On Sunday, I went to my first event for Jewish young professionals. It was through a program in the Chicago area, and we went to the Oriental Institute at UChicago. I highly recommend seeing it if you like art history or archaeology. During the tour, something that came up struck a chord with me.
The tour guide referred back to an event that happened about 3,000 years ago. “That was 120-150 Seder tables ago,” she said. It made me realize that all of the rich Jewish history that has been passed down for generations hangs gently in the balance. My grandparents and parents wouldn’t have dreamed of marrying outside the faith. But nowadays, a lot of people I know don’t really care whether they preserve the Jewish culture or religion.
Do we owe it to our father’s mother’s father’s father’s father’s mother to keep the tradition alive? I feel like I do. Family is about more than the individual, and Judaism is too. During my formative years, I was heavily immersed in Judaism. I started my education at a Jewish pre-school. Before I could read, I could recite the five books of Moses.
I recently went on a few dates with a guy who was very Jew-friendly, but not Jewish. He said he wanted to raise children without any religion. The museum and discontinuing dating this guy made me realize that I feel compelled to pass on the tradition. I can’t see raising kids without a Seder table. Being Jewish not only enriched me, but it gave me strength as a child and continues to do so in my adulthood. I think I owe it to my ancestors, and my children, to pass it on.
Guys, we’re in trouble. There are way too many of us. Not biologically. The ratio of men to women, in the world, is roughly even. That is, if you don’t count China. The JDate community is a lot like China. It’s large, the population generally shares a common characteristic, and there is an overflow of men. It is true that because the men of China are outnumbered, many good, eligible men will stay single. There really isn’t hope for many of them, unless they develop some sort of reverse-polygamy method, which doesn’t sound like it would be inherently popular. But in China, men outnumber women because of past laws governing the sex of children. On JDate, however, the overflow of men is de facto. Nobody forced more men than women to sign up. What has caused this unequal distribution? It’s simple: JDate is a microcosm of Jewish culture.
Men, if you are online and do a search for women that are online and in your area, you may find one woman. That’s fine because she seems pretty and friendly and there isn’t a reason she wouldn’t enjoy a conversation with you. What you sometimes don’t realize is that there are five other men in your area thinking the same thing. Though you are handsome, charming and funny, so are the other five men. You have to think strategically. You can’t start a conversation by saying “hi.” Do you realize how many ‘hi’s’ the average woman on JDate receives daily? I do not know the exact number, but it is probably in the billions. We are like undead zombies programmed to both message ‘hi’ to every woman we find, and eat brains. Jewish women have nightmares about random men saying ‘hi.’ They have probably been conditioned to the point where they can’t even deal with people saying ‘hi’ to them in real life. Their families have ostracized them so they must live in exile where they live out their years unable to begin conversations.
There is only one solution, in my mind, to this problem. It’s simple: Let’s start a campaign to get Jewish (or non-Jewish) women to sign up to this website. We can start by making posters on college campuses and community centers. Word of mouth will be essential. Go to your synagogue. Ask your rabbi to mention this growing problem in his next sermon; or you can become a rabbi explicitly to solve this problem. Call your senators. Let them know that they will be unelectable in 2012 unless they understand the severity of this disparage. Finally, find a mate and produce children. When the women grow up, introduce them to JDate. Tell your sons that they have to fend for themselves. They will be okay.