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The official shidduch resume

When I first heard about shidduch resumes I was kind of shocked, I always figured that shidduchim should be made by people who knew the involved parties personally, but alas with the global shidduch crisis in full effect, shidduchim have gone corporate. You need to send a picture, cover letter and resume to each and every person involved with setting you up and each resume is very detailed. The following is a mild by corporate shidduch standards, it doesn;t get too personal and merely asks basic information that every person should konw before they even announce someone as shayich to go out with.

The Offical Shidduch Resume (I found this buried in my drafts and I forgot who sent it to me)

Name:_______________ Nick name:________________
Age:________________ Screen name:________________
DOB:_______________ Sign:__________________
Place of Birth:
City:________________ State:______________ Country:__________
Hospital:_______________ Doctor:_______________ Midwife:_______________
With heels on:_______________
Without heels on:________________
Before sister’s wedding:______________
After sister’s sheva brachos:_______________
Color Eyes:
With contact lenses:____________ Without contact lenses:_________
Religious Affiliation:
A. Jewish:
( ) FFB (Frum From Birth)
( ) BT
( ) OT
( ) Out of towner
( ) Regular orthodox
( ) Modern orthodox
B. Education: Please star * anything that was co-ed
a) Playgroup:_____________
b) Preschool:_____________
c) Elementary School:______________
d) High School:_____________
e) If you did not attend a Bais Ya’akov High School, please write a 500 word essay why. (You may attach additional paper to the back of this
f) Day Camp:_____________
g) Sleep-away Camp:_______________
h) Seminary:_______________
*Why davka this one__________________________________________________.
*Was this your first choice? Were you rejected from any seminaries and if yes, please
1) So, who really is the prettiest girl in Bais Ya’akov Monsey?_________________.
2) Are you really a hocker??
Check if you have any of these:
___ # of cellphone(s)
___ # beeper(s)
___ # of blowdrier(s)
___ Type of car(s)
___ TV
___ computer with email
___ computer with internet
___ computer with Koshernet
3) Did you ever have a crush on a boy in Miami Boy’s Choir?
No____ Yes_____ (If yes, please specify # and which ones) ____________________________________
4) What midda really defines your character? _____________________.
5) What do you do to relax?
A. Eat
B. Get you nails/hair done
C. Go shopping
D. Talk on the phone
E. Say Tehillim
F. Design your wedding gown
6) How much food do you need to be satisfied?
A. One slice of pizza, french fries or onion rings and a diet coke
B. Half a burger or hotdog
C. Salad, salad, and more salad
D. 3 Chalav Yisrael Hershey Kisses
E. Satisified? Never, I’m on a diet!
7) What are your eyebrows like?
A. I wax once a month
B. So thick I have to tweeze every-other night
C. Very sparse, I need to color them in
D. Non-existent is in, didn’t you see the latest cover of Seventeen?
8) During the Oscar’s, you are:
A. Doing chesed to counter-act the tumah
B. Watching for tips
C. Watching ER
D. The Oscar’s, what’s that?
9) Are your suits:
A. Long jacket, long skirt
B. Long jacket, short skirt
C. Short jacket, long skirt
D. Short jacket, short skirt (and how short?)
E. Suits, me? I go casual; denim skirt, Gap sweatshirt
10) How often do you buy a new Shabbos robe?
A. Once a year
B. Every time I see one I like
C. Whenever they go on sale
D. Twice in a life time (Bas-Mitzva and wedding IY”H)
11) How many outfits do you go through on Shabbos?
A. 1-3
B. 3-5
C. I don’t get dressed
12) How much time do you spend doing your hair before a date?
A. I don’t, a ponytail is good enough for me
B. 10 minutes
C. 20-40 minutes
D. 60+ minutes
13) What do you use to do your hair?
A. Brush only
B. Blowdrier
C. Straightner/Curler
D. Gel/Mouse
E. All of the above
14) What brand of make-up do you use?
A. My mother doesn’t let me wear make-up
B. Whatever is on sale at Target
C. Mary Kay
D. Clinique/Lancome/Estee Lauder/MAC
15) What would you buy with a $100 gift certificate to Macy’s?
A. New make-up
B. Third pair of Shabbos shoes
C. Lingerie
D. Macy’s chas veshalom! I only shop at Brenda’s!
E. The skirt I saw Miriam wear last week
16) What kind of table cloth does you family use?
A. Disposable
B. Pink with lace
C. Classic white
17) What does your family serve for Oneg Shabbos?
A. What Oneg Shabbos? We’re all on diets!
B. Only Pashkes and Liebers
C. For those over 16- diet coke, 15 and under- fruit punch
D. Dried fruit
E. Nosh is only for those who clear the table
18) What’s your retail value on the market? $$$__________
19) What time do you daven Shacharis Sunday morning?
A. Neitz, I’m usually up anyways
B. I set my alarm for an hour before zman kriyas shema
C. My mother wakes me 5 minutes before chatzot
D. Shacharis Sunday morning?!
20) What is your monthly phone bill usually like? ______________
21) What’s your favorite page in a yearbook?
A. Baby pictures, they’re just sooo cute!
B. Divrei Torah
C. Class pictures
D. Jokes and memories
E. Family pictures of girls with older brothers
22) When you see those chocolates on the coffee table, do you:
A. Begin drooling, but remember your bathing suit is only a size 4
B. Count calories
C. If itís PMS time, I’ll grab the whole box
D. I will not succumb to this great taiva
23) What do you do if your date opens the car door for you?
A. Look down, I’m makpid on shmiras einayim (no eye contact)
B. Run back into my house and call the shadchan
C. I say thank you, and get in
D. Blush and get in silently
24) What’s your favorite dating spot?
A. Lounge
B. Lounge
C. Lounge
D. Other??? Couldn’t come up with any!
25) If your older brother has a friend over for lunch, you:
A. Look down the whole meal
B. Blush when he asks you to pass the cholent
C. Talk about politics
D. Have an animated conversation until your father asks you to clear the table
E. Eat at your friend’s
26) What’s the most embarrassing thing that happened to you on a date?
A. My mascara shmeared
B. My hair frizzed in the rain
C. He forgot my name
D. Too many quiet moments
E. When I sat down, my skirt went above my knees
F. Met too many of our ex-dates in the lounge
27) Why do you feel you are ready for marriage?
A. My parents are forcing me
B. I want a baby
C. I just came back from sem, a true kalah maidel
D. I can whip up a whole Shabbos in 3 hours
E. All my friends are
28) What does it take for a boy to get on your list:
A. One phone call, I’m 20, an alta kakah
B. 4 phone calls from prominent rabbanim
C. Money makes things move pretty quickly
D. He has to be my mother’s cousin’s sister’s mother-in-law’s best friend’s son
E. If he attends the Mir
F. A blue eyed stud who knows how to dress
29) What do you feel is your supreme sacrifice for Torah?
A. Living on a kollel salary
B. Letting your husband learn half a day
C. Eating out only once a week
D. Driving a Camry (not a Mercedes or Rolls)
E. Doing my nails myself
30) Why do you think you should be chosen above everyone else?
A. I throw really cool parties
B. I wear a size 4
C. I have great yichus
D. I can talk on the phone while mopping the floor and holding the screaming baby
E. I have a great personality, real modest
F. My grandparents left me a huge trust fund
31) What kind of engagement ring are you looking for:
A. A plain band
B. A nice 1 carat diamond
C. A big diamond surrounded by emeralds
D. I’ll take what I can get
E. Anything from Tiffany’s or Cartier
I, _____________________ promise that everything I have answered above is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Please help me Hashem.
SIGNATURE: ____________________

