JEWISH DATING: THE ART OF LISTENING FOR JEWISH SINGLES
By Sherrie B. Miller
“AND YITRO HEARD.”
Why does the Torah name an entire Parsha after a non-Jew and moreover, “The Parsha”,
which describes the awesome experience of Matan Torah?
The greatness of Yitro was his ability to listen, which is a prerequisite to receiving
the Torah. Unlike the rest of mankind who heard of Hashem’s miracles, Yitro internalized
what he heard and was greatly affected by it.
He was open to the impact of what he heard and was open to change!
There are four primary forms of communication: reading, writing, speaking and listening.
From our earliest years we are taught to read, write and speak.
How many of us have ever learned to listen?
We seldom listen because we are usually judging, preparing our response, or interpreting
what we hear through own frame of reference, our own inner and personal world.
According to Stephen Covey, the highest level of listening is called empathic listening:
“to truly listen means to transcend your own autobiography, to get out of your frame
of reference, out of your own value system, out of your own history and judging
tendencies, and to get deeply into the frame of reference or viewpoint of another
Tips for active listening:
- Make eye contact
- Focus your attention on the speaker
- Don’t interrupt
- Wait until the speaker finishes before clarifying and asking questions
- Notice the person’s body language, feelings and tone of voice (verbal communication
only comprises about 7%, of communication)
- Attempt to feel what the speaker is feeling. (show empathy)
- Show that you are listening and comprehending by nodding, saying “uh huh” or “hmm”,
summarize what’s been said, or giving their feelings a name. “You sound pretty excited!”
Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak.
Sherrie B. Miller is a Jewish matchmaker on SawYouAtSinai and a dating coach in
Jerusalem. She received her counseling degree from the Michlala in Jerusalem and
an M.A. in Jewish Education from Touro College. Sherrie is certified by Midreshet
Emunah and is accredited by the Rabbanut of Israel, to be a pre-marital couple’s
counselor and Kallah teacher.