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September 23, 2010

When Dating: Is Being a"Real” Jew Better Than Being Jew"ish”

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/when_dating_is_being_areal_jew_better_than_being_jewish_20100923/

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I have a date this weekend.  Are you all sitting down?  He’s not Jewish.  For those of you who read my blog with any regularity, you know that I am on a search for my Beshert and I am certain he is a Jew.  In fact, to increase the odds, I do not date men who are not Jewish.

I love my faith, want to have a Jewish home, want my son to see I am with a Jew, and marry a Jew himself.  That’s just how I roll.  It’s not a big deal, It’s just my path and one that I have been on for my entire life.  Right or wrong, agree or disagree, it’s my truth.

I got an email from a man who is not Jewish. Well he was not born Jewish.  He is on his own spiritual path and while he was raised Lutheran, for the past few years he has found a connection to Judaism and those are the traditions and practices that he is following now.

Because he is not a “real” Jew, should I not go out with him?  Am I breaking my own rule? Is the self-imposed “rule” of only dating Jews silly?  Am I sabotaging my own search for love by placing this rather large limitation on myself?  I think the answer to all these questions is no.

I have gone on dates with men who are what I call “Jewish by circumcision”.  They were born of Jewish parents but the last Jewish thing they did was have a Mohle over for brunch when they were eight days old.  Lot’s of people are born Jews, define themselves as Jews, but don’t practice.

There are people who are not Jewish, but have a “Jewish vibe””.  I’ve gone out with men, who I’ve met on JDate, who were versions of Woody Allen in terms of their classic Jewish neurosis, but where not Jewish at all.  Do we live in a time where it is both cool and unnecessary to be Jewish?

Between the Jewish by circumcision Jews, the Woody Allen wannabe Jews and the “convenient Jews” who are non-practicing Jews who pull the Jewish card when it is convenient for them, how do I know exactly what kind of Jew I am dating?  Do non-Jews who practices Judaism get a shot?

I have a date with a very Jewish non-Jew and I’m looking forward to it.  He is very interesting, extremely funny, and seems to lack the smell of crap that so many men online seems to have.  We’ll see what happens.  We’re not getting married, just having dinner and I think it will be fun.

I don’t care what a man does for a living, what kind of car he drives, or how many times he’s been married.  What I do care about is being with someone who understands my faith and can practice it with me.  What an interesting twist it would be if he turned out to not be a Jew.

Dating only Jews is my choice and I own it.  To be completely honest I am looking forward to meeting this man but am also nervous.  My mother always taught me to not play with matches unless I am prepared to deal with a fire.  Dating great non-Jewish men is like playing with matches.

At the end of the day, it’s just a date.  It has given me something to think about and that is always a good thing.  Rather than worry too much about his not being a Jew, I’m going to remind myself that I have a date with a nice man.  Everything else will work itself out if I keep the faith.

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