{ 103 comments… add one }
  • wondering.... January 8, 2011, 4:32 PM

    Isn’t still Shabbos on the west coast?

    • Eddy January 8, 2011, 4:48 PM

      uh oh… Heshy’s shidduch value just dropped to zero.

      • elana January 8, 2011, 4:59 PM

        lol, this is not funny, Shobbos is over on the west coast at 5 48….

        • Anonymous January 8, 2011, 6:40 PM

          he schedules posts to coincide with east coast time – he said this quite a few times and I have noticed according to google reader that he usually schedules posts for 8am eastern time in the mornings – no way he’s up that early blogging.

          • JewLover January 8, 2011, 8:39 PM

            For reasons of Maris Ayin he shouldn’t be posting at a time that is Shabbos anywhere in the world. Because he would be so careless about Maris Ayin he is by default wrong and guilty of breaking Halacha. No Shidduch for you!

            • Heshy Fried January 8, 2011, 9:16 PM

              Now that I think about it, I think you folks are right, the moris ayin issue is of importance and I will not schedule posts on shabbos anymore.

  • elana January 8, 2011, 4:37 PM

    They make Chalav Yisrael Hershey Kisses?

  • Shaindie Shlindowsky January 8, 2011, 4:40 PM

    Shidduch locations are hotel lobbies and Starbucks.

    Men’s resume:



    Other Education:
    a) I am a Mechutzuv
    b) Chas V’Shalom – The Rebayim told me everything I will ever need to know.

    a) Father-in-law must provide one
    b) I’m in Kollel
    c) I require my future wife to have a job for me

    Number of pairs of Tefilin you wear daily:

    Number of Hashgachas you require on the food products you buy:

    In a car, my wife will:
    a) Sit in the back
    b) Not say one word ever
    c) All of the above

    • Mahla January 9, 2011, 11:49 AM

      +1 LOLO! ;^D

  • yudes January 8, 2011, 4:50 PM

    Hesh this is your masterpiece, really funny.

    I find a lot of girls don’t like going to lounges but their so indecisive/afraid-to-sound-pushy/my-teachers-taught-me-that-whatever-my-husband says-is-right-so-my-date-who-might-become-my-husband-is-always-right that they just say they would rather go to a lounge when offered a choice between a lounge and restaurant

  • Ripley January 8, 2011, 5:35 PM

    I know that this satire but it is a sad commentary on the frum dating world. When did everyone start drinking the kool-aid ? Who makes these stupid rules ( I mean the real ones) ? When I tease my teenage relatives about things I will do in public, the answer is “There goes my shiduch opportunities”. When did people stop asking about the individual’s midot rather than the superficial garbage? Shidduch crisis? Get your priorities right and there will be none. To you size 2’s out there. EAT SOMETHING! To you girls who flat iron the life out of their hair, get real, a little frizz won’t kill you.. To you kollel boys, please find some paying jobs so that your wife doesn’t have to cook, clean, raise children, handle the laundry, and support the family. When did you boys become a catch?

    • Michaltastik January 8, 2011, 8:58 PM


    • A. Nuran January 9, 2011, 3:05 AM


      Think about this for a moment, though. What is the effect of these rules? Jews, especially Orthodox Jews, place great value on marriage and family.

      If you break them you will not marry. You will not have children. Your posterity will die.

      What’s more, not only you, but your brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews will have their futures wiped out.

      It’s absolute control over every detail of your life from the most important to the most trivial under North Korean style threats of death to your family out two or three degrees.


  • Anonymous January 8, 2011, 7:22 PM

    I’m not sure I understand your dissatisfaction. In the frum Jewish world, women often don’t have professions. What do they have to show for themselves besides for the way that they look? The frum world encourages societal homogeneity, so everyone has similar tastes as well. The only meaningful experience a young woman in our society can hope for is a good marriage. And, like it or not, they’ll get that marriage by looking good.

    Similarly, frum boys are encouraged to go to Kollel. People who go to university are either looked down upon or lack the respect of those in Kollel. The attitude often is “he wasn’t cut out to learn all day. He’s not a learner.” They grow up in homes where the women cook, clean, raise children and do the laundry. They aren’t equipped for the real world. How can you expect them all to figure it out? What guys really want (besides for marriage) is self-respect. They want to be able to look at their profession and be proud of their accomplishments. Since the only real accomplishment in frum society is being a “learner”, that’s the only way frum guys will feel accomplished. The fact that these guys are a “catch” is inherent in Jewish philosophy, theology and culture.

