“Dear Ms. M&B,
I am writing to you on behalf of my older brother, ‘Yitzchak.’ Yitzchak is 35-years-old, and you probably could guess from his name that we’re Jewish. Our family has always been Conservadox (note to readers from Ms. Mix & Bitch: Conservadox is a mix between Conservative and Orthodox Judaism, and if you don’t know what those two terms mean, rent or read “The Chosen” and get back to me), but my brother became more religious about six years ago. About two years ago, a friend of his from Yeshiva (Ms. Mix & Bitch: think of Yeshiva as the ultimate God college for religious Jews) introduced him to his sister – and it was a match! Yitzchak and Rachel were so happy, and became engaged within three months.
Shortly afterwards, Rachel went to visit her cousins in Israel, and while she was there, met someone else and married another man instead! Needless to say, my brother was devastated. He felt he had lost his be’shert (Yiddish for ‘soul mate’) – even though we told him that if Rachel had been the one, she wouldn’t have run off so easily.
Anyway, through the years Yitzchak has been set up with every available frum (a term for religious Jews) in the tri-state area. He always finds something wrong with them after only one or two dates. We are at our wits end and are even considering hiring a matchmaker.
I know you’re used to dealing with a more racy crowd, but perhaps you can point us in the right direction? I found your blog through the link on ‘Magic Jewball.’
I think you are the first person to write into my blog to use their real name (I could tell from your email handle). Anyway, you’re right…I do get a more colorful clientele, but frankly, I am more than happy to take on a tamer subject. Only so much bondage and underaged dating questions a gal can handle in a month, ya know…
Before you and your folks enlist in the services of a professional matchmaker, I think you all need to talk to either his rabbi or to a therapist adept in working with Orthodox Jewish populations. While your brother is lonely and wants a wife, he is also terrified of getting hurt. He needs to thoroughly work through his grief over Rachel. I would also suggest your father makes these overtures and not you. Sorry my little latke, but as a fellow tribeswoman I know how patriarchal our faith can be and if the concerns come directly from the papa, they may be heeded more seriously that way. That said, if your dad is unhappy with the referral on behalf of your brother, then go to the Jewish Board of Family Services in Manhattan – approved by the Orthodox rabbinate.
Then the tricky part – convince your brother to go to therapy. I suggest you make this a family event, but not like an intervention. Perhaps bring this up over a casual dinner. Also, whomever he’s closest to, that’s who should talk first.
A casual family dinner at Shoshana’s house…
Then, assuming he goes to therapy consistently, see how he does on his own. If he still hasn’t found his be’shert, then you can either direct him to online matchmaking sites such as Frumster, Bitachon, Orthodate, and Beshert – or ask around his religious community and find out if they have a real-life Yenta in town.
I have the feeling that once he gets over Rachel and makes room for a real possibility, the Universe will bestow him his heart’s desire.
10. “Soul Mate,” [Michael Franks] Dragonfly Summer.
9. “Somebody Already Broke My Heart,” [Sade] Lovers Rock.
8. “The Heart of the Matter,” [India.Arie] Testimony: Vol 1 Life & Relationships
7. “Inconsolable,” [Jonatha Brookes] Live from New York.
6. “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” [Bonnie Raitt] Luck of the Draw.
5. “Sorry Baby,” [Minnie Driver] Seastories.
4. “God Only Knows,” [The Beach Boys] Pet Sounds.
3. “Always and Forever,” [Heat Wave] The Best of Heat Wave.
2. “Be My Wife,” [Davie Bowie] Low.
1. “Pretty Fly for a Rabbi,” [Weird Al Yankovic] Running with Scissors.