Thursday, May 7, 2009

Final Wishes

I just recently was skimming news on Yeshiva World (I have a news addiction. I check the NYTimes, MSN, and Yeshiva World almost every day.) when I saw an interesting article that I'd like to share.

It seems that in this article, a grandfather left explicit instructions in his will that only those grandchildren who marry a Jewish person (either by birth or conversion) will inherit. If they do not, then they will be disinherited.

Well, this will is being contested in court by a grandchild who married out of the faith, and the court is leaning towards reversing the will. So, the Agudas Yisroel got involved- as a 'friend' of the court, stating that this is a major decision for almost all Jews, and they feel they should be heard as well. As last reported, they will have a say in the case.

Why is this so interesting? Well, first of all, intermarriage is an issue that affects all Jewish people. We don't care if someone is black, white, purple, gray or pink- we just want our children and grandchildren to marry someone Jewish. If they don't, their children could be not-Jewish- if born of a non-Jewish mother.

Parents throughout the generations have found ways to prevent their children from intermarrying. I recently read the book How To Prevent an Intermarriage by Rabbi Packouz, and in it he details the story of one man who went on a hunger strike until his daughter agreed not to intermarry. Compared to that, someone who just doesn't give money that he rightfully worked for, and that he has control over who he gives it to, seems rather tame.

People disinherit their children for all sorts of reasons. So, a religious reason seems a valid one to me, and I personally don't believe that a court could actually rule that the man's will is invalid. The Agudas Yisroel is getting involved because sometimes money will do what a passionate speech about the beauty of the Jewish nation can't. A will has been used as a tool to prevent intermarriage before, and as such, they want that to continue.

I think his final wishes should be respected, as he cared for his grandchildren and the future of the Jewish nation.

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