JEWISH DATING: INNER BEAUTY IS THE REAL BEAUTY
By Sherrie B. Miller
“What is man that you should remember him, and the son of man that you should be mindful of him? Yet you have made him but slightly less than the angels and with soul and splendor You have crowned him”. (Tehillim 8 vs. 6)
Wow! This sensational experience is what the dating process CAN be! If we could only see deeper into the soul of our date… How exhilarating it could be if we could truly appreciate the awesomeness and greatness of Hashem’s unique creation!
All too often, we sit opposite a potential spouse and interrogate them in our effort to attain all the relevant information possible in the shortest amount of time. In so doing, we miss out on an exploration expedition of the ultimate creation: a human being! Each human being is an entire world in and of himself. The Talmud teaches us that “one who saves a single soul, is as if he has saved the entire world!”
What is required in the dating process and what is often so sorely lacking is an authentic curiosity for an-other. Curiosity is such a powerful relationship builder! To show infinite curiosity of an- other’s life, work and interests, what makes one tick or what “ticks one off” is to experience awe and reverence on the deepest level. Curiosity allows the other to reveal his/her inner self without feeling subjected to an interrogation, without a feeling of defensiveness.
With this mindset, we enter into an exciting adventure, a process which cannot be rushed or concluded after a date or two. Getting to know a person from the inside out, allowing their neshama to shine will usually result in a far more positive view of the purely physical aspect of that person.
The lesson of letting time take its course, is expressed in the blessing “matzmiach yeshua”, “the One who flourishes the redemption”, found in the Shmonei esreih prayer. A plant’s growth and flourishing is a slow and drawn out process. Hashem could easily have brought about an instantaneous salvation had He so desired. Yet, He chose to teach us the important lesson that it is not about arriving at the destination, but rather, it is about the journey!
How often do we stop to notice the wonders and beauty of this world? Perhaps we resemble the Jews in Egypt during the plague of darkness: “no man could see his brother!” (Shmot, Parshat Bo, 10: 23) Chazal tell us that this was not a physical disability or an inability to see, but rather an unwillingness to see his brother’s inner beauty, which brought darkness to the world!
It is little wonder that the Hebrew words for awe and seeing, Yirah and Re’iya, have the same root. When we see each other superficially, but fail to perceive the inherent greatness and uniqueness lying therein, we remain in the limitations (Mitzraim) of the plague of darkness.
Let us resolve in the days following Chanuka, the holiday that expresses the miracle of lights, to search and uncover the light of our fellow man/ woman’s soul- “ki ner Hashem, nishmat adam”, “ for the candle of Hashem is the soul of Man”.
Sherrie B. Miller is a Jewish Matchmaker on www.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 Will Talk”
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 www.sawyouatsinai.com, an internet matchmaking site.