Religious Zionism and Dating
Over on the new Orthodox Jewish Singles blog, the debate has been raging about whether religious zionism is a detrmiment to the dating scene. Passionate Life believes that the proliferation of women desiring to make aliyah cuts his dating pool dramatically and is a big reason that so many singles are unable to find their bashert. My take on the topic is that I don't think people should keep themselves from making aliyah in order to find a shidduch (though I do believe that it is listed as a legitimate reason for not making aliyah by many rabbis). I think if a person feels that connected to Israel and is unhappy not being there, then they should go after that dream, instead of waiting possibly years and years being unhappy, trying to chase something that they don't have as much control over. I don't believe in being miserable for the sake of getting married, nor do I believe in waiting until you find the right person to attempt to achieve your aspirations and dreams. I waited for quite a while before going back to school, because I knew that if I met someone, my degree might be interrupted by a move. But after waiting a while I realized that I couldn't wait forever. I couldn't put my life and dreams on hold simply because my bashert hadn't yet shown up. And going back to school was one of the best things that I ever did. I'm still not married, but I don't think that returning to school had anything to do with that, and now I am single with a degree under my belt, rather than single and still waiting to complete school. Unless I am less marriageable because I am happier, more educated and focused on what I want to do with my life, and taking steps to actualize those dreams, I don't believe that my decision to not wait has made an impact on my dating life. I think making aliyah is more complicated than going back to school, but there are a lot of similarties to be made in analogy. At this point, I think there are enough people in Israel, who want to be there permanently, and share that dream, that it shouldn't force a person to stay in America indefinitely, miserable, wishing they were in Israel, while they are trying to find their spouse. Maybe I am wrong, and dating is easier here (though my experiences and those of many of my friends would necessitate dating in Israel being incredibly horrific in order to be worse than in the United States). If one's dream is to be in Israel, and happiness is going to be affected if one doesn't live there permanenetly, I don't see the point of a person staying where they are in order to find a spouse. I think the benefits of making aliyah on one's own, if that makes them a happier, more spiritually fulfilled person, greatly outweighs the advantages of dating in New York. I believe that people should follow their dreams, and if Israel is their dream, then go for it!