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Fishbowl: Breaking Up Over G-d

Fishbowl: Breaking Up Over G-d

Only in Jerusalem can you break up with someone over G-d.

On the second date.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

The way it all went down was one morning I came into work and was filling my boss’s ears with complaints. Me, me, me. Complaint, complaint, complaint.

My boss responded by opening a certain gentleman’s profile on Facebook.

"For me?" I asked.

My boss nodded.

"Me likey!" I said.

He had a nice, warm face and a sweet smile. Even better, he was coming to Israel to visit friends, who happened to be good friends with my boss. Which doesn’t include the other friend who happened to also be friends with him.

The only downside was he lived in the States.

Still, it seemed like a good idea. I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. So did my boss, her friends who would be hosting this gentleman caller, and the other friend, all married, I should add. What I’m trying to say is there was a whole lotta folks right up in my bidness, a Jerusalem specialty it seems, but something that, as a Midwesterner used to lots of personal space, gave me heart palpitations. I had never been inside a fishbowl before and discovered it was not for me.

Like when one of the aforementioned spectators and participants in this show that is my life almost had a conniption because he was worried about the distance problem. Before we had even met. "Will she move to America?" he asked my boss, seriously worried about the future of a relationship between two people who had not yet even had a conversation.

When we finally did meet we liked each other. Enough for me to forgo Shabbat plans at the beach in Netanya to stay in Jerusalem to see how things would pan out.

The only problem was the second date.

Because this was when my date confessed that he feels "Hashem" has his hands in every aspect of his life, helping him find everything from his fabulous job to one day finding a future partner.

I balked since this is, ahem! not my worldview.

I didn’t want to get into an argument so I merely pointed out that to me one cannot separate between believing G-d is involved in all aspects of the good things in one’s life without also giving him credit for the bad things, as well. Like, for example, terrible, horrible stuff.

I mean, can you say that G-d really wants a child to die?

"Well, it is hard to understand why bad things happen to good people," responded my date. He suggested that the "sins of the father" could possibly be the cause of an unexplainable tragedy. He felt that perhaps one way to offset this is by a lot of praying.

That was it for me. As far as I was concerned, the date was over.

Was I being too harsh? Is this why I am single? I asked myself this question after I bid him adieu and saw his sad face. He was a sweet guy. And we had all these friends in common.

But he really was not for me.

"He needs someone who is on the same spiritual journey as he is," was how one friend put it.

It should be noted that one of the original friends from the peanut gallery too involved in this courtship already had another friend earmarked for me.

"What about so-and-so?" he asked my boss, throwing out the name of the only other single guy they knew.

After all, this one lives in Jerusalem and as everyone knows, location is everything.

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