If you picked up a copy of The Times over the weekend, you may have stumbled upon female columnist Abigail Radnor's account of what it was like to be a young Jewish female on the dating scene. To Abigail, dating and eventually marrying Jewish is a must, notwithstanding the fact she is not particularly religious. That said, Jewish dating is as inconvenient as a gluten free diet according to Miss Radnor. As a Jewish male, I would have to agree.
Finding 'the one' can become an interminable pursuit. When you factor in such a populous deprived religion, the odds begin to stack against you. It's like going on Right Move and searching 'all houses' in London, before narrowing the search to a singular postcode. No prizes for finishing the analogy by identifying North London as the capital's Jewish hub.
As a young Jewish man, I take issue with the meddling, match making elders in my community. There comes a time in every Jew's life, where a compulsion to play cupid takes hold. I have been subject to its viceroy grip. Aunties and uncles orchestrate awkward family get-togethers, disguised under the pretence of a religious evening. All eyes fall on me and my unfortunate counterpart. I feel nauseous just thinking about it.
And yet, I am only 24! Fortunately, I know I have a few more years before I am expected to stomp my foot on the glass (the traditional gesture of a completed Jewish marriage ceremony). Until then, I will probably continue to date as my heart sees fit. Although by no means a man graduated from the Hugh Heffner academy of excellence, my dating record makes for interesting reading. In senior school I went out with a girl of American/Korean descent. In my first year of university, I had flirtations with multiple girls (impressive I know), none of whom were Jewish.
None of the above would please my family, yet at the very least they provoke some inconvenient truths. For I look at love as a metaphysical, roaming force, which can take hold and bind anyone, at anytime. And this is perhaps where I differ from Miss Radnor, for there is a young, empowering voice in the Jewish community, who is so determined to date Jewish, that she may in fact miss the boat entirely. If I loved someone who wasn't Jewish, so be it. Love supersedes colour, creed or religion; a fact Miss Radnor seems hell bent on overlooking.
That said, what Miss Radnor and I do have in common, is an 'ideal world' perspective. We would both prefer to marry Jewish, for no other reason that it just feels right. Although I accept I could love a 'gentile,' it is unlikely, principally because I believe the notions of love and soul mate are intertwined. My soul mate, providing she exists, is more than likely going to be Jewish. She will have been raised in similar surroundings to that of my own, and in all likelihood, I have probably already met her. The circles Miss Radnor and I operate in, really are that small. Although one's quest for love can appear overbearing, Jewish love is only around the corner. If you live in North London that is...