June 23, 2010 | 9:48 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I only date Jewish men. For me, it feels safe and comfortable to be with a Jew. It is my faith, and regardless of one’s level of Jewish observance, it is important to me to have that bond. I am raising my son Jewish, and would hope that when he gets married, he will marry a Jewish girl.
Does that mean I hate all people of other religions? What does it say about someone if they want to marry within their faith? Is the perception of you worse, if you are a Jew? When a Christian says they would like their kids to marry someone from their church, is that more acceptable?
When I write about this topic, it is met with interesting comments. I get criticized, and called a bigot, for not wanting to date someone who is not Jewish. Just this past week, I was called a reverse anti-Semite for saying that I prefer to date men who are Jewish.
I would feel uncomfortable going to church to worship. Does that make me a bad person? I want my son to marry a woman who can carry on our traditions, does that make me horrible? I really don’t understand the argument that I am unkind and prejudice, for wanting this for myself.
On Monday night I wrote to a man on an online dating site. His religion was listed as “spiritual, not religious”. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but in trying to broaden my horizons, and perhaps date outside my faith, I wrote him. I focused on a man who was spiritual, regardless of his faith.
I wrote a short, funny email, and hit send. Within a minute, I got an automatically generated response saying he felt we were not a match. It would have been impossible for him to read through my profile so quickly. I assumed it was because he saw my picture, and was not attracted to me.
I was feeling quite ballsy, so I wrote him another email. I told him that while I respected his decision to blow me off in a second, I was curious what it was that made him respond so quickly. I was not a bitter stalker, just a singles blogger, who was curious about how the whole thing worked.
He wrote to tell me that while he thought I was attractive, he does not date Jewish women. Even though he is more spiritual than religious, he would rather date someone who was Catholic, as that was his upbringing, and what he was comfortable with. I was not hurt, and it actually got us talking.
We ended up emailing back and forth for an hour, and then chatting on the phone for a couple of hours after that. His name is Dave, and I know he’s reading, so hello Dave. Dave felt uncomfortable telling me it was religion that made him decide against getting in touch.
I get it. Not only do I get it, I was not at all offended. I did not assume he was an anti-Semite because he does not date Jews. FYI: He has now changed his profile to say he is Catholic. No point in saying you are spiritual and not religious, when your religion is going to determine who you will date.
We can say we are open minded, and religion is not that important to us. We all want to be loved by someone who respects us, and however they choose to worship, will not matter, but that’s not always true. It matters, and some people care. Some care more than others, it does not make them bad people.
Dave likes to have a Christmas tree every year, while I would never have a Christmas tree in my home. Unless we are going to get married, and have two different houses, it would never work. Dave is considered a solid Catholic for standing by his faith, but I’m a hater for standing by mine.
I wrote last year that I would be disappointed if my son married outside of our faith, and I was slammed. People wrote to say that I was just like Hitler, for wanting to keep Jews together. Really? I think there is a certain harshness that is applied to Jews wanting to marry Jews.
The most mean spirited mail I got was from non-Jewish women who were married, or dating, Jewish men. They felt that just because I was Jewish, did not mean I was the only woman who could date a Jew. I didn’t get first crack at Jewish men just because I was a Jew.
I got the most supportive email, from a member of the neo-Nazi movement in Nebraska, who felt that it was my right to marry a Jew, and he hoped, with all his heart, that both my son and I married Jews, and did not mix our “race” with that of another. Scary.
There are kids dying overseas, fighting to keep us safe. The golf is a mess, and the oil is spreading far and wide. A little boy in Oregon is missing. If we look at the big picture, does my desire to be with someone Jewish really matter? The only person who should really care, is me.
I love my son, and will love who he chooses to share his life with. Just because I want him to marry a Jew, does not mean I will disown him, or never speak to him if he marries a non-Jew. I want him to be happy, and hope I present our faith in a way that he will want that for his own family.
There is a difference between wanting to date within your own faith, because you practice that religion, and not dating outside your faith, because you are not accepting of people who are not just like you. I respect faith, and admire people who are devoted to it, regardless of how they worship.
I believe in God, and I follow the traditions of Judaism. I feel strongly that my life is better, and makes more sense, when I put my trust in the hands of something bigger than myself. Whether you believe in God, Jesus, Allah, or Buddha, having faith, and belief in something, anything, is important to me.
Religion is an easy thing to fight about. It makes people different, and differences cause a lot friction. Not all my friends are Jewish, and not all my friends necessarily know that I am Jewish. I’m just living my life, and hoping to share it with a man who is Jewish. It’s not a big deal.
I am not a bad person, and I also don’t think Dave is a bad person. We both have faith, both believe in God, and are both searching for love. Our goals are solid, our minds are open, are hearts are available, and our intentions are good. All we need to do now, is keep the faith. Any faith.
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