Among religious Jews, there is no time to waste. It’s hurry up and get married, and surely there are exceptions, even divorces, but mostly, it works!
In that world, there is no “dating scene” where boys meet girls just to “hang out” and see what happens, and if nothing happens, there is always another bar, another night.
It’s nothing like that among the truly pious, and I know that close up from a particular side of my family where they are all devout, Lubavitch-style, all married, successfully so. For some reason, though modesty is the rule among the girls and women, they are all attractive, from what the Rebbe would call that “inner light.”
Torah study does that to people.
I have no knowledge of matchmakers, or of marriages that are “arranged,” and it is none of my business. I don’t ask.
Perhaps, though, there is something to be said for time-tested practices, that some would scoff as old-fashioned.
We don’t do it like that in the “real world.” Of course not. Yet in the real world the divorce rate is above 50 percent and climbing.
That is not the worst of it, either, and I do not have to mention the “sexual terror” against women as Maureen Callahan has it in the New York Post, as if it is something new under the sun. Everybody knows. Now we do, from the moment Harvey Weinstein got caught. This changed everything, and the Me-Too Movement was born.
Forget Weinstein. The (alleged) predator making torrid headlines these days is Matt Lauer, formerly the lead morning anchor at NBC-TV, and his escapades do seem to be positively monstrous, and the news keeps getting worse, the more we learn about him…and about other men who used their power to dominate women in all the wrong ways.
In calmer days, we called such men “skirt chasers,” which once upon a time was the end of the story, if that’s all they did.
Try “stealing a kiss” these days. You’re done. Let’s not get into the excesses of the Me-Too Movement.
I’d rather focus on the men who brought this upon all of us.
Not all men are like that, like Matt Lauer. First, we don’t have the power. Next, we do not have those inclinations. Most men are decent. We protect our women.
That’s why we storm the beaches.
But this I have noticed, that the men who prey on women are generally…well, they are not exactly Ryan Gosling or George Clooney.
The losers, snubbed in high school, unlucky in college, decide that there is another way to get the girl, and that is through force. Well, yes. It’s what’s been happening, appallingly. Brute force, they use, because it’s what they have, instead of charm, which they lack. In Matt Lauer’s case – you call in your choice of the day, press a button, the door clicks shut, and you have your wicked way.
There was a time when it was all about getting a date, and getting a good night kiss was a homerun.
You took a long shower, shined your shoes, combed your hair, your mother pressed your pants, your father let you have the car, and you were ready.
You presented yourself at the door with flowers for the girl, and a handshake for the father, who eyed you with hostile suspicion.
He really had nothing to worry about, and given your upbringing, there was no chance you’d grow up to become a menace.
I guess I’m thinking of Cincinnati, where I spent some teenage years, there, in America’s heartland, and in a novel tracked those days nostalgically.
Or maybe I am also thinking, lovingly, of those members of my family, who refuse to get with the times, which, all things considered, appears to be a blessing.
New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.
He wrote the worldwide book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal.” His Holocaust to Montreal memoir “Escape from Mount Moriah” has been honored from page to screen at CANNES. His Inside Journalism thriller, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” is being prepared for the movies. Contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website: www.jackengelhard.com