These "time bombs," lead to higher divorce rates (sometimes twice as high! With far fewer long-term problems to deal with, same-faith marriages have a much higher chance of being happy and successful than comparable intermarriages.

One of the main reasons, Riley finds, is that the older people get, the more likely they are to intermarry — and Jews tend to marry older than Americans generally, according to the 2000-01 National Jewish Population Survey.

By the same token, Mormons, who encourage early nuptials, are the least likely faith to outmarry.

This Jewish approach is known as "cherishing touch". Religious Jews have no physical contact before marriage.

We don’t touch until after the wedding ceremony.“Yikes! When I first heard about this at age 22, that was my initial reaction too.

But I was intrigued enough to want to look into it.

Because I didn’t then believe in God, I didn’t ask myself, “What does God want from me?

NEW YORK (JTA) – Over the past half century, intermarriage has become increasingly common in the United States among all religions – but among Jews at the highest rate.

Why that is the case is one of the questions Naomi Schaefer Riley probes in her new book, “‘Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America” (Oxford University Press).

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” I simply asked: “Could no touching before marriage actually .