Not only is Shaindy.com a site for Jewish adulterers, but it caters specifically to those who are Orthodox. 350 people have already signed up to make matches with like-minded Jews looking to hook up, according to the site’s founder. And even if this is a carefully crafted early April Fools prank, it merits attention for three reasons.
First, as Shmuley Boteach is quoted in the New York Post article about this story, “Adultery is going to do nothing to your marriage except destroy it.” Is he wrong? However much a marriage may need some new excitement, does anyone really think that skulking around on the internet is likely to rekindle the romance that is often lost over the years?
Second, despite those who can not believe that this is real because, as they protest, “would religious people, even if they were going to cheat, want to cheat with other religious people?” Every study about cheating suggests that they would.
In fact, people most often cheat with those who they think are quite similar to the spouse on whom they are cheating. Most people are not looking for anything less (or more), than what they remember first having with the person they are cheating on.
In that sense, both Shaindy.com and the story about it are invitations not to cheat, but to realize what we really want and try to make it happen. Since most cheaters are not looking for better looks, different types, or anything like that, it’s really a chance to fix the relationship at home since that is what most people having affairs are looking for anyway.
Finally, both the article and the site suggest that part of the appeal of the whole arrangement is the opportunity to rebel against what many experience as an authoritarian community which is especially repressive when it comes to sex. So fact or fiction, this is a reminder to any religious authorities that when they hold on too tightly, they are probably going to lose their grip altogether.