I’m a baby boomer who has dabbled in every kind of spirituality, starting with the Mahareeshi in college, a Buddhist phase, a few Bahai meetings and I’m finally back at to the Judaism of my youth. I go to temple, but I still borrow rituals and inspiration from other belief systems. I am looking for a Jewish mate, but the men I meet are either too materialistic and put off by my strong spirituality or they reject my unique perspective, saying I’m not “Jewish” enough. Can’t there be something in the middle?
– A Jew Of All Angles, Los Angeles, CA
Yo, Jew Of All Angles: While purists define “serious” Jews as those who study Torah and eschew all else, this yenta sees nothing wrong with informing one’s beliefs with other information that enhances one’s experience of the Almighty. Judaism is centered on the principle of one loving Creator, so as long as your mantra-chanting and discussions about the karmic wheel lead you back to this simple truth, you are Jewish. Whether you are Jewish “enough” for others is their problem.
Prospective dates will always pass judgment on your looks, your politics, what kind of car you drive and whether you can drink them under the table. (Hopefully, you have standards of your own.) When you meet a man who describes himself as Jewish, ask him what that means to him; it’s a label that is different things to different people. To some, it’s supporting Israel but being otherwise irreligious; to others, keeping kosher is important. If a man is looking for an observant wife and you don’t fit his profile, mazel tov to him. If another mistakes your Tibetan singing bowl for a fine receptacle for his Rice Krispies, keep looking. Simply because two Jewish people go for coffee doesn’t mean they have much else in common, except maybe a neurotic childhood.
I also encourage you to channel your spiritual seeking towards Jewish learning; the answers are there in the Torah, Talmud and various mystical texts. Along the way you will meet others like you: untraditional but pure in spirit. You, with your wonderful, colorful individuality, just haven’t met the right Jewish man who can quote the Dalai Lama while making latkes