I struggle with labels, really I do. I’ve long said that everyone these days seems eager to slap a new and inventive label (Hippiedox, Conservadox, Flexidox) on themselves in order to describe their uniquely complex and nuanced relationship with Judaism ( e.g., “I go to an Orthodox shul, but go to the gym Shabbat afternoon, and will take the subway because, like a Shabbat elevator, it stops at every station anyway”). As a result, no label really means anything anymore.

So, during my brief period on Frumster, I aligned myself with the most newly founded and most liberal category or label: “Traditional and Growing.” I chose this label because not choosing a label was not an option, and because this seemed like the most moderate, the most liberal, the most (if not exactly) resemblant of my observance. All the other labels included terms that I would never use to describe myself: yeshivish, black hat, ba’al teshuvah, etc)

Because the people contacting me were never people I could see myself with religiously (and because none of them seemed to possess anything resembling a sense of humor), I deactivated my Frumster profile last month, but today, got this message from their customer support team informing me that I’d been “reclassified.”

Dear Member,

Your observance category of “Traditional and Growing” has recently been re-classified to a Jewish Outlook of “Traditional or Non-Orthodox”.

Members within this Jewish Outlook now need to choose an affiliation from the list below:
Traditional and Growing

If you do not choose an affiliation, your profile display will be listed as Traditional.

Forget for a minute the fact that I’ve deactivated my profile, so I shouldn’t be getting these messages anyway. After my initial chuckle about being reclassified, I was pretty happy to see this. Because it’s an acknowledgment that there’s more to observance than Orthodoxy (which is how things were set up initially).

Is this improvement enough to get me back on board at Frumster? Not really. Because another word I would never use is right there in the name of the site: “frum.” The connotations don’t really jive with my outlook. Because people expect me to come up with some sort of label, I do. I use Conservadox, or Traditional, or Observant. But for the most part people just end up shaking their heads, wanting the specifics: Do you eat dairy out? Do you use electricity on Shabbat? When you get married will you cover your hair?

Maybe the nebulous they in the ether of the internet should create a site for people who are “As Jewish As We Wanna Be.” People write essays and essays (and not particularly well, at that) for online dating services about what they’re looking for in a partner. I say make ’em write an old-school thesis (#2 pencils optional) about the kind of Jewish life they live now and how they’d like a partner to help them build a Jewish home. Force them to think about Judaism as a lifestyle and describe it to someone they’ve never met before.

I’ve seen and heard parents, urging their children to stop crying and actually express themselves verbally, tell the whiny kid to “use your words.” Maybe that’s the trick…it’s not “use your word,” or “use your label.” If a kid grunted “hungry” or “frustrated,” would parents be happier? It’s use your words, preferably in a full sentence, with a subject and predicate (don’t make me diagram what a proper sentence looks like).

We should all use our words, and not rely on labels or assumptions to make ourselves understood. If we’re lucky, it could lead to dancing.

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.


  • Esther…while I agree with you (re: labels), isn’t that why we have Jdate?

  • I think it’s better to have more options than less. That being said, I’d check myself off as traditional but couldn’t any of the groups be growing? Black hat and growing, conservative and growing- there’s always room to grow isn’t there?

  • Frumster is interesting, especially some of the labels they use. Now for your info I am a deeply religious Orthodox, totally don’t-roll-on-shabbos guy…Think Tevye and Menachem Schneerson meet…er….Mick Foley.

    That being said, I don’t know what the hell a Carlebachian is, or what the difference between an liberal Modern Orthodox and a machmir Modern Orthodox is. I just don’t appreciate the labels. Classifiying Jews should go no farther than which Nusach they follow. Ashkenaz, Sephard, HaAri, whatever, just come in (bring your own siddur) and have a good time with this life. Do as many mitzvos as is your ability and I’m not complaining. True, I won’t go to a Reform Temple…but that doesn’t mean they aren’t Jews…their service just isn’t kosher, so whatever. Doesn’t mean i can’t talk to them, or discuss halacha. Ahavat Yisroel, man, that’s what it’s all about.

    Except for Jews for Jesus, those motherfuckers are heretics.

  • Here’s the deal with Frumster – It’s NOT FRUMSTER”S fault!!! It’s the fault of the dazed and confused Jewish singles out there who don’t know what they stand for what they want where they’re going what makes them happy or anything…and so, when you ask them, um what are you looking for, they immediately describe someone who has to fit in their OWN very narrow catergory of whatever they are RIGHT THEN and can’t tolerate the THOUGHT of anyone being just the slightest bit different from that, because then, well, then they’d have to COMPROMISE or worse, face something that’s UNKNOWN…..and yikes who can do that….

    And then Esther will tell you, well, I’m open to EVERYONE and that’s the same as not being open to ANYONE…so that’s why frumster has to have all these classifications for all the Jews who are anything more than regular secular Jews out there….

    And it’s sad. Yes, said. Jsirpicco weeps. For the Children. The aging 35 year old children – and I was almost one of them, so actually my heart is with you! The children stuck in this void, this no-man’s land (pun, poignantly intended!)

    It’s like some kind of warped Star Trek episode where everyone remains single and 35 forever and ever and ever until the entire world has dated everyone and rejected each other and so, they died out…until Spock comes and re-“seeds” the ladies! Cut to: He dies, exhausted, a smile across his emotionless vulcan face!

