Kiddushin 68-74 - Issue #1
Patrilineal Jewishness - A Modern Myth
In a case where one of the parties is not marriagable according to Jewish Law the child born of their union has the status of the mother; i.e., a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother-the child is considered a non-Jew.
What is the source for this rule? Rabbi Yochanan, in the name of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, based it on the following passages in the Torah:
"You shall not intermarry with them [the non-Jews]; you shall not give your daughter to his son in marriage nor shall you take his daughter as a wife for your son. For -he [the non-Jewish father]- shall turn away your [grand]son from Me and they will serve other gods, and Hashem's anger shall be kindled against you and you will be quickly destroyed" (Deuteronomy 7:3-4).
Intermarriage is prohibited both in the case of a Jewish boy or girl. The consequence of a grandchild being turned away from his Jewish faith is, however, mentioned only in regard to the non-Jewish father but not the non-Jewish mother. The conclusion is that the child of a Jewish mother and a non-Jewish father is considered Jewish and the danger of his being diverted from his faith is relevant, while the child of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother is considered as non-Jewish and the consequence of being diverted from his faith is irrelevant.
Centrality of Jerusalem and Justice
"You will arise and ascend to the place which Hashem, your G-d, has chosen" (Deuteronomy 17:8).
This passage, instructing Jewish judges faced by a problem in Torah Law to bring it up to the Sanhedrin (High Court) in the Beis Hamikdash (Holy Temple) in Jerusalem, teaches us that the Beis Hamikdash is the highest place in the Land of Israel and that the Land of Israel is higher than all other lands.
The universe is a globe and the site of the Beis Hamikdash is the center of this universe (centrality, rather than altitude, is the meaning of height), as too is the Land of Israel. Our Sages therefore said of the Land of Israel that because of its central position its atmosphere is balanced and generates wisdom. This is even more so in regard to the site of the Beis Hamikdash and for this reason it was the seat of the Sanhedrin.