Sunday, February 10, 2008

And now, through the Jewish-studies lens:

"If you are Jewish and refuse the entreaties of a Mosaically challenged significant other, it ought to be based on something substantial - a Judaism that is relevant, resonant and meaningful and that manifests itself in one’s life on a daily basis. Anything else would be tribal, narrow minded, ignorant and, you know, stupid."

From Dave at Jewlicious. He's right. So why is so much emphasis placed on coupling off Jews just to couple off Jews?

The one thing that struck me when reading Lori Gottlieb's article on being middle-aged and single, but that I didn't get a chance to mention in the last post, (what with the distraction posed by the Bovary interpretation) was how the piece was very much of the Jewish-singles genre, though published in a general-interest magazine, and of theoretically universal appeal.

I point this out not to profile on the basis of Semitic-sounding names, but because Gottlieb herself writes on this issue quite often. The 'singles crisis' among American Jews is made all the more dramatic by the fact that any partner who is not Jewish, i.e. most anyone you'll meet in America, is going to be looked upon by the collective Jewish superego as 'settling.' The single, 40-year-old Jewish woman is a cliché because for whatever reason, Jewish women are expected to be searching for Jewish men more than vice versa.

This is really the missing piece in Gottlieb's article. For those intending to inmarry, settling is either marrying out or putting up with someone with the right halachic credentials but nothing much else going for him. Without this extra step of confusion, which seems primarily to confuse women (or, at any rate, it's women of all persuasions for whom marrying after 40 is a problem), the whole 'settle or not' issue would be far less complicated. If all those Jewish women who, though not observant, reject non-Jewish men and remain single gave the rest of humanity a chance, think how more Jewish babies there could be! And since there is no other Good than an upswing in the Jewish-baby population, that should settle that.

1 comment:

Glenn said...

Mosaically challenged. Ha ha. Sounds like a malaprop. You can meet many a jew who cannot put together a mosaic.