  • Jsirpicco,
    Your PTSD is acting up again. You may wanna go for another round of that EMDR that everyone’s talking about.

  • Shtreimel, it’s not immediately clear what, if anything, JDate is for.

    Someone give Spock my number.

  • Esther,

    I know quite a few people who met, slept together and never spoke again because of Jdate. Maybe that’s what it’s for.

  • It’s not “french benefits” but “fringe benefits” as in, sex b/w friends w/o the responsibility of a monogamous relationship.

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Eye Movement
    Desensitization and Reprocessing

  • oh. silly me. Been so long. RE: my mental physical state: Jsirpicco is above space and time existing in several dimensions at once. I Jsirp What I Will Jsirp. But you may call me: THOU

  • I agree with Reb Nachum, right on. We should also include the Karaites and the Samaritans in there too. They’re certainly very steadfast in their belief that G-d is One, unlike the Jews For Jesus.

  • To think I’ve been looking at JDate all wrong…thank you, Shtreimel, for giving me the 411.

    For the first time, I agree with Jsirpicco. Dating is like science fiction. Invasion of the Pod People. The Blob. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Plan 9 From Outer Space. Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind. The Tingler. Boring Lawyer. Deranged Accountant. The list goes on.

    Truthfully, I haven’t had any luck with online dating anywhere. But maybe I’ll try somewhere new. JPostDating, perhaps…

  • We love to hate labels, but they do serve a purpose. We simply don’t have time to give a twenty minute speech each time we meet someone about the nuances of where we stand on each religious and social issue, so we define ourselves Religious Left wing, or whatever for the sake of brevity and convience.

    The over emphasis is certain Jewish communities on exactly what is your Hashgacha is another matter. I’m in agreement with Reb Nachum about that.

    There are however two categories I would suggest within the heading of “religious”; 1) Judaism as a way of life 2) Judaism as a way of geting close to God.
    That, more than anything else I think defines how you approach your practice.

  • The funny, yet sad, thing about the Frumster categories is that no one really agrees as to what each of them really means. People end up searching through every category anyway, and if they actually start communicating in real time, they inevitably share their viewpoints about them with each other.

    I actually like what Laya suggested as categories to help define “religious” [and, btw, Frumster is meant to help “religious” Jews meet and marry]: “1)Judaism as a way of life [and] 2) Judaism as a way of getting close to God.”

    If you were to look at other Jewish websites (like JMatch (you’re welcome, Sonny), there are a few strategically-placed areas where you can define yourself Jewishly: are you reform, conservative, traditional or orthodox?; are you ashkanazi or separdic? (this would be an important distinction for ck), and a place to answer the question, “What does being Jewish mean to me?” The latter being a good area that laya could focus on.

    And Esther, science fiction has invaded our entire culture, not just JDate or Frumster. Just look outside of your apartment window . . .

  • This was a great post! When I first got my Get after 11 years of living as a “Frum” mother and raising “Orthodox” children, I met a man on Frumster for a date…long story short…he is also on Nerve. com looking for couples sex. So I find all these labels very humorous and I think the Frumster people take their job of cubbyholing people way WAY too seriously. What would they label a guy who lives in Teaneck and keeps Kosher and Shabbos but wants you to pee in his mouth during oral sex? I went out with him too and it really bothered me because he wouldn’t let me order the non-kosher wine at the non-kosher restaurant we went to (he had plain salad). I guess pee is kosher if comes from someone he keeps kosher? Don’t know. Sorry to be so graphic, but this hasn’t been easy on me.

  • Okay – Besides being completely addicted at this point – I’ll have to take abreak from the blog world or I”LL DIE!!!! I have to point out that Chutzpah’s post is scary. Sad. Scary. Frightening. Disheartening. It makes Jsirpicco cry for the Jewish people. Oy Vey! Are we really a nation of such perveted weirdos?

    It’s one thing to joke around, it’s one thing to “look” at pretty girls or have a problem with “not looking,” and it’s one thing to date guys or girls that are just not in the ballpark for many reasons…but yikes! It’s another thing when the DARK SINISTER side of it starts coming out, as in this PUTRID PIECE OF DREK that dated Chutzpah – putting it out there like that.

    I mean, have we descended to the lowest levels of this garbage that a guy trying to impress a respectable person – and assumed to be in 40s by now talks like a frat house Shagitz! What GOES ON IN HIS APARTMENT when no one’s around..yikes!

    And worse…Chutzpah – how did you not see it? In something beforehand, something that would have tipped you off that he was a seething psychopath?

    I’ve seen scary stuff like this from the girls out there, too, though in different ways.

    People, there’s a crisis out there in the Jewish world! (Duh, okay, I KNOW YOU KNOW already….) And you guys on this blog are part of the smaller percentage THAT CARES!

    It’s like one day, we’re all going to have to get up stand up stand up for what’s right and overturn EVERY SINGLE THING about our ENTIRE personalities just to be human again….

    Yes, yet again, Jsirpicco weeps. If only I were a Gadol. I cudda been a contender, instead of the bum, which is what I am…

    I feel like I should be standing in Times Square, ranting there…DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS TO SEE THE SICKNESS SPREAD AND NOT BE ABLE TO STOP IT??????

