The Netflix series “Jewish Matchmaking” has more to offer than just entertainment. Aleeza Ben Shalom, an American-born Orthodox Jewish matchmaker, presents some thought-provoking dating advice throughout the show. While not every concept in the series is ideal, there are valuable lessons to be learned.
Aim for Marriage
Ben Shalom emphasizes dating with the purpose of marriage. She likens aimless dating to wandering in a store without planning to buy anything, suggesting it’s either a waste of time or potentially hurtful. Her focus is on individuals genuinely seeking a life partner, often questioning their commitment to the marriage-oriented dating process.
Know What You Want, But Stay Flexible
Ben Shalom encourages singles to list their ‘must-haves’ in a partner, covering everything from physical traits to shared religious practices. However, she advises flexibility, especially regarding physical attributes that tend to change over time. The series illustrates that those who heed this advice often enjoy greater success in finding a match.
Embrace Modern Matchmaking Tools
Initially, online dating faced skepticism, but now it’s a mainstream path to successful marriages. While Catholic culture doesn’t traditionally employ matchmakers like Ben Shalom, there’s a growing acceptance of religious matchmaking sites. These platforms and Catholic social events are increasingly seen as viable options for finding a committed partner.
Incorporate Your Community
In “Jewish Matchmaking,” involving family in the dating process often leads to deeper connections. Ben Shalom believes in marrying into a family, not just an individual. For those from complicated family backgrounds, she suggests turning to close friends or trusted religious leaders for guidance during the dating journey.
See the Whole Person
The show isn’t without its flaws, including some objectifying attitudes that clash with Catholic teachings. However, Ben Shalom’s own story of getting to know her husband aligns with Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Her experience underlines the importance of seeing each person as an object of love, not use.
In essence, “Jewish Matchmaking” offers a blend of traditional and modern insights, encouraging viewers to approach dating with a serious intent, openness, and a deep respect for the human person.