“Vayakhel Moshe,”(Shmot 35:1) And Moshe
assembled the entire assembly of the children of Israel.”
Rashi comments that this assembly occurred on the day after Yom Kippur, when he
descended from the mountain.
In a most insightful fashion, the Admor M’kubrin asserts that Moshe’s timing was
to hint to the Jewish People that not only on Yom Kippur must they be engaged in
such compassion and forgiveness, friendship and mutual love, but the day after as
well, must they continue to exemplify these essential midot and character traits.
How does one sustain the momentum of such a spiritual high?
Similarly, how does one know that the emotional high of dating will not dissipate?
It is important to be clear why we are dating and how to determine the amount of
time spent getting to know someone before making the decision of making it permanent.
Often times we find ourselves in a dilemma of how long to continue the dating process
before being sure that this person is the right one. We suppose that if we go out
just a bit longer we will be certain, by getting to know the person better. But
is this really so? It is not uncommon today for dating to last a year, two and more.
There is a joke which tells of a man who was divorced shortly after dating his wife
for 5 years. When asked what happened, he replied: “I didn’t know her well enough.”
The problem with prolonged periods of dating (each one of us must find a reasonable
“comfort zone”) is that in the “dating game” we are all putting our best foot forward.
We understandably wish to impress the other person, especially when we are interested
in them. Those who are aware of this reality are concerned and rightly so with the
question: “what will be the day after? After the wedding day, which is compared
to Yom Kippur, will the same desire to impress and to please remain?”
A Rav who announced to his Rebbe that he was engaged to be married after 6 dates,
expected to hear the traditional joyous Mazal Tov, but instead, was asked: ‘are
you sure that you are ready to sacrifice for your wife?” Admittedly, not really
understanding the question as he does now after 30 years of marriage, he responded
yes and was immediately wished the usual mazal tov! What the Rebbe was implying
is that the capacity to give and make sacrifices is the essence of a lasting marriage,
not necessarily the amount of time spent dating.
It is no coincidence that prior to the description of the immense enthusiasm and
passion shown for the building of the Mishkan, Hashem warns: do not kindle a fire
on Shabbat. Fire can be likened to passion, a feeling that burns within. Just as
the People’s passion drove them to create the egel, so too the passion for building
a Mishkan could have overwhelmed them and could have created a merely temporary
ecstasy. Hashem commands us to take a step back, keep Shabbat first, which is a
time of reflection and connection to our core before jumping “head over heels” into
any endeavor, especially such a spiritually uplifting one. We must take an honest
look at ourselves and our ability to make an unwavering and lasting commitment to
a divine goal.
After checking out reliable references to assess your date’s character relating
to self-sacrifice and altruism, followed by a reasonable number of dates to substantiate
this, you have a good basis to contemplate marriage.
Not only were the Jewish People commended for the abundant enthusiasm displayed
in building the Mishkan, but the word “vayaasu ken” is repeated frequently to show
the importance of actions in a relationship. “Actions speak louder than words.”
The hishtadlut of doing “homework” prior to the date, combined with knowing my own
capacity and readiness for profound giving and sacrifice, along with shared spiritual
goals, will go a long way in ensuring that the “days after” (marriage) will continue
to inspire and excite us!
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.
This Jewish Dating Column is brought to you by SawYouAtSinai, the Jewish Matchmaking
service. Articles are often written by Jewish matchmakers, to help Jewish singles
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PARSHAT NOACH: HARMONY IN DIVERSITY
PARSHAT KI TAVO: SELF-NULLIFICATION
PARSHAT RE’EH: CHOICES!
TU B’AV: THE JEWISH VALENTINE’S
TISHA B’AV: MOURNING THE DESTRUCTION
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PARSHAT BALAK: UNITE OR UNTIE:
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PARSHAT CHUKAT: CONTROL ANGER
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PARSHAT KORACH: “IF YOU SPOT
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PARSHAT SHLACH: THE ATTITUDE
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Parshat Behar: Dating Etiquette
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THE POWER OF SPEECH: PARSHAT
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JEWISH DATING: THE ART OF LISTENING
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