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 I’m Going to Count to Three, and Then All Rabbis Need To Get Out Of My Uterus

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I’m Going to Count to Three, and Then All Rabbis Need To Get Out Of My Uterus Vide
PostSubject: I’m Going to Count to Three, and Then All Rabbis Need To Get Out Of My Uterus   I’m Going to Count to Three, and Then All Rabbis Need To Get Out Of My Uterus Icon_minitimeSat Feb 16, 2008 3:11 am

by Hannah Farber • February 12th, 2008 • Highlighted, Jewish Life, Women & Girls

Hi everybody, today I ran across two pieces of extraordinarily terrible advice that I wanted to share. You ready?

#1. Get married to someone you don’t particularly like because you will be lonely forever if you don’t. (This message brought to you by the Atlantic Monthly).

#2. Have more children than you were planning on because it would be a good deed, because, the Holocaust. (This message brought to you by the Rabbinical Assembly).

What strikes me about these two attempts to affect the way we make the most intimate, important decisions of our lives is that they are both based in fear and sorrow. The Conservative rabbis urge us to have more children because:

Everywhere except in Israel, the Jewish population is diminishing, with the result that we are not even reproducing ourselves. Committed Jews should be concerned about the depletion of the Jewish population, especially in light of the fact that a third of the world Jewish population was exterminated in the Holocaust. Rather than making up for that loss we seem to be adding to it, especially when we take into account those Jews lost to us through assimilation and intermarriage.

Since I began working in the Jewish community, I’ve heard this advice again and again, and it never fails to get my ovaries in a twist, not least because of the implied (or explicit) criticism of professional women (never of professional men) who postpone childrearing to accommodate their career goals. I say: if the rabbis are so committed to making this a communal issue, the rabbis should raise the children. In fact, given their comfortable salaries and high communal status, they have no excuse: they should be adopting and converting children by the dozen. Given the impressive recent developments in medicine that prolong human life, I wouldn’t excuse any rabbi under sixty from performing this mitzvah. Wouldn’t that make a fine statement of commitment to the Jewish future?

Lori Gottlieb’s simply stunning article in the Atlantic urges women (not men) to settle for romantic partners they don’t really like because romantic love never lasts anyway:

My advice is this: Settle! That’s right. Don’t worry about passion or intense connection. Don’t nix a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling “Bravo!” in movie theaters. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics. Because if you want to have the infrastructure in place to have a family, settling is the way to go. Based on my observations, in fact, settling will probably make you happier in the long run, since many of those who marry with great expectations become more disillusioned with each passing year. (It’s hard to maintain that level of zing when the conversation morphs into discussions about who’s changing the diapers or balancing the checkbook.)
The only choices on the table, it sometimes seems, are settle or risk being alone forever. That’s not a whole lot of choice.

Got that, everybody? Once you marry somebody, you won’t like him anyway, so why not start out with someone you don’t care for and save a lot of time?

Enough. As a future wife and mother, I have to think of my health, I can’t spend any more time yelling.
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