    Oooops. They’re calling again. Damn. Gotta go.

  • Um, Chutzpah, seriously, you have a great blog. I loved reading some of it just now! I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m sorry to hear about the pee in the mouth guy, but heck, we all need some special life experiences to keep us honest.

    …And it’s all the more special that you’re sharing it with us. Please feel free to share more cuz we already have too many people regaling us with stories about how it’s all great to find the perfect partner, especially if she’ll cook for you.

  • Chutzpah should be provided with posting privillages on Jewlicious. Nothing like a writer who doesn’t fit a mold, is honest and has edge. Love it.

    Woody Allen did a bit similar to Chutzpah’s dating experience in Crimes and Misdemeanors . One of the funniest W. Allen scenes ever.


  • SIGH….
    The situation Esther describes is just another aspect of a similar problem in the “ultra” shidduch date scene:
    Laundry List Syndrome.

    I agree to a point with sirpicco that part of it is people not knowing what they want. But paradoxically, part of it is trying to define too tightly what you want.

    Assuming that religious/traditional people are not buying into the secular nonsense of disposable or “starter” marriages, and are looking for a solid, lifelong committment – you cannot know all there is to know about your partner.

    In a society in which people have increasingly detailed life plans – and in which romantic matters are increasingly chaotic – this can be a very scary truth. But it’s the truth.

    Dating is the meeting of 2 icebergs – 80 percent of both people remains hidden and submerged. Heck, some very important qualities of one’s own character remain a mystery to oneself at the dating age – because one has not yet faced some tests of life.

    The notion that there is some checklist that can be used to eliminate the risks of the next 30-40 years of life (or more! I wish you all more!)… it’s understandable – but it’s panicky, simplistic, and childish.

    With regard to religious classification, this is certainly true. My brother-in-law started as a MOR baal-teshuva, and now is a staunchly messianic Habadnik. Other friends have drifted in other directions. Yes, sometimes the marriage doesn’t last such growth. But that growth is a fact of life – as are all sorts of medical, career, and emotional challenges that cannot be anticipated. It’s as foolish to try to pin this down as it is for yeshiva guys to ask the girl what size dress her mother wears.

    The battle for singles is to retain this openness to another person’s possibilities, the long-view understanding that all that can be determined now is if there is a basic click of love, admiration, shared values, and respect.

    I think this is why several of my friends met their mates when they found themselves out of NYC or other large singles communities – it was necessary to get out from under the crush of numbers and social expectations, to drop the pretenses and regain the breathing space that lets us see a person (and reveal ourselves) in that open, long-term-potential way.

    It’s obvious too that, whatever your religious beliefs, the intrusion of sex on this process only causes problems. Women must keep their guard up to avoid exploitation, or suffer when the heat of passion wilts their delicate intuition antennae. Men who really want a mate must make up their own rules of engagement (which is one reason why the Frumsters and Jdates of the world were created), fight against the impression that they are saps, and fight to maintain their focus.

    Useful questions asked me when I was dating:
    Do you believe in this person – in their basic goodness?

    Do you feel a desire to help and protect this person? To give them pleasure?

    Are you willing to lay down your monthly salary to further this person’s goals in the world?

    No checklists.
    What is the gestalt of this person – and do you connect with that? Do they seem to connect with you?

  • B”H

    Yeah, those frumster labels seem kind of silly don’t they? After much use and therefore experience with frumster shtick I found some honesty, cuteness.

    Check out these frumster funnies:

    From ruth (ID 26225)
    in her profile

    I have brown eyes and brown hair. I like animals. I wear pants at home but skirts in the outside. I enjoy meeting new people. I study for a degree in English education. My goal in life is to retire, but first I must find a job.

    From DESPERATEandPATHETIC (ID 19057)
    in his profile

    What Yeshivish Modern means to me:

    an oxymoron. probably means you’re a little confused (i’m just a regular guy who’s serious about his religion)

    From Chavadina (ID 22862)
    in a post at the forum under age issue

    That being said–and men please pay attention!–most women would only get into a serious relationship with a man much older than they are IF he is a exceptionally special person. And we women know that VERY few men are as exceptional as they think they are!

    From EML (ID 3152)
    in her profile

    Character is most important. The gentleman I seek is very much into self-improvement and growth in all areas. He must be refined, polite, kind-natured, and not superficial. He has depth, intelligence, is a thinking person, independent, sensitive, and able to laugh. He is a professional, articulate, emotionally stable with good social skills, not an introvert or loner. His spiritual and physical worlds are balanced in a healthy way. He is family-oriented and eager to get married to raise a family. Last but not least he must cherish me. (You must be laughing by now… I know this does not exist in one package. I am merely describing what I consider ideal.)

    Quote from my Rabbi, “If I would of made this stuff up, you’ld think I’d be brilliant!”

  • And saps deserve love, for sure. But none of these women’s profiles tell you anything about them or what they’re looking for because they employ cliches that could apply to anyone.

    Honesty? Great. Cuteness? Well…And farbeit from me to be the arbiter of “funny,” but allow me to be the arbiter of “funny” and proclaim that these are not. How I’d improve them?