    For all of the moral superiority we feel over the rest of society, they seem to have a better handle on this issue. If a guy/girl doesn’t fit in with our expectations, they lose hope of finding somebody to marry in the community, and spend the rest of their lives as psuedo-outcasts. I’ll be frank with you: people never cared about midot because nobody ever expected them to. We were never a society of saints, as much as others would have you believe otherwise from stories. The “learners” always married the “mild-mannered, obedient, multitasking” women, just as our society would have it. If it’s sad, don’t blame today’s youth, because they didn’t invent it for themselves. The only thing to blame is our system and culture, which is seriously flawed.

    Besides for that, the “Shidduch crisis” is a very real phenomenon that has to do with age differences and population growth, resulting in more women of marriageable age than men. Also, it wasn’t kool-aid, it was flavor-aid.

    • Ripley January 8, 2011, 8:16 PM

      Thank you for your insights and open mind. I pity the poor girl who believes that beauty is all she has to offer.
      What stops a man from being a learner/earner? My late father worked long hours and he had a sefer in his hands when he was not working.Why do the mothers of large families need to work outside of the house so that her husband can learn? Does the community really believe that ALL of these young men are truly gifted to learn all day? Do they feel a scintilla of guilt forcing the 70 year old father in law to continue to work so that he can help support the family?
      Let’s return to the ridiculous shiddich vetting system. The satirical shiddich resume is not so far from the truth. The superficial questions that appease the community rather than the individual are a tragic commentary on frum society.. Ever watch the young chossen and kallah walking down to the chuppah? Like deer into the headlights. As such, I agree with you ,the system and culture is seriously flawed.
      Touche on the flavor-aid.

    • Michaltastik January 8, 2011, 9:02 PM

      frum women don’t have professions? WTF are you smoking? Most of them pay the bills for kollel nebach husband who tells them what to do, even though THEY’RE the ones paying the bills!

      • Anonymous January 8, 2011, 11:15 PM

        You and I clearly define “profession” differently. To avoid debate, I’ll ask Merriam-Webster:
        a : a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation

        Insofar as I know, most frum women are not lawyers, doctors, professors, accountants, scientists, financiers, etc. Can you respectfully (i.e. without “WTF are you smoking?”) tell me which profession you have found chareidi-frum women to engage in?

        • BiggestFish January 9, 2011, 1:16 AM

          What about therapists? Social workers? Nurses? PA’s? There are plenty of women with these professions.
          I think you are a tad confused. You don’t sound like you live in Brooklyn.

        • kissmeimshomer January 9, 2011, 1:34 AM

          You have a point, that most many of the women supporting their husbands don’t have a real profession. My issue here is something else entirely. On the internet “WTF are you smoking isn’t really disrespectful. Saying “You’re a fucking stupid asshole” would be. Notice, however, that she (nor I) said that. So don’t get all up her grill defending your pride.

        • Michaltastik January 10, 2011, 2:41 AM

          Ummmm, a master’s degree doesn’t qualify?

          Speech, computer programmers, accountants and so on, as Biggest Fish said.

          • Michaltastik January 10, 2011, 2:45 AM

            Oh, and I even know a woman who’s a lawyer with her own practice supporting her kollel husband.

            Mostly, though, I know therapists and teachers. I guess a master’s degree doesn’t count as a profession.

            • A. Nuran January 10, 2011, 7:00 AM

              A Master’s degree may allow you to enter a profession. It isn’t one in itself.

              • Michaltastik January 10, 2011, 5:10 PM

                Ok, so Speech therapists aren’t professionals? Teachers aren’t professionals?

                • A. Nuran January 10, 2011, 7:21 PM

                  If it’s “women’s work” its status, relative pay and the privilege of being called a profession instead of a job decrease. That’s why many here don’t consider these fields to be professions.

                  And it’s true in general. When women enter a field in large numbers the pay and status go down. It was absolutely the case with clerical work, secretarial work, medicine, the law, bookkeeping, several academic fields and a number of others of which I’m aware.

                  So no, education and various therapeutic fields aren’t “professions” precisely because there are many women in them. That’s the ugly unhappy truth.

  • Schwing January 8, 2011, 8:37 PM

    They left out 1 very important question: “Do you spit or swallow?”

    • HeBlew January 8, 2011, 8:44 PM

      Not applicable after they marry you. Everybody knows that the best way to get a Jewish girl to stop giving head is to marry her.

    • Anonymous January 8, 2011, 8:45 PM

      They won’t do either. No hechsher.

    • Michaltastik January 10, 2011, 5:18 PM

      Schwing, weren’t you pissing everyone off on another post because you were being piggy?

      • A. Nuran January 11, 2011, 10:07 PM

        He needs to go back under his bridge.
        I hear there are billy goats around.

  • Psuedo outcast January 8, 2011, 8:42 PM

    You saying no ones gonna marry an awesome girl who’s extroverted, smart, good with kids, is relatively chilled, wants to work and wants her husband to work, is perceived as good looking… All because she needs to eat a lot to keep up with her high metabolism and is very aggressive and knows how to talk to guys and doesn’t give a darn over being “that mousey subservient thing” she was taught to be?

    Utter claptrap

    • Heshy Fried January 8, 2011, 8:55 PM

      Hey that sounds like my type of girl

      • Psuedo outcast January 10, 2011, 12:08 PM

        Lol, she’s almost out of high school, too young for you. She wants a husband who will “be alive to bail me out of jail when I’m 80 for whacking some asshole across the head with my old lady umbrella”

        • Michaltastik January 10, 2011, 5:11 PM

          hahahah, I love it. Sounds like a girl I could be friends with.

