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Question of the Month
By Aron Moss
Question of the Month:
It happened again. I fell in love with a non-Jewish girl. You know I have tried to meet Jewish girls, but I just don't hit it off with them. It seems that the more determined I am to marry a Jew, the more fantastic non-Jewish girls walk into my life. I am not religious, but I want a Jewish family. But how long can I wait? Maybe G-d is trying to tell me something...?
In a funny way, I think you may be right. The more determined you are to marry Jewish, the more fantastic the non-Jewish girls become. Let me explain.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to fall for a movie star? Or a stranger on the street? Or someone who is "unavailable"? Why is this so? Because we easily love what we can't have. The impossible is always the most attractive.
Love needs an open heart. If your heart is not open then even the most attractive and suitable person hasn't got a chance. But the minute you open your heart, then you are ready to fall in love, and suddenly the options are there.
What is the secret to opening our hearts? What is it that closes us up in the first place? There are many possibilities, but the number one obstacle to love is fear. A heart weighed down by fear cannot love. There are many forms of fear - fear of marriage, fear of commitment, fear of making a decision, fear of making a mistake, fear of change, fear of responsibility, fear of losing freedom, fear of opening up. We all have such fears in varying degrees, and when they surface they paralyse our heart and prevent any love from creeping in. To fall in love means first to let go of fear, because fear and love cannot coexist.
The problem is, it is precisely when we meet someone who we could potentially become serious with that these fears appear. When we know - or we think we know - that nothing will come of it, that there is no chance of this relationship going anywhere, then our fears don't surface. But when we sense that "this could be the one", the fears come up all at once.
In an ironical twist, we are more prone to falling in love when we are "just having fun", because our guard is down. It's easy to fall for a movie star we see on a screen or a model in a magazine, because we have nothing to lose - nothing will come of it, so our defenses are down, our fears quiet and our hearts open. Or when we look at our married friends and say to ourself, "Why can't I find someone like so-and-so's wife? I would be happy with her!" That's an easy statement to make because she is unavailable; you can't marry her so you're open to see her for who she is. But if she were single you may not give her a second glance; your fears wouldn't allow it.
I think this is the key to your non-Jewish girl issue. You have made a firm decision - you want to marry a Jewish girl. You have thus placed all non-Jewish girls out of range - and by so doing, immediately made them seem doubly attractive. Precisely because you see them as taboo, you have nothing to fear from them, and therefore, if you do start a relationship, "just for fun", you will easily fall for her every time.
But all of a sudden, when you are faced with exactly what you are looking for - a nice Jewish girl - a wall of defense surrounds your heart. The minute you sense that something real could come from this relationship, that there is true potential for a lifelong commitment, you are turned off. There is nothing the poor girl can do, because it is not her, it's you. Your fears have closed you off.
Maybe I'm wrong, could it be that all Jewish girls are uninteresting - that somehow when you grow up eating matza balls then they become unattractive and boring. Other foods become attractive. But being that the one constant in all your relationships is you, you must take control of your fears, and open your heart to your true soul-mate. She's waiting for you.
Rabbi Aron Moss Jewish concepts in Sydney, Australia. Submit a question to him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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