Religion & Beliefs

Lilit Marcus, Shiksa Menace 3.0

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on Jewcy about my Jewish identity – more specifically, about not knowing Hebrew and wondering if that made me less of a Jew. I also referenced the fact that my mother is … Read More

By / January 20, 2009

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on Jewcy about my Jewish identity – more specifically, about not knowing Hebrew and wondering if that made me less of a Jew. I also referenced the fact that my mother is not Jewish, which isn’t some big secret or anything, but was tangential to the main topic of the post. The blogger Luke Ford linked to the post on his blog, and mentioned he liked my writing. In response, he got this email from "Chaim Amalek," which he published the next day:

We all know about the Shiksa Menace, V1.0 – the blonde with boobs and bearing who turned the heads of many a yid one or two generations removed from the shtetl, and who continues to lure Jewish men to the doom of happiness. Then came Shiksa Menace 2.0 in the form of the Yellow Peril – Asian women morphing themselves into good “jewish” wives while still eating dog meat. Now comes Shiksa Menace 3.0, possibly the most pernicious and effective of all because, well, they know Jewish men through their fathers, and have the good looks of the gentile mothers. This Lilit person is an example of that. She may think of herself as Jewish, but in terms of rabbinical law she simply is not. How many Jewish men will be lured to their communal doom by this new breed of shiksa?

Sadly, I believe this email was intended to be humorous. The bottom line is, I’m well aware of what Orthodox Jews think of my Jewish identity and, if I cared, I wouldn’t go to shul, observe holidays, or edit a blog about Judaism. But I do all of those things and then some, and the people at my egalitarian, open-minded, non-judgmental Reform synagogue couldn’t care less who my mother is or what she believes in. For the record, she was raised a Presbyterian – and perhaps the Protestant half of me believes that it’s faith, just faith, that makes me a Jew. The rest is noise.

Luckily, I have some pretty rad, smart, and observant friends who thought "Chaim"’s email was ridiculous. Jewcy blogger Zachary Thacher noted:

For those who want to marry a Jewish woman who has a non-Jewish mom, there are many simple remedies for the halachic question it poses. Being a racist asshole isn’t one of them.

If wanting to marry a Jewish man and raise Jewish children makes me a shiksa menace, then so be it.

Oh, and for the record, "this Lilit person" looks like her father. You know, the Jewish one.