September 27, 2010 | 9:24 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I went on a date this weekend with a man who was not Jewish. As my regular readers know, being with a Jewish man is important to me. That said, I got an email from this man online and through our correspondence and phone calls, it became clear that he was a wonderful man.
We spoke of religion and faith, and it turned out that while he was not born Jewish, it is the religion that he chooses to practice. It was interesting because he did not know what the word mensch meant, but could quote Torah. He knew a lot about Judaism but had no real Jewish sensibilities.
He was open to me and my faith, yet it turned out that I was not accepting of the fact that he was not Jewish. It was a real lesson for me. I thought that at this stage of my life I was secure enough in my own faith that I could be with someone who was not Jewish and it would be okay.
In the end I learned a lot from this one date. There is something cultural about being Jewish that has nothing to do with religion. There are certain Jewish “things”. A language and sense of humor that are inherently Jewish. Others try to cultivate it in themselves, but it’s not the same.
I do not feel bad that this is something I want for myself. It is not about my being closed off to other religions. I love faith. I believe life is better when you have faith, regardless of what that faith is. For me, the core of my faith is Judaism and it will be the same for my Beshert.
I believe in God. There are times when I feel him walking next to me, and times when I wonder where he is and why he is ignoring me. As I search for love, I know that God is watching over me but it is my heart that will lead me to where I need to go and if I listen, I will be led to a Jew.
We went out for sushi on our date. It was a great meal, and I loved our time together. We laughed, talked about work, our kids, and religion. He was charming, funny, sensitive, smart and attractive. I enjoyed our time together and learned a lot about both him and myself.
I am going to find a man to share my life with and I am certain he is Jewish. It’s not about religion. It’s about a shared history, an understanding, and a silent language. It’s about being different, but exactly the same. For me to be with a man who is not Jewish would be settling.
I feel renewed in my search for love. I don’t know what he will look like, what he does for a living, or how observant he is, but I know that he is Jewish. That is what I want for myself and in the end it’s what I’m attracted to. I like Jewish men and I’m done defending that choice.
My date also showed me a few other things I am looking for in a man. He was honest about what he wanted, and what he was looking for. We had an open and honest discussion about being in our 40’s and knowing what it is that we are looking for, and the little things that matter.
It was great to talk about politics, religion and sex with a grown up. It was not about defending who we were or what we believed, it was about being honest and not wasting each other’s time. For the first time, I was out with a man who was being himself not what he thought I wanted.
After a two hour dinner, we sat outside and chatted. He walked me to my car and gave me what may be the best hug I have ever received. He is 6’4” and when he bent down to hug my 5’3” self, it was like being embraced by a giant, and I can’t remember the last time I felt so safe.
He was so big and gentle that the hug made me sigh, take a deep breath and hold on. Seriously, every person in the world should get a hug by this guy. I felt protected and that is something that I crave. Hugs are a great thing and it was a lovely end to a lovely date.
My life is blessed. I have a wonderful job, a successful blog, great friends, a loving family and a delicious and perfect son. I look forward to sharing all of it with a wonderful man. A smart, funny, loving and Jewish man. My date encouraged me to never settle, and always keep the faith.
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