PARSHAT MASAY: THE JOURNEY FROM DATING TO MARRIAGE AND BEYOND
By Sherrie B. Miller
“Moshe wrote their goings forth according to their journeys at the bidding of Hashem,
and these were their journeys according to their goings forth.” (Bamidbar 33:2)
Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Dolgin calls our attention to the unusual repetition of
words, but with a change in order. In this first part of the passuk, Moshe is said
to have initially written about the place of origin, and then the Israelites destination.
The second part of the passuk relays the destination first and then, from where
Bnei Yisrael came.
What is the message that the Torah is trying to impart to us is this seemingly redundant
Every journey has an origin, a source, and a beginning point. And thus, anyone who
leaves his place and wishes to go forward has a “journey story” that he must be
The Torah is teaching us the deep connection between the place we leave and The
Journey to the place we are headed. It is written “motza’ehem l’masa’ehem” because
the place of origin has a tremendous influence on the direction our journey takes.
One must know where from whence they come, in order to know where they are going
and what their destination is.
“Hashiveinu Hashem Eilecha v’Nashuva, Chadesh Yameinu k’Kedem.”
Kedem (origin), is a pre-requisite for Kadima: forward, future and progress! We
must understand our past and the values that our forefathers genetically imprinted
on our souls.
With time, often when we get far from home, home becomes a faded memory and we lose
our bearings, we lose our purpose and the original direction for the journey. The
process of dating in the modern world can deter us from our purpose and intention,
as we are lost in the superficial and trivial externalities of physical appearance
and annual incomes.
This is why we have the special prayer of “tefillat haderech, which can apply to
the journey of dating, marriage and beyond. In it we say, “v’tagieinu l’mchoz cheftzeinu
l’chaim, ul’simcha, ul’shalom.” We beseech Hashem to get us to the place that we
instinctively desire, in peace. Alternatively, “Le” shalom, can mean: help us achieve
shleimut. Help us to reach completion.
When beginning the process of dating, we ought to clearly have the direction and
destination in mind, one of establishing a Jewish home, while remembering the origin
and the source of this Holy Mission as the bedrock of Jewish continuity. By combining
the past with the future we can be confident in the present; we are free to be in
the present, as we say in Hebrew, “ba-rega,” in the moment. This state of consciousness
allows us to be “ragua,” calm and confident. Hashem is guiding us. Enjoy the journey!
There are no guarantees of happiness! It requires constant “work.” Ahava (love)
is a verb, not a feeling; it’s all about giving. Unfortunately, we are living in
the Me generation and it is difficult to overcome this prevalent western mindset
whose greatest achievement is SELF-ACTUALIZATION. We must not let the fear of “making
a mistake” paralyze us and prevent us from moving forward on the journey of “shleimut,”
which can only be achieved in couplehood.
Rabbi Yaakov states: “A man without a wife, is not a whole, complete man, for it
is written: “And He blessed them….and called their name Adam.” The two, as One,
are called Adam.” (Breishit Rabbah 17:2)
May we be zoche to approach the shlichut of Marriage with the proper understanding
of its source and intention always moving forward on the continuous journey of building
a “binyan adei ad.” We must begin with the end in mind and visualize our destination:
each of us ought to see in our mind’s eye, our own unique Jewish home that will
positively impact us and the shleimus of klal yisrael forever!
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.