Shimmy is a divorced ba’al teshuva with obviously nerdy tendencies. His five-page introspective dossier describes everything remotely important about him and his dream future spouse, qualified anything about him that might seem unbecoming, and apologized gently for his shortcomings. “Because of this, I have been advised to only look for a girl from a whole family. I think I would like her to be from a very special family.” Further along, he explained that he’s been advised not to date ba’alei Teshuva or divorced women or women from broken homes.
“Basically, he’s being a bit of a snob, and he’s justifying it by saying his rabbi told him so?” I asked. I wasn’t very impressed by that. Granted, I wouldn’t have been impressed either if he’d just been a snob without justification. But you get a smidgen more respect if you stand up for your snobbishness, instead of hiding behind someone with a wide beard.
“That’s nothing,” DIT said. She’d once gone out with a guy who had liked her so much he’d asked her out for a second date at the end of the first. Later on in the week he called, ostensibly to plan the when and where, but… “My rebbe tells me I shouldn’t continue to date you, so I don’t want to go out again after all.”
My response: “You should have said, ‘But my rabbi said to marry you! Maybe we should call a bais din so they can decide what to do.'”
The cyborg yeshiva guy is not as unusual as you’d hope. Somehow too many step beyond the “having someone to ask” position to the “keeping a manager on speed dial” state. When a guy talks about his rebbe’s vision for his life in his shidduch profile, you can just shake your head and move on. But sometimes the influence is a little more subtle. Like the woman who found herself on a date with a Chofetz Chaim boy… and his entire hanhala.
“We believe that there’s nothing more important than strengthening the community,” he said. We also had beliefs on internet, child-rearing, and current events. If every Chofetz Chaim boy is like this then dating them is especially easy. You merely verify that your hashkafos match up with the yeshiva line, and then speed date your way through the student body until you find a personality that you like. It’s actually not a bad thing.
But there does come a point when you want to tap a guy’s head to check if there’s anything inside, and demand to know, “Yes, but what do you think?”