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Gentle, pious and scholarly, this new model was the original Yeshiva bocher—a stark contrast to the traditional Roman warrior of the time.
In Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, Alexander Portnoy rails against his overbearing Jewish mother by becoming a deviant obsessed with shiksas and sex. ” Norman Mailer, too, struggled to throw off the curse of the Jewish weakling.
“Enough being a nice Jewish boy, publicly pleasing my parents while privately pulling my putz! Mailer “spent his entire life trying to extirpate what he himself called the ‘nice Jewish boy’ from his soul…to overcome that lifelong terror of being a sissy,” according to Norman Podhoretz, former editor-in-chief of Commentary Magazine.
“At the core of it, you just have to be respectful,” he says.
Not all agree that respect is really the nice Jewish boy’s core virtue.
Go to JDate.com, and you’re guaranteed to find one: “I’m just a nice Jewish boy who loves his mother’s cooking.” “Message me if you are looking for a nice Jewish boy who values family, respect and loyalty.” The story begins in the Bible, where the best men are portrayed as more brain than brawn (see: the bookish Jacob, who outsmarts his burly brother Esau).
In the Book of Proverbs, a man is instructed to treat his wife with respect: But it wasn’t until the Babylonian Talmud that Jews came up with a blueprint for the ideal man, says Daniel Boyarin, historian of religion at the University of California, Berkeley and author of Unheroic Conduct.
One is Adam Cohen, creator of the Nice Jewish Guys calendar, which is graced not with buff athletes but with sweet, mama-loving boys like himself.
“I wanted to carry the torch for all nice Jewish guys,” says Cohen, who adds that for him the NJB means something beyond being bookish, nebbishy or even Jewish.
For parents, it became imperative to find their children partners who would a) produce more Jews, and b) afford them a “pleasant, secure, respectable, class-appropriate domesticity,” says Daniel Boyarin’s brother Jonathan, a professor of modern Jewish culture at Cornell University.
“To me this phrase’s natural home is in a parent’s mouth, saying to a daughter, ‘Why don’t you find a nice Jewish boy?
Perhaps Roth and Mailer need not have tried so hard.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating