By Sherrie B. Miller

Parshat Bamidbar is read annually the Shabbat prior to Shavuot.

Why is the so?

According to the Sfat Emet, if one wishes to merit being “wed” to the Almighty, one must see himself as a desert. One must possess the trait of modesty, and remember that there is no one to whom he must boast. One ought to feel the simplicity and minimalism of the desert in complete surrender to Hashem.

Humility is further emphasized in Hashem’s choice of Sinai Mountain particularly, as it was the lowest of all the mountains in the desert. As is true in all areas of Judaism, balance is the aim. The root of Midbar, daled, bet, raish, means leadership. We must humbly seek to fulfill our unique and distinctive mission in the world to the best of our G-d given abilities. We must not fear tapping into our capabilities and reaching for the stars. Surrender to the Will of Hashem, coupled with determination and commitment are vital in accepting the Torah and in a long lasting and strong relationship.

Rebbe Meir Shapiro states that the Torah was given through three mediums: fire, water and the desert.

Fire was used to bring out the deep devotion of Avraham to Hashem in the fiery furnace. Nachshon ben Aminadav and after him all of Israel, jumped into the waters of Yam Suf, pursued by the Egyptians, showing their dedication and belief in Hashem. Finally, in the desert, the Jews showed their constant and relentless commitment to Hashem by following Him for forty years in the desolate desert!

The Shabbat before Shavot, Matan Torah, we must go through the Midbar, a metaphor indicating our self-effacement and modesty. The Midbar, is a call to leadership and being an example of a G-d fearing Jew.

Midbar also contains the word “dibur,” speech. We must remember to speak humbly and use our words carefully. Each “milah” (word) should be turned into a yahalom, a precious diamond, by thinking before we speak! Communication is the key to intimacy!

Then the final result, using the same root letters of Midbar: will be our achievement of dvir, kedusha.

Healthy relationships require the midbar experience: humility balanced with leadership, good communication, and above all, commitment! This will ensure a life of sanctity and holiness.

Chag Sameach

About author:

Sherrie B. Miller is a Jewish Matchmaker on 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 SawYouAtSinai, an internet matchmaking site.

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