S atire is at its most effective when it plays with stereotypes. In a piece on relationships between Jewish men and non-Jewish women in last week's G2, however, the Guardian fashion correspondent Hadley Freeman - albeit with only playful intent - merely rehashes them. According to Freeman, Jewish men are "the most desirable properties on the market.
Freeman begins by looking back on her Sunday school days - "the only advantage as far as I was concerned was the food," she recalls.
The boys, sadly, weren't much of a draw: This apparent bitterness develops into bemusement when Freeman discovers that "the alpha Jewish internet dating site jdate.
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Could she be referring to Cif's own Mr Freedman? I then realised she was talking about Seth Cohen from The OCwho spends his time "literally fighting off Californian babes. Intermarriage in the Jewish community is a sensitive topic. According to Orthodox law, Jewishness is passed down through the mother. If a Jewish man were to marry a non-Jewish woman, their children would not be considered halachically Jewish.
In a community still enveloped by post-Holocaust trauma, "marrying out" is seen as granting Hitler a posthumous victory. Of course, all this isn't necessarily so clear to outsiders, who see the Jewish community as a confident and successful ethnic group, with little to fear. As a result, Jewish concerns about intermarriage are often dismissed as unadulterated racism.
Who people marry or don't marry is their business and nobody else's. But whether we like it or not, our life choices affect those close to us.
That doesn't mean we should make decisions on the basis of what our parents want. But those in the public sphere have the responsibility to discuss sensitive issues, such as intermarriage, appropriately.
Appealing to old prejudices, as Freeman's article does, is of no help to anybody, however humorous the intended effect. Oh, and did I mention funny?
It would be interesting to hear what her actual experiences of Jewish men have been. Is this a justification for sticking to non-Jewish men? Does she actually think she has to justify this in the first place? Or is it anger at the stereotype of Jewish women - "spoilt, nagging and well endowed in the nasal
Dating a non religious jew Finally, Freeman begins to tap into the core of the issue: This issue is examined sensitively in Shiksa: Dating a non religious jew the Bible to Philip Roth, Benvenuto discusses how the Jewish world has been simultaneously attracted and repulsed by the non-Jewish woman.
In the book, Benvenuto shows how non-Jewish women have often been central to flourishing Jewish communities, despite their often-hated status, embodied in the word "shiksa". It's important to note that "shiksa" is possibly the most disgusting racial epithet ever coined, intimating at abomination, detestation, loathed and blemished.
All at the same time.
It's worth noting its casual usage in a Guardian piece, however satirical the intention. Would frequent use of the word "nigger" have been acceptable? Intermarriage remains a contested issue, and not just to Jews.
Why the news that the...
Perhaps it would be nice if it wasn't like that, but facts do not disappear just because we wish them out of existence. Those who enter this explosive territory, in whatever context, should do whatever they can to avoid lazy stereotypes that do nothing to promote harmony. As I've said, rightly or wrongly, this is an issue that is prone to tear a community apart. As fun as it is to chortle at the
Dating a non religious jew Jew cavorting with some Claudia Schiffer look-alike, it's time that a bit more sophistication and sensitivity entered our discourse. BBC News Navigation
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Loading comments… Trouble loading? 'But, child, remember the racial and religious differences between you. He doesn't look Jewish and his ways are not Jewish, In fact, you wouldn't think he was.
In a piece on relationships between Jewish men and non-Jewish women in when Freeman discovers that "the alpha Jewish internet dating site According to Orthodox law, Jewishness is passed down through the mother.
Now he has a non-Jewish girlfriend and they are getting serious. The video shows these couples – none of them religious – describing how the major obstacle.
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