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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Yonah Bookstein

Wisdom of a Lifetime: Allen Alevy on Dating

Mr. Allen Alevy composed this letter to Rachel Bookstein about dating, and hopes it will be shared far and wide!

Deann and Allen Alevy - Photo Jonah Light

Dear Rachel

I have been giving a lot of thought to the scenario I see played over and over with high quality women like M who get stuck in a bad dating cycle.

I always preached to my daughters they are very valuable, very special and to never let a man steal their time. In those days since everybody dated in person I would tell them you’ll know if he’s a potential within 30 days nobody gets more than 30 days of your time.

If I was a young man at the right age I would have to be very confident in myself before I could date her.

I would be sure to tell her what I’m working on, how much I am making, about my plans for the future. I would also share my dreams and my fears.

I believe that men should work on communication and honesty about things that are important to them. Likewise, women should be very honest and share what their needs are, and what they’re looking for in a partner in life.

A woman like M is too talented, intelligent, and accomplished for the average man, and most guys are not self-confident enough to marry a girl like her. In fact, most guys her age are still trying to prove themselves. If only men would believe me when I tell them that it is so much easier to become successful with a partner, but they do not understand it.

A woman can help a man become a success far beyond his wildest dreams. I know this first hand because I was lucky that Deanna I married when we were young. Dee has helped me become more successful because we are a team. She was my partner from the first day of our marriage.

Once we were getting an award from Chabad, and Deanna was sitting in the woman’s side I was sitting on the man’s side, as I walked up to receive the award I said to Rabbi Schusterman, “ Where is Deanna”, and she answered, “I’m right behind you, where I’ve always been”.

I was smart enough, and lucky enough at 20 to realize that Dee outclassed me, and after 65 years of marriage, 4 children and 45 grand and great grandchildren later, she still does

I have been very successful financially, and there have been ups and downs, and Dee has been my partner at the best of times, at the worst of times. Many times in my career the company was in trouble, or the country was in a major recession, and Dee always has stood by my side. She has always made my life worth living. That is what a high quality woman can do for a man.

Unfortunately what I have seen in the past is that many men end up finding small faults in a great woman, and this brings down her self-esteem. Men should look in a mirror before complaining about any imperfections.

When I see women like M turning herself into a pretzel trying to please somebody, I am furious. I want to tell everyone to be straight and honest. It will save a lot of time because a man can understand a woman being direct, and a boy will run.

A woman needs to know herself, and her needs, and her value, and to be recognized by a man as valuable is essential. This recognition is essential for a good relationship.

Sometimes men want things to be simple, yes or no, black or white that does not work with women. I see how important it is for women to discuss feelings, and be heard, but sometimes a man might need to be told this fact. If she is clear and communicates this with him honestly, if he is ready to be a husband he will hear her.

Most men are legends in their own minds, and overestimate themselves. It may be that they need to learn to be open and share their thoughts and insecurities. There is nobody better to share with than a good woman. If only men would understand this they would not be afraid of opening up to a strong woman. Instead I see men finding small faults and discarding great women.

Rachel, I want you to tell every woman that she should be very careful with her time. If she is dating in person she should be able to know in 30 days if it is going well or not, and if she is dating online the man really must fly to her within 30 days or it's game over. A man goes after what he wants, this much I am sure of. Also, after six months of dating a person really knows if they are ready to build a life together. If not, girls need to not let men steal their time.

M is like so many great girls that I’ve met. These girls are all in the 9.5 out of 10, and guys that string them along and make them feel insecure, and waste their time are at the best are seven out of 10! I see men with low self esteem making a big deal out of a small thing he finds to be a fault, especially with great women, and this in turn chips away at her self esteem.

I wrote this thinking about M but if you think this could help any of the girls – young ladies, you are free to share it. It hurts me what I see going on.

It hurts me when I see girls who are special having children on their own because unfortunately the boys are not stepping up to become men.

As you know, I have been involved in matchmaking for over 50 years. I've never seen it this bad for the Jewish people for the Jewish future.

One more thing I see so often is that men want women to prove to them that they are religious enough or some other crazy thing. Everyone knows that all women are more spiritual than all men. Some just don’t know about Shabbat yet. Please help men understand that if a guy wants a girl to become more religious he has to show her love, and his love of a Torah life.

He has to show her the beauty of religion, not the intellectual side. As I see it, girls need emotion and feeling not intellectual challenges.

You can share it with guys. It might help, probably won’t hurt, and probably will not make me popular with most guys.

Rachel, I think it would be wise to say to M that some guys simply cannot commit. She is too special, and I think he is just too old for her. I think that going over 20 year age difference is not a good idea.

She deserves a much younger man, and a guy that is willing to commit.

I’ve always told people to live their life backwards. Decide now what you want at 120 and live your life to achieve it. If you want a wife, get married, if you want kids, grandkids and great grandkids, do your best to make it happen.

If you want to be surrounded by people who love you when you are 120, show them that now that you love them, and they will give it back to you!


My last thought, when you talk to M, and others, please tell them to express what they want out of life openly so that they can know that the guy they date has the same core values, is on the same path and trajectory.

You can share this letter with anyone you think it might help.

I have lived my life Believing that when one Jew wins every Jew wins a little

When one Jew hurts we all hurt a little

When one Jew loses we all lose a little.

We all of us are responsible for each other and the future of our people


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