M.S. - January 2023
In our quest to better understand dating and marriage in our current society, we sat down with Rabbi Getzy Markowitz (Montreal, CA) and Rabbi Avremi Zippel (Salt Lake City, Utah) for a candid conversation on the subject. Both lead vibrant communities of young Jewish professionals in their respective cities and are revered for their wisdom and insight on issues pertaining to the "young-Jewish-professional" demographic.
Here are some tidbits of wisdom we gleaned from the discussion.
To Blame or to Create
It’s quite common to hear people venting their frustration and disillusionment with the current dating process. “I can’t find my soulmate. The system is broken!”, people say.
Stop blaming systems and start creating them.
It’s very easy to blame society for our challenges, and perhaps justifiably so. But the mindset one should strive to attain is one of self-determination and progress.
Rewrite the rules. Become the trendsetter. Find a better path in your dating life despite what the world may say or think.
Going with a more meaningful approach isn’t necessarily the comfortable way. But the meaningful path is usually less comfortable.
Choose a values-based perspective in regards to relationships. Don’t let the world choose for you.
Qualities To Look For
This is an issue we encounter a lot with swiping culture. People are making decisions based on aligned hobbies, or other technical elements of themselves, and not on their values or deep-seated preferences.
When thinking of the type of person you want to spend the rest of my life with, look for honesty and authenticity. A person who you can connect with, without any outside influences obscuring that connection.
Marriage can be that beautiful space where one can be truly open and see their true selves, their ultimate selves, through that relationship with their spouse.
There are many reasons the Jewish people have always avoided intermarriage. But let’s just consider this simple thought.
Building a relationship is very difficult, and the numbers show that. It’s no secret that we are struggling to create healthy, authentic marriages in our current society.
There are enough areas of contention and friction in modern relationship, especially one as serious as marriage, as it is. There’s no reason to add an additional area of conflict, especially one as weighty as one’s identity.
If you value your Jewish identity (or even if you don’t feel that way yet), that’s a major part of who you are. To ignore that and pretend it’s not would be a disservice to yourself and the non-Jew you are considering for marriage.
Be proud of your Jewish identity, and marry accordingly.
The most important word when it comes to dating is “Intentionality”.
Sometimes we engage in relationships without clarity and without a goal. We are caught up in the experience, but it doesn’t lead anywhere in the long-run because we aren’t looking out for what we truly want.
If you want to find your soulmate, don’t just date. Date with rigid focus. Date with intentionality.
Find more from this interview on our Instagram page @jewishmarriage.