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September 25, 2013 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Bereshit Part I

Since the Scharfstein Chumash seems written at about a seventh-grade level I approached it with some trepidation.   Nevertheless, there was one point that struck me as interesting.

First, Scharfstein points out that the first mitzvah in the Torah is “Be fertile and multiply.” (Gen. 1:28), which means that we should “marry and raise a family.”

By an odd coincidence, a few hours after reading this I got into a conversation with a colleague at work about dating.   I am 49 and still trying to date women young enough to have children (say, ages 37-43)* and he asked why I wasn’t willing to open myself up to women in their late 40s (which seems to me the group most interested in me).

I acknowledged I was a little ambivalent, but said I had an ideological commitment to bringing more Jews into the world- and in an aging society, I think it would be good for the United States generally to have more middle-class children.  (I didn’t use the word “mitzvah” since he’s not Jewish). But it is an issue I struggle with; how long do I keep dating longshots before I admit that I am too old to be marriageable by anyone who is still fertile?

*In theory I would be willing to date younger women, but realistically Jewish women under 37 (and in fact, the majority of Jewish women in the 37-39 range) won’t date me unless there is something really wrong with them.  In fact, even the 37-43 women seem weaker now than they did when I moved to Manhattan two years ago- either less gainfully employed or more, shall we say, plain.

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