    • Anonymous January 8, 2011, 9:09 PM

      It’s likely that somebody is going to marry her, but if she wants to marry into the chareidi-frum community, she won’t get the opportunity she deserves. The bochurim who come from quality homes and were raised to be “learners” will show their mothers the resume, and that’ll be the end of that. If so, who’s left? The uneducated “can’t learn” guys who where told in Yeshiva that they couldn’t “cut it.” These guys have no self-esteem and low aspirations. They’ve got nothing to offer the girl you’re talking about. The only remaining demographic is the very small number of educated, intelligent guys whose parents encouraged them to take control of their lives, and didn’t became disillusioned by the Yeshiva system. These people are so few and far in between that you can (and many do) spend your entire life looking for them. The other opportunity is to expand your horizons into more open-minded communities, but this also comes with its associated stigma.

      • Ripley January 8, 2011, 9:52 PM

        Girls expand your horizons and RUN to the “open minded communities”. What ever stigma is associated with that choice should be worth it. This is not to say that you compromise your frumkeit to maintain your self esteem. The next time someone asks you the insane questions associated with the mommy has to approve of this process list, refuse to answer. Try something outrageous like meeting someone on your own. Everyone knows that there is a fair amount of fudging the truth on these resumes so don’t believe what is represented on those resumes. If the Lakewood boy is the Grand Prize, perhaps you should try for the 1st runner up, if that meshes with your outlook. In any event, hatzlacha to all.

  • Zub January 8, 2011, 10:29 PM

    Do frum girls shave their holy of holies? Is it even allowed? If it is, it should be required. Nothing worse than getting a short one caught in the back of your throat. Ack.

    • Heshy Fried January 8, 2011, 11:45 PM

      Happens to be that the good old shulchan aruch speaks strongly against looking or kissing the holy or hollies

      • Leeba January 10, 2011, 3:32 AM

        Then who would even know if one shaved the holy of holies? Well, except the Balanit – and she is not supposed to tell ANYONE.


        • A. Nuran January 10, 2011, 7:22 PM

          You could tell by feel.

      • A. Nuran January 10, 2011, 11:31 AM

        A serious deficiency in that legal codex.

    • talking stam January 10, 2011, 9:59 AM

      allowed, and in some communities, required.

      • Zub January 10, 2011, 11:43 AM

        required? why?

        • Michaltastik January 10, 2011, 5:13 PM


        • Anonymous January 12, 2011, 11:07 PM

          The Gemarah actually talks about this…concludes that it’s not required and the guy will deal with it.
          Also, Jewish women were naturally bare until the Churban.

  • Bone January 8, 2011, 10:38 PM

    What about these classes they go to before marrying? Other than making kugel and the laws of niddah, do they teach them anything about sex at all? I dont mean the reproductive clinical facts, I mean how to rock their man’s world? Show them a porno or something. Good idea for the guys too. I have this sad image of young couples doing it for about 3 minutes with the lights off under the covers, then they get up and wash and run to the mikvah. Do the guys even have a clue how to give the girl an orgasm or 2, or 5?
    You know, maybe if they did, there would be some really happy marriages, not just big families.

    • A. Nuran January 9, 2011, 3:11 AM

      There was a woman who was born into one of the more severe sects. She got married very young, had a kid, was divorced and walked deliberately away from the derech. According to her blog and book – I’ve lost the URLs for both – she only learned that she had a “Slot A” to go with the mysterious “Tab B” two days before her wedding with only the vaguest instructions about what they were for.

      I don’t know how representative this is. It was shocking.

      • Mahla January 9, 2011, 10:26 AM

        I think I know the blog you’re talking about, Nuran. It was Hasidic Feminist, who was Satmar, I believe. Her kallah teacher made her go into the bathroom and “look” for it because she kept insisting that she didn’t have anything of the sort down there and would surely have known about it if she did. She was 17 years old I believe.

    • ghottistyx January 9, 2011, 5:29 AM

      Some don’t. And that’s sad. Those who never watched a porno in their life and remained shomer until married, well, they get there and honestly have no idea what they are supposed to do.

      I remember once when I was in Israel, one of my Rabbis was giving us “the talk” (it all began when one perv in my shiur was insinuating that when he got into the yichud room he was gonna tear his kallah’s dress off and ravage her…). He told us that if we still have our cherries intact when we marry, we should have a talk with someone about it, be it a Rabbi, a friend already married, or even a parent.

      He then told us about some of these chnyoks and how they do. Those of you who went to MTA know Rabbi Mayer Schiller. He’s the spokesperson for the Skver community, as he’s one of the few who’s fully articulate in English (I’ve met him, interesting fellow; like he’s a choossid, but knows everything about sports, rock music, etc.). So Rabbi Schiller has reported to this Rabbi of mine that he has gotten calls 3 in the morning from people who just got married and had no idea how to fulfill the first mitzva in the torah; he’s had to sit on the phone and explain to them just what they are supposed to do now. Sad.

      • Mahla January 9, 2011, 11:41 AM

        I have a book called Defenders of the Faith: Inside Ultra-Orthodox Jewry. This was the first book I came across about Jews and got me interested in you guys, LOL! Anyway there’s a whole chapter called The Triumph of Sex where it discusses some of these very closed groups and, you guessed it, sex. Here are a couple things from it that were interesting to me:

        “Yet perhaps what shocked him most of all was the discovery that he would have to perform this act of coitus — tashmish ha-mitah, it was called — which he had no idea how to do, not after a month or even a week, when he and his bride would have had a chance to get to know each other, but rather that first night. Could this be true?
        There was a joke about this, he told me now that he could laugh about these things. Upon learning about these marital responsibilities, a young hasid like him had been appalled to learn what would happen on his marriage night.
        ‘Why so shocked?’ the counselor had asked him. ‘After all, your father did this as well.’
        ‘Yes, of course,’ replied the stunned bridegroom, ‘but ~he~ did it with my ~mother.~ But me, ~I’m~ going to have to do it with some woman that I don’t even ~know!’
        Again and again, haredi men told me how stunned they were when they were told about the marriage-night responsibilities. ‘Until they come to the moment of truth, they know nothing,’ said one Sanzer hasid. ‘Until he comes to the actual act, the boy who sits in the yeshiva knows nothing. Those who know something are prostakim [louts]. Look, when I was a bochur [boy], I also knew that we had these desires. I controlled them, buried them. But when they sat with me a few hours before my wedding and told me everything, I thought they were taking a knife to me and cutting off my legs. I was in total shock. Tomorrow night with a stranger? It couldn’t be!'”

