A vast array of Jewish dating services online are available for those who are looking for marriage. Since Jewish dating customs within the many streams of Orthodoxy can differ greatly, the dating services available can vary widely from one to another.
Modern Orthodox Jews who are looking for a date tend to be quite open to Jewish dating services online. Online sites such as Jdate,
Frumster and Saw You at Sinai are all suitable for exploring the Jewish dating network. These websites strive to connect old and young Jewish singles, using tools such as photos, email, message boards, chatting, instant messaging and more. The Jewish dating network online has exploded, and there have been tens of thousands of successful matches made in this way.
Many people also enjoy taking advantage of Shabbatons for singles. These events take place over a Shabbat, which is from Friday evening until Saturday evening. There are Shabbatons for singles taking place all over the world. These events are very popular and are a great way to meet other young Jewish singles. They are generally more successful when they are held within an established Jewish community, as opposed to a far-off retreat, with the singles eating their Shabbat meals at hosts who have volunteered to offer up a meal or two. The atmosphere at events like these can be familiar, comfortable and enjoyable for singles looking for a mate.
Those who are Ultra Orthodox and are of marriageable age generally go through shadchunim, or matchmakers. Shadchanim can be professional matchmakers or make a match only once, but their responsibility is great. A shadchan will make many inquiries about both parties regarding character, level of Torah learning, financial and health status, and level of religious observance. While, in Jewish law, a couple may not marry until they have at least met and agree to the marriage, parents within the Ultra Orthodox sector play a large role in making these matches, and these dates typically take place either in very public places such as hotel lounges or with the entire families together. These family get-togethers are called a bashow, and generally, the young man will go with his parents to visit the young woman. The more strict the community, the less time there will be between the dating period and a potential engagement. Jewish dating services online are not suitable for the Ultra Orthodox, as the Jewish dating customs in these types of communities are very well defined.
Some Jewish shiddichum databases are available online, though the more tight-knit and strict the community, the less will be available via the internet. This Jewish dating network is mostly operated via word of mouth as opposed to Jewish dating services online.
Since Orthodox Jews generally date only for the sake of marriage, these dates are taken very seriously. Judaism has a concept called bashert, which in Yiddish means predestined. The word bashert is most commonly applied to a person's intended soul-mate, so when dating, one is searching for his or her bashert. This idea stems from the Talmud, which states that "Forty days before the creation of a child, a Heavenly Voice issues forth and proclaims the daughter of So-and-So is intended for So-and-So," implying that the person one will marry is preordained even before they are born. This idea gives hope to young Jewish singles, instilling into them a strong belief that there is someone out there for them.
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