all been for naught?I want all the future generations of my line, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc., whether I live to see them or not (I’m 55 and in good health overall) to live as Jews and continue the faith on down my line. ” It’s one of my favorite stories from the brilliant mind of Theodor Geisel (aka Dr.
Boy, have we got shiksa, non-Jewish woman, problems.When my wife, Lora, first went to the mikvah, ritual bath, a couple of years ago for her conversion, she forgot to remove her clear toenail polish.We joked on the way home that she had almost gone through life with "shiksa toes." But, in a way, all women who convert do still go through life with "shiksa toes" because, for many Jews, a gentile woman can never really change--even after religious conversion.Despite the insistence of the early rabbis that converts are to be treated as if they had always been Jewish, for many people a converted woman will always carry with her a shiksa stigma.
And, to my surprise, the stigma of being a shiksa is profound.My 22-year old college-graduate daughter has been dating a Catholic boy, also a college graduate since they met in high school.