SHAVUOT: I PLEDGE TO BE A “HUMAN BECOMING”
By Sherrie B. Miller
The holiday of Shavuot is the culmination of a deliberate and intentional process
of transformation from being slaves to not merely, free people, but attaining the
status of “bnei melech, sons and daughters of The King!.”
Leaving Egypt, we were a motley crew of downtrodden beings, following the promise
of a better life ahead. We began the journey as individuals preparing themselves
for the Ultimate experience of Matan Torah, G-d’s greatest gift to us, The Torah.
This transformation is a process that requires orderly and progressive steps as
we climb and build ourselves and integrate midot tovot.
The seven weeks between Pessach and Shavuot are a time of personal growth and becoming
the best that we can be. There is the possibility of fixing everything as evidenced
by its unique prayer of “tikun” leil Shavuot. It is essentially the holiday that
celebrates or marriage to G-d as we shouted as one, Naase v’nishma: we will do and
then we will understand. We committed to a life-long contract as did Yitzchak when
he wed Rivka. There the Torah states: He married her, and (then) he loved her! First
came the commitment.
Shavuot is the story of Ruth a convert who epitomized loving kindness. She cleaved
to Naomi and the G-d of Israel, although it meant renouncing her status as a Moabite
Princess, just to become an impoverished widow. The verb “devek” is used for her
commitment to Naomi, Judaism and G-d. “V’davak b’ishto, is the only other usage
of this verb in the Tanach. This type of commitment, glue in a literal sense, is
reserved only for our relationship with the Almighty and our husband or wife!
It is not possible to achieve a state of completion and wholeness over night. The
next transition on the journey of self-tranformation to be worthy of matan torah,
occurred when bnei yisrael encamped opposite Har Sinai as one body and one heart.
The unity and sense of belong to something greater than themselves forged an eternal
attachment that belies the ultimate transition in this awesome process which leads
to couplehood, the secret of unity.
G-d did not err when creating Adam and Eve in an androgynous form, for it left an
indelible impression on their souls and a yearning to return to that state of unity
before their separation into two beings.
If this form was Hashem’s ultimate intention then why separate them at all?
Simply put when one is singular and self sufficient then he cannot be a giver; he
cannot be engaged in act of chessed. There is no one to receive. “Olam chessed yibaneh.”
Hashem created His world to give us pleasure and create a system whereby we can
imitate Him and be givers as well.
When we take a good and hard look at the world around us, we begin to realize that
we are being barraged with messages telling us what we want and need. Madison avenue
has convinced us that we must have a plasma TV, that we can’t live without the latest
model car etc.
At this time of year, when we celebrate our “deveikus” to Hashem we must re-double
our efforts to focus on the treasured goal of marriage, while we continuously refine
our own characters and do as many acts of kindness as possible and look for this
internal, steadfast trait in others as that is what ultimately will ensure a healthy
and lasting marriage!
Sherrie Miller M.A.
Sherrie is the SawYouAtSinai ‘Article of the Week’ writer as well as a dedicated
SYAS matchmaker. Trained as 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
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.
Choices of the Heart, a preparation and enrichment program for nearly-wed and newly
wed couples, run by Sherrie Miller, focuses on teaching communication skills between
couples, using Jewish wisdom and Torah sources. The workshops offer tools to build
skills and realistic goals that empower young couples with on their way to establish
a Jewish home.
Having counseled singles and made a number of successful matches resulting in marriage,
Sherrie volunteers as a matchmaker for SawYouAtSinai.
Sherrie has a private practice in Jerusalem and can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at
both 718-874-0677 (USA) and 054-475-5153 (Israel)
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