Jewish dating ranges from dating someone who is highly devout to someone who does not emphasize their religion at all. You will find that when you are dating a Jewish woman or dating a Jewish man that there are no absolutes. This diversity makes your experience more meaningful and exciting.
Before you enter into Jewish dating, please be sure to read our list of the top Jewish dating sites.
The 10 Primary Rules of Jewish Dating
Whether you are dating a Jewish woman or dating a Jewish man, there are 10 primary rules to keep in mind. Once you know these, everything else will fall into place so that your experience is a good one. These rules include:
- Be open and honest about who you are
- Soulmates are two soul halves coming together to create one soul
- Determine your goals, such as looking for casual dates or marriage
- Avoid making judgments on your first date
- Avoid close contact and touching on your first date
- Prepare to grow in love instead of falling in love
- Do not approach marriage thinking you can change your partner
- If you refer to yourself as single, you create a sense of loneliness
- If you need help with love, look to the Divine Wisdom
- Do not despair if some dates do not work out
Some of these rules are based on religious principles while others are more general. However, when you consider them as a whole, it provides a foundation to base your dating life on. You can use these tips if you are Jewish or if you are simply wanting to try Jewish dating.
Jewish people follow Judaism. When you are dating a Jewish woman or dating a Jewish man, you should learn the basics regarding their beliefs. This helps you to determine if your values mesh well together.
It is estimated that about 14 million people are Jewish throughout the world, according to the United Religions Initiative. Jewish people are found on every continent. About one quarter reside in Israel and one half in the United States, while the remainder are throughout the world.
The Torah is their set of laws in which they believe. They believe these laws govern their daily life and must be followed. The laws in the Torah were given at Sinai by the Israelites. The 10 commandments include:
- Only worship the God
- Do not misuse God’s name, and observe Saturday, the Sabbath day
- Respect and honor your mother and father
- Do not commit adultery
- Do not create images and worship them
- Keep it Holy
- Do not murder
- Do not steal
- Do not envy the possessions of others
- Do not tell lies or falsely accuse other people
The commandments are not much different than those of other Christian religions. The primary difference is the day that Jewish people reserve as their Sabbath day.
Some Jewish people are very strict with their faith, and this group is typically referred to as Orthodox Jews. Reform Jews and Conservative Jews tend to be more lenient and use a modern interpretation of the Torah.
When you are dating a Jewish woman or dating a Jewish man, you may be invited to celebrate various Jewish holidays throughout the year. The holidays are not the same exact calendar day each year. The holidays include:
- Rosh Hashanah
- Simchat Torah
- Tu B’Shevat
- Pesach (Passover)
- Yom Kippur
- Shemini Atzeret
- Chanukah (Hanukkah)
- Lag B’Omer
- Tisha B’Av
Jewish holidays start the day before at sundown. Be prepared to begin any associated traditions and rituals at this time when you are dating a Jewish person.
Using a Shadkhan
When it comes to Jewish dating, some people will use the services of a Shadkahn. This is a type of professional marriage broker or matchmaker.
Jewish people who are not overly devout may not use this type of service. However, as you delve deeper into dating a Jewish woman or dating a Jewish man, this is a topic that might come up. Knowing the basics ensures that you are prepared.
While a Shadkhan is typically a woman, some men also fulfill this role in the Jewish community. Traditionally, the parents of a Jewish single will approach this person. However, single people may approach them on their own, especially if they are older and their parents are no longer present.
Jewish people believe that God has already determined who they will marry. However, they might use this type of service to take a proactive approach to find their soulmate.
When you get involved with Jewish dating, you should expect to meet your partner’s parents at some point. Judaism puts a lot of emphasis on the family unit. It is the cornerstone of the Jewish community.
Jewish people who are highly devout may not be happy that their loved one is dating a person who is not Jewish. When you are dating a Jewish woman or dating a Jewish man, this is something that you will have to prepare for.
Modern and liberal Jewish families may put more emphasis on your character and how you treat their loved one, however. They may not have an issue with you not being Jewish.
Ultimately, you and your partner should discuss their family before you plan a meeting. This can prevent any misconceptions that could cause issues during your first meeting.
When you get to the day of the meeting, make sure to dress modestly. This shows respect for yourself and your partner. You must also be honest and be yourself.
It is typically better to meet the family during a non-holiday time. This allows you all to focus on getting to know each other. However, after this first meeting, it is fine to celebrate Jewish holidays with your partner’s family if they invite you.
