Shalom Life | April 19, 2014

Zuckerberg’s Marriage Infuriates Anti-Assimilation Group

Head of group asks Facebook founder to “separate from the non-Jewish woman”

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: May 25th, 2012 in Culture » Society » News

Zuckerberg’s Marriage Infuriates Anti-Assimilation Group

It appears not everyone “liked” Mark Zuckerberg’s surprise announcement last weekend.

Following Zuckerberg’s marriage to his longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan on Saturday, the 28-year-old Facebook founder and CEO received a letter from Benzi Gopstein, head of the Lehava Organization for the Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land that criticized his intermarriage, according to Israel National News.

Gopstein, who refers to Zuckerberg in the letter by his Hebrew name, Mordechai, writes that he didn’t “like” Zuckerberg’s wedding announcement on Facebook unlike the over 1.5 million others that did.

“To be precise, if Facebook had a ‘dislike’ button I would have given you a big ‘dislike,’” Gopstein wrote.

“I’m writing to you not for my sake, but on behalf of the Jewish people of every generation, being that you are part of this people, like it or not. True, you did well in the stock market, but just to remind you, money isn’t everything in life. You chose to marry a non-Jewish woman and by doing so, you disconnected yourself from the Jewish people, and your children will not be Jewish, even though their last name will be Zuckerberg; even if they’re cute and get a lot of ‘likes’, they will remain non-Jews in every respect.”

Despite acknowledging that Zuckerberg probably won’t pay much attention to the letter, Gopstein writes that on behalf of the Jewish people, he aims to “spoil the party” for all Jewish men and women who accept intermarriage and “liked” Zuckerberg’s relationship status change, as well as the media who reported it.

“Golda Meir, who was Israel’s Prime Minister, said that any Jew who assimilates is essentially a partner to the Nazis’ work, since through assimilation you yourself are exterminating the continuation of the Jewish people,” he writes.

“Assimilation is bringing the extermination of the Jews to the seventh million! Unfortunately, you are not alone. The Jewish people are losing themselves in the Exile through assimilation. At the current rate, in the not-so-distant future there will be no more Jews remaining in the Exile. In Israel, too, assimilation is hitting us quite a bit because of your Facebook, where every Mohammed is ‘CitySlicker’ and every Yusuf calls himself ‘Prince Charming.’”

Gopstein is not the first to speak out against Zuckerberg’s intermarriage. Earlier this week, Israel National News reported concerns expressed by Dr. Aliza Lavie, a communications researcher, lecturer at Bar Ilan University and social activist.

“The children of another successful Jewish man will not be counted as Jews,” Lavie wrote on her Facebook page. “This wedding does not bother many American Jews and quite a few Israelis as well. This is integration at its best. But this is not the whole picture. The stories of intermarriage and assimilation are not only a ‘religious’ problem,” she said.

“It's much more than that. Large sections of the younger generation of American Jews are no longer with us. Treating mixed marriages only as a religious matter which does not interest those who are non-religious misses the reality that threatens us all, religious and secular alike.”

Gopstein’s letter concludes with a suggestion to Zuckerberg, encouraging to him to take a strong stance against assimilation.

“As long as the candle burns, you can correct yourself,” he writes.

“Separate from the non-Jewish woman and find a good Jewish one, and to make up for your mistake, go on a major campaign on Facebook against assimilation.”

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