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April 18, 2002
The Iranian

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* He's Jewish, I'm not

Dear Abjeez,

Four years ago I met a boy at the university who over time became one of my closest friends. Unsurprisingly though our feelings for each other developed into more than just friends, and it is fair to say that I fell completely in love with him and to this day feel the same way. about a year ago we started going out with each other, which was one of the happiest times in my life. However after a few months things changed.

I have failed to mention so far that this boy is Jewish and that I am not. This difference in background had never shown itself to be an issue between us before. But after we had been going out for a few months he decided to visit Israel for a while; when he returned things were completely different. He told me that even though he still loved me so much and that his feelings for me would never change, the fact that I wasnt Jewish would be a problem for us in the future if we were to become so serious that we wanted to get married.

I pointed out to him that you can never tell what may happen in the future and that surely the best way to live life is by living in the present and jumping the hurdles when they come to you. Needless to say my pleadings fell on deaf ears and he still stands by his position. The hardest thing for me though is that he is still one of my closest friends and we see each other all the time. It is so obvious to both of us that we still love each other but the fact that I am not Jewish will always be a problem.

I am not sure how to proceed with my life as no other guy I meet can compare to him so far and the fact that we still love each other but cant be together due to our origins is tearing my heart out.

Abjeez please give me some advice on how to get on with my life as I am truly hurt and confused,



Abjee Fotti and Abjee Pari write:

Dear BW:

You say no other guy you meet can compare with your ex-boyfriend? Do you mean that no one else you meet can be as narrow-minded and prejudiced as your ex-boyfriend has demonstrated he is? Sorry to choose such harsh words. The abjeez rarely get angry but this situation makes our blood boil. It's a good thing we have some steaming hot chayee ready before us to calm our nerves a little bit.

Now then, tell us something please: If you were black and he was white, and he told you he loved you but the differences in your skin color made it impossible for you to get "serious" or "married", what would you think of the man whom you currently hold in such high esteem? Wouldn't you call him a bigot, a fool, a person incapable of loving you for who you are? A person who cannot think for himself and lets society think for him? A man who is too much of a coward to admit to his feelings (if indeed they are real) and would instead sacrifice his love in order to conform to what the ones around him want him to conform to? If you still think he is such a priceless gem, then by all means, continue to be friends with him and pine away endlessly all the while knowing that, short of a radical conversion in faith, he will marry a nice Jewish girl before your very eyes.

If however, you can begin to see through those heavy shades with which your love has dimmed your vision, you will realize that this man is too stupid to know a good thing when it hits him. The abjeez know that similar cultural backgrounds make it easier for two people to relate to each other and fall in love, as well as getting married and having children. And "mixed" couples may face certain problems but guess what? Why is it always better to take the easier road? If two people truly love each other, the force of that commitment and the strength of that understanding and tolerance will help them go through whatever society wants to hinder them with, and will even make them stronger. That segregationist mentality of your ex-boyfriend is a step backward for all those mixed couples who have made a successful life for themselves and along the way, taught others (including their children) about the real meaning of love and tolerance.

Of course, the abjeez have felt the irrational force of love and so, regretfully, we realize that you may feel incapable of detaching yourself from this man, despite his obvious flaws. College romances, developed during a time when you are still in the process of growing intellectually and emotionally and actually have the time and energy to pursue a romance actively, can be overwhelming, the standard by which all other "loves" are measured. So if you stubbornly hold on to the belief that this is the man you want to spend the rest of your life, what other option is here left than converting? But before you do that, please please please ask yourself these questions: Is it worth it to take on something you don't believe in simply for the sake of pleasing someone who puts conditions on his "love"? Will you respect yourself for living a charade every day of your life, especially when you have children? And interestingly, you do not mention any pressure on his part to get you to convert to his religion: It just seems that he came back from his trip to Israel with a categorical goal in mind, that is to break up with you. If this man truly loved you, don't you think he would at least have sat down with you and explained a bit of his religious beliefs and try to see if the two of you could come up with a solution rather than just cut you off as some kind of unworthy or unholy person?

The abjeez, despite their harsh words, feel for you dear BW because being in love puts you at a disadvantage. Rejection can really damage your self-esteem and you may put up with anything the object of your love makes you endure as long as you can be with him. That is why, in your case, we strongly advise you to at least go away for a long vacation, if you do not feel capable of cutting off the friendship altogether (the second solution would of course be the preferred one as far as the abjeez are concerned.) Time apart may help you realize who this man truly is, and what the relationship has done to you. You may even wake up one day feeling "cured" of this dead-end relationship and wonder what you saw in that narrow-minded, infuriatingly bigoted person in the first place! And then the abjeez will be more than glad to offer you a sip of hot steaming chayee to calm your nerves.

We wish wholeheartedly for your hurt and confusion to end!


Abjee Pari and Abjee Fotti

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