Casual Dating and Marriage
Very traditional Jewish people typically frown upon casual dating. They view sexual attraction as one of the soul’s sacred callings. It is a way to implement the Divine plan.
It may be viewed as destructive to engage in casual dating and premarital sex. They believe that it may desensitize people to true intimacy and a meaningful relationship.
When you start with Jewish dating, you want to discuss your intentions right away. You should never lead your partner on if your relationship goals are different. In fact, misleading another person is prohibited by the Torah.
From day one in your relationship, you should be honest and open. It is highly frowned upon to take advantage of someone’s generosity or waste their time.
General First Date Topics and Behaviors
Once a Jewish person celebrates their 18th birthday, the mitzvah to marry occurs. This is the time when they can start looking for an appropriate mate for marriage.
When you get started with Jewish dating, there are certain topics you want to discuss on your first date. This gives you a chance to see right away if you and your partner have the same relationship goals.
If you meet online, it is best to discuss your relationship goals before you even meet for the first time. This helps to ensure greater compatibility once you meet. However, if your first conversation is your first date, it is appropriate to talk about this subject at that time.
When you start dating a Jewish woman or dating a Jewish man, you should assess how devout they are. You also want to learn about how traditional their family is. This helps you to ascertain what may be expected of you in the future.
The other topics should be those you would discuss with anyone on a first date. Talk about your goals, interests and where you come from. This is the time to determine how compatible you might be.
Just remember the rules of Jewish dating. This is not the time to make any absolute judgments about your partner. Keep an open mind and do not allow one thing to stop you from asking for a second date if you are both otherwise compatible.
Always keeps in mind that your partner may be different from their family when it comes to how devout and traditional they are.
Jewish Men on the First Date
When you are dating a Jewish man, it will usually be him who decides the venue of your first date. If he is more traditional, he may plan for two places just in case one does not work out.
If he is less traditional, he may consult you about where you want to go on your first date. He may also make suggestions so that you play an active role in where you two will go.
Hotel restaurants or lounges are common venues for a first date. He may plan for this to be your first stop if your date will include two separate venues. Other places that are common for a first date when you are dating a Jewish man include busy parks, coffee shops and museums.
Places that allow both of you to talk freely are generally the best option. Do not be shy about asking for a little information about the venue. This ensures that you know what to wear on your first date.
When you get involved with Jewish dating, you will find that the men typically lead the conversation. This does not mean that you should feel shy about voicing your opinions. It just means that they typically initiate the topics.
The man will typically pick you up and drive both of you to the venue. However, if you met online, it is common for you both to drive separately. This is for the safety of both parties and Jewish men will respect this.
Jewish Women on the First Date
When you are dating a Jewish woman, she is expected to present herself at her best. She will usually do her makeup and hair, and dress nicely. Her attire will typically be modest no matter which venues you two plan to go to.
If you met through a matchmaker or someone you know, you will generally be expected to go to her home to pick her up. At this point, you will likely have a short meeting with her parents and any other family members who are present.
If you both met online, you may meet her at the venue. Just like with men, this is for the safety of both parties.
When you are dating a Jewish woman, you should at least let her know what type of venue you are taking her to. This is important so that she can dress appropriately for your date.
If you are dating a traditional Jewish woman, you will generally be expected to initiate the topics of conversation. However, you must also ensure that the conversation flows well and that it is a balanced exchange of ideas. Never try to dominate the conversation.
While planning the date largely falls on your shoulders, it is perfectly acceptable to get her thoughts and opinions on your plans. Remember that when it comes to Jewish dating, you are dating an individual who just happens to be Jewish. Keep this in your mind to ensure a good experience.
Marriage and Long-Term Relationships
When you are dating a Jewish woman or dating a Jewish man, if you are heading into long-term relationship territory, it is time to discuss religion more seriously. Will you be expected to convert to Judaism if the two of you get married? This is a critical question to answer.
When it comes to Jewish dating, if your partner is very traditional, you may be expected to convert to their religion. However, if they are more modern and liberal, you both may be able to keep your respective religions without it causing any issues in the relationship.
When you are both able to maintain your own religious preferences, you should discuss holidays. Many couples will celebrate the Jewish holidays and the holidays associated with their partner’s religion. As long as you talk about this in advance, it can work out well.
As you get deeper into your relationship, the subject of children should be discussed. If the two of you agree on having kids, you will need to talk about whose religion they will follow. You might choose one religion, allow your kids to choose when they are old enough or you can immerse them in both.
