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Pandemic forces Orthodox Jews to change their dating habits

TJI Pick
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Published: 5 February 2021

Last updated: 4 March 2024

The advertisement posted on an app that lists meet-up spots for single Orthodox Jews might, before the pandemic, have seemed bizarre

"TERRACE WITH A VIEW of Jerusalem," read the advertisement. "Bring warm clothes. We offer hot drinks! An ideal spot for marriage proposals!"

But with traditionally accepted Orthodox dating venues like cafes closed due to restrictions to stem coronavirus, young and devout people wanting to get married in Israel have had to consider alternatives, like terraces in private homes.

Jewish law prohibits a man and a woman who are not married from being alone in a room together, or from having any physical contact -- even if chaperoned.

The rituals of pre-marriage courtship are also strictly codified.

Potential spouses are generally connected through an intermediary and agree on a meeting spot that offers enough privacy for a personal conversation, but is fully in public view.

FULL STORY Covid forces Orthodox Jews to seek new dating venues (Barrons)

Orthodox Jews aren’t allowed to touch before marriage. Many still do — but there’s no safe place to talk about it (JTA)


Research suggests Covid-19 infection rate may have reached 65 per cent amongst UK strictly-Orthodox community (Jewish Chronicle)
Study says level of infection 'amongst highest in world to date' - but fell after first lockdown due to observance of rules

Putting the ‘Ha’ in Haredi, these ultra-Orthodox comedians are satirising their own community (Haaretz)
Meni Wakshtock and Efi Skakovsky aren’t afraid to tackle some sacred cows in their "Bardak" video skits. They insist they’re not meant to be taken too seriously, though

Photo: An ultra-Orthodox man and a woman chat outside in a plaza in Jerusalem (Menahem Kahana)

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