Today I was grabbing a latte at a charming little coffee shop near campus. While waiting for my drink I overheard a conversation between a young woman and a man who I assume was her rabbi, or some sort of advisor/mentor. They were discussing intermarriage within Judaism.
Now I’m sure most people wouldn’t have thought twice about it. After all it’s not part of my culture, nor is it any of my business. But with the experiences I’ve had in the past, I simply had to write something about it, for my own sake.
First of all you should know that I’ve dated a few Jewish men, two of which were rather serious relationships. And each and every time ended for the same reason. I’m not Jewish.
Now this isn’t a problem per say, except for the fact that you probably shouldn’t be dating me in the first place. I also know from attending a mostly Jewish university that many young Jewish men seek the excitement and novelty of a non-Jew before settling down. This is wrong. Call me old-fashioned but you shouldn’t get involved with someone whom you know there’s no possible future with.
And for the record gentlemen, “shiksa goddess” is not a compliment.
Which brings me to my second issue. I’ve been called “shiksa”, and “goy” countless times, more than once in a negative context. Not only is it clearly insulting but also unique in the sense that a culture would have one word for “other”. I would much rather be called, “that Irish girl, Mary” or “that Hindu guy, Bob” than “that goy, Lisa”.
I find that this is an issue which interferes with friendships as well. I was once sitting with a few girlfriends when one mentioned that a boy we knew recently started dating someone new. One of the girls then asked, “Is she Jewish?”. When she learned she was, the response was , “ok, good”. How was I supposed to feel?
The reason this angers me so much is because I find that my heart has been hardened. I entered that school and met all of those people with a completely open mind. I did not grow up in an antisemitic culture, and my church often had us pray for “the safety of our Jewish brothers and sisters” during Passover and Hanukkah.
I do not want to feel this way at all.