    “I study for a degree in English education.” would become…”I am studying for a degree in English education, which seems redundant, as it involves educating myself in English. I already speak English, and I’m already educated, and yet here I am. Sometimes my head hurts.”

    “The gentleman I seek is very much into growth in all areas” would become…”except nose and ear hair, as those can be easily trimmed using any one of several infomercial products which can be ordered using a toll-free number. That’s right…the call is free.”

    And I know DESPERATEandPATHETIC is supposed to be a joke, but he might as well name his profile NEVERGONNAGETIT or NEVERGONNADATEWITHAPROFILENAMELIKETHIS.

    IMHO FWIW (in my humble opinion, for what it’s worth), which may be nothing.

  • Male saps. Saps were mentioned in Post 23, a truly great post. And, what did he mean by saying that the men get to establish the rules of engagement? Very candid, that. Hmm.

  • Muffti is a little confused. In the real world of dating (i.e. not online), people don’t ask eachother for full resumes before they go out. They go out, hopefully have a good time. If all goes well, they keep on doing it, slowly character is revealed, slowly you get to know what is annoying about the person and what is loveable about them. You get to know which plans of their are superficial and which ones deep and real. And you get to know the ins and outs of their religious practices.

    But all this takes some time, ya know? And it’s nice that it takes that time because it’s all part of a slow revelation that people who fall in love kind of enjoy. In the ‘real world’, you don’t have a scanner that gives you full details about the person you are about to ask out. And whatever they first tell you is really only of marginal utility because that’s their public persona and what you really want to know is their personal persona.

    So, Muffti guess he’d like to know, why would you expect anything more from online dating? Why is it a good thing to list maximally specific traits? Muffti thinks broad categories are a good thing because they can give you just enough information to avoid people that are obviously totally innapropriate and then the discovery process can begin. Part of the point of dating and love is the commitment to slowly finding out what your partner is alll about. You are robbed of that completely is your get a CIA maximally specific profile.

    Then again, what does Muffti know? He hasn’t really done dating sites (though there was that time CK signed him up for a gay dating service w/out telling him. The revenge for that is still coming, Mr. Christ Killer. Be afraid.) And his real world dating is spotty at best. 🙂

  • What does GM think about the hypothesis that people already know The One but haven’t realised it?

  • laya thinks she may actually agree with muffti. Online dating breaks people down into checklists which are then to be judged with no nuance and very little personality attached, which is not how people work.

    While there is defintly something to be said about knowing th basics of someone before going out with them, sometimes i wonder if online dating, the way it is, encourages people’s pickiness and the confusion of wants for needs, all while tapping into the paralizing effect of having a seemingly endless array of choices. It’s like if you can find someone else with all of your key words, you must be soul mates! Perfection must be out there somewhere (but then, I don’t believe in sould mates, and have never actually tried online dating, so i also dont really know what i’m talking about)

    However I also don’t agree with the method of meeting someone you’re hot for and jumping in knowing nothing about thier character hoping that the pieces will all fall into place eventually.

  • A guy could say to himself, if I made four times as much money as I now do, who among my female acquaintance would I maritally approach? That is The One.

    Money is fluid so don’t worry about it. All the money in the world belongs to G-d so don’t worry, you will get what you need. When you are married, money stops being the engine of impressing people, because you have already impressed someone. Married life is much easier than single life.

  • laya: I can surreptitiously sign you up on a gay male dating site if you like.

    Uh wait a minute, have I already done that??

    Uhm… gotta go.

  • I dunno, it seems to me that the Internet gives us easy access to many people we would never otherwise meet. It also enables some drilling down so that you at least know that something of interest to you exists in the other person, and that something is deeper, or at least more, than an initial physical attraction.

  • The question of The One is something I think we’ve all thought about: is there only one person for you? And have you already met him or her, but for whatever reason, failed to recognize that person’s potential?

    Keywords do not a match make. I mean, how many times have we said “on paper, he’s perfect for me,” and yet we always use that as a preamble to “but, there’s just no connection.” Or worse, one of us connects and the other one doesn’t.

    Personality, temperament, humor, soul…these are all ingredients in what is an extremely complicated cocktail. Online dating, for some, helps to structure expectations and create an architectural plan for their soulmate. (We all know people who have met significant others online, so it’s not all bad.) But for others, it serves as a restriction, and contains their three-dimensionality within the confines of a 2-D profile. And that’s just in general. Once you add religious observance, it seems to be a whole different ball game.

  • Esther reminds us that Internet dating is profoundly, conceptually flawed. Shouldn’t we be checking our brains at the door? What happened to passion, risk-taking, leaps of faith?

    Instead, we cram ourselves to fit within someone else’s typology of humanity. Ugh.

    And are we looking for clones? No. We’re looking for what’s not similar to us, what we don’t have. We’re seeking to be completed. Cf. Aristophanes’s tale of the origins of gender in ‘Symposium’.

    (On the other hand– if you want to get laid, NOW, the Internet’s for you.)

  • Being with your beloved is not like a mult-media extravaganza on steroids. You just like them a bunch, is all. That’s all. If you are waiting for a Faye Wray – King Kong experience …. you will have a long wait.

