In one hand she holds a filing card with a photograph stapled to it.
Shidduch Dating Tips and Advice
In the other is her phone. She peers at the card and tells the rabbi on the end of the line: Sirota flips the card over and reads out a couple of names and phone numbers: All being well, a meeting between the pair will be arranged and then, Sirota hopes, an engagement. Sirota, 67, is a shadchan, a traditional Jewish matchmaker. Beneath the vaulted ceilings of her house in Mea Shearim, one of the earliest settlements outside the Old City walls and home to the strictest adherents of the Jewish faith, a wicker basket of filing cards lies on a large cloth-covered dining table.
Some are clipped together with laundry pegs: Although there have been tentative steps to introduce an online shadchan service, Sirota handwrites all her notes, and sifts information and evaluates possible connections in her head. She is dismissive of a computerised system. A computer has no intuition, and "when you write things out by hand, it goes up your arm and into your brain and stays there," she says. In this largely insular world, there is, according to Sirota, a spectrum of religious observance, from "black", the strictest ultra-orthodox communities, to "coloured", modern orthodox.
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At the "black" end, she says, it's relatively simple for parents to identify suitable potential partners for their children. The parents can do all the checking. What are they checking? The parents want to know how he relates to his friends, what his brothers do, what kind of family he comes from. It's a whole investigation.
Once the checking — by both sets of parents — is complete and satisfactory, financial issues are discussed, sometimes assisted by the rabbi. Or they will rent one. Sometimes the parents will involve a shadchan. And the shadchan says, why don't we put this one together with that one? That's what I do. The young people would not necessarily be told what was happening.
These are, she concedes, arranged marriages — but once the couple meet: It's not a forced marriage. The couple will meet a few times, usually in the home of a family friend, alone but with others nearby, before deciding whether to get engaged. Did we mention it is often ridiculous and demeaning? And the divorce rate is rising significantly in the observant population. It is part of the same larger malaise that keeps kids out of certain schools because their mothers wear denim skirts or the wrong headcovering, or their fathers pursue the wrong profession if any.
It is an approach that is another piece of the romanticizing of a 'Europe' that actually never was. It is an approach, in its present form, that ignores the individuality, humanity, and depth of people in favor of unfounded, laughable social perspectives and theories that do nothing to address the humanity of the participants.
It is founded on an ongoing lack of social contact, experience, and skills which foster an inability to deal with deeper variations in philosophy, sentiment, intellect, or talents. Read some time the difficulties confronting converts or newly-observant people with schools or shidduchim as they report it on some of the blogs like BeyondBT. The comments can be very disturbing. The best thing about much of the shidduch scene is it tells sensitive, intelligent, multidimensional people where NOT to look.
Your last point is well appreciated, namely, once you're hitched, try hitching up your friends. Just chiming in to confirm that yes, Yaakov is indeed 'Jacob' in the original Hebrew. And 'Isaac' is Yitzchak in Hebrew while we're on the subject.
- You're Not Crazy: The Orthodox Dating Process.
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We all know that orthodox dating practices are different than other Jewish groups or the secular public. However, there isn't much explanation of the process. And most of the kvetching whining is about being an "older single," which most converts and baalei teshuva are.
Unfortunately, most of the internet resources on the topic are on specific topics.
- forum casual dating.
- how is the dating scene in miami;
- How Dating and Marrying Works In Orthodox Judaism.
- The Shidduch Site's Dating Tips.
- Shidduch Dating Tips and Advice (The Shidduch Site).
So, in the interest of simplification and practicality, I'm going to try to make an overview of the orthodox dating process. This article presumes that you are just beginning to date in an orthodox fashion, and therefore, does not deal with the circumstances of someone who has been trying and not finding success. No one will let you start this process until you've finished your conversion. If you find someone, you find someone, but no reputable website or matchmaker will take you until you have a shiny conversion certificate.
The Goal Dating for marriage, not for the sake of dating. Getting Ready to Date The first rule of dating for everyone is that if you want to love someone else, you must love yourself first. Healthy self esteem and self-acceptance.
Think about what you want from life. What are your life goals?
The Jewish matchmaker
Know your strengths and weaknesses. Make a list of deal-breakers and must-haves. Then evaluate those to determine if they're actually important enough to be on that list. Come to terms with the fact that you probably won't get what you envisioned. Come to terms with the fact that you will probably have at least one long-distance relationship, especially if you live in a small community.
Give it a shot!
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Realize that orthodox dating is usually for a very short time before engagement, compared to secular standards. It's not unusual to hear of a couple dating for only months before an engagement. Keep in mind that real "love" usually comes after marriage, not before. The first time someone loves a partner in the Torah, Yaakov Isaac "loves" Rivka Rebecca after marrying her. To quote an Aish article , "I don't marry a soulmate. I marry a good person with integrity and with goals and expectations consistent with my own.
Put on your game face and get a positive attitude about the whole thing. Choosing the Dating Method Nowadays, you have several options: A pro will likely require you to prepare a "shidduch resume," which is exactly as dispassionate and business-like as it sounds. Most people dislike professional matchmakers because the process has severe flaws in the modern world. Also, you can burn out on "shidduch" blind dates. Friends, coworkers, family members, the old lady you walked across the street. Literally, every person you meet.
I don't suggest that this be your only method. Treat classes and other Jewish events as a place to meet other singles with similar interests. Be aware that at least one site Saw You at Sinai combines traditional matchmaking with "regular" online dating. In other words, when you're going on a date, dress nicely. Put your best foot forward. Be as positive and optimistic as your nature allows. Give the person a few tries , unless they are very clearly a "no. Don't be blinded by the bling or a hot bod. Take the person as they are, not what they might become.