On my boyfriend’s culture…

Dating a Jew never gets old.  There are so many culture and religious beliefs, myths, expectations and traditions that I can never get bored.

Last year this time Jon and I were still very new and shiny, so I didn’t really get too involved in what I now know as Yom Kippur.  I remember him saying “oh it’s like the Sabbath of Sabbath’s, really, and a whole bunch of family time and shul attendance” and I was all “ah, fine, um, see you around when it’s over then”.  This year, I’m quite a bit more involved – I mean, things are sort of more serious now, you know?  He’s gone from “the dude I’m dating” to “the guy I share my life with”, so it’s only right that I give some of his religious traditions very serious attention and a tiny bit of questioning:

On getting married and being a Jewish Wife: But why would any of these chicks wear a wig? Seriously, it’s because “uncovered natural hair is considered as seductive”?  What.the.fuck.  Not my hair, without my GHD I look like a gollywog.

On the Day of Atonement (aka: Yom Kippur [sidenote: the day where Jew’s are not allowed to physically exert themselves in any way, this includes picking up a TV remote and flicking channels or switching lights on or off.  I know, they’re weird]):

Me: What do you mean you’re not allowed to “do anything”?  WHAT?  You unscrew the fridge’s light bulb?! You tape down light switches too?  YOU TURN YOUR PHONE OFF??!! Holy Jesus Moses cow.  So if I broke down on Leslie road, you wouldn’t be able to come help me?

Jon: No.

Me: What if I broke down with an engine failure instead of a flat tire?

Jon: No, couldn’t help you.

Me: What if I broke down with an engine failure, in Soweto, at night, on a Saturday, outside a soccer stadium with lots of drunk football hooligans?

Jon: Um.

Me: What if I slipped in the shower and was bleeding from the hip?

Jon: Errrr.

Me: What if I slipped in the shower, holding your baby, bleeding from my head and hip and the baby was starving?

Jon: You’re so weird.

[We eventually settled on: if my life is in danger, he would help me.  What a Jew!]

On porking through a hole in the sheets: He hadn’t even heard of this until he met me.  Most disappointing. EDIT: Apparently he now claims to have heard of it before me, but says that it is a fallacy. Pffft. Whatevs!

On Jewish Kaparot*: Omfg.

So yes, never a dull moment.  However, let it be known, as much as I don’t understand (despite trying to) some of his religion’s beliefs, I very much love that JewBoy.  From the heart of my bottom.

To all of my other Jews (friends and readers alike) Shana Tova to one and all, Happy Jew Year, God praise the Queen, long live the King and Hail Mary too (Just in case you’re not Jewish but want to be well-wished too, I cater for everyone’s needs on this blog).

*For the record, Jon vehemently denies having anything to do with this, and says that he’s never experienced this in person, and that apparently he doesn’t even know if it’s practiced in SA.  But it’s a valid Jewish Tradition.  I’m just saying.

PS: I sent this post to Jon to ensure he approved (I do that, you know, sometimes.  If I’m writing about him he’ll always know the context before it goes live.  I call this procedure “Being an Awesome Girlfriend: Check!”) what I’d written and he chose the opportunity to give me a grammar class.  If it had it its own way, it would have me using terms like “i.e.” and “as such” etc.  Never again!


  1. Tara says:

    Dude. Go and find yourself a book called “A Year of Living Biblically”. Just…wow. You’ll enjoy it!

    Great post by the way….sorry for being such a lurker!

  2. Robi says:

    As the innocent virgin girl, please explain to me what the heck this is all about. “On porking through a hole in the sheets”. I’m guessing it has something to do with sex… :/

  3. betenoir says:

    dude. the day when you’re not supposed to do anything, not even tear toilet paper or read a book on the couch? it’s called Saturday.

    Yom Kippur is like Shabbat but with no food, leather, sex, or bathing. it’s ubersucky. My concession to yom kippur will be to not eat bacon. prrrrrobably.

    that Kaporot thing… I have to say i’ve never heard of it, and I did Jewish Studies for 4 years in high school. mind you, I did make an afikomen joke about rosh hashana (ask Jon) so not that much sank in.

  4. betenoir says:

    Robi: in certain extremely conservative sects of Judaism, men and women aren’t supposed to have naked bits visible or touching. so… sex is conducted through a hole in the sheet… to preserve modesty.

    to be fair, we also have a law that a woman can get a religious divorce if she’s not sexually satisfied…

  5. T says:

    I’m sorry but I nearly pissed myself laughing when reading the Kaparot thing – the dude in the picture looks like someone I know. Hilarious.

  6. BlindCripple says:

    Awesome post. But you left out the pain and suffering we’re going to endure on Saturday without any food or drink. Atoning for sins and all that.

    Awesome post, though 🙂

  7. Andrew says:

    funnily enough I was rhinking on writing a comment on my face book about dating a non jewish girl.. we must get together and compare notes

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