    Ordinary Human Being meets another Ordinary Human Being, they marry, have Ordinary Human Offspring. They all look cute, but essentially ordinary, while snugly asleep in their little beds.

    Doesn’t sell tickets, but life is not a movie.

  • Esther, keywords are not all one gets in profiles. People also get a chance to speak about themselves a little. I sometimes read them because they’re fascinating and they do often offer a little window into a person. Does it tell us a lot about them? No. But it at least enables me to know some basics – just as if somebody was introducing me to a friend to date or setting up a blind date for me.

    I agree with Muffti that there is pleasure in getting to know the person (unless the person suddenly says, “Please pee in my mouth”), but I don’t think it’s any different with people you meet online.

    And speaking of peeing in the mouth, where does somebody get the balls to even ask for that particular service, even if one is weird enough to get off on it?

  • Wait, hold up. Laya said:

    laya thinks she may actually agree with muffti.

    Maybe the Moshiach really is on its way!

    TM, all Muffti meant is that the need for personal details before you start dating seems like a futile quest. For one, as everyone who has dated anyone for a while knows, the public persona people put out masks just about everything important. Insecurities, aspirations and character traits (and perhaps the occasional oddly shaped and placed mole) are things you find out by letting the person reveal themselves to you as they trust you more. The need for information upfront just seems like more requests for superficial features. You want to date and marry someone you are going to like? Go date a few people and discover all the stuff that is behind the billions of possible ways to categorize yourself.

    Muffti is starting to sound like JM. He’ll stop.

  • Why am I always the only one sticking up for poor JDate? I met my husband on JDate! (But maybe it only works for us folks outside the NYC area.)

  • Wahwahweewah!!! This post sure has given us a lot to chew on. I have also found myself in this horrible conundrum over dating. I have tried dating from many approaches, and I’m starting to become bitter about the whole entire thing. Life as a single observant jew is truly confusing, especially if you, like many have already stated in this post, don’t fit so nicely into these catagories.
    What the heck am I, anyway??? I daven three times a day, but I love the Family Guy and Kung-Fu movies. I fervently do the Daf, but I play in a rock band (real rock, not like Blue Fringe). Looking at all the checklists and pulldown menus makes somebody like me go bonkers. I appreciate the fact that these websites afford me the opportunity to meet ladies, who’s paths I might otherwise never cross. Thanks for that. But something’s got to change. I think Laya, Mufti, and Esther might be on to something, and should probably start their own dating site. 😉
    But seriously, dating in the real world has become just as frustrating. I definitely would like to date a girl who is around as obvservant as I am, or is trying to grow, but there’s so much more than that. As a cohen, I have to be even more “picky” as it were… my priestly status has placed me in some interesting dating scenarios over the past few years. When will it end? The dating process, while entertaining at times, seems like some kind of parallel universe into which I’ve stumbled, with no easy way out. I really doubt unmarried life is supposed to feel like this.
    Advice, anyone???

  • Laya is right. GM is right. But can you be Jewlicious if you are married?

  • Muffti, while our mutual dating practices may be quite a bit different we do indeed agree on this. Ain’t it a beautiful day?

    You want to have compatable lifestyle with however you get involved with (if you are both equally commited to living on opposite ends of the world for instance, that would be a case of “a bird and a fish can fall in love but where do they build a home” ) but past the basics, you really can’t predict what will make two people click.

    The whole dating world I find is also very ego centric. It’s all about what *I* want, what *I’m* looking for, i never hear anyone open with what they feel they have to give.

    Tobias. Dating is no doubt frustrating. In the mean time just work on making yourself into someone you want the kind of person you want to want. If that makes sense. But then really, i know nothing about this and no one need listen to me.

  • I’d never really paid attention to the internet dating sites (I’m married, and there doesn’t seem to be a “Married, but not dead” category on JDate…), but this discussion kinda got me curious.

    What I saw was that many people *think* they know who they are and what they’re looking for. But they really give Too Much Information.

    For example: If I, as a younger version of me, had written a paragraph about myself, I probably would’ve written that I was cute, athletic, brilliant, 5’5″, into long walks on the beach, classical music, museums, sushi and traveling. I’d continue about how I was looking for a tall guy who enjoys nature, has an advanced degree in something that makes the world a better place, etc…..

    I never would have met my husband in a million years.

    You see, he probably would’ve been looking for a tall, slim girl who enjoyed very loud music, old science fiction movies, vintage keyboards, trains and didn’t mind if he was up all hours of the night working on the computer.

    We met (in person) and hit it off anyway, because the first night we hung out we discovered a shared love for baba ganoush (I’d never heard of it).

    I’m kinda thinking that an ideal online personal would read like this:
    Looking for someone with a little time in their life to happen to be by the counter at Starbuck’s so we can casually talk about trivial stuff while waiting in line, discover we both can’t stand lattes, move the conversation to a table, and an hour later decide if we want to have dinner together tomorrow.

    That way, age, height, looks, favorite color, whether you like dogs or cats- all of those things that seem like they should matter but ultimately don’t- won’t interfere with meeting someone with the qualities you’re really after, but just don’t realize yet.

    Good luck.

  • Laya, YOU certainly would be.

    Maybe YOU have to make it happen?

