Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mythical Creatures: The Guys I Should be Dating

"What you need is a more modern guy. Someone open minded."

I'll scream if I hear that one more time. And not because it's not true.

"You need a more modern guy; not a standard Israeli Chareidi yeshiva boy; someone on the same wave length as you; someone who's seriously Frum, but still knows the world."

You all tell me that; my family, my friends, my blog readers.

But I've been saying the same thing for years. I need, I want, I'm looking for, a more modern guy.

And I'm willing, I'm wanting, I'm waiting to date him

There's only one problem. I can't find him.

Where are these wonderful, mythical, open minded guys? How do I meet them?

There are thousands of single yeshiva boys at Mir, hundreds more at Chevron. In Gruss, the Israel branch of the YU kollel, there are three single guys. That's right, three. (And I can't even get to those ones. So if anyone has any leads...)

There are almost no "modern" guys in Israel. Not above the age of nineteen that is. They come to yeshiva here for a year or two, and then they go back to the States, to college. If they ever return, it's as one half of a young married couple.

I could move to New York, hunt them down in their home habitat. But I want to live in Israel, so dating guys in Chutz LeAretz just doesn't seem like such a smart move. Meanwhile I'm left with the guys who are here, in the same country as me.

I grew up in Israel, went through the Chareidi educational system, mixed in the Chareidi world. My friends married guys from "black Yeshivas"; their husbands are now suggesting friends from the same yeshivas. They tell me the boys are "open minded", but usually that means that they "don't object" to me learning to drive, or that they watch movies in Bein Hazmanim. To me open minded encompasses a lot more than that.

I don't know if modern, open minded, guys exist in Israel. Perhaps it's a brand peculiar to abroad. True, in Israel there is Dati Leumi society, but that comes with different ideals, beliefs, Hashkafas. I wouldn't fit in there. There's no Yeshiva University style middle ground here.

There are some individual families living in Anglo Ghettos in Ramat Beit Shemesh and Har Nof. But I don't know what happens to their sons, their students. I haven't managed to find them.

Meanwhile I keep trying, with the only type of boys I'm ever suggested; boys from Mir, and Chevron, and Ateret. Boys in suits, and big black hats.

So if you think I need a more modern guy, fine, great. Find me one.


  1. Here's what you do. But I warn you, it will take some time and effort.

    You want a "more modern" boy. You will not find a more modern boy from the Charedi side because all the good ones are already married, and because once they become more modern they are considered OTD by their community (and thus usually feel the same themselves).

    So the only choice is to find a "less modern" MO/DL guy. One way to do this is to become a spy. Let's say the neighborhood is Katamon/Moshava G/Baka. You need to find out where the shiurim are, then hang out outside before they start and note which guys are regulars (could take a few months). Make a list of regulars and call this list1.

    Then you (and perhaps some friends to assist you) need to spend shabbat in the neighborhood for a few months. Hang out in front of the shuls and note the boys that come reasonably on time and regularly (also go in shul and see how respectful they are). Make a list of respectful early arrivals, call this list2.

    Then late Thursday nights go hang out near the Shtieblach in Katamon (corner of hamatzor and hachish) and see which guys drag themselves out for maariv late at night after hanging out with friends or shopping for shabbat food or whatever. Those guys go on list3.

    The one guy that appears on all 3 lists is the one for you. You won't be a Charedi family (at all), but you will be an honestly frum one (maybe even Dati Leumi as well).

    I am surprised that you consider YU to be between Dati Leumi and Charedi because in my experience, YU is usually just below Dati Leumi.

    I know that this isn't what you mean or want, but I wrote it on a lark (tried doing it on twitter, but I am way too verbose :)

  2. Maybe try the guys from Mir who started out in Ohr Somayach Beis Medrash. They are typically very solid guys who grew up in an MO or non-religious home who are now charedi and therefore can have the balance you are looking for. If they started out earlier in the programs they also got rid of the shtick by that point.

  3. One of the reasons I came back to America after seminary was for this very reason. I realized that if I was going to stay in Israel, I would have to choose a side-- charedi or daati leumi. Initially, I was so driven to move to Israel, I did choose a side and enrolled in a program. However, once I got back to my family and my YU-type community, I realized I just couldn't do it.
    I couldn't go to Israel, through myself into a society and hope that I come to love their lifestyle. So I came back to America to find a person with hashkafot like my own. It's a hard choice many young Anglo Jews have to make. Israel is the place to be, but if you're not ready to choose a side, it can be very hard to find where you fit in society.

    Some Americans go to Israel for grad school knowing that they want to make their lives in Israel. Maybe there is a way you could find those guys.

  4. you know the guys you want are abroad. you want to live in israel.
    sounds to me you can go abroad and [more likely] get married, or stay here and [more likely] be single.
    by staying in israel you are making the decision that you prefer single israel to married abroad.

  5. 1. Re Guys - Call Rav Shachor - the head of Beit Shulamit girls' school in J'lem. He is exactly the type you are describing and he might know where to find an open-minded haredi guy.

    Also, Yeshivat Hayeshuv Hehadash in Tel Aviv is midway between haredi and DL.

