If you aren’t Jewish, then don’t date Jewish men, is what The Washington Post’s recent piece called “I am tired of being a Jewish man’s rebellion” insinuates.
Author Carey Purcell’s incomprehensible conclusion surrounding her failed dating experiences takes Jew-bashing tropes mainstream.
Particularly, in a time of rising anti-Semitism, when DC Councilman Trayon White said that the Jews controlled the weather and Louis Farrakhan espoused anti-Semitism at a recent speech, the widely-read Washington Post now contributes to the problem.
Purcell laments the fact that her two Jewish boyfriends left her after many years, claiming that it was because she was not Jewish.
“Over almost seven years and two serious relationships with Jewish men who at first said religion didn’t matter—and then backtracked and decided it did—I’ve optimistically begun interfaith relationships with an open mind twice, only to become the last woman these men dated before settling down with a nice Jewish girl. I can now say with certainty I am tired of being a Jewish man’s rebellion.”
Despite her sample size – of two – Purcell makes assumptions about Jewish men writ large, promoting broad stereotypes and generalizations which further prejudice against all Jews—ironic considering how many times Purcell writes that she understands a great deal about Judaism.
In fact, Purcell gives the very evidence undermining all of her credibility in the article itself: almost 44% of Jews have a non-Jewish spouse, and that number is rising, according to Pew Research. Clearly a large portion of Jewish men do not, in fact, have a problem marrying non-Jews, as Purcell would try to make you believe. As she herself outlines, the evidence shows that the problem isn’t Jewish men, but in fact Ms. Purcell. And let’s be honest: it’s not hard to see why she hasn’t found Mr. Right.
Purcell again undermines her claim:
“Not being Jewish was not the official reason either of these relationships ended. There were other problems – money, careers, and plans for the future.”
None of those problems are small, and Purcell’s conclusion to pin the ultimate failing of the relationship on religion is unsubstantiated – and at the very least underscores her inability to look at a relationship as the sum of its parts. However, she has no problem labelling all Jewish men as the sum of her small experience dating.
Moreover, Purcell seems to take issue with the fact that her boyfriends might have changed their minds about not caring about their religious differences…despite offering no good proof of this other than an angry outburst from her ex’s mother and the fact that her exes went on to marry “nice Jewish girls.”
But even if one was to somehow assume Purcell’s analysis was not entirely off-base: is she trying to say that two people in a serious and committed relationship aren’t allowed to change their views and grow over time?
Anyone who has ever been in a long-term relationship understands that two people either grow together, or grow apart.
Purcell writes that, “These [religious differences] issues weren’t there at first, but they started to appear after some time had passed and we were already in love,” as if to lead the reader to believe that her exes purposefully led her astray, despite the fact that these so-called “rebellious” phases inexplicably endured multiple years, and many serious conversations.
Even more offensive, Purcell frequently mentions how much she knows about Judaism and how much she respects it, but ends the piece by stating her resolve to create a cocktail named “A Jewish Man’s Rebellion,” complete with a bacon garnish.
Perhaps Purcell thought she was being clever and biting with the intent to include the non-kosher food on such a garnish, but again her conclusions were spiteful and misguided.
There is a silver lining to her piece, though. Ms. Purcell will finally get what she wants: she won’t have to worry about dating another Jewish man.
About the Author: Idalia Friedson lives in works in DC. In her free time, she enjoys doing Krav Maga, singing too loudly, and attending Gather DC’s Wednesday night learning group with Rabbi Aaron Potek.