. . . you will not take a wife for my son from
the daughters of the Canaanites . . .
When I worked for Hillel, the organization’s motto
was a memorable maximizing the number of Jews
doing Jewish with other Jews. All the kids and
much of the staff had a good laugh at the
implications of the word doing. It didn’t take a
cabal of Yentas to know Hillel was simply following
the directions of Abraham…making sure his son
kept doing Jewish. Abraham’s words were the
Genesis (Get it? That’s the name of the book they
come from) of the You should marry a nice Jewish
[insert pronoun of choice] concept. I think of them
when my son, the Isaac in training, tells about
all the people he has crushes on at his school.
Usually it’s only one at a time. He has no concern
about whether they come from the same tent.
In his view, the world is one large open tent
where everyone belongs and can do each other.
He has no idea yet what the word do means.
(At least I’d like to think so.) I like the world
he lives in, where our traditions can thrive
holding hands with even a Canaanite neighbor.
If you go back far enough, and at this point
that’s only four chapters, we all come from
the same garden. The taste of the apple
is still in our mouths.