“During those many days, it happened that the king of Egypt died, and the Children
of Israel groaned because of the work (“min ha”avoda”) and they cried out. Their
outcry because of the work (“min ha’avoda”) went up to G-d. G-d heard their moaning,
and G-d remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. G-d saw
the Children of Israel; and G-d knew.” (Shmot: 2:23)
What is communication? The Hebrew word for communication is aptly called: tikshoret,
from the word kesher. Kesher means connection, a mechanism to bring about unification
and integration between people.
The Torah, in Parshat Shmot refers to the “anacha,” inner sighing, an expression
of pain and suffering. It was an inner expression of the awful difficulties bnei
yisrael were experiencing that emerged from within in an “out-cry.”
The grief emerged “min,” (from the place of work). And G-d heard their outcry “from”
the work. It was from this place of struggle that they called out and from this
place of hurting that G-d connected with them to feel their pain. Hashem “heard”
their suffering and remembered His Covenant with the Children of Israel.
G-d saw the Children of Israel and G-d knew. G-d in all of His Glory came down to
the people as it were, to be with them in their agony. This is the first step in
building communication: stepping into another’s shoes and trying to feel what they
feel. Just as when a baby cries, our heart goes out to them and we do whatever is
possible to respond to their discomfort. We stop thinking of ourselves, remove our
personal needs and focus on the other’s needs. This way of connecting enhances one’s
sense of attachment to another and is the foundation for building trust.
When dating, couples often attempt to obtain a reasonable amount of factual information
relating to educational and job pursuits, number of siblings and occupations of
parents with little understanding of the strong emotional background, priorities,
fears, aspirations and attitudes conveyed behind the facts. Empathic listening creates
a “safe environment” wherein the listener conveys their desire and ability to project
themselves into the inner core of the speaker. This experience of truly listening
creates identification with another and can have a transformational life impact
on the listener as well.
The speaker will experience the feeling of being understood without judgment. The
speaker will feel the listener’s genuine interest in their story, as well. This
is the heart of communication and building a warm and “safe place” where I can be
The Sassover Rav remarked to his Chassidim that he learned the meaning of love from
two drunken Russians:
Igor stumbling out of the bar asked his friend: “Yuri, do you love me?”
Yuri responded: “I love you with all my heart.” Igor burst into tears and said:
“How can you say that you love me when you do not know what is troubling me?”
This story clearly illustrates the core skill necessary in communication: having
the self-confidence to restrict and diminish myself while allowing the other to
take center stage and fully express them self without judgment, interruption and
planning my response.
This is in effect what Hashem did at creation. According to Kabbalah G-d engaged
in “tzimtzum,” contraction as it were, in order to make room from the world and
This form of contraction whose goal is to re-unify with us as in the reunion of
husband and wife, requires a healthy sense of self-esteem. “Tzimtzum” has a reciprocal
effect when indeed it acknowledges the speaker and increases his/her confidence
while creating an atmosphere of authenticity and mutual caring.
This process is one that requires patience and persistence. Communication is the
key to intimacy. It cannot be rushed and the investment is well worth the effort.
Sherrie B. Miller is a Jewish Matchmaker
on SawyouAtSinai.com and works with
Jewish Singles all over the world. She is an educational guidance counselor,
group leader, pre-marital coach, matchmaker and Judaic Studies teacher. Sherrie
is dedicated to promoting and enhancing emotional intelligence and communication
skills in conjunction with Torah values.
Sherrie received her educational counseling degree from the Michlalah in Bayit Vegan
and an M.A. in Education and Counseling from Touro College, Jerusalem, Israel. Sherrie
also holds a B.A. in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Brooklyn College and a
B.Sc. from Yeshiva University in Jewish Education. 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.
Before coming to Israel in 1989 from Great Neck, New York, Sherrie taught Judaic
Studies at the North Shore Hebrew Academy. Sherrie also educated affiliated and
unaffiliated adults through the “Project Identity” outreach program under the directorship
of Rabbi Yaakov Lerner. Sherrie trained individuals and couples in the laws of Kashrut,
Guidelines of Parenting, Parshat Shavua and Pirkei Avot.
In her work as a Guidance Counselor in the national religious “Mamad” school, "Yehuda
Halevi", Sherrie instructed life skill workshops to students, parents and teachers,
with a focus on communication, conflict resolution and anger management. She also
leads support groups for children of divorce.
Sherrie is certified by the Life Center and leads Parenting workshops based on the
Faber/Mazlish workshops on, “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids
Sherrie is an executive board member of the Emunah World Zionist Organization, Mibreishit,
led by Rav Motti Alon, and Nishmat led my Rabbanit Hanna Henkin.
Sherrie’s diverse background in counseling and teaching, combined with torah principles
and values contribute to the depth and quality of her success with clients. Lessons
drawn from her own life transitions make her coaching perspective uniquely inspirational.
Sherrie helps individuals clarify their goals and take masterful action steps to
reach them. Sherrie is professionally known for her guidance in the educational
system as well as her outstanding capabilities teaching interpersonal relationship
skills to groups and individuals.
