Jewish Girl Seeks Goy

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Jewish Girl Marry Goy 1

Written by C. Sender.  C is a first-time Jewrotica writer.

Rated PGI don’t want to marry a Jewish boy.

I am your proverbial nice Jewish girl—good family, good college, good grad school, good job—and I am single, and twenty-four, and I have no desire to find someone with whom I can compare notes on the number of great-uncles present at my Bat Mitzvah.

Don’t misunderstand: my religion is hugely important to me. In my struggle to understand my self-identity, Jewishness and femaleness continually battle it out for primacy. That’s a particular type of being Jewish, of course, as it is a particular type of being female. I am Reform, and I am a woman who strives not to need a man but hopes to be open to one.

In a certain way, being Reform complicates the problem. To me, a child of mine is Jewish only if I raise him that way. To me, my lineage is not enough to secure her Jewish identity. My Orthodox female friends may experience more familial pressure to marry that handsome boy from synagogue, but the view from here is that their system lets them off the hook. Where Judaism is concerned, their kids won’t have the choice.

So why don’t I long for the moment when my boyfriend can don a kippah that matches my bridesmaids’ dresses, and smash a glass while his mother shouts l’chaim? I think it has something to do with my understanding of love. To me, love enlarges and challenges. It makes me travel to different countries and learn different languages and meet different people—his home, his tongue, his family.

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  • No two people are exactly alike. You said it yourself “This, I think, is the beauty of any close relationship—it doubles your universe, because you understand the world from the perspective of a second person.” (emphasis mine) My point is that you do not need to marry a non-Jew in order to have a diverse experience of the world. All that gets you is a more intimate exposure to that one person that you marry. So if they are say, Southern Baptist, then you will gain greater insight into some Southern Baptists. Probably the non-fervently-religious types because a really religious one wouldn’t marry a non-Christian. Anyhow, what’s more important is to have an open mind and a gregarious personality if what you want to do is to expand your universe. Learning another language helps too. I live in Israel and I’m a firmly, unapologetically traditional Jew. And yet I have good friends around the world with diverse backgrounds and religious beliefs. I don’t need to marry them in order to understand them and their world.

    Suffice it to say that I strongly disagree with this post and I find the reasoning deeply flawed. It seems like the author is offended by the tribalism and close mindedness of Jewish life without acknowledging that one can indeed live a fully and completely Jewish life, with a Jewish partner, without closing oneself off to the rest of the world.

  • Banana

    Author’s statement that she specifically doesn’t want to marry a Jewish boy goes against everything she is arguing about! If her whole point is that limitations box us in and prevent us from experiencing true love, open-mindness of learning about the other half and personal growth… then she has contradicted herself. Being truly open to any relationship is not to even want to know the other person’s religion (whether jewish, christian, muslim etc.)

    On a different note, I wonder why she feels that ending up with a Jewish man means lack of growth and personal expansion? Why does she feel that one needs to belong to a particular “Group” to fully expand his/her knowledge?

  • Alright, alright. Let’s not gang up too much on C. Sender, though C. – if you are reading the comments – I welcome you to jump in on the conversation and address the critiques below.

    In response to Madame Banana, most people don’t want to marry clones of themselves and few of us are “truly open” to finding love anywhere. It seems to me like C is just extending these principles a bit further. Would you be offended if C said she was interested in dating only men? I doubt that you would, but by that statement – rationally – she would be cutting off half of the human population and those most similar to her. What if she grew up in a small town and was only interested in dating those from a different region? She might miss a good catch or two, but I doubt we would fault her for craving a person and a culture outside of her own. Lastly, I wonder if C. would feel this way if she was dating a Jewish person from Ethiopia or India or Brazil. In other words, perhaps C. is actively seeking “a goy” or perhaps she is just sick of the run-of-the-mill Jewish boys that she grew up with going to hebrew school but would be open to Judaism if combined with a different culture. Who knows?

    In response to David, I hear your point and I mostly agree with your commentary. That said, try to understand and appreciate C’s perspective for a moment. Though it’s possible to build deep friendships with those of different faith backgrounds, most people are siloed into homogenous communities and don’t have time to invest in multiple deep and diverse friendships beyond their home community and significant other. If you only have so much time and emotional bandwidthin the day AND it’s important to you to be deeply interacting with other cultures, it seems less far-fetched that you might kill two birds with one stone and date outside the faith.

    It also depends on what your relationship is like to Judaism. If it is one of religion and faith, you’re likely setting yourself up for trouble. If it is one of culture and fun family tradition, then you’re treading in less deep waters.

    I remember when I first got married, I jokingly lamented that I would miss out on so many cultural immersion opportunities when we traveled… after all, though this is partially a joke, one of the best ways to learn a language is to date someone from that culture.

    So, is C’s argument flawed? Perhaps. Do I personally identify with her argument? Not necessarily or at least not entirely. But I do understand and appreciate her perspective.

    • Well Ayo, C’s desire to be more open to the world around her is commendable. That she feels she needs to diminish her own Jewish identity in order to do so is, let’s just say, myopic.She comes off as simultaneously cosmopolitan and narrow minded.

      Allow me to explain. I had a friend who asserted that you only really got to know someone if you slept with them. Certainly being intimate with a person gives you deeper insight into who they really are. However, sleeping with everyone you find merely interesting diminishes you as a person. You can’t have intimate knowledge of everyone you meet and sharing that intimacy makes your own that much less… intimate.

      So yes by all means, broaden your horizons! But not at the expense of your own identity if you value it at all.

      • Anonymous Internet Commenter

        “sleeping with everyone you find merely interesting diminishes you as a person”? Are you for real???? Maybe sex–how much you have, what kind you have, who you have it with–has nothing to do with you “as a person.” Maybe it’s just something fun and physical that you do, like eating cake or doing yoga. Does eating too much cake diminish you as a person, or make the next cake you eat taste less good? Definitely not. Sex can be a lot of things.It does not have to be consistently “holy” about “relationship centered” and “intimate,” and the sex you have says nothing about you as a person.

      • Anonymous Internet Commenter

        And you can still be “Jewish” and maintain a Jewish identity while having/seeking an interfaith relationship.