  • C-Girl, just thought maybe people don’t want to leave the party and get weighed down or something. Totally agree with you.

  • I’m in agreement with conserva-girl as well. wow, this whole agreement thing feels all warm and bubbly. And Jewish mother, thanks, but I’m in no hurry. TM holds down the married side of the Jewlicious fort.

  • Conserva-Girl, I hope you didn’t mean to imply that coffee-lovers and latte-loathers can’t find mutual ground(s) (sorry!) for discussion and relationships…

    Mirty, I acknowledge that JDate works for some people. Just hasn’t worked for me. But then again, neither has anything else. Unless you call being permanent mayor of the Friend Zone “working.”

    Jewliciousness is not just for singles. It is like knowledge, open to all who seek it. It is like the Force, surrounding us, penetrating us, and binding the galaxy together. It is like the perfect pair of shoes, yes? Stylish, comfortable, accessible. Jewliciousness is a chai latte, a Manischewitz concord grape-accino. It is beyond labels. It is writers teetering on the border between Jewish tradition and insanity. It is love and respect and defiance, observance, irreverence and humor. And maybe, someday, also a magazine.

    In fact, I’m going to suggest that online dating services add “Jewlicious” to their drop-down menu of self-definition options.

    The Laya, she will always be Jewlicious. And you can take that to the bank (which we are supposed to be controlling).

  • Why are Jewlicious women in no hurry? In the language of men, “maybe later” means “maybe later”. But in the language of women “maybe later” means not now, and as we will never live in any other moment than now, it means no.


    So, why not?

  • B”H

    Only a jew could write some of the crazy stuff on jew date sites. As far as those funnies on frumster goes, I have no doubt to say that they are 100 % kosher certified darlings. Part of what I see is venting the un bearable pain of jew boo-hoo single life. I have been on jdate, jewish quality singles, Mitmazel, jewishpersonels, Yenta…Had accounts, some of them paid, a few of them current.n the last 9 or so years of internet searching. I have only tried to date 3 times through internet contact. All 3 of those agreed upon meetings or dates the ladies flacked on me. One of them was through Frumster. I drove 200 miles to meet her in another city and she flacked and didn’t even show. Later, in frumster post she admited that she flacked and just was glad I was in the restaurant with something to eat. I have dated extensively through shadchan contact. It seems shadchanim pressure the ladies not to just flake. It is bad midos etc… and often Shadchanim, as much or more then internet shadchanim, want money up front to do thier shtick. So there is more of a sense of you paid for this, you got go through the transaction. Besides, the shadchans can be Rabbis, youre teachers, youre Yenta- Rebetzin-Rabbineet who has a physical and personel reality that is harder to ignore then a computer. So Technically, I have had much more success with professional, real time people, shadchanim then Internet post and website. So, in my shadchan arranged dating career spaning 15 or so years since just the last year or so of Yeshiva days for me, I have been on 3 or so dozen dates, with almost zippo flaking.

    Some of this Cyber Tsibur shtut is just reality these days. It has been years since most jews have been kicked, beaten and killed out of most of the ghettoes these days. From what I understand, most people in this country or westernish world meet at work. That makes sense because that is where they spend most of thier time. That is where they learned to think and what they value.
    For Jews, not so easy. Maybe some who are still out there in jew ghettoes find thier soulmates through tradition inspired community shadchanim and basic grapevine infrastructure because of being born with it etc, FFB, whatever…. Not most of us.

    There is no way out of dealing with the pain of dating and searching for youre soul mate as I see it. Rejection in dating, internet or not is the same as getting the door slammed in youre face. I have no doubt about that. There is no way to know if all that heart ache and but ache will have anything to do with how fast or slow meeting the one and only is. The mating process involves physical movement therefore, as I understand, physical matters in the most simple sense is strictly divine providense. The part of life we control is more in the way or how we deal with the physical. The how we deal with it is just as important. I can say though that dating in all its forms is a way of paying dues. Some how we need to do this, the reason is not clear. Maybe some of those reasons are known, only some. I wouldn’t be so stupid to think I could even fathom the multitudes of factors that go into that “Cocktail” like I believe Esther was talking about in that previous post.

  • Esther, if you provide me with some keywords, I’ll ask Tobias for his and decide if there’s a there there.

  • But TM, Laya, GM and C-Girl all say to just hang out a little and stuff and no keywords. Just saying. I notice C-Girl brought up food. Babaganoush. Ha.

  • Tef SHbe, great post imho. I hope you are not looking for tall slim likes science fiction and knows the difference between a ratchet and a wrench?

  • TM, whatchoo talkin’ bout? Figure out if there’s a there there? It’s so obvious it’s cryptic, I guess.

  • B”H

    I have to realize this is not just a “singles” site.

    One time, several years ago, in a Jdate chat

    room, a married woman who anounced herself

    to being happily married lady, just dropped in

    with the said intent of arranging something for

    a friend and wanting to learn of what jewish

    single internet shtick is. That lady was subject

    to extreme dissaproval and a certain amount

    of verbal-written abuse by most of the

    individuals online in that room at that time after

    that anouncement. That married lady only

    popped in once or twice afterwards. Jdate

    isn’t like that any more. Jdate is jewish like

    Grand central Station or the Port Authority bus

    station, the same amount of people go

    through them….It used to be though. The only

    other time I have seen a chat room gang up

    somebody like that is when a said arabian

    showed up asking something like, “is this an

    Israelian jew dog site? are you Israelian

    dogs?….. in those words and spelled that way.

