I am a good Jewish girl, but I lost my religious compass during a divorce. I knew I needed to rekindle my relationship with GD before I could spark something new with a man. After three months of secular dating, I need a break or a Jew. I’m ready to take either.
One by one, I go into my dating apps and pause them. When I was about to pause Facebook Dating, I got a match. I was skeptical. Should I look? I did, and there he was, handsome, Jewish, divorced; he seems to have ticked the boxes.
I took a bite. We have a mutual friend, so the big question is: How did you know her? “I met her when she took her last job. I am also a rabbi,” he said. A rabbi! GD messed with me.
From the very beginning, I knew things would be complicated. I had to lure him to meet him in person. I drove to Pasadena to make it easier, and he called me a few minutes before our meeting to say he was too tired to drive 40 minutes to see me. I shared my location with him an hour before. I’m 15 minutes from his house. While he canceled me, I explained that I was in Pasadena, and he quickly changed his mind.
He showed up at Urth Caffé 20 minutes later. Aside from him starting our conversation with “I don’t want a divorce,” the biggest red flag is hearing him say, “I find you in a lot of trouble. On the one hand, you tick a lot of boxes; on the other hand, I just finished something recently and I’m not sure I’m ready”.
I gambled. That night, I worked with him in all the dark corners of Pasadena. We sat on a city bench and I let him indulge in me. He was adamant about me saying the word f—. He grabbed my hair tightly and almost asked me to speak up. I did not. It feels strange. I only use this word when having sex and usually in context. However, I liked the twist, so I played along. He asked if I drank a little too much with him. I said yes, but the answer is no. This rabbi has a bit of a dark side. However, I was sold when he said he would tie me up and have his way with me.
I left Pasadena feeling excited, exhilarated with new connections and imagination. If only there were less red flags.
Our second date was at Riverside Food Lab. He bought me an Impossible Burger at Monty’s, and we shared an order of fries. We tried to take a short walk, but it was too cold outside so we gave up immediately. I suggested we hang out at my apartment. We sit on my couch, and he hugs me as our feet gently caress each other. I felt a sense of peace in my heart when I saw him close his eyes and enjoy the moment.
I never intended to bring him home. I tried not to rush into sex, but the weather had other plans. It wasn’t long before we were entangled in lust, and he carried my naked body into the bedroom. I can’t believe I had sex with a rabbi.
On our next date, he hugged me as we played marbles at the Neon Retro Arcade in Pasadena. Again, he closed his eyes and enjoyed the moment; it feels sweet. We had dinner, but he forgot I was vegetarian. Then he asked me if I ever thought about eating meat, at least occasionally. I didn’t order a drink, and he forced me to order one so he wouldn’t drink it alone. The red flags were piled up.
After dinner, we went to his house, and I forgot about the red flags. I love his house. It’s very Jewish, from the little “Shalom” embroidery on the door to the wall art. It feels nice. We had a great evening, and he was a generous lover. He got a little drunk, and after we finished, he stepped outside to smoke weed. Drunk and tall. Am I having such a problem?
The fourth date did not take place. He told me he was in a bad place and needed to be left alone. I accepted it and started my own labor. I rekindled my relationship with GD, and after three months, I decided to try dating again. I opened my apps one by one. Each app shows his profile. Did GD tell me to try again? I’m not sure.
Despite my better judgment, I reached out. I accidentally scheduled a booty call. Maybe that’s my naive, positive outlook, but I really want it to be more than that. And it’s not.
I met him on a Friday night in Pasadena. I almost ran into a peacock on the way there. He made me dinner. We had a frenetic evening that lasted until the early hours of the morning. I fell asleep in his arms, and in the end, we parted.
Before I left, I looked out the window of his bedroom and noticed the bright yellow flowers in his yard. “Your sunflowers are still alive,” I said. I met him in April just when they were starting to bloom. He looked at me and said the squirrels ruined his seed harvest. He was angry with the squirrels. I can feel it. It took all my willpower not to say, “You might hate the squirrels for eating your seeds, but I bet they love you for growing those flowers.”
In the end, we had very different views of the world.
He didn’t say a word after I left. No messages, calls or any hint of wanting to reconnect. In the end, the best thing is that it’s over. He has more healing work to do. It was a brief affair, a breeze that brought some much needed upheaval in my life. Despite our unfortunate ending, I am grateful to have met him.
The author is a divorce and romance blogger living in Riverside. You can find her at jackelins4amflex.com.
LA Affairs chronicles the search for romantic love in all its splendor in the LA area, and we’d love to hear your true story. We pay $300 for a published essay. Send an email to LAaffairs@latimes.com. You can find submission instructions here. You can find past columns here.
https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2022-07-29/la-affairs-sex-rabbi-pay-attention-red-flags-jackelin-shoji-los-angeles I had sex with a rabbi. There were big red flags.