Outdated is a fictional novel about two friends from college who are about to see how far their friendship is willing to go. It centers on the decision of Joe Charnoff (a.k.a. Joey, Joseph, Yosef) to meet a shadchan (Hebrew for "matchmaker") after losing faith in his own efforts at finding a wife. Joe quickly finds himself deeply involved in a fast-paced dating process that tests his preconceived notions about the Jewish approach to marriage and relationships. Though it describes a few of Joe’s dates, the book predominantly concerns itself with Joe’s reactions to his matchmaking endeavor and how it affects his outlook on dating and his other friendships.
As Joe is embarking upon his shidduch (match), the book simultaneously follows the less successful efforts of Joe’s friend and confidante, Sharon Gilboa. After being introduced through a mutual friend, she becomes involved with Andy and goes out on a number of “dates” before a strange incident causes her to question her feelings on relationships. When she turns to Joe for assistance in sorting out her emotional issue with Andy, she finds him surprisingly unavailable, and her suspicion to his behavior leads to an inevitable blow-up that threatens to end their friendship. Both Joe and Sharon must therefore decide how they are to proceed...an exciting ending that you'll only find out by reading the book!
While a few of the discussion chapters center on the particular details of the shidduch process, Outdated primarily concerns itself with the reflections of the characters. Both Joe and Sharon experience upheavals in their lives that challenge their preconceived notions about how to approach relationships, particularly their platonic friendship. The book hopes to convey the message that one who seeks to marry must approach it in the appropriate manner, and must also disassociate from those elements that would make that difficult. This comes across most poignantly from the realizations of the characters to this truth, and thus their story is crucial in getting across this message.
Outdated was written for inquisitive young adults and young professionals looking for a good read. My first and foremost concern was to create a story that would be enjoyable and enriching for my readers. The added benefit is that the book does contain many insights into the Torah's outlook on dating, marriage, and platonic friendships, explored through the basic fundamentals and the emotional response of the characters as they grapple with the issues. So anyone seeking to understand more about the Orthodox Jewish approach to dating and relationships will appreciate this book. It is also suitable for parents to share with their teenage children, as a way to open the discussion about these crucial issues.