PARSHAT KI TISA: INVEST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP!
By Sherrie B. Miller
It is almost incomprehensible to us to imagine Bnei Yisrael demanding to build a golden calf, just as Moshe is about to return to them with the “luchot habrit.” How could this be?
Where was their faith and belief in Hashem and recognition of the miracles that He had performed for them in Egypt? What about the fact that they’d just experienced the most spectacular experience imaginable? They witnessed the thunder, the lightning, the “fireworks” at Matan Torah, where Hashem actually revealed Himself even to the simplest maidservant? How was it feasible that the Jewish Nation could fall so dramatically from such heights?
Shira Smiles quotes the Rav Aharon Soloveichik who explains that there are two ways in which a person can absorb and possess new knowledge; the first way is called “kibush.” This is compulsory or imposed acceptance that is caused by an overload of information. It is a drain on the senses and the impressions do not last.
The first luchot were acquired in this fashion descending through extraordinary and unique measures. Hashem basically forced Bnei Yisrael to receive His Torah by opening their hearts and giving them the extraordinary ability to become Prophets in their own right. However, the incredible experience was short-lived and all the people, including the maidservants ultimately returned to their previous status prior to the Revelation.
The second form of receiving a profound teaching is through “chazaka,” a tranquil process of applying oneself and making the supreme effort to integrate the information. This is the reason, that the second luchot, were given calmly and quietly.
Hashem tells Moshe “Psol Lecha,” “carve them for yourself, make a personal investment in receiving my Torah.” We too, are meant to carve within us and create a space whereby we become vessels to receive the Torah without the dazzling fanfare, but rather through cultivating the process of free choice. Bnei Yisrael continuously chooses through the generations of our Rabbis, to become Hashem’s Bride, as it were. Similarly, the initial dating experience wherein one “hears bells” and “sees fireworks,” will not sustain itself. The impact of a meaningful encounter with a potential spouse is a process that requires an investment of time and the ability to see beyond the surface. When we take the time and focus on a deeper reality, we view each person we meet as a multi faceted diamond with many talents and unique attributes. Similarly, the key to becoming a vessel for receiving Hashem’s blessings is appreciating His goodness and being invested in a meaningful soul relationship and not just the outward involvement in the conscientious observance of mitzvoth.
The parallel is clear vis-a –vis forging romantic relationships. Seeing the pnimiut, most inward aspects of each other, delving deeper into a person’s astonishing soul, beyond the digital photo and a dry profile is a step in the incredible process of finding true love! As Gila Manolson states in her book Head to Heart: “If love comes from appreciating goodness, it needn’t just happen-you can make it happen. Love is active. You can create it. Just focus on the good in another person (and everyone has some). If you can do this easily, you’ll love easily…..because love is a choice.”
It is so effortless to click “decline” when we receive a match, yet often times “accept” can make the amazing difference between finding my bashert, or not!
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.
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 connect.