Saturday, 26 May 2007

Looking for: A woman to meet a man in his 60s

We Jews might only make up 0.227% of the world population, but we manage to find plenty of ways of differentiating ourselves from each other. We love labels. Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Liberal, Secular, Charedi, Chassidic, Masorti, Traditional… the list goes on. Last week I received an email that referred to a shiur taking placing at an Egalitarian Traditional shul. The problem with all these labels is that we often have no idea what they actually mean. Which is why I was especially glad to see someone take the time to actually define one of these terms… in a lonely hearts ad in Friday’s Jerusalem Post.

The anonymous bachelor took out an advert on the classified page, titled “Looking for: A woman to meet a man in his 60s”. A native Californian now living in Jerusalem, “still involved in his U.S. businesses” (a.k.a. wealthy) describes himself as having “a rich history, a wonderful sense of humor, likes people and loves Israel… very modern orthodox”. Sounds good, so what’s he looking for? A “very modern orthodox…physically attractive and well groomed” woman, not “a leftist”, professional, worldly, “unencumbered with young children” and under the age of 50. After giving his email address he offers five bullet points defining “very modern orthodox”. They include having a day school education, being a follower of all basic halacha, into mixed swimming, watching TV and going to the movies…and a hatless trouser-wearer.

Well, there you go. If you do all of that, you’re “very modern orthodox”. If you wear a hat or skirts you must be “extremely modern orthodox” or perhaps “old-fashioned orthodox”. If you didn’t go to day school you’re just “a little bit modern orthodox” and if you’re a bit lax on basic halacha you might have to settle for “only just modern orthodox”.

If by any chance you fit the description and fancy meeting a guy 15 years older than you – who knows what he wants – don’t worry about being short of small talk for your first date. Mr Very Modern Orthodox promises “other criteria to be discussed”.

1 comment:

Moshe Eshel said...

I love your post, but the truth is you could have not written anything and just posted the picture - in this case a picture is a thousand words (or so) :-)

I personaly have always had a problem with definitions - this just goes to show...