Dating A Non Jewish Man

I am not religious, but I want a Jewish family. But how long can I wait? In a funny way, I think you may be right. The more determined you are to marry Jewish, the more fantastic the non-Jewish girls become. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to fall for a movie star? Or a stranger on the street? Or someone who is "unavailable"? Why is this so? Because we easily love what we can't have.

The impossible is always the most attractive. Love needs an open heart. If your heart is not open then even the most attractive and suitable person hasn't got a chance. But the minute you open your heart, then you are ready to fall in love, and suddenly the options are there. What is the secret to opening our hearts? What is it that closes us up in the first place? There are many possibilities, but the number one obstacle to love is fear.

A heart weighed down by fear cannot love. There are many forms of fear - fear of marriage, fear of commitment, fear of making a decision, fear of making a mistake, fear of change, fear of responsibility, fear of losing freedom, fear of opening up. We all have such fears in varying degrees, and when they surface they paralyze our heart and prevent any love from creeping in. To fall in love means first to let go of fear, because fear and love cannot coexist. The problem is, it is precisely when we meet someone who we could potentially become serious with that these fears appear.

I picked a new mini-skirt and a tiny tee shirt, something I would never feel comfortable in at home where the standards were different. But here- even in this new outfit, I was still overdressed. That night, after whispering the bedtime prayer of the Shema, I felt like that old philosophical riddle, "If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? I didn't intend to like Colin, to dip my toes into the forbidden waters of dating a non-Jew.

After all, I grew up deeply religious my whole life, in strong deference to the traditions imparted from my parents and grandparents. I would never have anticipated making decisions that would disappoint them. I could never bring a non-Jew home to my parents' Shabbat table, and ladle chulent on his plate, or be wed to a man who wouldn't be able to instill a love of Judaism, especially when my own could occasionally use some support.

When we met, I pondered the chances of "Edwards" actually being a Jewish last name- perhaps his ancestors had changed it from Edvardstien post-war when they fled Europe for Australia? But the more we conversed, the more I realized that he had no interest or belief in religion, but respected me for mine. Yet respect wouldn't suffice.

What I really craved was a man with an intellectual approach to Judaism, a man who would fall asleep sprawled across a couch with a Torah book on his face, someone who could explain the meaning of Jewish concepts and ideas. This was not, and would never be, Colin. He had no interest in religion Yet Colin was exotic and exciting, and was interested in me. We laughed a lot together, his head tipped back, long blonde locks tangled with chlorine and sweat.

And sometimes when I would breathe, I could detect a faint note of Polo Sport, or some other typical manly cologne. He was occasionally mysterious or melancholic, sitting alone, away from our loud group of friends during our time off, and I liked to imagine that he was bemoaning the fact that we had only a few days left in each others' presence, or that we were too different to end up together.

There was a visible spark of attraction, flirtation, a mutual obsession. People were constantly asking if we were a couple. We were sitting close together on a grassy patch, our legs almost touching. I longed to inch closer, but held back. I wanted to say that I already was, but couldn't divulge that truth. If I didn't formulate the words, maybe it wouldn't really be true.

Words have a way of giving a moment credibility, of bringing a thought into reality, and I couldn't admit that to myself, much less to him. I can't," I said, more to convince myself. I wondered if he believed my words, because I didn't. And I knew he was asking because he felt the tension between us.


The Jewish fear of intermarriage


My Jewish Dating Problem

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