He married a non-Jew. She converted after they got married. He is a cantor. She is single, practicing, Conservative. His dad is Jewish, mom is not. She’s Orthodox and won’t get married; won’t have kids. She feels like she was always meant to be Jewish and now is. He’s here without his non-Jewish wife. He left his Jewish wife at home. We were talking. The group of us. A minyan of thinkers.
She asked the question: Why are Jewish men marrying non-Jewish women at such an alarming rate? Is it the media portrayal of Jewish women as nagging, zaftig, overbearing, disheveled, baby-craving neurotics?
He answered, attractive, successful, Jewish — his now-Jewish wife sitting next to him: I love Jewish women. I always imagined myself marrying someone who looked, acted and sounded just like my mom. But the truth is, sometimes who you fall in love is just surprising.
They looked at each other. I looked at him. I wanted to cry. But I smiled instead.