Dating is hard enough. But what about dating when you’ve recently left an insular religious community that pretty much forbade interaction with the opposite sex?
Such is the problem faced by ex-Orthodox Jews who are “Off the Derech” (derech is Hebrew for path), or OTD, and assimilating into secular society. Hasidic communities separate boys and girls while young; girls often marry around 18 or 19, while boys tie the knot in their early 20s, having children shortly after. Touching members of the opposite sex to whom you are not related is forbidden and interaction is generally discouraged. Is it any wonder ex-Orthodox Jews are utterly bamboozled when it comes to l’amour?
That’s where dating coach Israel Irenstein comes in. Keep reading »
A few weeks ago, an article in the Orthodox Jewish newspaper The Jewish Press began to make waves in the religious community. Yitta Halberstam, a well-known Jewish author, wrote about the process of trying to find her son a wife. In her part of the Jewish community (a right-wing faction of Orthodoxy sometimes known as yeshivish), it’s not uncommon for a professional shadchan (matchmaker) to pair up young eligible men and women. A shadchan who makes a successful shidduch (match) can be paid well for their services. However, there has been a recent “shidduch crisis,” which is that there are more prospective brides than grooms. Orthodox boys are waiting longer to marry, while girls are essentially considered over the hill if they’re not married by 18 or 19.
One way that shadchanim (the plural of shadchan) have tried to solve this issue is by hosting events where mothers can meet and interview prospective daughters-in-law. Halberstam attended one of these events and she admitted that the whole process made her uncomfortable. However, as the mother of an eligible bachelor and therefore someone in a position of relative power, Halberstam could have called off the whole thing and pointed out how awkward and unfair it was to the young women involved.
Instead, she penned a long rant about how young women should wear more makeup and their families should be willing to pay for plastic surgery if that’s what it takes to land a husband. Keep reading »
L’chaim! Another one joins the tribe! Drew Barrymore is reportedly converting to Judaism before she marries fiance Will Kopelman, because being a shiksa won’t fly. It’s time to start brushing up on the Torah and boot up that old episode of “Sex and the City” where Charlotte converts for Harry Goldblatt. [New York Observer]
Drew Barrymore isn’t the only blushing bride making the move to matzo. Many celebrities have made the spiritual switch for love.
I once spent a 4th of July weekend with about 15 hardcore evangelical Christians. (Ex-Mr. Jessica’s sister was a born-again.) Explaining to some of the women what kind of website I write for proved to be awkward. But when I told one woman that The Frisky was similar to Cosmopolitan magazine, she exclaimed, “Oh, I read that!”
“Really?” I asked. “Isn’t it a little … uh … raunchy?”
She laughed. “Oh, I just flip past all the shirtless guys and stuff about sex.”
Then what part of the magazine do you actually read? I thought to myself.
That conversation popped into my head again when I saw this article on The Daily Beast about religious websites selling sex toys and the horrifying — not being hyperbolic here — opening story about a Christian woman who was married for 25 years before she finally bought a vibrator and had her first orgasm. Praise be! Keep reading »
It’s Hanukkah time again. Let us not forget to honor the hot Jewish guys who keep our flame burning all year. These sizzling members of the tribe are nothing to sneeze about. That wasn’t a “big nose” joke by the way. Click through to see some amazing Jewish men who are not the short, cheap, neurotic, mama’s boys you were expecting. L’chaim!
I never thought I’d be the type of woman to date a religious guy.
A Reform Jew by upbringing, my family ate bagels, lox, and pickled herring on Sundays, lit our Menorah every Hanukkah, and sat through services on the High Holy Days. I learned how to pronounce the word afikomen. My mom referred to my face as a beautiful punim and hoped that someday I would meet a nice mensch and get married. Throughout elementary and middle school, I attended Hebrew school, but mostly for the social rather than the religious aspect. The most exciting part of my Bat Mitzvah, I’m ashamed to admit, was the lavish reception I had in my temple’s ballroom complete with street dancers, a DJ, and gourmet buffet. After I had opened the last of my Bat Mitzvah gifts, I left organized Judaism to pursue more free-spirited religious activities of the bohemian/New Age persuasion. It wasn’t that I stopped believing in the Jewish faith — though I’m not sure I ever completely bought the doctrine — it was just that it never moved me. Keep reading »
When I was in third grade, the class read a book called something like Christmas all Around the World. It taught us about Sweden’s St. Lucia Day festivities that open the Christmas season, that Santa is known as St. Nicholas in Germany, and that Hanukkah is the Jewish Christmas. Keep reading »
One of the most frequently asked questions I hear since my now-husband and I got engaged earlier this year isn’t “When are you guys going to have kids?” or “Are you keeping your name?” Rather, it’s this: “So, are you going to convert?” I was raised Lutheran, you see, my husband is Jewish, and the answer is “no.” The longer answer is: “No, but we’re going to raise our children Jewish.” And the funny — and truthful — answer is: “No, I’m not going to convert, but my sister is!” Keep reading »
First, she was a singer. Then an actress. Then a mama. Then a crazy-biceped kook. Now Madonna is adding another title to her resume: journalist. She has written an article for the largest Israeli daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, about how her religious awakening made her realize that there was more to life than being a material girl. You better break out that old Bat Mitzvah tape, because the newspaper has translated the piece, called “How My Life Changed,” into Hebrew. Although Madonna isn’t Jewish or Israeli, the singer has studied Kabbalah—an ancient sect of Jewish mysticism—for 14 years. The article, which runs tomorrow, will recount how her studies have shaped her life. Madonna last visited Israel in 2004 and she will be returning to the holy land again in September for two dates on her Sticky & Sweet tour. L’chaim to her on her new career. [Yahoo News] Keep reading »