When I moved to a new, Midwestern city to attend graduate school, I did what many young, single people do: I joined a dating website. After a few weeks, I began to notice that the men who messaged me tended to fit a certain type: They wore glasses, liked foreign films and cooked vegetarian food.
Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Seeking a 'pure relationship'? Israeli Religious-Zionist singles looking for love and marriage. Ari Engelberg. This art icle was downloaded by: Scopus, Jerusalem , Israel Published online: To cite this article: Israeli Religious-Zionist singles looking f or love and marriage, Religion, The accuracy of t he Cont ent should not be relied upon and should be independent ly verified wit h prim ary sources of inform at ion.
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Partners expect more of relationships, and they are abandoned more easily than they were in the past. Religious fundamentalists reject both late-modern and modern attitudes towards romantic love, but the question of how moderate reli- gious individuals and groups are affected by these changes remains unexa- mined. The article addresses this issue by focusing on the case of Israeli Religious-Zionist singles. For the religious population, this is a sharp rise from the survey, the earliest survey in which participants were requested to state their religious identity.
Engelberg family-oriented society. Most of this scholarship seems to conjure an image of a Western, generalized individual who is secular. Religious Zionists consider their courtship norms and gender relations to be a middle-of-the-road option between the comparatively liberal secular Israeli society and Ultra-Orthodox arranged marriages. Much of the RZ socialization process is separate for boys and girls, so their knowledge of each other is limited; they are expected to date, but not to have relationships prior to marriage.
These courtship norms allow them to experience romantic love while remaining chaste, as mandated by Jewish religious law halacha , and encourage them to enter family life at a fairly young age marriage being the only legitimate outlet for sexual drives. Their attitudes toward dating are strongly affected by consumer culture, and they seek premarital emotional and sometimes sexual, intimacy, with their partners.
In contrast, the percentage of the singles in the other groups has remained stable. Religion The fact that older RZ singles have developed late-modern expectations regarding relationships is not surprising if we take into consideration the forces that, according to Giddens, as well as other sociologists, stand behind these changes. These include the weakening of kinship ties, the preponderance of choice in late modernity, and the proliferation of the therapeutic discourse.
RZ singles have not escaped the effects of these processes. They call upon singles to forgo not only pre-marital intimate relationships, but also romantic love, which they describe as facile. They claim that true love is based upon mutual giving and, therefore, can be realized only after marriage through the joint venture of raising a family. I begin with a description of RZ gender separation and dating norms. I then describe how RZ rabbis turn to Ultra-Orthodox matchmaking ideol- ogy for solutions, and why their suggestions remain unheeded by the singles.
Historically, in Israeli society, the ideological integration of religion and nationalism has been a unique feature of Religious Zionism. The Ultra-Orthodox rejected Zionist nationalism as a sacrilegious human attempt to rush the end of days, and secular Zionism rejected religion alongside exilic Judaism. Most of the research conducted upon RZs has focused on their theology and political activism see, for example, Aran ; Feige ; Fischer ; Schwartz .
In fact, while most but not all of the RZs identify to varying degrees with the Israeli political right wing, most do not live on settlements and are not diehard political activists and religious extremists Cohen Nevertheless, most RZs do not identify as feminists Gross Engelberg women positively, are wary of changes in synagogue rituals Mozes Unlike the Ultra-Orthodox, the RZs serve in the military, participate fully in the workforce and most of them obtain an academic degree.
They are indeed Modern-Orthodox inas- much as they attempt to partake fully in modernity while not abandoning the halacha religious law. Nevertheless, like the Ultra-Orthodox, they too are con- cerned about maintaining their beliefs and lifestyle. So, in order to ensure social reproduction they lead a partially segregated life. They maintain a separate school system and many live in separate neighborhoods or villages Lieberman Boundary maintenance is a central concern for many RZs, and clothing is an important social marker.