    He said he was some Kuwati. That time I fully

    participated in the pack like behaviour that

    everybody in that room did and was amongst

    those that made sure that guy never popped

    in again. GROWLLLL, rip, slash, abuse,


    Obviously, jewlicious isn’t jdate…..

  • An honest answer. But I am concerned that the need and the power may not be in sync at a later day. Is it not better to be too careful than not careful enough?

  • B”H

    I have seen so many times people saying, ” I don’t want to

    go out now, I am so busy with…..” Often they don’t go out or

    internet or whatwever, then they just get married or appear

    mated in some way instantly. When it happens it happens

    regardless. One reason to go out and date is to get to the

    point when it finnally happens to get a sense of

    appreciation. Its like dues paying. So many married people

    obviously have a problem with taking thier marriedness for

    granted, not just thier spouses. You can look at being

    married like inherited wealth, you just get, whether you

    deserve it or not; how many times do you see money like

    that appreciated? It is a mitsvah to get married, therefore

    everything and all the legwork necessary gets shelped in

    the general merit. I really try not to be so judgementally

    yenta minded to assume why some people take longer

    then others to find somebody. If I can, I help. If not, why

    chok n’ chinik?

  • Teferet- since when is getting married classified as an actual mitzvah?
    jewish mother – not sure what you mean by is it not better to be too careful than not careful enough? but I’ve seen a lot of people in a rush to get married just to get married. Many of them are presumably happy right now, several others are divorced within a year or two.
    The need and the power? what power?

  • B”H


    Youre right,

    I am saying strange stuff happens either good or bad. But yes, getting married is a mitsvah. The idea is to approach the mitsvah with determination and great effort. It appears a lot people just get married in a way of mitsvah or not with no apparent effort. Remember anything could happen to anybody, anytime. No way to know.

  • Your power.

    Look around. Look out the window. Do you not fear? You say “some are happy and some are divorced.” You are smart. You will be on the good side of the equation.

    People should not take things for granted and assume the phone will always ring just because right now one is adorable and Jewlicious.

    Who is immune from the present miserable state of affairs? Nobody is immune.

  • No, actually, I do not fear when I look out the window. Are you trying to imply that as soon as i turn 24, or 26 my jewliciousness will expire and no one will want me? I don’t think trying to scare people into getting married is a good plan. But thats’s just me. Thanks for the well meaning advice tho.

    and teferet, can you point me to a place in tanach or elsewhere that deems getting married an actual Mitzvah? Just cause it might be a good idea doesn’t make it a mitzvah, as far as I know.

  • B”H

    To answer the question.

    ” and teferet, can you point me to a place in tanach or elsewhere that deems getting married an actual Mitzvah?”

    One of the sources that come to mind is in Genesis Ch 2, Verse 24
    The Stone Chumash English,

    Therefore a Man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh.

    With more time I could give more sources for a subject with an exhaustive list of references. I would think there are several Torah based mitsvahs in that one.

    The mitsvah of marriage is mainly directed at the Man as I understand it.

  • B”H

    One way to read into what the Chumash is saying is that Women, especially jewish women, have a stronger correct instinct about getting Married then Man. Man is given strong command language with regard to Marriage. There is a verse in the Chumash that goes like this: Genesis, Chapter 3, verse 16.

    Yet youre craving shall be for youre husband.

    I left a lot of that sentence out. The rest of that context seems to punish but not command woman. There is a difference between command and punishment. What that is I don’t know off hand.

  • B”H

    Maybe a punishment is given to someone who should know better. A command is given to someone you wouldn’t expect to know what they are doing.

    Just some thoughts, ideas….pshat lach….

  • Singles think that by adhering to a “laundry-list” that they’ll avoid meeting the “wrong type” of person. But these laundry-lists are frequently influenced by the Hollywood media stereotype of what is considered attractive and desirable. And yes, religious singles get stuck in this mindset too. Women want men like Jeremy Piven or Zachary Braff or Jon Stewart, and men want a Jewish Angelina Jolie!

    I’m married with kids, and hope that I’m considered Jewlicious enough to be included in “Jewlicious — The Magazine,” as described in Esther’s comment #52. ck should post that great definition up at the top of the home page. Really.

  • But isn’t it interesting, Janice, that the expectations are so different the way you outlined them? I mean, Jewish women are much more likely to find a man like Piven, Braff or Stewart (where smart and funny are sexy) among the SJMs in their neighborhoods than the SJM’s are likely to find Jewish Angelina (who’s obviously sought-after for her contributions to intellectual discourse…) at Aish or on JDate. If singles are to get stuck in media stereotypes, doesn’t this speak volumes about the difference in what men and women are looking for, even post-evil-and-unrealistic media influence?