Having made a number of successful matches resulting in marriage, Sherrie volunteers
as a matchmaker for SawYouAtSinai, an internet matchmaking site.
IRRESISTIBLE ONLINE PROFILES
Navigating The Online Dating World
Toward A Meaningful Marriage: Count On Me!
The Generosity of Love
Why THAT person and not me?
Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me A Match
Marriage Without Avenues-The Latest Action Film
The Great Pretender
Shidduchim Go High-Tech
More Blind Spots
ROSH HASHANA IS A NEW BEGINNING:
PROPER (MARRIAGE) PREPARATION PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE
PARSHAT BAMIDBAR: A DESERT EXPERIENCE PRIOR TO MATAN TORAH
PARSHAT BEHAR-BECHUKOTAI: CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN
LAG B’OMER: FANNING THE FLAMES
PARSHAT METZORA: THE GOSSIP CRAZE
BIRKAT HACHAMA: THE SUN AND THE MOON IN TANDEM
PARSHAT MISHPATIM: KEEP THE FLAME BURNING!
PARSHAT BO: TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!
PARSHAT SHMOT: COMMUNICATION AT ITS BEST!
PARSHAT VAYIGASH: CREATING RAPPORT
PARSHAT VAYESHEV: TRANQUILITY
PARSHAT VAYISHLACH: THE POWER OF PRAYER
PARSHAT VA’YETZE: THREE THINGS
SUSTAIN THE WORLD: TORAH, AVODA AND GEMILUT CHASADIM
PARSHAT TOLDOT: LOVE DEPENDS
THE HIGH HOIDAYS: REACHING FOR THE STARS
PARSHAT NIZAVIM: THE SECRET OF LOVE IS COMMITMENT
PARSHAT KI TETZE: THE WARRIOR WITHIN
TU B’AV: THE JEWISH VALENTINE’S DAY! “GETTING THE LOVE YOU WANT”
PARSHAT MASAY: THE JOURNEY FROM DATING TO MARRIAGE AND BEYOND
PARSHAT PINCHAS: HOW DO I MAKE OTHERS FEEL?
SHAVUOT: I PLEDGE TO BE A “HUMAN BECOMING”
TRUE INDEPENDENCE: CHOOSING TOGETHERNESS!
PARSHAT KEDOSHIM: LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF!
THE STRANGE FIRE: ROMANTIC LOVE VS. TRUE LOVE PARSHAT SHMINI
Parshat Tzav - Mitzvot As Spiritual Practices: Enthusiastic Actions That Bring Us Together!
PARSHAT VAYIKRA: SELF ESTEEM AS DESTINY
PARASHOT VAYAKHEL-PIKUDEI: THE “DATING GAME”: PAVING THE ROAD TO MARRIAGE
PARSHAT KI TISA: INVEST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP!
PARSHAT TEZAVEH: A LOVE THAT LASTS FOREVER
MAKE YOUR PROFILE COUNT
THE STORY OF CHANUKA: REVEALING THE LIGHT WITHIN!
Parshat Yayishlach: Communication- The Key to Intimacy.
GIVING OR GETTING?
PARSHAT NOACH: HARMONY IN DIVERSITY
PARSHAT KI TAVO: SELF-NULLIFICATION
PARSHAT RE’EH: CHOICES!
TU B’AV: THE JEWISH VALENTINE’S DAY!
TISHA B’AV: MOURNING THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR TEMPLE
PARSHAT BALAK: UNITE OR UNTIE: IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE “I” (EYE)!
PARSHAT CHUKAT: CONTROL ANGER BEFORE IT CONTROLS YOU!
PARSHAT KORACH: “IF YOU SPOT IT, YOU GOT IT!”
PARSHAT SHLACH: THE ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
PARSHAT B’HAALOTCHA: LEARN TO LAUGH AT YOURSELF
SHAVUOT: ” NA’ASSE V’NISHMA” COMMITMENT COMES FIRST!
Parshat Behar: Dating Etiquette
PARSHAT EMOR: A LEAP OF FAITH
THE POWER OF SPEECH: PARSHAT TAZRIA-METZORA
PASSOVER: “A STORY OF LOVE”
PURIM: FINDING TRUE HAPPINESS!
JEWISH DATING: THE ART OF LISTENING
FOR JEWISH SINGLES
JEWISH DATING: INNER BEAUTY IS THE REAL BEAUTY
Finding Your Beshert
The Rise, Fall and Subsequent Rise of the Jewish Matchmaker, otherwise known as The Shadchan
“OnlySimchas” for Jewish Singles Dating
Jewish Singles: Challenges for Jewish Singles Dating today
Jewish Dating 101: You reached the age for “Jewish Dating” for marriage, now what
Love and Beauty
Make your profile count
In The Ballpark
Are You in Love with Love?
How to Find Your Soul Mate: Secrets from the Kabbalah
The Silent Revolution of the Modern Era
To "Settle" or Hold Out for Happily Ever After
‘My Matchmaker Ignored Me!’ And Other Ways I Can Empathize
Cliffs Notes for the Jewish Dater
The Ten Commandments of Dating