years ago I was invited to speak at a conference called USA 2000. There were 2,000
single people there—and one married rabbi. As I walked through the hallways of the
enormous conference hall, I noticed that most people had a strange nervous tick,
a kind of head bobbing. After a while I started to notice that the tick was not
consistent among all the participants. Some bobbed their heads quickly up and down,
while other’s bobbed in a long drawn out way. Finally I realized that it was not
a nervous tick at all, but the participants were eyeing each other up and down.
During the conference I had a very uncomfortable conversation with a woman who was
“dressed to kill,” as the saying goes. More specifically, she was undressed to kill.
This woman was very annoyed by the whole event. “You know, rabbi,” she sighed, “I
am so sick and tired of men looking at me like a piece of meat.” I did not know
what to say, other than, “So why do you dress like a piece of meat?” But I thought,
what is the point? So I said to her, “You know what happens at these singles events?
Everybody is looking for more. They are looking for an attractive person, and I
can assure you that there will always be somebody more handsome and beautiful than
whom they’ll find. They are looking for someone very intelligent, and I can assure
you that there is always going to be someone more intelligent. They are looking
for someone funny, and I can promise you that there is somebody even funnier. They
are looking for someone successful, and I can guarantee you that there is someone
even more successful.”
When you view people from the outside, sizing then up externally, I explained to
her, you will always find someone more beautiful, more intelligent, funnier or more
successful. But when you look at someone on the inside, when you look at their true
self, their soul, you will never find anyone who can compare. And if you let people
see your soul then they will never find anyone who can compare to you.
When you deal in the realm of the soul, however, you quickly realize that no one
in the world is alike. Kabbalah teaches that the soul, your true I is none other
than a spark of God, so to speak, and therefore you are absolutely unique and incomparable.
And when you relate as a soul to another soul your true self radiates a warm and
brilliant divine light. Your true individuality shines out.
Kabbalah teaches that souls are really only interested in and attracted to souls.
The only thing that attracts us to another person is not a thing at all. It is the
spiritual, the essence, the divine—the ‘you’. The more that you can reveal yourself
as a soul, the easier it will be to find your soul mate. People are not looking
for their body mate; they are looking for their soul mate. But we create shtick
around ourselves. We delude ourselves and put on psychological clothing that don’t
fit. We assume certain ways of speaking and acting that get in the way of letting
our soul shine out.
I saw a comic strip from “Fifth St.” that depicts two young disheveled-looking guys
who are giving each other advice about love, dating and marriage. One says to the
other, “I am basically looking for a girl who will love me for who I think I am.”
I know a lot of people who unknowingly have this problem. Rather than being real
with who they are, they are lost in their self-delusions. Personal growth begins
with being real about who you are so that you can start the journey towards becoming
the “me” you want to be.
Rabbi David Aaron,
Founder and Dean of the Isralight
Institute, is recognized internationally as an expert on the Kabbalah and is best
selling author of:
Seeing God: Ten Life Changing Lessons of the Kabbalah,
Endless Light : The Ancient Path of Kabbalah ,
The Secret Life of God: Discovering the Divine within You
The Silent Revolution of the
To "Settle" or Hold Out for
Happily Ever After
‘My Matchmaker Ignored Me!’
And Other Ways I Can Empathize
Cliffs Notes for the Jewish
The Ten Commandments of Dating