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A story attributed to Rabbi Meir Shapiro Zt”l puts the common dating system into perspective.
A sofer (scribe) who lived in Warsaw was trying to earn a living by selling Mezuzot and Tefillin. Somebody advised him, “People here have no money. Take your merchandise to Berlin, where wealthy people will pay you top German marks, and you will be able to make ends meet.”
So he packed up one hundred and fifty Mezuzot, traveled to Berlin and set up shop in the community selling his Mezuzot at 50 German marks a piece. People viewed it as a good luck charm, napping up the merchandise. In two or three hours he made a fortune…and had no Mezuzot. What a lost opportunity! Then he remembered that he had brought along a Megillah (Scroll of Esther read in synagogues on Purim and also written on parchment).
So he took his scissors, cut the Megillah into strips, rolled them up and began selling them as Mezuzot with great success. One of the purchasers decided to examine the inside of his Mezuzah. He opened it up and saw “VAYEZATA.” (The tenth of Haman’s sons) It struck him as strange so he decided to ask his Rabbiner.
“Rabbi, I bought a Mezuzah and it says “VAYEZATA.” “Is this what is meant to be written in a Mezuzah?”
The Rabbi responded, “That’s a very deep question. I will have to ponder over it.” He went into his study, removed the Mezuzah that he had just bought and unwrapped it. His Mezuzah said “PARSHANDATA” (the first of Haman’s sons) He returned and told his congregant: “Yes, if Parshandata is a Mezuzah, so is Vayezata a Mezuzah.”
The moral of the story is very relevant to our times and Jewish singles’ reality. Purim is not the Jewish Halloween. Hannukkah is not Chrismukah. A Mezuzah is not a lucky charm. Madonna did not invent Kabbalah. The Megillah cannot be cut into pieces. (It ain’t kosher!) The Shma (which is one paragraph of what is placed inside a Mezuzah) is the essence of Judaism.
Our life is like the Megillah; we are cut into pieces and are constantly pulled in different directions. In this process, we loose sight of our Jewish identity and its meaning and application to our everyday life. We forfeit connecting to other Jews and learning about our Jewish heritage which is full of Kedushah (holiness) and Bracha (blessings). It is based on loving-kindness, the love for Jewish people and the sanctity of marriage in Judaism.
Dating is a time of preparation towards marriage. Dating is a sacred process. When we see it as anything else, as the Mezuzah in the story was mistaken for a lucky charm, it looses its integrity and holiness. Real love is not falling in love. Dating is not marriage or commitment. Love is unconditional and real: it is seen through actions. It is not infatuation. It is not dependent upon looks, career, wealth and “clicking” with someone.
In a period where we see dating and relationship experts spring up at every corner, let us examine first where their advice comes from. What is the source of their relationship knowledge and love advice? Do their lives reflect what they teach others? Be true to your convictions and live a life of integrity; learn about your Jewish traditions, culture, religion and the roots of your beliefs.
Vive la difference! I wish you a happy Purim.
Post created: Mar 03, 2011
There is a wonderful story of a poor farmer who lived under the rule of a miserable poritz in medieval Europe. The evil landowner provided minimal shelter in exchange for a large portion of the farmer’s profits. The farmer and his wife toiled under the most severe conditions to support their family with a few chickens that laid eggs and a cow that gave milk.
Ultimately, time took its toll and hardship became the norm. The farmer and his wife had their bitter routine and never hoped for better.
One day, the farmer came back from the market quite upset. “What’s the matter?” cried out his wife. “You look as if the worst calamity has happened.” “It has,” sighed the anxious farmer. “They say in the market that Moshiach is coming. He will take us all to the land of Israel. What will be of our cow and our chickens? Where will we live? Who will provide shelter for us? Oy! What is going to be?”
His wife, who was steeped with faith in the Almighty, answered calmly. “Don’t worry my dear husband, the good Lord always protects His people. He saved us from Pharaoh in Egypt. He redeemed us from the evil Haman and has protected us from harsh decrees throughout our exile. No doubt, He will protect us from this Moshiach, too!”
Often in life, whether by choice or by chance, we enter into situations we ought not to be in. As time progresses, we get accustomed to the situation, and our worst enemy becomes change. We must tell the Pharaoh within each of us, “Let my people go!” Let us not continue on the comfortable path, but rather get on the correct one. It is your responsibility to make the change.
Many singles know what it is like to feel disillusioned, burned out, hurt from the dating experience, negative stereotypes, game playing, casual dating, shopping around, serious commitment phobia, being off the market and on the market.
Still there is a yearning to find the one, to know that you were meant for each other; to love and be loved unconditionally, to appreciate and be appreciated, and to make a real and meaningful connection.
Post created: Mar 03, 2011
“I bore you on eagles’ wings… You shall be mine own “Segulah” (treasure).”
