By Sherrie B. Miller

“There were no greater festivals for Israel than the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur. On these days the daughters of Jerusalem would go out…and dance in the vineyards. And what would they say: “Young man, raise your eyes and see which you select for yourself….

Jewish Dating Article What would the beautiful ones among them say? “Look for beauty, for a woman is for beauty.”

What would those of prestigious lineage say? “Look for family, for a woman is for children.”

What would the unattractive ones say? “Make your acquisition for the sake of Heaven, as long as you decorate us with jewels” (Talmud, Taanit 31a)

The happiest days for Israel are the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur, because they both celebrate the holy institution and covenant of Marriage. On Yom Kippur when Bnei Yisrael received the second luchot, they became betrothed as it were, to HaKadosh Baruch Hu. Similarly, the day of Tu B’Av is a day that encourages young men and women to go out and deliberately focus on choosing a partner and make a commitment to him/her.

In fact, the Midrash points that 40 days prior to the formation of an embryo, the heavens declare which soul shall be mated with which. Tu B’Av, occurs 40 days prior to the creation of the Universe which occurred on the 25th of Elul. Tu, tet vav, is 15, which is also the beginning of Hashem’s name, yud and hay. Tu B’Av was actually the first brit Hashem made with the Universe.

The continuation of the Gemara above teaches us a great lesson: “alles b’einem, is nisht do ba’keinem.” This is a Yiddish proverb, which means that no one has it all! Some of the potential brides were beautiful, some were from “yichus” and some seemed to offer little on the outside, but as we know still possessed the glow of a Jewish neshama with great possibilities.

Just as we are not perfect, neither is our future mate. The right person for me is not a perfect person, but one who will grow together with me and one who will help to bring out the best in me and vice versa. As Virginia Satir once said: “in order to find the right person, you have to BE the right person. We need a lot of self-awareness and work on ourselves on the path that leads to marriage.

The Midrash claims that a heavenly voice declares well in advance who will marry whom. If this is the case then why are there any singles and why can’t Hashem just simply present my mate to me clearly?

The bat kol that announces soul-mates cannot do the “hishtadlut” for us as well.

The right one may have been presented and we did not give it a chance, either because he/she was not my “physical look,” or not within the exact age range I required, (guys are usually looking for much younger women) in short, not my clone. For this we cannot be angry at G-d.

We need to know that the best recipe for a happy and lasting marriage is one’s capacity to give to others. When a couple shares “yirat shamayim” then they can make compromises, because it is not about what I need, but what does my marriage need right now and what would Hashem want from me in this situation.

We are not presented with our mate scott free, because we need to exercise our free-will, that human aspect that differentiates us from any other species.

We must put first things first. We most understand why we say “yotzer ha-adam” under the chuppah and not at a bris: marriage is the milestone of becoming a whole person. Without the commitment and dedication to a partner, without the connection to someone who is a reflection of myself, I cannot really grow and do my tikkun, and I will continue to be nice and kind only when it suits me.

May the upcoming joyous celebration of Tu B’Av bring us closer to making that holy commitment, not necessarily to that imaginary “perfect person,” but to the person who will be my help mate in achieving true unity with him/her and with Hashem.

About author:
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 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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