        Then, later in the book it talks about a haredi couple who cannot conceive. It turns out they are “doing it wrong” and the man goes to a Rabbi known for more “liberal” ways of explaining EXACTLY how to do the mitzvah. Ten months or so later the couple has a healthy baby boy to show the author as a result, but the husband is still a bit disgusted by the “coarse” way the second Rabbi explained exactly what was to be done.

        • Ripley January 9, 2011, 1:20 PM

          Mahla, what do your people do when they are of marriageable age?
          Do your people condone marriage outside of your religious outlook? Do you have lists? Do you have the golden men and women? Just wondering, why the interest in Judiasm ? Could you get into trouble for this? If you are OTD, why did you have photos of yourself in religious head covering?

          • Mahla January 9, 2011, 3:14 PM

            Ripley, my father’s family is from a small Iranian village. He was educated in the West. I was born in Iran just after the Islamic Revolution. I was actually promised to be married to my cousin Davood when I was born. Then we moved to the States, so that never actually happened.

            Davood is happily married to someone else with two lovely little girls today. My Dad has assured me that he would not have forced me to marry Davood or anyone else when I was of age if I had objected.

            For my family in Iran, up until my generation, cousins marrying cousins was very much the norm and considered to be key to a more stable family. People were also very young and very innocent when they married. However my generation has broken that mold and I cannot think of a single person of my generation in our family who has gone through with a promised cousin marriage. The last promised-cousin marriage that happened in our family in Badrood went very badly in fact. Times have changed.

            My Dad traveled to the United States in the 1960s and met my Mom in Colorado. My Mom is American. However, the family back in Badrood considered her to be a very good wife. One of my aunts told my Mom that she was the best wife in the whole village, LOL.

            Young people in Iran are very likely to meet a mate at work or at the University these days. My sister is a PhD candidate in Mathematics at the University of Tehran, but for example, she cannot openly have a boyfriend or she would be kicked out of her program. They are very strict about things like that: there is certainly much more mingling of the sexes than in an Arab country (which Iran is not), and much secret dating and the like. Especially in Tehran. However, that part about my sister would just go to show you what the actual ‘official rules’ in an institution like a university are.

            Marriage outside the religious outlook: my family would consider ~marriage~ outside their religious outlook greatly preferable to what I am doing now, which is living without benefit of legal marriage with an atheist, as has been the case for 6 years now, LOL. At this point they would just like me to be legally married. We will do that in the future because I obviously cannot take my partner back to Iran to visit unless we are legally married. He will have to fake a conversion to Islam for that marriage to be recognized by the Iranian government, by the way.

            My father married my American Mom, and she was not Muslim at the time, but she was willing to at least nominally convert to Islam when she went back to Iran with him. That was in the 1960s. A Muslim man marrying a woman who is not Muslim, as long as she is a Person of the Book, is acceptable. It is specified as acceptable in Islam, in fact. A Muslim woman marrying a non-Muslim man is not legal even if he is a Person of the Book (a member of one of the other Abrahamic faiths).

            About pictures of me in religious headcovering …. Any pictures that I have that I want to send back to the family in Iran must be ‘decent’ for my cousins and uncles to look at, and more importantly, decent for the people who might open mail coming into the country from America — since my family is actually relatively liberal where things like covering are concerned. (Not that my aunts or cousins in Badrood would parade down the street without a chador, but I mean liberal in that they certainly understand that I, in America, have very different norms of dress. It is even well understood that my sister at the University in Tehran has different standards of dress than are acceptable in Badrood. Although of course she wears hijab.)

            So I have had hijabs to wear for these purposes for a long while.

            Moreover, I actually do wear hijab (headcovering) out here sometimes in the United States just as a nod to my cultural heritage — and because I think it is positive for people to see a friendly looking, halfway normal person walking down the street in hijab. Every time I fly I wear hijab just to assert my civil rights and make sure I am treated well. I have always been treated very well.

            Interest in Judaism …. I am really interested in comparative religions in general. Judaism and Christianity in particular. Some people find it strange, but these are fascinating topics and there is so much to learn. I feel if we learn about one another with open minds and hearts we will be able to get along. :^)

            Golden men and women? This part I did not undertsand Ripley; please explain and I will try to answer. :^)

            • Michaltastik January 10, 2011, 3:02 AM

              I’m still waiting on your guest post to my blog… please compare and contrast Judaism and Muslimism.

              • Mahla January 10, 2011, 6:44 AM

                Argh, I have blog stage fright to write my very own guest post! LOL, I will try to get to it though. :^) Be gentle with me, LOL. ;^D

                • A. Nuran January 10, 2011, 7:13 AM

                  What you just wrote would have been a very good guest post.

                  • Michaltastik January 10, 2011, 5:16 PM

                    That’s true, can I use that? Also, I have some idea of differences and similarities since one of my best friends is an Ahmadi muslim and we’ve asked each other if we do anything like what the other does.

                    • Mahla January 11, 2011, 8:44 AM

                      Yeah, of course you can use that! :^) It was easy to write without the pressure of considering it an actual “post” LOL! :^)

            • Ripley January 10, 2011, 7:42 AM

              Thank you for the glimpse into your religious and secular lives. I understand the desire to please or appease your family. Are you comfortable about the fake conversion ? How does a culture prohibit a young woman from having a boyfriend?
              I understand the head covering to protect the safety of your relatives. I find the practice to be depressingly hypocritical. I have friends who cover their hair with wigs or snoods when they visit Brooklyn. They live a bi-polar religious existence . Why does the extreme religious right control your choices?
              I’m flabbergasted by your choice to wear your head covering on a plane. Until we have no fear of terrorism, I’m afraid that we will not approach one another with open minds and hearts.
              The golden men and women are the potential spouses who are viewed to be a ” catch “, such as the Lakewood boy or the Bais Yakov pretty girl who has a close relative who is a highly regarded Rabbi.
              Would I be welcomed on a Muslim sight if I commented as an observant Jew? Coiuldyou give us anexample of your resume questions?