RZ men wear knitted skullcaps kipot srugot which have become their emblem. RZ women are expected to dress modestly; they will not wear sleeveless shirts, for example, but unlike the Ultra- Orthodox, they will wear short-sleeved shirts. Gender separation Gender separation is considered by Orthodox religious authorities Ultra-Orthodox as well as RZ to be vital for creating an ideal society that is an alternative to what, in their view, is a sexually libertine, and, therefore morally depraved, mainstream culture.
For decades the RZ elite sent their children of high-school age off to single- sex boarding schools. Religion After graduating from high school, most RZ boys attend one of the programs that combine military service and higher yeshiva studies. Most RZ girls volunteer for national service6 for a year or two; some serve in the army, and many of them also study in midrashot7 for an additional year.
During this period, for the most part, de facto gender segregation continues. This is one of the reasons that the more religiously stringent prefer single-sex religious colleges or simply remain in yeshiva. In these neighborhoods, RZ singles form social networks that function to a certain degree as an alternative community. These singles are following patterns, common in Western youth culture, of postponing marriage and migrating to large cities where they establish networks of friends Heath Due to the religiosity of RZ singles, their social networks have some unique aspects.
More liberal singles occasionally attend dance parties most do not go clubbing, but rather to parties that target RZ singles. RZ ideology is opposed to such parties, viewed as emblems of secular lib- ertarian culture. They seem to look askance at the very existence of these social networks of single men and women living on their own, far from the observing eyes of parents and of the mainstream community Engelberg In secular society, men and women associate freely prior to marriage and pre-nuptial cohabi- tation is quite common, as are short sexual liaisons.
Meetings between potential spouses are arranged by parents with the help of marriage brokers Lehmann and Siebzehner Most RZ begin seeking a spouse at the same age as the Ultra-Orthodox, but the dating norms are quite different. As with the Ultra-Orthodox, RZ dating is target-oriented. Marriage is the goal; dating as a pastime is not socially acceptable. It may last anywhere between a few weeks to a few years, but in most cases, if a couple likes each other, they will con- tinue dating for a few months, get engaged and marry as soon as the event can be organized.
Prior to marriage, the couple is required by religious law to refrain from physical contact, but this dictum is not always upheld; transgressions occur to varying degrees, especially among older singles. The continuing evolution of romantic love and intimacy In Western Europe until the 18th century, the process of courtship was controlled by parents whose chief considerations were economic and social.
The rising impor- tance of romantic love during the 18th century gradually led to greater freedom for the couple to decide for themselves whether to marry. During these years, in traditional Jewish societies in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, arranged marriages remained the norm. This was one of the issues that the Haskala Movement the Jewish enlightenment reformers took up, advocating for love marriages Katz For the earlyth century Zionist agricultural pioneers, heterosexual romance came to be related to the twin ideals of a return to nature and national revival, as was the case in other national movements as well see, for example, Mosse .
Returning to a Western cultures trajectory, attitudes towards romantic love and relationships have been profoundly transformed over the last few decades. Alongside the rising rate of divorce, extra-marital relationships are commonplace, homosexu- ality is more legitimate than it was, heterosexual relationships are more gender- egalitarian and premarital cohabitation has become the norm. Expectations regard- ing both intimacy and sex within relationships have risen Giddens The romantic love ideal type that was dominant in the s and now continues to exist presumably only in more conservative circles Gross and Simmons It was, therefore, mainly women who sought love and marriage in order to ensure their future.
Love, in this model, is based upon strong feelings but not necessarily intimacy; interpersonal communication skills are not an essen- tial component of a romantic love relationship. Once found, romantic love was presumed to last; divorce was strongly discouraged. Sexuality too, is at the center of the pure relationship: Beck and Beck-Gernsheim Bauman and Illouz both stress the effects of consumer culture upon courtship Bauman Giddens posits that as a result of the far-reaching freedom of choice that characterizes late modernity, individuals tend to create narratives of the self that explain the choices they made and, in general, to view the self as a project.
As kinship ties become weaker, the importance of the pure relationship as a source for emotional support and security rises Giddens Since RZ singles participate fully in the late-modern information economy and consume Western cultural products, we might expect them to develop attitudes 9 According to Jamieson, disclosing intimacy is often more an aspiration than a lived reality, but it never- theless has resonance in private lives Jamieson Engelberg regarding relationships that are similar to those of their secular counterparts.
