A new one in the series about demystifying Orthodox Judaism...Jewish dating!
I know a lot of you wonder how these super-religious people meet and marry, what with their separate seating, schools, synagogues, events, etc. (in case you weren't aware of it, let me fill you in: men and women occupy almost completely different spheres in our world. I haven't spoken more than 2 words to most of DH's friends, nor he to mine. We went to a wedding together and I had to call his cell when it was time for us to go. I hadn't seen him since we arrived, several hours earlier.) Anyway, the answer is both simple and complicated: We date.
This blows some Christians away, as many of them have eschewed dating as an immoral, worldly practice. Not so, say we. Our dating just looks very different. How? let me list the ways:
1. You already know quite a bit about your date before you meet them. You were probably fixed up by a professional, who looked at your respective dating resumes and decided you two were a good match. You each then got to look at the other's resume (and possibly photo) and decide for yourself if you were interested. If yes, the meeting is arranged.
2. Participants do not touch. EVER. Until they're married.
3. Feelings are not discussed, but life goals, children, where you want to live, religious practice, politics are all discussed, maybe even on the first date, which is a big no-no in the secular world.
4. If you date more than 2-3 months without getting engaged, it raises eyebrows. This is a fish-or-cut-bait kind of thing.
5. It isn't unusual for a person to have multiple first dates with different people in one weekend.
especially if they've traveled to that town expressly to go on dates.
Some of you have no doubt heard that Orthodox Jews have arranged marriages. What I've outlined is how things work in 99% of Orthodoxy. Yes, there are really extreme sects that arrange things and the girl and boy only meet once or twice before the wedding, but it's really, really rare. And Jews have a less than 10% divorce rate, so we must be doing something right.
thoughts? Questions? Anyone?