              • Mahla January 10, 2011, 8:44 AM

                I am comfortable with his fake conversion, as is he. He would not feel the same way if we were going to live in Iran and he would be expected to maintain a fake religion indefinitely, or if doing a fake conversion would require more of him than a short statement, since he finds nearly all religion distasteful. Keep in mind all this ‘conversion’ will consist of is him saying his shahada (very brief confession of Islamic faith) in front of witnesses and signing a paper. This is in marked contrast to someone who would want to convert to Judaism, and who would have to actually learn a great deal about the Jewish faith, go through an extensive vetting process, etc.

                You are not the first to tell me you are flabbergasted that someone would choose to wear hijab to the airport. Ryan feels the same way, and in fact when we flew out of LAX the day after they stopped the underwear bomber he made me remove it before we left the house, literally refusing to accompany me on a plane at that particular time if I was adamant on going through with it. Personally I think it would have been positive. I’m sure some people would have glanced at me fearfully out of the corner of their eyes. If I ever see them doing so I give a warm, friendly smile.

                One time at the airport here in Oregon I was approached by a policeman and questioned at some length. I gave him free, easy answers with a very friendly, upbeat attitude. By the end of our conversation he too was smiling and quite friendly. I am sure he remembers the experience as well as I do. :^)

                Golden men and women: absolutely. Every culture has them. In Badrood, a pious boy from a good Muslim family — probably even one’s own family! — with a decent income or land holdings / a large flock of animals would be such a boy. A girl should be from a good family, deferential to her elders, sweet, “shamefast” as the Christians would say.

                For the family in Tehran, qualifications would be a bit different: a University degree or even study abroad would be considered most attractive. Including for the girl. Of course, virginity for the female would be 100% required to make a good marriage in Badrood and even in Tehran the parents of the intended would have to believe the girl was a virgin.

                No scandal or known mental illness in the family, that will definitely ruin your shidduch chances, especially in Badrood, which is more of a closed community where everyone’s keen to know everyone’s business and the smallest difference from community norms is sure to be observed and discussed endlessly.

                In the 1960s, when my Dad came back from America with a blond-haired, blue-eyed wife, some elements of the family were angry, not because she was American and not a Muslim, but because she was not a cousin, and my Dad was considered the real catch in the family. University educated, traveled abroad, an officer in the Air Force, etc.

                Eventually her kind personality, willingness to please, dedication to becoming an Iranian and ~definitely~ the fact that she converted to Islam won the family over though, except for a couple of people.

                Would you be welcomed on a Muslim site as an observant Jew? Ripley, it very much depends on the site.

                If you were to head over to BBC Persia and comment on the news stories, or let’s say you were an observant Jewish woman who covered her hair and got interested in Muslimah fashion blogs that deal with haircoverings and started posting … yes, you would be most welcome.

                I can think of quite a few other type of sites where you would ~not~ be made so welcome, though — just as I doubt I would be the flavor of the week commenting over at Voz is Neis or the Yeshiva World Coffee Room, LOL.

                BUT, one thing to keep in mind. Islam, like Christianity, is at its heart an evangelical faith. So one thing you definitely would encounter is many well-meaning people endlessly exhorting you to convert to Islam & confused as to why you didn’t immediately see its good qualities.

                In fact, the ~more~ circumspectly polite and respectful about Islam you were in your comments, the more convinced people would become that it was only a matter of time & their encouragement before you “saw the light” and embraced “the true faith.” :^)

                • Michaltastik January 10, 2011, 5:25 PM

                  As a former Xtian, oh yeah, that’s how they are.

                • Ripley January 11, 2011, 3:35 AM

                  I appreciate your candid responses to my questions. You are the first person who has ever volunteered an insider’s view of the world of Islam to me. You appear to be a genuine and thoughtful person. In my heart of hearts I wonder if your parents shidduch would have happened in the post 9/11 times. I truly doubt that an openly orthodox Zionist would be encouraged to participate in Islamic blogs.
                  Do you think that the practice of marrying one’s relatives to be somewhat vile? Marrying a first cousin is a scary thought. It is not uncommon in the chassidic world. I guess it cuts down on the energy consumed by the insane vetting process. The yenta factor is present in both cultures. Your village and our new world shtetls have something in common.
                  Does your culture have a shidduch crisis because of the radical religious views of Iran?

                • Ripley January 11, 2011, 3:39 AM

                  I appreciate your candid responses to my questions. You are the first person who has ever volunteered an insider’s view of the world of Islam to me. You appear to be a genuine and thoughtful person. In my heart of hearts I wonder if your parents shidduch would have happened in the post 9/11 times. I truly doubt that an openly orthodox Zionist would be encouraged to participate in Islamic blogs.
                  Do you think that the practice of marrying one’s relatives to be somewhat vile? Marrying a first cousin is a scary thought. It is not uncommon in the chassidic world. I guess it cuts down on the energy consumed by the insane vetting process. The yenta factor is present in both cultures. Your village and our new world shtetls have something in common.
                  Does your culture have a shidduch crisis because of the radical religious views of Iran? What happens to open non-believers in Iran? Is converting a Jew to Islam considered to be a victory ?

                  • Mahla January 11, 2011, 8:22 AM

                    Ripley, my parents never would have had the opportunity to meet post 9/11 or even post-1979 (the year of the Iranian Revolution that swept Khomeini to power). That’s because they met at a USO dance at an American military airbase. My father was an Air Force officer in the Shah’s Air Force. At that time the Shah’s Iran and the United States were close allies; my father and his men were doing joint training exercises.

                    I find the idea of marrying one’s own cousin a little odd, but not vile, since it’s something I grew up hearing about all the time. One point about cultures in which people marry first cousins is, these cultures usually have been repeatedly traumatized through the generations by revolutions, pogroms, weak centralized government, the possibility of tribal violence by outsiders or a combination of some of the above.

