By Sherrie B. Miller

Jewish Dating, Choices, Jewish Singles

“See, (behold) I set before you this day a blessing and a curse.”

Interestingly, Re’eh, (see) is written in the singular, while “lifneichem” (you) is written in the plural form. Why this grammatical discrepancy?

Chazal suggest that Hashem is presenting us with Two Ways, good vs. bad, both as our individual responsibility as well as a National responsibility.

The right choice must be made between the Two Ways, as our entire future depends on it, as individuals and as a Nation. We are granted free will and the stakes are high. The words of Or and Torah both share the root of re’eh, seeing the light! As King Solomon asserts: “ki, ner mitzvah, v’Torah or!”

Nowadays, numerous choices abound and as a result, often times the light is obscured.

When I was growing up, we had 7 TV channels to choose from. There were two types of coffee, regular and decaf. Strolling down the coffee aisle in a modern day supermarket, one can find French vanilla, hazelnut, gourmet roast, and so many more. A young woman, who came to speak with me, complained that she can’t even pick a toothbrush due to the abundance of choices. “How”, she exclaimed, “can I choose a life long mate?”

It is fascinating to note the words in Breishit 3:6, describing the Adam and Eve’s sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes…..she took of the fruit and ate it, and she gave also to her husband with her and he ate it!” The response- ability was forsaken due to the eye appeal. Their downfall came because they focused more on what delights the eye, than the Will of Hashem our Maker.

We are further cautioned in the constant repetition of the Shema: Do not follow your eyes, more exactly, “lo taturu acharei ainechem”, don’t let your eyes wander, (like a tayar/tourist) aimlessly. The current equivalent for this type of behavior can be compared to “surfing the net.” It would seem that the dating sights/sites can alleviate the difficulty of meeting prospective partners, yet it is also fraught with danger if not approached with proper attitudes.

Too many are basing compatibility solely on the “delight to the eyes” and rationalizing that physical attraction is an important ingredient in marriage. Physical attraction is an integral component. Yet, when setting the bar so high and comparing real men and women to plastic and made up ones that we see plastered on ads all around us, we short change ourselves by not allowing the opportunity to get to know someone which often brings out the inner glow and causes us to see a person in a totally different light. We may be dismissing our bashert without even bothering to meet them, based on a digital photo. I have had people over for Shabbat meals from the site. When I opened the door, I did not recognize them, because they looked so different than the picture. (usually for the better.) This is not to suggest, that if one is truly put off, they should pursue the date at all costs.

What I would like to suggest, is that we are facing a crisis: statistics claim that half of the Jewish population between 25 and 45 is single.

Hashem chose us from among all the nations,”asher bachar banu mikol haamim”, for a specific and vital Mission. We are meant to be a light unto the nations. Our light shines the brightest when we re-unite with our other half. This is the reason that we recite the bracha under the chuppa: “yotzer haAdam.” The reason that Man’s creation is not mentioned at a bris, but rather under the Chuppah, is because now, they are considered whole.

Then our Divine Mission can come about by becoming links in the eternal chain, expressed by building strong families that perpetuate the values and goals of those that came before 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.