If you haven’t seen the newest commercials for J-Date, you do not know what you are missing. The commercials, aimed to attract single Jewish men and women to a dating site, depict how hard it can be to find someone who understands what the Jewish religion is about.
Now I know what you are thinking, and the answer is no. I am not considering a conversion to Judaism; nor am I going to go to the site and try to convert someone for the purposes of marriage.
But the commercials do have something both Jews and Christians can relate to: it can be hard to find someone who speaks the same language as you.
Now in the commercials everyone speaks English, but that is hardly the point. In the initial commercial, a man is on a blind date and he mentions a familiar Jewish summer camp game by which his date is completely confused by the term. The man promptly ends the date. In the next scene, he is on a date with another woman, he makes the same statement, and the woman is immediately intrigued and can instantly relate to the Jewish game, for she too is Jewish. This commercial ends with the two asking if they would like to meet the others parents.
It is not just that the first woman was unfamiliar with a game, she could have easily learned to play. It is that the woman was completely unfamiliar with the man’s lifestyle and thought process. Could they have overcome this, gotten married, and lived a perfectly happy life? Sure. But, it would not have been an easy road; and one of them would have had to make a major sacrifice in terms of religion.
Let these commercials be a warning to those who date and plan to marry those who are of a different faith. Christianity is not just a Sunday morning habit, it is a lifestyle that is lived out each and every day. Christianity infiltrates the way we speak, the way we interact with others, the way we view the world around us. To marry a non-Christian is to marry someone who is going to have a completely different thought process than you; and this will cause complications sooner rather than later.
Consider also the latest commercial for J-Date, a man and woman in the kitchen making a traditional Jewish meal. Both have their own ideas on how to prepare the food, the conversation and banter is natural and familiar because they have a common background, a common history, not just in the Biblical sense, but in the familial sense. If one of the two were not Jewish, this conversation, and possibly this meal, do not occur, because there is no common link.
Eharmony and Match both look for common interests, likes and dislikes, which on the surface is very good, and these are important factors as well in couples meeting and desiring marriage. J-Date says that you can figure out the likes and dislikes on your own, what matters most is faith, for you can learn to like new things and pick up new hobbies; what you cannot so easily find are people who speak the same language as you in terms of faith and history.
Should there be an L-Date? Or an RC-Date? Or an M-Date?
Maybe; in some senses there used to be. When families had more children and Sunday morning worship attendance for that family was a priority, it was much easier for boys and girls to go to church and meet their future spouse in the pews, or in the Sunday School room; or even at Circuit and District youth events. It is this loss of families, this loss of regular worship in all denominations, even in all faiths, that pushes people toward internet dating.
It would be interesting to see how J-Date success rates compare with Match and Eharmony and others; I would wager a guess that the success rate might be a little higher, because it begins with an assumption that the people speak the same language of faith and history that others sights do not take into account.