    Beyond that, there are plenty of "yeshivish" DL guys that spend years learning and are very committed. The only difference between them and their haredi counterparts are the clothes and the Zionist hashkafa.

    2 Re you - I don't mean this to be critical in any way, but I think you might want to consider focusing on the lesson/s that HKB"H is trying to teach YOU in this scenario. Once you internalize the message/s that He is sending you, the right guy will come right along.

    Good luck

  6. As an outside-the-box guy myself, I think the best thing to do is throw away the classifications, labels, and groupings - they don't really help much anyway. Besides, they get in the way of actually knowing what people are like.

    Just how ouside-the-box, you may ask? Think Tur/Shulchan aruch night seder with my chavrusa, a musmach and tremendous lamdan who walks into our neighborhood chareidi kollel wearing jeans and a polo shirt, my crazy Brisker chumros, my wearing blue shirts and movie watching - not to mention the science degree and the philosophy books on my bookshelves!


    Where to find these boys? I like Mark's suggestions... Another place to look would be the beis medrash: who comes in for night seder after a day's work? Preferably not wearing the kova-chalifa uniform...

    Also let the posot go - much of contemporary orthodox culture is based on how we look, instead of what is right. A guy who is obsessed with posot is probably not the type of open-minded that you want.

  7. I'm a lot more modern ortho than you, so maybe I don't totally understand the sector you're looking at. First of all, it seems to me that there are tons of Israeli yeshivot in the realm of YU, e.g. Merkav Harav.
    Second, I would think that lots of modern guys wouldn't be in yeshiva, they would be out earning a living.

  8. That is the problem with Israel , the boys who would theoretically go out to get a degree are stuck in yeshiva so as not to have to go to the army.

  9. All the sociological theorizing is irrelevant. Hashem is the shadchan. He can bring you your shidduch in Timbuctoo, and even in Israel.

    I was also wondering where you had been for the last few weeks. Sorry you've been having a rough time and glad you're back. It always amazes me when people think that you should suppress yourself in order to get married. As if, if you're less yourself you're more likely to meet your match. I think you should strive to be your best self and do what you enjoy. Otherwise, what are you going to do? Stop writing and live in America, and be miserable?

  10. I have someone who might work for you - do you have an email address that I can send to?

  11. You don't think every girl is in that boat?

    "You need a boy who _____________." No, really?

    But be aware that "modern" is not a guarantee of open-minded. And the guy in the hat may yet surprise you. In the end, I stopped trying to guess who the Eibishter has lined up for me. To quote my brother, he'll be worth the wait.

  12. Laura in the light...April 15, 2010 at 7:51 PM


    I haven't exactly canvassed the field, but I would imagine there are plenty of good guys fitting that category in Israel.

    By the way, I agree with one of the comments - Don't compromise on yourself.

    Can I ask... What about BTs? Guys from more secular backgrounds, university degrees and all, who are now in Yeshivas in Isreal. Are guys who are aware of the world outside, but are now fully committed to a black hat yeshiva, shulchan aruch guided lifestyle, off your radar screen? (Why?)

    I guess what you're looking for is an MC? - Modern Charedi :)

    What do you mean exactly by a more modern, charedi guy?

  13. I don't think modern is the correct word to describe the boy you're looking for. Whatever the case, I know some boys who grew up in Ramat Beit Shemesh and then came to America to date. I guess they figured they would have the same issue you're presently having. The problem is that they married American girls who were not interested in living in Israel. Why don't you come to NY for a bit. You can date YU boys who are interested in living in Israel. You'll get your "modern" boy and still be able to live in Israel.

  14. My sister (born and lived her whole life in America except for vacations) married an Israeli--one who is very frum but was having trouble getting married because he was working and had stopped wearing the white shirt/black suit combo. And according to him there are lots of guys like that in Israel. I think that potentially could be at least a partial solution for older single girls who don't expect to marry somebody still in yeshiva. Only problem would be the language barrier. I assume for you, it wouldn't be. (My brother-in-law knows English because he his mother is not a native Israeli so it worked out for them.)

  15. any objection to Lubavitchers. a lot can be frum and open minded at the same time.

  16. Have you tried frumster or other online dating sites? In my experience there are plenty of people who are willing to relocate (it's actually one of the questions they ask). You might find you have to initiate conversations more often than you're happy about, since the main way to search is by location and most people default their search to their own town, even if they're willing to move, so they might not otherwise find you. And while long-distance dating is hard, you can often make a more deep and lasting connection because you really know one another before you even meet.

  17. do u have an email?
    - Gruss kollel wife

  18. Wow this post is having interesting and unexpected results.

    For those who requested it, my email is

    To those who've been asking about various sectors of society- I really need to write a post explaining the differences.

  19. My sister (an American) married a guy from Merkaz Harav. If there are any more guys like him, it may be worth looking into - they're very normal, but still frum. Also, he now takes classes at Machon Lev in the afternoons (still at Merkaz Harav in the mornings), where the guys are frum but getting their degrees. Maybe it would be worth looking into as well?

    Honestly, I don't know you, so perhaps my suggestions have no merit. Just a thought. Personally, I like Mark's suggestion the best. :)