Find Me A Wife Who Can’t Speak My Language
A good marriage is based on communication. If you don’t understand what your partner is saying, you will fight less.
I have been single for many years in Israel. I have been single for many years everywhere. Nonetheless, this is a manifesto about Israel, so we must focus. Now is not the time to go into my reasons for being single in Sudan. I am sure that that story does not interest you, even with the whole shipwreck, love of my life and child I adopted at that time. Let’s get back to the interesting stuff- Israel. I have had ups and downs. Even so, I will never give up on Katamon. Katamon is the Upper West Side of Israel, and like the Upper West Side, it has now grown to include all surrounding neighborhoods within a 3 kilometer radius and nobody wants to be living there. It is a place which represents the home of a single person who will never give up, and the reason why every Jew feels uncomfortable leaving shule on a Friday night (shule means synagogue and I will use them interchangeably, for reasons such as confusing people). It is always awkward when a high school kid leaves shule on a Friday night and none of the single people know if they are allowed to check them out or not. Very uncomfortable, as I know you are cringing right now. This is why I am a big supporter of name tags with age and ‘ready’ on them. Single people have to check out everybody, because we are desperate and when you get older, you get these 30 Year Old Goggles, where everybody under 25 is beautiful. They do not have any of the old people deformities. You get older and weird extra stuff starts coming out of your body. Like your growth-spurt ended and now it is starting up again with skin malfunctions and not on skull hair. I am just noting what I see happening. Single religious people are desperate, crazy, and high school kids should not be living in Katamon. It is also weird to see a woman with her head covered; though it is the sign of a Jewish married woman, one cannot help but to check out each and every person leaving the shule. She is married; why is she going to shule anyways? Bringing a baby? That is very irresponsible. Strollers are a whole other story, and single people are also allowed to be around children. I understand you try to quarantine us into small areas of big cities. I know many of you find it awkward to see the single candy man at synagogue, handing the children lollypops. Even so, we are people too, and we have the right to hand out sweets and check out every person leaving shule with Bubble-Yum.
I am a good religious boy and have always been Shomer Negiah (this will be explained in three paragraphs- right now, just wonder what it means and let it bother you). Hence, all that follows about my single life is quite pointless. Though, if I may say, I am thinking I should stop with it. Religious guy that got married at 20, don’t even think about judging me, with your children, wife and smile. Thinking you are that Jewish success story, just because you are perpetuating the Jewish people and you pay your synagogue dues and have a job and are liked.
The community gave up on me, because I am old and single. I am now ‘a pity.’ Pity status is not that bad. Pity is beautiful and it is now my excuse for everything. I wake up late and don’t show up to work, because I have pity- ‘He has it hard, he has no love in his life…he must have watched a good three movies last night. What a pity.’ I don’t have to go to any family events- ‘He would have to show up alone…nobody to sit next to…the kids table is already full. He is 35 years old…we can’t sit him with the adults yet. What a pity.’ My pity excuse gets me out of anything I need. It is just as good as having a wife for an excuse to get out of every dinner invitation with, ‘She is not feeling well.’
It would be nice to be appreciated as though I have something to offer. But I understand that my parents must still talk for me, when I am around, standing right there, when they are asked, ‘How is David doing?’ I am single and thus, I am not ready to talk on my own behalf. They must represent me to the people of the community and tell them how I am doing. Otherwise, nobody in shule would pinch my cheeks. I understand. I am single, and as much as I love my nephews and nieces, I cannot show up to a little league baseball game, as a single adult, and not scare every parent in the stands.
Shomer Negiah is a religious concept that has definitely influenced my perspective regarding relationships. Shomer Nigeah means that as a single man, I cannot touch or hug or kiss anybody, for religious reasons, unless it is a guy. When you are 20, it is a religious moral. When you reach 30, it is a reason to kill yourself. No reason to live. I have tried to bypass the law, and I learned a way around it. I was on a bus in the ultra-orthodox/Charedi area in Ramat Beit Shemesh and I noticed that if you hit the woman, it is fine. That is how you pick them up, ‘Get to the back of the bus.’ The ladies love it. If you laughed at that, you are a disgusting person. A racist. I was just making a small political point about a small sector who doesn’t know how to treat people in the community. I am pro-Charedi, I also drink Crystal Soda. I don’t drink Super Drink. You cannot depend on Gd that much, to think Super Drink won’t kill you (Super Drink is like putting a Tums in water and thinking, ‘We have cherry soda, it is a red Tums…purple tums, grape soda.’). That is real Emunah/belief in Gd, and I respect those people. You can also see by the way they cross the street, that they really believe in Gd. I look both ways, they just go, ‘Gd protects…I am walking. His breaks don’t work…the Creator will stop the car…’ Checking traffic with your baby carriage, that is wrong. ‘I have 12 more at home.’ That is not the right way to look at it. Even in Tel Aviv, the Chilonim/secular Jews check traffic with their baby carriage, ‘This one is going to the army anyways…I only have one…’ I am saying it is wrong to use your children as lab rats. I care about kids and want them to live to see how hard it is. I had to deal with it. I made a decision to move to Israel. Give them a chance to be 35 and single and on their own. Give them a chance to be strong and develop character. Give them a chance to live past 6, so they can learn about being shomer negiah and arithmetic. So that they too can spend a whole life wondering why. (This whole last paragraph should make no sense to you. If you are Israeli and religious, this might have even been offensive- and for that, it is worth it- for the sensitivity to life it might exude and the baseless hatred you have built up for me, by not fully understanding what I am trying to get across- because my writing sucks)
I was always scared about touching the opposite sex. I was afraid I would go to hell. I still am. But it would appear that a lot of really hot women are going to hell. Hell just might be where I want to be. Shomer Negiah was a value that I grew up with, and I believe very strongly in its religious and moral implications. At this point in my life, have no idea how to work around out. It is a religious moral that is imbedded in my psyche, to the point that I can barely express the positives or negatives that might come from it, as you have seen by the incoherent previous paragraph. I am worried. I do not know how I will interact with my wife. I just hope she does not want to touch me. That would be awkward.
