The weird thing about mixed seating in synagogue is that sometimes couples are all over each other. Inappropriate during prayer time for sure, but somewhat more distracting when one half of that couple happens to be a guy you once dated.
A Jerusalem rabbi once told me that when we're born, God whispers the name of our beshert -- our soulmate or destiny. The cleft above our lips, he said, is where God places a finger, to silence our ability to reveal the secret.
We all remember the buddy system from grade school. When you'd go to the ocean, you'd have a buddy. When you'd go to the museum, you'd have a buddy. And now that you're old enough to hit the bar scene, you should still have a buddy.
The grunion were running last weekend, so I went down to the Venice Beach breakwater just before midnight to watch them mate. The sight of thousands of slim, silvery fish wiggling desperately out of the surf and struggling to spawn before the next wave crashed upon them made me think, of course, of those birthright Israel trips.