On the other hand, they are constrained by religious law and guided by a competing set of beliefs. I focus my analytical attention upon these forces that seem to be pulling in opposite directions. Romantic love, intimacy and religious singles For the most part, researchers do not discuss the effects of the transformations in attitudes toward romantic love and intimate relationships in late modernity upon religious individuals.
Two notable exceptions are Bellah et al. As we shall see, RZ rabbis have also formulated a marriage ideology that is meant to counter liberal notions, but most of the RZ singles do not follow their teachings, for reasons that are discussed below. There are some indications that Muslims living in Europe may be facing strains, similar to those of my interviewees, between what are perceived as modern attitudes on the one hand and tradition and family values on the other see, for example, Buitelaar  , but this issue has yet to be elaborated upon.
There are only a handful of research projects that focus on religious singles. To date, the only other research project conducted among religious singles is that of Darrington et al. Mormon and RZ dating norms seem to have much in common: But as with the other published works on religious singles, the authors do not focus upon the issue that is at the center of the present article: Ten RZ marriage manuals and 16 taped lectures of rabbis that focus on how to help singles marry were surveyed, as were numerous discussions in forums for singles on RZ websites and rabbinical responsa on singles, marriage and family that appear on those sites.
Before beginning, it should be noted that when asked directly why they are still single, common answers given by interviewees were: While not disputing the validity of these answers, I will concentrate on macro-level explanations that were offered either explicitly or implicitly by interviewees but almost always in answer to other, less direct questions. Inner social pressure vs. I will use Tomer, a year-old bache- lor, to demonstrate these points.
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Zionism is the nationalist movement of the Jewish people that supports the re- establishment of .. The official beginning of the construction of the New Yishuv in Palestine is usually dated to the arrival of the Bilu group in , who commenced. Zionist Dating. As the disclaimers preceding. Do you want to set a world record Dating you Officially Amazing A total of world record a new speed-dating.
Zionism Hebrew: Until , the primary goals of Zionism were the re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, ingathering of the exiles , and liberation of Jews from the antisemitic discrimination and persecution that they experienced during their diaspora. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in , Zionism continues primarily to advocate on behalf of Israel and to address threats to its continued existence and security. A religious variety of Zionism supports Jews upholding their Jewish identity defined as adherence to religious Judaism, opposes the assimilation of Jews into other societies, and has advocated the return of Jews to Israel as a means for Jews to be a majority nation in their own state.
How probable is it to get ardent Zionists and pro-Palestinians to not just talk to one another, but love and respect one another? Not likely.
In this highly personal guest contribution, a British and Jewish blogger reflects on his youth membership of Zionist movements, the recent conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas, and how his relationship with faith changes as he gets older. I'm a nice Jewish boy from North West London. I was brought up in a family that was never particularly religious — we belonged to a Reform synagogue, not an Orthodox one - but where my Jewish identity was considered extremely important, and where support for Israel was an absolute given.
Meet The Eligible Israel Haters Of Online Dating
Zionism, between the real and the ideal. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World. When was Theodore Herzl born? On what date was Joseph Trumpeldor killed in battle?
Everything you thought you knew about religious Zionists is wrong
Well, someone finally asked the religious Zionists. And it turns out we were wrong the whole time. Most of them, if it comes down to it, would likely condone territorial compromise. And nearly half support some form of civil marriage while saying gay couples should be welcomed in Orthodox synagogues. The bottom line: Religious Zionists are a lot more diverse than we thought. In the past, explains survey author Tamar Hermann, Israelis equated the religious Zionist community with the 10 percent of Israelis who are modern Orthodox — the ones who wear knit kippot and knee-length skirts, who serve in the Israeli army and who work day jobs. But in reality, no less than one-fifth of Israelis call themselves religious Zionists.
Zionism is a religious and political effort that brought thousands of Jews from around the world back to their ancient homeland in the Middle East and reestablished Israel as the central location for Jewish identity.
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