Ask Wendy

Jewish World Review July 19, 2001/ 28 Tamuz 5761

Bad mannered, uncouth ethnics; lookin' for love

By Wendy Belzberg -- I am of Lebanese descent and I wear an Islam charm around my neck. Recently a shop owner told me I was not welcome in his store with my charm. The man went on to say that he isn't prejudiced or racist, but " if there's no peace in Israel between us and the Arabs then I'll never respect an Arab." I was taught as a child to treat all people with respect and equality, no matter what their race, religion, or color of their skin. I ask you, do this man's views reflect the attitudes of all Jewish people?

A: After the recent suicide bombing outside a Tel Aviv nightclub that killed 21 teenagers, the father of the bomber was quoted as saying he wished he had five more sons like the one who just died - in other words five more sons willing to carry out G-d's will, which to his mind means killing Jews.

I don't believe this father is any more representative of the Arab community than the shop owner you encountered is of the Jewish population. Every group, which forms around religion, race, or gender is simply a cluster--some large some small--of individuals. Some people are good, some people are bad, some mean well and some are evil to the core. Some are open-minded and others are not. You did not meet a chosen envoy of the Jewish people. You met a man with a point of view.

I am a divorced 59-year-old Jewish woman, with a good job and many friends. I would like to meet a Jewish man and eventually marry again, but I am having trouble finding someone. Jewish singles events are dreadful - most of the men are younger, and the older ones are busy looking at the younger women. I have tried JDate, the online Jewish dating service, and have had a couple of first dates from it, but nothing beyond that. I've asked married friends to set me up, but so far they have not done so. Any suggestions?

A: Word of mouth is the best approach so allow me to help you spread the word.

Finding a date--let alone a mate--is a difficult proposition for many, not just "middle aged" men and women. I will do my part to help, but you can't rely entirely on others in a matter of such import. Long before there were on-line dating services, there were Jewish study groups, museum lectures, and university trips for singles. If you are out doing what you enjoy you stand a greater chance of meeting someone who shares your interests.

I wish I could guarantee that your efforts would result in a thoughtful, fit, non-snoring eligible result, but I'm afraid this one comes with no such promise...

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© 2001, Wendy Belzberg