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  • Family and Society

Dating and religiousity


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Adar I 10, 5774
Hi, I have been dating this amazing guy for a long time now, and I really feel and think that he is the one. The only thing that gets to me and bothers me from time to time is that he doesn’t go to minyan all the time. His father barely goes to minyan and so he therefore did not grow up going to minyan all the time. He still davens 3 times a day. Although he may be lacking in this area, he is still a great person and Jew and is strong in other categories. It is just hard for me sometimes because I grew up in a house where my father and brother went to minyan 3 times a day. I understand that davening with a minyan is important, but is it a reason to not be with someone? It’s his mitzvah not mine after all. I could really use some advice. Thanks so much!
Great question! Choosing a spouse is very difficult because nobody's perfect. You'll always have to choose which topics are primary and cardinal for you, and on which you're willing to forego as secondary. Religiosity is clearly a major topic for a spiritual and religious person, so the major question is, what's his approach to Torah and mitzvot in general? For example, if someone accidentally speaks lashon hara, it's different than someone who doesn't feel bad even after someone points out to him what he did wrong. Similarly, one who sometimes doesn't wake up for minyan is different from someone who doesn't even have it on his agenda or schedule. In general, a good relationship includes openly discussing topics which bother either of you. I think it's a good idea to bring it up, and if he's willing to actually strengthen his efforts to go to minyan, that says something very positive about him (his will-power, self-discipline and idealism- all of which are fantastic traits for a good spouse) and about his respect and feeling for you and what you deem important, as well (which is also extremely significant in choosing a spouse). With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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