After the heartbreak of losing my father to cancer, I went in search of answers. Like many in the throes of tragedy I went searching for God. I ended up in a yeshiva (religious Jewish seminary) in Jerusalem and spent a year trying to find out if God was love and how I might be able to expand my heart. Eventually, I ended up back in Montreal, religious but lonely. I had committed myself to a Hasidic, God-fearing life, but not everything was kosher.
Aside from bible study, marriage is imperative to a single religious Jew and I was unable to fulfill this commandment. It was incredibly hard for me to reconcile my deep-rooted secular upbringing with the notion of match-made dates and quickly arranged-marriages. I struggled with loneliness and disconnection with the women I was meeting. This failure and subsequent detachment led me to leave and return to a secular, agnostic life.
Years later at a Sabbath dinner, I listened to my religious friend’s daughter lament the fact she could not find a suitable life partner. She complained aloud to friends and family about the lack of quality in the religious, young men that she met. She felt condemned to live her torah-observant life alone. When I closed my eyes to listen, I imagined anybody saying this. Her complaints and beseechments could’ve come from anyone’s mouth from any religion, culture or gender. It was a primal, universal request both absurdly funny and yet distressing. The genesis for Kosher Love came from this Friday night experience.
As three unmarried 40-something males (me, Frederic Bohbot the producer and Bill Stone, the cinematographer), we found ourselves sitting in front of the rabbi wondering: What does it take to commit? How does one get married after just three dates, before real feelings have emerged? Is love even necessary? Or is it just a choice?
In the end, we are all the same and we are all looking for the same thing: connection, support and intimacy. We fall in and out of love with people. We doubt our instincts, we’re fearful and ecstatic and heart-broken too. These feelings, this elation and terrifying bliss transcends the boundaries of our intellect. Love, like weight, feels like a property of the universe, but it dwells outside the limitations of organization and logic and freaks the heck out of each of us, no matter who, where, or what we are or what we believe in.