Oh Jdate – you’ve failed me in so many ways…

As you may know, I am often frustrated by stereotypes… but I can’t help but note that I’ve met my first stereotypical American Self-Hating Jew.  Often, the term Self-Hating Jew is used to describe someone who disagrees with Israel, or alternately, an anti-Semitic Jew. In this case, it describes someone who speaks of other Jews/Judaism in a negative way. In particular, a young American Jew who bought me a drink but refused the opportunity to travel to Israel on a birthright trip, who hates Jews who love Israel more than America, who is proud of his designer accessories but shames American Jews who “all dress the same”…and the list of transgressions continues… (Who talks about this stuff on a first date!?)

When talking about the date experience with family and friends, we decided that he has some deep-seeded issues with Israel & Judaism. The only “positive” things he said included: I love the high holidays, but people who talk about other people instead of praying piss me off (please note- he doesn’t attend services any other time of the year) and I refuse to buy a BMW or a Ford because of their connection to the Holocaust.

The rest of the time, he spent complaining sometimes about particular stereotypical behaviors of different groups of Jews, sometimes about anything at all. For example, all young Jewish women watch a lot of TV, including Grey’s Anatomy, or comparing a “Jewish” tattoo (ie a Hamsah or your Hebrew name…) to getting numbers tattooed on one’s arm, about how Dirty a specific group of Sephardic Jews are, or about his fear of getting blown up in Israel.  All the while, he seemed to feel safe in his confessions.  And all the while, I argued, defending Israel, defending the diversity of “Jewish Ethnicity”, defending the right to Jewish self-expression, and ultimately defending my Jewish pride and identity.

In Judaism we ask questions – it’s in our faith, in our nature. But he never stopped to ask questions or to learn. He took only the time to make snap judgments, to take things at someone else’s perception of face value and never to delve deeper into his fears about visiting Israel, or his hatred of Jews who love Israel; even his tendencies to pigeon-hole his own people as Dirty, Materialistic & Shallow. I can only hope that my reaction to his comments push him to take a serious look at himself. I know his words have driven me. And I’ll screen more carefully next time.

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  • Well, I see your point. Nobody likes a hypocrite, however I think there are some more widespread behaviors endemic to the northeastern Jewish community that are far more troublesome than self-loathing, wouldn’t you agree?

    While I don’t consider myself a self-hating Jew, or a Jew-hating Jew for that matter, I do consider myself an annoyed Jew from time to time. Mostly because having grown up as the only non-Jew in a group of friends ranging from Catholic to Buddhist, I can easily say that on more than one occasion I have felt uncomfortable among other Jews my age for many of the reasons your suitor listed. The ubiquity of designer clothing, the general homogeneity of professions (law, medicine, speech and physical therapy etc), and the general “moneyed” attitude are all ways that Jews my age, as a group, have made themselves particularly inaccessible to me, as I don’t “fit in” to this admittedly stereotypical – but not too inaccurate – description.

    So, perhaps your date, while clearly crossing the line for acceptable first date chatter, had a similar experience? Maybe instead of judging him for his unfounded distaste for his own people, why not try and change his mind? A friend of mine did the same for me, and I now find myself less annoyed with Jews my age, as a group, but still find my old peeves rise to the top when, I feel, the Jewish community once again makes me feel like an outsider among my own people because I’m not especially wealthy, religious, or into many of the trends that pervade the younger Jewish community around here (the northeast).

  • Maybe he just became flustered and unable to speak with sense in the presence of a beautiful woman? Muffti’s been known to lose his head (on occasion) in such situations out of nervousness.

  • Arielle, think of dating as a job interview for a great position, but knowing ahead of time, there is a very small pool of acceptable applicants. Keep interviewing; the right guy is out there.

    Brian, WTF? Just maybe you hang out around a bunch of materialistic clones, regardless of their religion? Stop the Jew-bashing you non-hating Jew, you, find friends who are as “above it all” as you are.

  • Self-hating Jews are alive and well and I can guarantee how they vote too. More often than not, they’re worse than the enemy and lend legitimacy to those anti-Semitic causes because they start off conversations like “Well, I’m Jewish (sort of) and I think that…” How about, just STFU and go read another Chompsky book.

  • froylein – i do know this, however – this experience bothered me so much – i had to write about it and share it. and … he was so unaware of himself, he would have no idea it was him.

    brian – i am from the northeast – i’ve met Jewish people who fit the materialistic jap stereotype – but i’ve met non-Jews who act the same way – don’t think it’s endemic to American Jews.

  • I once went on a blind date with a Jewish girl a family friend tried to hook me up with. Within the first hour, she asked me how much money I made. At the time, I had just got out of college and hadn’t started a real job in my career, so I was making a total of $9/hr. I looked at her oddly for a minute and proudly said $9/hr. She literally said “eww”. I didn’t disagree with her nor do I think that is an unimportant factor for someone you may want to date. But asking that right off the bat? Date killer. At that point I was like, “I guess a blow job is out of the question, aye?”