                    When you marry your child off to family, you ~know~ all about the family you are marrying your child to. There is less need to worry for her safety, her future support, or mutual family support of the marriage of this young couple. There is less worry she is marrying into a family who will have suspect political or tribal affiliations when the next cycle of violence, revolution or tribalism starts up. I would imagine some of these concerns arose in the shtetl too.

                    Yes, an Iranian village like Badrood is very much like a shtetl — it was even more so when my parents frequently stayed there while visiting from Tehran throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, the women there do not wear the black chador or stylish, more Western attire of Tehrani women, but homespun and flower-printed chadors that would be considered very “bumpkin” in a big Iranian city, and the men dress “country” too. It is kind of like the divide between shtetl Jews and more assimilated Jews in old Europe. If a shtetl Jew visited a relative in the big city he might find himself implored to adopt a more modern means of dress, just as my sister might beg a cousin or aunt to leave the flowery chador in Badrood when paying a friendly visit to the dorms!

                    It’s interesting you ask whether Iran has a shidduch crisis because of the insane regime. There is a trend of University educated women either marrying very late, not marrying at all or refusing to carry through with a tradition marriage and opting instead for “segheh” which is a specifically Shia practice of “temporary marriage” which can last anywhere from a few minutes to periods of 99 years. Such contracts are thought to provide women with more freedom to get out of the marriage and more opportunity to pack the marriage contract with all sorts of specific stipulations, such as that she will be able to attend graduate school abroad or will be able to circumvent the Islamic Republic’s laws on child custody automatically being awarded to the father when the children reach a certain (relatively young) age.

                    There is an even bigger shidduch crisis because of the political regime. Understand there are slightly different things going on with the political & religious regimes right now in Iran, and the far-right political wing and far-right religious wing are engaged in a kind of low-grade power struggle even though they are necessarily in bed together. The political regime’s mishandling of national finance and policy has meant out of control inflation and common, expected goods are now out of reach for middle-class much less working-class families. As a result, the age of marriage is being delayed by young people who ~want~ to get married because to get married it is expected in the cities a young man will be able to purchase, or at least put money down on, an apartment, however modest. So that the young couple can make their own home. But this is becoming increasingly difficult. And 50% of Iran’s population, actually more than 50%, is under 25. As a result you have many angry, disaffected young people of every social class. The Green Movement that you saw spilling out on to Iranian streets calling for the regime’s overthrow last summer consisted largely of these disaffected young people. So perhaps the hardline regime unknowingly dug its own grave encouraging a high birthrate immediately after the Revolution.

                    Open non-believers? Um … nothing good can happen for them, if you’re talking about former Muslims who have apostasized, ~especially~ if they are evangelizing their non-belief or even their heretical beliefs to others. Obviously when I visit I plan to maintain an outward appearance of total conformity. Now, let me say that orthopraxy is actually very common, much more common than you would think, but it is something one would only discuss with one’s closest intimates.

                    Orthopraxy is easier to maintain in a place like Iran, just as it might be in a place like Monsey, because everyone is assumed to belong to the community of believers, and as long as you go along with the cultural requirements of dress, going through the motions, going for prayer at appropriate times and celebrating the appropriate holidays, no one has much cause to suspect you of heterodoxy or non-belief unless you start speaking to others unwisely.

                    The legal penalty for converting from Islam is death. The legal penalty for converting someone else from the faith, and thus imperiling not only their soul but their physical body, is death as well. That does not mean everyone in Iran has to be a Muslim.

                    Believe it or not, there is a thriving Jewish community, especially in Tehran and Isfahan. There are something like twenty synagogues and numerous yeshivas in Tehran (the capital city) alone. Iranian Jews are free to learn Torah, practice their faith and may even have wine which is illegal for Muslims to buy, sell or possess. On the other hand, they are officially NOT allowed to communicate or visit freely with family in Israel.

                    One of Iran’s most prominent bloggers has been locked up, condition unknown, since last year for visiting and communicating with Israelis, I believe. He was just sentenced to 30 years in prison AND he is a Canadian citizen! :^( They got him for colluding with an enemy state and spying, which is utter claptrap. Human rights activists both inside and outside the IRI are crying for his release, and I dearly hope that this happens.

                    There are also Christians openly practicing their faith in Iran, for example there is a large Armenian Christian community, to the point that the euphemism people use for Christian is “Armenian” instead of saying “Christian” many times. The Christians are perhaps even looked upon a bit more askance than Jews, as it is well understood that the Jew down the street it 100% certain not to be trying to convert your son or daughter.

                    The most persecuted people in Iran from the religious standpoint are definitely the Bahai, since the Bahai faith is considered an apostate faith bastardized from Islam, and many Muslims find it attractive, which the regime doesn’t like.

                    About conversion. Converting ANYONE to Islam is considered a HUGE victory. It is even more honorable than saving a person’s life; after all you have saved a person’s soul. It is my impression that to a Christian, converting a Jew might be a particular victory, but not so much for a Muslim — at least not a Shia Muslim, which is the type of Islam I actually know about. My family are Twelver Shia, and Sunni Islam is pretty different. (In fact, pious Sunni consider Shia to be huge heretics, and it is not unusual for Sunni militants to blow up Shia holy sites or even mosques. They consider the Sufi to be huge heretics as well.)

                    Actually, Ripley, a Muslim would not talk about someone “converting” to Islam but “reverting” to Islam, and they call converts “reverts.” This is because they believe all babies are born Muslim, so anyone — Jew, Christian, Atheist, whatever — who becomes a Muslim is simply “reverting” to his original state. :^)

                    • anon January 11, 2011, 12:25 PM

                      Iranian Jews are forced to go to school on shabbat and yom kippur.

                    • yiz January 11, 2011, 4:57 PM

                      NO OFFENCE but way tooooooooooo long…..

