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- An Open Letter to Jewish Singles
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If a boy or girl has a reputation for flirting too much, it might be harder for them to get married. On one of his first dates, this young man was mortified to discover that the bench he'd picked in New York's Battery Park for conversation was in a gay area.see url
4 Jewish Dating Sites and Tips
The rules are often stretched some daters hold hands, others kiss and can be broken in ways anyone who has been on a date can understand. One young woman breached the law that demands sensitivity to the feelings of others when she kept looking at her watch as her date attempted to explain his goals in life. Shadowing everything is the idea that this dating has tachlis, or purpose.
That purpose is to find your bashert, or "meant to be. Dating usually begins at 19 or 20 for a woman, about 21 for a man. Some young people let their parents know when they're ready, others need to be prodded by their parents to get in the game. Our rabbinical student, let's call him Yaakov, describes a typical case: The shadkhan [matchmaker] tells you when it's OK to call, and the guy gets very nervous trying to create a conversation with someone he's never met. A lot of guys hate wearing the hat on a date, but it shows respect. Mom and Dad answer the door, and she's hiding in her room so you have a few minutes to meet the parents, who ask stuff they already know: The rabbis tell the young men the same thing mothers advise young women: Trust the system, everything will work out.
As it did for Rivkah Goldfinger, 21, and Dovid Stein, 24, married May 19 after knowing each other for eight months in an almost storybook example of Orthodox courtship, complete with the kind of surprises that pop up while you're busy following rules. They were brought together after Stein's rabbi moved to Baltimore from Australia. The rabbi's wife knew a friend of Goldfinger's mother, and that's all it took for wheels to start turning.
Love, Dating, & Romance from a Jewish Perspective
After being told about Stein, Goldfinger requested more information. That got garbled into a message that she was willing to go out, which soon put her in an awkward conversation. I decided he wasn't unusual enough," she recalls. He'd been told I wanted to go out. What Goldfinger regards as the "standard yeshiva guy" -- someone pursuing a worldly career simply because their parents are afraid they'll starve with an education in Talmud alone -- is acceptable to many Orthodox women.
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Margie Pensak, one of about six traditional matchmakers in Baltimore, has nearly clients, about 90 percent of them Orthodox. Working for a small registration fee to cover her expenses mostly long-distance phone calls , Pensak says she often feels like a "waitress taking orders.
Some people who have used matchmakers are put off by being reduced to a paragraph of statistics "like the back of a baseball card -- I'm deeper than that," says one Baltimore man. Others are content to find "the generic Orthodox Jew -- kosher home, observe the Sabbath, Torah study and raising kids to go to yeshiva," says Pensak.
Generic just wasn't going to do for Goldfinger, who comes from a very observant yet whimsical and open-minded Hasidic family -- a woman whose independent thinking is symbolized by her choice of Catholic-run Loyola College for a biology degree. She knew her bashert had to be Hasidic -- someone given to wearing satin caftans and round fur hats, who favored oil to light the Sabbath candles over wax -- but beyond that she "couldn't put into words" her notion of a soul mate.
From the 20 or so dates she had before meeting Stein, she knew what she didn't want. There was the art museum date, with a guy who "walked by all the pictures I wanted to see.
There was the minute "sit-in" around the dining room table with a devoutly Hasidic man while her parents entertained his parents in the next room. And then she found herself having dinner with Stein without having seen him. A physical relationship is an essential element in the binding together of two people in marriage.
Before marriage, however, physical contact has the effect of forging bonds without sincere commitment. Some people will claim, with reasonable justification, that some of the social practices which Jewish law prohibits, such as hand holding, social dancing, and good-night kissing, are simply matters of form or social grace, which people perform without attaching to them any great significance.
It is precisely this point that we are attempting to make.
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Jewish society cannot tolerate a situation where a young woman, or a young man lets her or himself be used, taken advantage of, or hurt. Nor can we accept, for all the casualness of society, that kissing, or any form of expressing affection, can ever be regarded lightheartedly or as a game or social grace.
Most people who have dated know that even a casual good-night kiss is just a beginning. The nature of kissing and touching is such that it calls for more and more. If dating is limited to conversation, then each successive date can bring new and more stimulating conversation, and a greater interplay of personality. But if dating implies even the most casual physical contact, it is natural that on each date you will want to have more; each partner will feel impelled to give a little more, to let down a few more barriers, until there is little left to surrender.
The result is a transaction in which the young woman is selling herself cheaply, and all too often, suffers a loss of self-respect, self-worth, self-esteem, and in many instances the breaking of the relationship. In order to master the fire of attraction rather than be consumed by it, Judaism teaches the virtue and value of tsnius or modesty. The body should always be properly and tastefully covered, in order to preserve a sense of dignity, worth and self-respect, rather than openly flaunted and thus debased.
To the Jew, tsnius is a major element of true beauty. True beauty lies not in what we reveal but in that which we conceal.
An Open Letter to Jewish Singles
Only a body properly clothed, not openly flaunted, is a fitting vessel for containing the true human beauty which lies beneath the surface of the physical self. True feminine beauty has little in common with the artificial image of beauty projected by American cosmetic firms, television screens and advertising industries.
The notion that true beauty, allure or happiness is determined by the extent to which a girl approaches the ideal in a physical sense is so much deceptive nonsense. The ideal is an arbitrary and often cruel standard that causes much needless unhappiness for those who take it too seriously, and as a result become slaves to a stereotyped notion of beauty. Real feminine beauty is a highly subjective, personal matter. It is much more a reflection of poise, bearing, sensitivity, charm and values than of any specific physical feature.
Young women, no matter how physically attractive, remain unconvinced inwardly of their own real beauty until they begin to love and be loved. This suggests two possible insights: Both the conviction of beauty and mature love develop fully, deepen and are nurtured only in the context of married life.
Your Anti-Zionism is quite possibly Anti-Semitic
This will explain why women who do not fit the stereotype, and are not beautiful by Madison Avenue criteria, are loved, admired and regarded as being highly attractive and desirable by their husbands. In a sustained marital relationship, the external physical criteria of attractiveness are harmonized with the primary personality factors. In marriage, one soon discovers that deeds and attitudes are far more important than artificial standards of mere physical beauty.
Lacking these ingredients, all the physical attractions in the world will not sustain a relationship, or provide long run happiness for either party.