  • I’m with froylein. So it didn’t work out– you don’t rip someone like this publicly, whether he/she is or may become aware of it or not. Especially since you’re exploiting him to style yourself Defender of the Faith.

    A true self-hating Jew would date you after learning of this exercise.

  • Arielle was in no way rehashing a bad date, god knows she could have done that a million times before today, she was actually bringing up an important Jewish issue: young people’s identity as Jews. The point is, who cares where you lie on political issues or religious observance, but when you criticize your own Jewish people as a group so thoroughly and constantly, then you are showing some great inner conflicts with your Jewish identity, and I worry about that, being a fan myself of Jewish continuity and pride.
    and if we’re already talking about haters, froylein- back off of ar’s posts, she’s my girl, she’s got an awesome POV, try to show some respect and stop hatin

  • Good post, Arielle.

    I don’t understand how an article that doesn’t mention anybody by name or any other form of identification is “bashing” or “exploiting” anybody. This is an important topic and one that some of us can’t write about because it’s outside our range of experiences.

    • You needn’t mention anybody by name to bash them. If it’s not about bashing a date, it cannot be about discussing self-hating Jews either as that topic has been covered numerous times.

  • froylein, if you can’t see that someone who criticizes people for talking during services is filled with abject self-loathing, I feel very sorry for you, my friend.

  • Middle, put down that copy of the Constitution I sent you and look into Kant’s categorical imperative.

    froylein and Morrissey against the world.

  • thanks Middle. as this could easily be a work of fiction, and it just might be… lets say for arguments sake, it’s just a person i met at a party. or waiting for the bus. or in a class. or at work.

    i’m not ripping on this person as a person – but their attitude towards Jews, as a Jew. that’s all. I shouldn’t have to defend my writing.

  • Well, actually, on Jewlicious we writers are often on the defensive. You need to be able to fight back and that should be one of the key lessons you take away from this post: always assume somebody will attack you, and always make sure you’ve at least thought your article through logically so that you will at least be able to present a coherent line of thinking regarding your post.

  • “In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell. In my view, far from deserving condemnation for their courageous reporting, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other newspapers should be commended for serving the purpose that the Founding Fathers saw so clearly.” New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971) (Brennan, J., concurring).

  • I’m disappointed in you, Tom. A person who makes unjustified attacks on another person and is then proven wrong should at least have the courage to say that he was just proven wrong.

    To remind you, I never claimed that a government should control the media or its articles but that there is nothing wrong with a politician who knows that an article is wrong condemning that article or publication. Condemnation is not censorship and condemnation simply shows strong disagreement with an article.

    You claimed that I don’t know the Constitution; that I seek to violate it in this strange tribal manner that supports Israel but that I would reject in the US. I rebutted that you can’t find a clause in the Constitution where condemnation is prohibited and furthermore that I could see situations where a President or Administration critique or condemn an article. You then compared me to Avigdor Lieberman and used words like “crude” to describe my views.

    You now have 3 examples, from Congress, from Bush and from Obama where they condemn the press. You may believe that is unconstitutional, but it’s not and it is done regularly. That does not mean the press is restrained, it just means that a government is criticizing the press. You may believe this is wrong-minded, but then you should be able to answer the following questions: is the press always right and is it always fair? Are reporters and editorialists always right or fair? If they are wrong or perceived to be wrong, isn’t condemning them just as much part of free speech as what they write; part of the free exchange of ideas that free speech is supposed to encourage in society?

  • The answers to your questions are, respectively, no; no; and yes. But there’s a difference between, say, Israel criticizing a BBC or Guardian report– clearly fair game– and the UK government being made to pay a diplomatic price (that’s close to your language) unless that government takes steps to herd its own media. Again, if Putin demanded that the US government condemn its own media, and we did so, there would be an uproar, and rightly so.

  • In Middle’s world, Obama would respond to Israeli urgings and loudly condemn irresponsible blogs carrying offensive cartoons comparing Jews to chimpanzees.

  • Um, no, but thanks for playing.

    So as I understand you, there is no objection to an attack on the BBC by Israel, but if Israel says to the British government, “Hey guys, you know that BBC article is full of shit and probably borders on anti-Semitic, and it part of a larger body of reports that have come to unfairly harm our country over the past years, will you condemn it so that at least your people and the world know that you reject these lies and the unspoken hatred?” you consider that to be beyond the acceptable.

    I think it’s perfectly acceptable.

    And if the British government chooses not to condemn the hateful lies, they should be treated with the disrespect they deserve. The Swedish paper had NO evidence!!! What is the problem with condemning an article that had no evidence?! There is no slippery slope here, Tom, and there is no constitutional infringement. There is a fair request for a responsible entity to voice objection to a heinous lie.