                    • Ripley January 12, 2011, 3:22 AM

                      Once again Mahla, I found your response to be uncensored and interesting. Thank you. I believe that you did not edit your content for this site. I feel rachmomos for anyone living in Iran or a Kiryas Joel type of community because of the enforcement of ludicrous rules so that the population remains homogeneous and controlled. What they both have in common is censorship, severe rules governing the attire of women, and the blanket of fear that hangs over their respective populations to conform. They both use the threat of punishment, death being the ultimate threat in Iran, to insure that the masses conform to their agenda. Which reminds me of an observation someone close to me once made.He observed that the far right in Judaism treated their women the way the far right of Islam treated their women, like chattle.

                  • A. Nuran January 11, 2011, 10:19 PM

                    There’s a genetic cost to marrying close kin. That’s why the Ashkenazim have to be careful about Tay-Sachs and why the Amish are darned near clones of one another (and pay a high price for it in birth defects). It’s also why a guy has to be really ugly and boorish to not get lucky in Iceland.

                    Human beings have a very strong urge towards exogamy – mating outside the close group. The benefits are clear. And it’s why groups which forbid it have to create terrible punishments and huge numbers of taboos to prevent it. Look at how many thousands of Jewish rules are designed to keep Jews from getting friendly and mating with Gentiles and why the penalties are so severe. You have to paddle hard against that sort of current.

                    In many ways the best thing that could happen to Judaism would be invasions by the Mongol Horde, the Basque, the San and the Lakota. Get some new material and heterozygocity into the yidden genome.

                    Marrying cousins once or twice won’t cause much of a blip. Doing it regularly is very, very bad for a population.

                • anon January 11, 2011, 12:19 PM

                  Mahla you know that we all love you, so it was really a nice surprise to see you write about yourself. I would like to see an anthology of all your comments. I usually look for them first anyways.

                  Way back when, in a different political/social climate, as a non-affiliated Jew in England, I “naturally” became friends with other minorities, and “one of my best friends was a Muslim”. We had to socialise for work. The indigenous English would be downing their pints, and we would sit in the corner drinking orange and pineapple juice. The start of a great friendship. Actually one of my very few platonic relationships. He wanted me to accompany him to Pakistan for his wedding, and take me along on the honeymoon. I declined for several reasons. Anyway, one day he said to me “you would make such a great Muslim, it’s such a shame that you’re not”. He was not even that observant, so it took me by surprise that he had such intentions.

                  • Mahla January 11, 2011, 2:17 PM

                    :^) Thanks much for your kind words, Anon.

    • Shrink January 9, 2011, 10:08 AM

      Bone…I am not sure if there is any point in telling you this, because you seem agenda driven and believe your opinion is fact, but research shows majority of frum people are happily married. Yes, it is a system, and it doesn’t work for all, as no system is a perfect fit. I can get you the journal citations if you want, but you need University access to read and download them. You are clearly full of hate towards the frum community and your comments are exceptionally arrogant. You sound like my 19 year old nephew who is convinced he can get off anyone he touches. Please, what insecurities are you covering with this? We can all see right thru them.

      • Bone January 9, 2011, 12:09 PM

        LOL. Actually, I am Haredi (BT), you nut. And I dont believe what you say about being happily married in the sexual arena, because they know nothing about it. They are happy like an idiot in a dry diaper is happy, becuz he doesnt know anything else. Once the women have their first mind blowing orgasm they will find out what they are missing. Or maybe thats the idea, keep them stupid so they dont know what to complain about.
        I cant even imagine the boring sex they must have. Wham, bam, thank you maam, and wash with a cup and be tamei until the next evening. Dude, I’m all about doggy style, how about you?

        • Avrumy January 11, 2011, 10:39 AM

          From Yentl’s wedding night song.
          Yentl, as the groom on “his” wedding night to the lovely sheltered frum girl, exclaims: “I find myself grateful they’ve kept women dumb”.

        • What the... January 13, 2011, 11:42 AM

          “be tamei until the next evening”

          What does that mean?

      • Bone January 9, 2011, 3:25 PM

        Actually, I am quite frum. I just happen to know a lot about the topic from my non-frum days. Many satisfied girls out there thanks to me, too.

  • Bone January 8, 2011, 10:40 PM

    Man the server here sux eggs. Get this thing fixed already.

  • yitz January 9, 2011, 11:33 AM

    hey, when the girlz check out the boys, its not any better….. they check who was in his dira and how many times he went to ben yehuda in israel…. ect

    • Heshy Fried January 9, 2011, 11:49 AM

      I guess I would be considered frummy because I hung out mostly in Maalot Dafna and Bes Yisroel because the stuff to skate and ride my bike on was best.

    • Mahla January 9, 2011, 1:02 PM

      Yitz, you should write one for the guys and post it! :^)

      • yitz January 10, 2011, 3:59 AM

        the list would be too long. i remember someone called up a LOCAL TAKEOUT food store where the boy used to frequent to ask info….. omg!!

        • Mahla January 10, 2011, 8:51 AM

          OMG that’s horrible!

  • s January 9, 2011, 12:50 PM

    Of course you don’t know about Chareidi Sex education. We don’t talk about it. If you are really that curious, find a guy who does Chosson Shmuezen, call him, and ask him what he teaches. If you are lucky, he will fax you a copy of the Steipler’s handwritten letter encouraging foreplay.

    The Steipler is good enough for most Chareidim.

    And believe me, not having any experiences with other people in your head is far more helpful and romantic than having experience.

    • Mahla January 10, 2011, 8:53 AM

      I agree with you. Besides, you can learn and get tons of experience ~with your partner~ — no need for other random people. :^)

      • A. Nuran January 11, 2011, 10:20 PM

        Only if your partner is GGG, playful and willing to experiment.

  • Bone January 10, 2011, 12:04 PM

    This is why G-d made Catholic girls, for practice. Plus they don’t tell, they don’t swell, and they’re grateful as hell.

  • Bone January 11, 2011, 9:00 AM

    Who wants to look at the holy of holies anyway? Gross. I’d rather look at a year old cadaver.

    • A. Nuran January 11, 2011, 10:21 PM

      Son, I am ashame of you. Apologize to the ladies for disrespect of their girl parts.

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