Now you are thinking I made Aliyah because I was single and Rochester doesn’t have many Jewish women. You are correct. Even so, my desire to move to Israel is much deeper than that. I made Aliyah because I wanted to meet my naturally blond Yemenite girl.
All families should make Aliyah to give their children that chance.
In Israel, the women situation should be much better for me. I can hit on women everywhere: at bus stops, supermarkets, shiva houses (after funerals) where they try to set me up with some descendent of the deceased. Don’t have to worry about her not being Jewish, unless I am getting on a bus heading for Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, or any neighborhood in Jerusalem. On line at the supermarket, I pick up my groceries and a concerned Jewish aunt who has somebody for me. She never met me and that is fine. There is a desperate woman out there, who is Jewish and perfect for me. Her aunt respects me, because her aunt has no idea who I am. How do I know she is Jewish? Because everything in the supermarket is kosher. The whole supermarket is a kosher section. At Wegman’s and Kroger’s the kosher section was synonymous with Passover. The whole year, they had matzah. Non-Jews stay away from that stuff. Jews in Rochester, did not keep regular kosher; they kept kosher for Passover, all the time. Matzah the whole year is why so many Jews stopped keeping kosher. Why would a non-Jew even think about shopping in a Jerusalem supermarket? To this day, I have no idea.
In Rochester, there was never any place to take a date, nothing was kosher. Now I can take her to the supermarket. And I do that. The food is much cheaper. I have calculated my 350 dates, and I have saved a good $10,000 on meals alone. Even so, they have been the longest dates, waiting on line at the cashier, with a cart being filled by somebody who is shopping while they are on line with their cart abandoned in front of us, and a lot of people who apparently did not see the ’10 items or less’ sign. I know I will have found my match when I meet that special woman that likes eating matzah, all the time.
With all the kosher and opportunities, it still took me eight years to meet someone I could break up with. It worked out and she did not live in Israel. After a while, I noticed that I could not date her; she didn’t live in Israel. I lived in Israel. She didn’t live in Israel. It would have been nice if somebody would have brought that to my attention. It would have been nice if a human would have pointed out, ‘People develop relationships when they see each other.’ If the girl does not live in Israel and I live in Israel, we are not in the same place. We could develop as pen-pals, but I never got far with pen-pals. Third grade was a horrible year for my love life. ‘Pals’ says it all. You can develop a long distance pal. Facebook can only do so much for a relationship. I could have given her a virtual ring. We virtually hugged and kissed a lot. My virtual life was great. I was virtually not shomer negiah. We were virtually touching. We virtually had not relationship. We could have taken it to the next level and developed more of a Skypationship. But the way I use the phone, and now with the video, I did not think that having a toilet as a background all the time showed my romantic side. The internet does have its way of helping in long distance relationships. I had to break up with a girl from South Africa, a good 7 years ago, because of the phone bill. I was not able to pay for our basic utilities before marriage. I was even more worried about how hi our phone bills would be, after marriage, when I would talk to the children she had for us- with a South African man- I never met. It got so expensive, I had to collect call her. It was very hard to express myself directly to my special South African. However, I did not care for the operator taking her side. I thought they just put the call through. But no! The 012 guy has something to say about me going down to South Africa for a visit, too. At least in a Skypationship, I would be allowed to see the birth. Since I have been in Israel, I have dated women from every country, except Israel. My friend living in Miami just married an Israeli. I guess that is where they are. I have dated a woman from every country in the Southern Hemisphere. I am attracted to summer and I like the concept of being able to have it all the time.
The breakup, to me, is the best time in the relationship. I guess that means I have not had many good relationships. The breakup is the most meaningful part of the relationship. I am really happy I have had many opportunities in my life to share moments with women where we can cry and promise that we will always care about each other, even though we are breaking up because we were always fighting and we cannot stand each other, but we care so much and we will never forget how horrible our time was together. I want to take this moment out to thank the many women I have dated for the beauty of sharing all that pain. Thank you for the aggravation and drinking coffee with me.
Aliyah doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get married. I moved to meet my naturally blond Yemenite girl. What happened to the Aliyah dream? Why does her English suck? Tell me Nefesh BNefesh.