With the Three Weeks of restrictions, the Nine Days of mourning, and the yearnings of Tisha b’Av behind us, a feeling of spiritual ascension is now upon us as we prepare for the Yamim Noraim. For those of us who are single, an early sign is Tu b’Av, a day celebrating matchmaking, hinting at the upcoming month of Elul, whose Hebrew acronym symbolizes the meaning of love for all Jewish couples.
Being a relative latecomer to the “shidduch scene,” I still feel a strong optimism in various strategies involved towards finding “the right one,” whether it’s Frumster, singles shabbatons, or the recommendations of my friends. I regard each of my dates as individuals unto themselves, with their own hashkafic, political, and social views. No two Jews will ever be “on the same page,” and I try my best to understand their views and my own, and visualize whether we can reconcile our differences enough to spend our lives under one roof.
I avoided dating while in college and grad school in order to focus on my studies, and I did not choose my shadhanim until I secured a small amount to finance a wedding and the first months of marriage. I then clicked for my options. Keeping an open mind, I am a Russian Jew living among Bukharian Jews, who attends a German shul, and my best friend has been described as yeshivish. I am the lone Orthodox Jew in my family, eager to pass down the mesorah of my ancestors, in an inclusive setting that highlights the unity of all Jews. My bashert could be Sephardi, Ashkenazi, baalat teshuva, a bit older, a bit younger, a bit taller, a bit shorter, a convert or divorcee. A Russian background would be a plus, but I am an idealist. A Jew above all else.
I love New York, but I am not rooted to this great city, and I see a world of opportunities keeping the option of relocation or aliyah in mind. I would prefer that her hair is covered, but how it is covered is of no difference to me. Neither is the potential baggage she may carry. If it is a health concern, we would discuss it candidly and reconcile whether we can handle it together.