Many years ago, a man was walking in the forest when he found a young eagle. He took the bird home with him and put it in his farmyard. The eagle quickly learned to eat chicken feed and to behave like the chickens on the farm. One day a zoologist happened to pass by. He asked the owner, “How did it happen that of all birds, the king of the skies is in captivity in the yard together with the chickens?”
The owner of the farm replied, “Since I gave it chicken feed and trained it to be a chicken, it never learned to fly.” He added. “It acts like a chicken, and therefore it no longer is an eagle.” “Nevertheless,” the researcher insisted,” it has the heart of an eagle, and it certainly could learn to fly.”
After the two of them talked about this, they decided to examine who is right. The researcher gently lifted the eagle up and said, “Your place is in the skies and not on the earth. Spread your wings and fly!” The eagle became confused, and didn’t know what its identity was. When it saw the chickens eating their feed it jumped down to rejoin them.
The researcher did not give up. The following day he brought the eagle to the roof of the house. Once again he urged it, “You are an eagle. Spread your wings and fly! “But the eagle was afraid of the new identity the researcher attempted to give it. Once again it jumped down to rejoin the chickens. On the third day, early in the morning, the researcher took the eagle out of the courtyard to a high hill, where he raised the king of the skies above his head, and once again encouraged it to fly. “You are an eagle. Your place is both in the skies and on earth. Now spread your wings and fly.”
The eagle looked around, down to the farmyard and up to the skies, but it still did not fly. Then the researcher lifted the eagle up to the sun. The bird began to tremble. Slowly, it spread its wings, and finally, it rose up with a cry of triumph and flew away.
It is possible that the eagle misses the chickens. It is possible that it even visits the farmyard from time to time. But as far as we know, it never went back to live like the chickens. It was an eagle, even though it was raised like a chicken.
You need to be aware of your own inner soul to find your soulmate. Develop your human potentials and be aware of your unique Jewish identity. Accept yourself, do not blur your identity by comparing yourself to Hollywood images. Develop your own inner vision on life, your own taste, your goals, love and appreciate the whole package even if the wrapping is not perfect. We live in a throw away society, as easily as we dispose of used cars, and other appliances, we dump relationships and loved ones. Singles who want to get married worry about making a first good impression, to dress in order to impress, to have chemistry, instant attraction, they want just to click by some magic power that is easy, wow, fantastic and fun.
Welcome to fantasy land ….Fantasies are not necessarily harmless. The shock of disillusionment can be very painful. You have to drill deep in order to strike pure water.
In the noisy confusion of life, remember to spread your wings, you are Jewish, different, and very special. Climb the mountain, follow the sun. The process might be unfamiliar, yet very rewarding and fulfilling.
“Don’t be afraid of the other person because he is different from you. There is far more in common between any two human beings than there are differences.
As for the differences, think of them as the hooks that hold us together. Differences are the thing we have most in common.”
From ‘Be within, stay above’- wisdom from the Rebbe.
By Tzvi Freeman
Post created: Mar 03, 2011
Alarmed and very concerned by the statistics of intermarriage and the threat for the survival of the Jewish people in the Diaspora, I have taken a firm stand and started a Jewish dating service in order to attract Jewish singles that are committed not to marry out of the Jewish faith.
17 years later I am much encouraged, seeing thousands of Jewish singles who joined our dating site (www.jmatch.com) making love connections, finding their Jewish partners, their REAL soulmates, getting married and building Jewish families.
Our singles have an appreciation of the beauty and depth of Judaism and desire to preserve a wealth of knowledge and wisdom by choosing Jewish partners. I invite you to join our personalized matchmaking service and read about our success stories.
Read what our members have to say about Jewish Pride, Jewish Values, loving kindness, Tikun Olam, love for Israel and the Jewish people, the desire to reconnect to our roots, our rich heritage and be part of the unbroken chain Adei Ad. (Forever)
“The Lord hath done great things with us; we are rejoiced.”
Post created: Mar 03, 2011
There are many fish in the sea. There is no one and only Mr. or Mrs. Right and no perfect person, only real people, with real imperfections. Finding love means being open to many possibilities and making compromises.
You have to climb the mountain if you want to enjoy the view. Take reasonable risks and try new ideas. It is only a matter of time, patience and persistence before success comes.
Resist the temptation to reveal too much about your personal life too soon.
Avoid discussing with strangers about your real age, income, your ex-relationships, horrible dates, mishaps, legal problems, your psychiatrist. You never know how this information will be used.
Discuss the future, the possibility for friendship, tell him/her about the ideal qualities, relationship, family that you might be interested in the future. Listen carefully to his/her reaction.
Keep distance from other single friends who had bad relationships. They will tell you all if you will just listen, it is spread poison.
Don’t be picky - you will never find a perfect emotional, intellectual and physical match. You are facing hardship, disappointment. Instead, be selective: look for family values, integrity, compassion, commitment, intelligence, etc..
Post created: Mar 03, 2011