  • B”H

    Lets see if I can copy and paste with a proper word wrap that doesn’t break up the lines. After Chozer bechuva
    now for just about 20 years and almost half my life, I have picked up an abused word I hear from orthodox-frum people, especially FFB’s those born with it: NORMAL. Everytime I hear that word I feel like strangling who ever said it. Like a Darth Vader mind choke via Star Wars fame for thier lack of faith….
    Truthfully, it is simply not “NORMAL” to be jewish. Less then one percent of the world is, I think much less. Even in this fine Country USA. The US is great. Most americans are law abiding good people, jewish or not. If you wanted a nice, kind, generous “NORMAL” person with a good job and is a good listener you have a much, much better chance of finding a non-jewish person who fits that “Laundry List” I keep hearing about. I have no doubt there is awesome and extrodinary aspects to every jew I have met which transcend any definition of “NORMAL.” So yes, Chutspah, that dream ( nightmare) guy whom you dated is kind of sick, ok not “NORMAL”

    see #19, he is still jewish, like it or not. I know there is nothing to like there. I can’t explain youre sense of violation. Its like when I broke my leg rollerblading and couldn’t walk for more then 3 months, no one had the stupidity to tell me “don’t feel bad.” But like it or not, that same fool is a jew. Maybe a guy like that needs to be smacked up or woken up in some kind of way; I don’t know. I am not saying you should go back and get things restarted with him. Eventually he will learn, the hard or easy way. You don’t have to be the teacher. How many times have I heard women crying, “why can’t I meet anybody “NORMAL.?!?” I have heard them crying to me saying that and I try hard not to be nightmarish. I am not “NORMAL.” I am in an Israeli Motorcycle club. Another, not so “NORMAL” yenta approved thing I do. My nickname is “Rebele” I am not a Rabbi or whatever. But the guys will joke around and refer to me that way. One of the older guys in the club introduced me to this younger and impressively beautifull lady maybe in her late twenties, an Israeli with Yeminite background who lived in Canada for some time. She was telling me what a jerk this guy she whom she is currently married to. She wants a divorce but thinks that jews, like Catholics or something, just don’t get divorced or Rabbis just don’t let them. I told her that is an urban legend. I told her in a way it is a Mitsvah to for the guy to give her a Get. I advised her to talk to the local Rabbi in this city who married them and did thier Ketuba to arrange for the guy who she is married to now to sign the get. She is telling me she is being physically abused by the guy and his mother whom he lives with and they fight all the time and he is a serious substance abuser. She further tells me she had
    been married to a non-jewish guy before she met this other Israeli whom she is married to. Furthermore, she tells me that she had lived with two other non-jewish boyfriends before that. To add to that, she tells me these non-jewish men where so sweet and nice even when they broke up and got divorced. All the time as the story unfolded, she told me how she doesn’t believe in G-d and that Most of the jewish men she has known are jerks whereas everybody else is “NORMAL” and nice and good. I told her this I heard before “oto sepur.” I then introduced her to one of my friends in the club whom I have known since I was in a conservative hebrew school in the early 70’s. He talks the same way about jews and G-d. He is currently married to a Yenta jewish lady who gives him hell for that motorcycle riding he does and he fights with all the time. I was only in that hebrew school for a year. I went to a Reform hebrew school later. One time my friend and I go and visit another fellow class mate of that hebrew school recently whom I couldn’t recognize or remember. That guy married a Chinese lady and lives happily in a suburb in a nice house with a kids etc…The conclusion is the same as that Yemite girl, “with a non jew you can be happy. The jews make you miserable.”

    It was after that talk with that beautifull Israeli, Temini, that I realized how to put what is happening in clear thought. Jews are not “NORMAL” The special awesome quality to a jewish person is not always clearly spelled out . No doubt there is a physical taste and feeling to a Jew and the way we relate, not just a “spirtual out of this planet way, but it isn’t in terms that are easy to define. I am trying to bring this to clear expression as well as clear thought, but I am not sure I am doing that. I am trying and trying and trying….

  • You may be right, Esther, but I’d hate to generalize. Perhaps the men could weigh in on this one — do they really want a woman who is smart? Or is it really about how she looks? Lots of smart women have been told to “dumb-down” in order to find a partner, but have men? Would a religious man be interested in a religious woman physician, for example, for reasons other than she might be able to support him? That last question is one that has been posed to me by women physicians I know — they are told that they should expect to only meet guys who are not as smart as they are and to prepare to support them. Or else they’ll end up unmarried.

    I think it takes an exceptional man to appreciate a woman’s intellectual abilities, even if she is beautiful. Who are these men, anyway? And where are they? ‘Cuz Esther needs to meet you!

  • B”H


    Many Jew boys whom have been raised by highly

    educated parents that typify common jewish values seek to

    wed such a “Professional” as a doctor. Like who can be

    more of a Professional? A doctor in the family provides

    much bragging material to the family Yentas whether they

    be male, female in the family or married to the family. Why

    would you even question that? I have been on and off

    email pen palling with a Doctor lady from the other coast

    whom I met on Jdate some 6 years ago. She was in

    residense when we met on Jdate. Now she is an ER doc.

    When it comes to talking serious she gripes about mikvah

    use, shabat, one of my brothers whom I was sharing an

    appartment with, my beard and several other issues. Then

    we stop writting for awhile and look else where. If I were to

    introduce her to my Doctor Psycholigist Dad and Clinical

    Social worker Mom they would be in Kvell city.