Some Jewish people observe all of the Kosher diet laws. When you get started with Jewish dating, you should at least know the basics to help you decide on dates on other activities that respect their dietary preferences and restrictions. These diet rules include:
- Meats and derivatives: They are allowed to eat game and cattle that “chew the cud” and have “cloven hooves.” The animal must also be slaughtered according to Torah laws.
- Poultry and fowl: They typically stick to goose, chicken, duck and turkey in this category.
- Dairy: They can only consume dairy products that have been derived from kosher animals.
- Milk and meat: The Torah generally prohibit combining milk and meat.
- Eggs: They can eat eggs as long as there is no blood in them.
- Fish: They can only eat fish that have scales and fins, such as salmon, herring and tuna. Shellfish are forbidden.
- Vegetables, cereals and fruits: They can only eat items that grow on plants, trees or bushes. Those that grow in soil are also generally allowed.
- Green plants and fruits: They must refrain from fruits that come from trees that were planted within three years. The green plants and fruits must also follow all sowing and planting laws.
When you get started with Jewish dating ask your partner about how Kosher they are. You will find that when you are dating a Jewish man or dating a Jewish woman that some of them do not abide by any of the Kosher laws. Because of the diversity regarding this topic, it is best to just ask.
When you engage in Jewish dating, you will often find that antisemitism is something that they have to deal with. While it is unfortunate, it is best to learn about the stereotypes before you start dating a Jewish woman or dating a Jewish man. This allows you to avoid offending your partner.
The following are stereotypes commonly associated with Jewish people:
- Jewish people are hostile toward Christian people. This is a common stereotype that you find in most countries throughout the world. It is untrue.
- Jewish people are frugal and greedy. This stereotype goes back to the Middle Ages. However, Jewish people view money like everyone else, and they are not strictly frugal or greedy just because they are Jewish.
- Jewish women and the La belle juive. This stereotype goes back to the nineteenth century and it portrays Jewish women as causing temptation, lust and sin. However, Jewish women are usually modest, so this stereotype is untrue.
- Jewish women nag and are overbearing. Unfortunately, when you see Jewish moms and wives portrayed on television, they are often shown to be overbearing and nagging. However, like all people, a Jewish woman’s personality is very individualized.
- Jewish women are spoiled brats. This is a stereotype that also brings in greed. Some people believe in Jewish women in the United States are spoiled, but Jewish women come from all walks of life.
- Jewish lawyers are dishonest. On television you often see the Jewish lawyer portrayed as dishonest, aggressive and greedy. This is not true as Jewish lawyers are highly diverse.
Before you start dating a Jewish woman or dating a Jewish man, it is important to learn the stereotypes and remove them from your memory. These stereotypes are generally built on racism and antisemitism.
When you start with dating Jewish people, do not ask your dates about the stereotypes, and do not make jokes about them. These stereotypes are very hurtful and cruel to Jewish people, and if you start mentioning them, you will quickly sour your date.
When you start your journey into dating Jewish people, you will likely notice some superstitions. These can be interesting, and something that can be fun to learn more about. The following are relatively common Jewish superstitions:
- Spitting three times: This is something Jewish people might do in response to something extremely good or evil. It is essentially a type of prophylactic measure to have the good keep happening or prevent the evil from occurring again.
- Ear tugging or pulling when sneezing: Some will pull one ear, while others will pull both ears. It is not completely clear where this superstition originated, or why it started, but it is common.
- Chewing on thread: This is an old wives’ tale that you still see a lot today. When repairing a seam or reattaching a button, chewing on the thread shows that the person doing the work is very much alive.
- Sneezing on the truth: It used to be believed that impending death was announced via sneezing. Because of this, some believe that sneezing during a conversation means that whatever was being discussed at that time will happen.
- Closing open books: This superstition is typically reserved for sacred books. It is believed that if the book is left open, demons and devils may take the knowledge and use it to their advantage.
- Putting salt in room corners or pockets: This superstition is associated with driving away evil beings from people and homes.
You may notice these superstitions when you are dating a Jewish woman or dating a Jewish man. It is okay to ask about them when you are with your partner. However, do not make light of these or poke fun at your partner for them.
Superstitions are generally built on decades, and sometimes centuries, of belief and tradition. They are very much a part of those who believe in them.
When you are ready to start with Jewish dating, this information can help you to understand the basics. Just remember that when you are dating a Jewish woman or dating a Jewish man that all people are individuals first. This helps to ensure that you get started on the right foot.