  • It never ceases to amaze me the degree to which people don’t realize that JDate is a set-up for stuff like this.

    The particulars of the anonymized date in question aside, patrons of JDate are notorious for simply using the web as a “cyber-meat market”, a super-highway for superficial predictors of attraction. I am astounded that anyone with a shred of interest in finding people they can (or would want to) relate to on a deeper, more substantive level would resort to JDate. I could tell you stories about some of the worst dates in the world – provided to me courtesy of exclusively that site. You might as well answer classified ads in the back of print journals.

    If you want quality dates who have something more to offer than simply what Hollywood taught us to be attracted to – people with attributes that don’t go well with the kinds of skeletons described above (or any skeletons for that matter) – people that might actually have viable personalities, I suggest you will be happier going with Saw You at Sinai, Match or eHarmony.

    I recently ended a relationship with someone who turned out to be a lying, promiscuous user, and who left me feeling worse about the relationship than any I had been in before. I am very unsurprised that she went right onto JDate and starting immediately hooking up with (and that’s exactly what it was) guys widely considered to be among the least desirable in the state.

    But hey – have fun. Whatever works.

  • It is them East Coast Jews and their funny accents that have all the problems. Out here in LA, we are laid back, normal, kind and fun to be with.

  • Uhm MUL? You have her user name perchance?

    KIDDING!

    Arielle’s post is perfectly acceptable and doesn’t even describe the worst self haters. I love Morrisey’s and TM’s tangents!

    JDate disasters? You may want to try JMatch… at least they have always supported Jewlicious! Always! Gotta love ’em. See the ad banner on the right hand side.

  • MUL, you’re not that self-hater who shows up on High Holy Days and clearly affiliates with the Jewish community, are you? No?…. Whew.

  • Arielle, I loved the post. I disagree with Froylein, I think there are definitely dates that need to be talked about.

    Like the one my friend went on with a non-jew. In the first hour, he was talking about his new car and said he got “jewed” on the price. When my friend looked at him in disgust, he said, “Oh c’mon.” and then said, “You people are all the same.” She got up and walked out.

    Date stories like that are important to tell (especially to teenagers and people new to the dating scene) to help prepare them for those encounters. And to tell them to be careful about goy boys. But not cute shiksas like me 🙂

    BTW, I think paid dating sites are all scams. All the couples I know that hit it off met on plenty of fish. It’s 100% free, and I easily know of 6 married couples and way more dating couples that met there.

  • OK, so we’ve now established that Jewish and gentile guys are to be avoided online. Fortunately, as we have conclusively established on this site in the past, there is nothing in the Torah that specifically prohibits lesbianism.

  • Modern Girl, I think dates shouldn’t be bashed online cause it’s a way of back-biting that ill-befits mature adults. “Modesty forbids.” Some people just aren’t meant to be.

    Since I also receive feedback from readers and other contributors off the blog, I’m aware I’m not the only one that feels that way, and I’m also not the only person that believes that not living up to a certain stereotype inevitably means that a person is self-loathing. Sometimes people will test the waters bringing up topics dear to them on a first date, others might just try to get out of the date ASAP and resort to scare techniques, others again are genuinely quirky. Wishing to focus on prayers during services definitely is not quirky though, neither is objecting to tattoos if one has read up on the Nazis’ motivation in using tattoos as opposed to e.g. brandings, pierced tags etc. If a date transgresses certain physical boundaries and law enforcement does not do anything about it, then that might be a reason to rehash the date to a possible readership of tens of thousands.

    Furthermore, in tightly knit Orthodox circles such “critiques” of dates have often enough only led to a bad reputation for the person complaining about the date. While it might feel relieving to vent, doing so is close to certain to backfire.

  • ‘Getting out of a date ASAP’? That’s enough about my love life, froylein.

  • 😆

    You are such an amateur, Tom. I’m a creature of the moderate Left.

    Froylein, I never chat, you have it right. It’s enough I have to waste time responding to Tom’s silly attempts at taunting me.

  • I got an idea from this post– next time I mix it up with Middle, I say: “You disagree with me. Therefore, you must hate yourself.”

  • I hope that opening wasn’t mean to imply that people who disagree with Israel should all be referred to as self-hating Jews. It would have been helpful to make that distinction in your writing rather than leaving it open to interpretation.

    Also, it’s deep-seated, not deep-seeded. Everyone seems to mess that up. Sorry, but it drives me nuts.

    No, I haven’t read any of the other comments.

  • yes, BD i realized after i’d posted that i wrote deep seeded instead of seated.

    and while some use the term to describe those who disagree with Israel, i am not one of them.

  • I am one of them. They may not be self-hating Jews, but just Stupid Jews. Either way, no one I want to know. Perhaps the guy was just trying to get out of the date though. Seems plausible.

