Saturday, March 21, 2009

Make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch

I’m trying not to make this blog too personal, but this is just too precious to not share.


Dear Sharna,

I wanted to let you know that you are the recipient of a free 6 month GOLD membership with Jretromatch a new and from what I can tell better Jewish matching service then other more familiar programs such as jdate.com.

You receive this membership as a result of an offer I made the congregation a couple of months ago: Anyone who made the commitment to come to daily minyan at least once a week I would offer a 6 month membership in this old-new matchmaking service - anyone single that is OR a single relative of theirs. Your dad fit that qualification and asked that you be given this opportunity.

You can find out more about Jretromatch, which is a combination on line dating and traditional matchmaking service with live match makers by going to its web page -- jretromatch.com

They have various membership levels. Yours is the GOLD level in which you will be able to talk to a professional matchmaker who will assist you in going through the profiles they have listed.

This is the first time we have tried this so please let me know : A) if or when someone from jretromatch has contacted you, they are supposed to inform you about the gift subscription and how to sign up for an account and B) if you find this service worthwhile or helpful.

I hope you don't think this is too intrusive. But for many marriage and the companionship and family life that comes with it is a desired goal and it is harder in many ways today to meet fellow Jews for this purpose then in the past. I hope this service is useful to you. If it is worthwhile you can continue on your own the service after the 6 month subscription is up, if it is not, then you can let the subscription slide. I would be very interested in hearing your impressions about the program. If it is worthwhile I will offer it to others.

Hope all is well with you. And an early Hag Pesah Sameah v'kasher.

Rabbi



This was the first email I received when I awoke on Thursday morning. The first thing I did was call my dad (who sort of pretended not to know about it, without saying he didn't know, to save himself from the fact that I do indeed think he knew about it). Since then I’ve been thinking about this email non stop and the fact that I have absolutely no emotional reaction to it. I’m not happy, that’s for certain, but I’m not angry getting ready to write my Rabbi an angry email about how he’s violating something or other of mine and how inappropriate it is, and the next time he sees me he better duck.

I understand his perspective. In Judaism the very first commandment is to be fruitful and multiply. I have not fulfilled, nor am I super close to fulfilling, that commandment. In Judaism, the family unit is what much of the tradition is based off of.

He also probably likes me, and thinks it’s a shanda that I’m not married.

Therefore he is proactive in supporting me in being the best Jew that I can be and also correcting the shanda that is my experience with dating, men, etc.

I’ve spoken to some friends about this, and their responses are:

“It’s free. Why not? What do you have to lose?"
"You'll at least get some good stories out of it."
“WTF???? That’s so wrong.”

I don’t know what to think. I know I’m not thrilled but I can’t exactly figure out why. Perhaps it just underscores that no matter what I do with my life the fact that I’m not married is viewed as a disability. And no matter what I do to change my own perspectives on that notion, I am constantly reminded of my failure to complete life’s mission of marriage and children.

Will I join this dating service? I don’t know. I mean besides it being irritating, I date a lot as it is. I also find that dating is like dieting. If I took the time and money I’ve spent trying to lose weight combine that with the amount of time I’ve spent looking for my bashert, I could have found both a cure and a vaccine for Cancer.

What do you think?

Glossary:
Daily Minyan - group of 10 people (in the Conservative movement; in the Orthodox movement it’s 10 men) to make a quorum so that a complete prayer service can be held.
JDate- Jewish online dating service
Hag Pesah Sameah v'kasher Happy and Kosher Passover
bashert- the person you are destined to be with.
shanda- a shame, a travesty


POSTSCRIPT: My dad said that although the Rabbi mentioned something about this to him, he told the Rabbi to do what he wanted but not to get him (my dad) involved. That's what I sort of figured.

4 comments:

Olga and Sergey Shafran said...

Wow, that's pretty intrusive and so typically Jewish. I'm surprised that the Rabbi uses "then" instead of "than." Am I wrong about this? I'm not sure.
Anyway, maybe a matchmaker is the way to go? I'd like to know what you think of this website if you try it out.
Olga

Anonymous said...

While it can be insulting to suggest, "You need help with dating because you're still single and xx years old," there are thousands of Jews just like you struggling to find their beshertot. (?) If you really can meet with a specialist, it's possible she can identify something you didn't think of that would dramatically improve your chances. Yes, by a certain age, singles are almost viewed as outcasts in Jewish communities. For people with kids, nothing else matters. I don't think it was wrong for your father to suggest a service for you. Take it for a spin. Hatzlacha.

Scott said...

I would ask you to marry me Sharna, but I like you too much to subject you to that.
Although the rabbi seems to be well intentioned, I think what he did is/was inappropriate. That being said, I still think you should use the service, mostly because there could be many a good story that comes out of it.

dirk said...

People who marry and have kids make real sacrifices to perpetuate Jewish life. If a single person wants the respect that entails, they will have to conjure up some kids or cure cancer. I say: don't waste your time being angry, join the dating service, and make yourself the best wife candidate you can be.