A Muslim, a Hindu, a Christian and an Orthodox Jew Walk into a Bar

A Muslim, a Hindu, a Christian and an Orthodox Jew Walk into a Bar
Well, it wasn’t a bar. But yesterday my daughter Hadas and I found ourselves sitting around a table enjoying the company of 2 headscarved Egyptian Muslims, an Indian Hindu Brahman, and a Filipino Christian man working as a nurse in Saudi Arabia. We had all signed up for the same group tour of Georgia’s wine region. And while I don’t think any matchmaker of right mind would have put us together, by the end of our 12-hour tour we were exchanging WhatAapp numbers, taking group selfies, and promising guided tours if our new friends ever came to visit.
At one point, around that table, the topic of conversation turned to dating and marriage. Everybody sitting around the table, besides me, was single and in his or her 20s or 30s. When this charged topic came up, any cultural divide between all these young people navigating the no man’s land between tradition (whether Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Christian) and modernity disappeared. The singles reached a consensus on several matters:
No matchmakers! (the Hindu and Muslims, who seemed to have met quite a few, were especially adamant on this point).
No blind dates! (better to meet somebody naturally through friends or at work. That way you get to know who they really are. How can you really get to know somebody when they are on their best blind-date behavior?)
Parents, stop worrying! There are other important things in life besides marriage! I’m a big girl/boy now and I can handle this! (Hadas: “YOU HEAR THAT, Eema?!”)
The lingering glow of this magical gathering feels like a blessing as I prepare for Succot, the most universal of Jewish holidays when we brought 70 sacrifices, one for each of the nations of the world.
A taste of things to come, IY”H, when, in the words of Isaiah: “These [foreigners] I will bring to My holy mountain and give them joy in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” Amen and Chag Sameach!


  1. Chana Jenny, I am confused now. First of all, please tell me this is not a picture of the group, boys and girls with their arms around each other? Second of all, no matchmakers? I’m not sure how to read this. I probably am not understanding it.

    • hi rishe, this is a photo from the internet, not of the actual people we met. And yes, the singles had had negative experiences with matchmakers. Preferred to meet potential spouses on their own.

  2. Before looking for a spouse, we need to learn who we are as a human being.

    What can we bring to the table what can we give to our spouse.
    What we can live without and what we absolutely must have in a marriage partner.

    Understanding oneself on a deeper level helps you know how to best with Hashem’s help, chose a compatible partner to build a happy Jewish home.

    How to Choose Your Spouse for Marriage

  3. Chana Jenny, I admire your humility, but if a group of confused goyish singles told me their opinions on dating and life, my reaction would be to do the exact opposite!

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