    And MUL, grow a pair dude. You sound like a beta-male. No wonder she went off borking other people. You should have too. Then you wouldn’t have so much resentment towards her.

    I once was cheated on (kind-of), during the break up phase of my first relationship. Years later I realized what a whiney b*tch I was. I should have used the opportunity to soil my oats (is that thge proper cliche BD?), instead I sat around listening to the wall. How weak.

    Yes, I know I sound crude and possibly misogynistic. Good. Someone should in this thread. I mean come on, we all know us Jewish men are soo caring and sensitive. Great. Sometimes women want a man more than a gay boyfriend who has sex with them too. Alright, I’ll stop. I’m having way too much fun, and I’m not even this meatheadish in real life.

  • Oh come on Froylein, deep in every feminists’ heart, they want to feel safe and looked after. Just like deep in every beta-male’s heart, he wants to be a bully. Ok, ok, I kid, I kid.

    But seriously, I’m looking forward to another of Arielle’s date reports. This stuff is good.

  • In the spirit of this article, there should be at least two more: The Israeli Self-Hating Jew (I can only imagine) and the Russian Self-Hating Jew (I call them Closet Stalinist Jews). That, I’d like to see.

  • It takes someone either incredibly naive or worse to not see the difference between the end of a healthy relationship and the end of a relationship with someone who clearly has a personality disorder.

  • And what the – does BD mean anyway?

    Incidentally, I’m not aware of what it means to “soil” one’s oats. Would that be some new-fangled form of auto-erotic corprophilia? I am, however, familiar with “sowing” one’s oats. It’s what some of us do before we stop feeling an insecure need to prove that others might actually find us sexually attractive and desirable.

    Apparently Alex had trouble getting through that stage. Glad to see you’re better now, little guy.

  • And anyone who wouldn’t think twice about putting their dick into a psychologically unsound person needs a thorough evaluation themselves. But again, we’re talking about Alex here. Nothing new to see, folks. No new revalations. Just the same delusions he seems to be identifying with.

  • Airelle wrote,

    even his tendencies to pigeon-hole his own people as Dirty

    Oh, was he from a haredi background?

  • Come on MUL. Don’t get your panties in a bunch. You’ve never been one to have a sense of humor. Oh wait, you voted for Barry. I retract that.

    Yes, Froylein, I’m happily married. But the grass is always greener, as they say.

    “And anyone who wouldn’t think twice about putting their dick into a psychologically unsound person needs a thorough evaluation themselves.”

    Well, sign me up, because I have had relations with liberal girls. Haha.

  • A tad obsessive on the political thing, wouldn’t you say Alex?

    Seriously, don’t you think Ann Coulter’s hysterics mitigate any attractiveness you could ascribe to her?

    And don’t conservatives get a bit touchy when mentioning Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s Disease? I’d find it hard to believe they wouldn’t if someone mentioned it in the same breath that they included references to his sex life, or to Nancy Reagan.

    It’s not as if cons are known for either their comfort with sex or their humor.

    Or for their willingness to deal with mental illness honestly and compassionately.

    Some things are funny and some things just aren’t. If a truly sick person managed to wrap you up in his or her world, I’d find it hard to believe that you wouldn’t have any deeper thoughts or feelings on it than what you’ve said so far. Humor’s a good way of understanding life and dealing with the hardships that it brings. But some things are really too fucked up to find all that funny. I wouldn’t include a lot of things in that category. But someone who’s too sick to appreciate the fact that they’re conning and manipulating themselves and those whom they want to draw close to them, is certainly something that comes to mind.

  • Why do you say “so much” for Alex’s marriage? You don’t believe it will last?

    • I’ve got no doubts it’ll last. Russians / Europeans tend to take themselves not so serious in their relationships and are more willing to compromise than what I’ve seen among Americans, which are two of the reasons for the single-digit divorce rates here.

      Sashka might enjoy this though.

  • You guys are hilarious – you think Jews are the only ones who like materials possessions and become doctors and lawyers???? What planet are you living on? Ever heard of the Chinese, the Japanese, Koreans (that would be South, not North),Indians (that would be people from India), the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, citizens of the United Arab Emirates,the wives of every African warlord and your very own local fashionistas from Black to White and every shade in between…the latter five, I admit, have little or no interest in education – higher or lower.
    What a pathetic bunch of stereotypical left wing Jews you all are … nice to see that nothing has changed in the last 110 years – still stuck in the same rut – still singing the same old song.

  • John Pospisil publishes the blog techblorge in Australia. He has published many blogs about the “self-hating Jew” as he proudly declares himself to be a “world class” self-hating Jew. He defines himself as utterly disgusted with being born a Jew in a world which despises Jews. John Pospisil says he was cursed with extremely Jewish features including a nose which he describes as the cruelest joke the hebe god of israel ever invoked.

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