Monthly Archives: August 2016

Tu B’Av – Where Is Your Head?


The Talmud Taanit 26b addresses how Tu B’Av – the 15th day of Av is particularly known as the day in which the maidens of Jerusalem would go to the vineyards in search of a suitable mate.

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….”


During a melave malka this past year in Chicago, Rabbi Levi Bukiet shared a story that demonstrates how we need to “raise our eyes” and put into perspective those issues that need our attention, and those that don’t.  read more

Be A Visionary

VisionEven though the three-week mourning period leading up to Tisha B’Av suspends the celebrations of weddings, this time period actually sheds light on how to build up a marriage relationship and therefore what one should focus on when dating. When we mourn the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash two thousand years after it happened, we are expressing our yearning for redemption and our commitment to bringing about that process. It is not about becoming disheartened, miserable and stagnant. It is about taking the first step towards rebuilding by establishing a clear vision. read more

Hashem Helps Those Who Help Others

Help others

In Talmud Bava Kama, Chazal teach:

כל המבקש רחמים על חבירו והוא צריך לאותו דבר הוא נענה תחילה  –

“Anyone wanting mercy for his friend, and he needs the same thing – he is answered first”.

The Talmud offers one source for this teaching. Avraham Avinu davened for King of Plishtim Avimelech, his wife and his maidservants etc that they should be healed and able to bear children. As a result of Avraham praying for others to restore their ability to have children, Sarah and Avraham were blessed in conceiving and bearing a son Yitzchok; even before the others were cured. read more

Don’t Make A Pimple Into A Mole

Fish in bowlOften I am asked during or towards the end of the dating process, how does one know if the issues one may be wrestling with in deciding whether they should commit should be legitimized or disregarded?

The key is not to make minor issues major, and likewise major issues minor.

Understand if the issue is a deal breaker or not. If it is, then that it most probably indicative that one cannot commit and shouldn’t proceed unless it can be resolved. For example:
  • Expectations are too overwhelming and demanding.
  • Parents are too controlling.
  • It all seems compatible on paper. Just difficult connecting emotionally.
  • Personality too secretive and introverted.
  • Hashkafa and halachic standards are too compromised, or too extreme.
On the other hand, if it’s only a minor issue that is not a deal breaker, then it will have to be addressed but it should not obstruct one from committing. For example:
  • He loves the outdoors. Hiking. Boating. She doesn’t really know. Never did it.
  • He doesn’t know yet what profession or shlichus he wishes to pursue.
  • She is very responsible with any task given to her but has no specific aspirations.
  • He’s not as outgoing as she envisioned her husband would be.
To address the above minor issues one must ask:
  • Maybe she will like the outdoors, hiking, boating etc once she’s experienced them. And if she doesn’t, how often and important is it that she must do those activities? After all, he can do them with other friends or with his own children as well?!
  • With regard to his future and her aspirations, maybe they are too young to know what options and opportunities will be afforded them. It may be too premature to be making those decisions. With the right guidance and advice, they will both find their calling.
  • Not being outgoing is very relative. He may be perfect for her in a one-on-one relationship.
In Eternal Joy, the Rebbe addresses this exact dilemma.

“First Things First”

With regard to shidduchim: Your emphasis should be on the most important factors of the person that you are meeting. When you do so, then as a matter of course, the secondary aspects — and most surely those matters that are but “secondary of the secondary” and “minor of the minor” — will cease to be of any import. read more

2 Peas In A Pod

2 peas in a podBack in June 2016, I addressed Opposites Attract. I have been asked, “does that mean two of the same personalities would make for a challenging marriage?” In reality, it can actually be  better. It is true that diverse personalities may seem attractive as each one complements the other in areas they feel deficient.  An introvert may feel more secure in the shadow of an extrovert, and the extrovert may feel very comfortable playing the lead role. A disorganized person may feel fortunate to be be married to someone who will keep the house clean, organized and adhere to a functioning schedule. An organized person may actually prefer to be in control, to be able to structure things in accordance to his likes and tendencies. Opposites can also make for interesting dates and engaging conversation seeing fresh new perspectives could be discussed. read more

Hey, Whatsapp?

Whatsapp  Whatsapp lie

The #1 mode of IM communication today, is Whatsapp. It is far superior than SMS (texting), email, and even calling. The advantages are numerous including the ability to send audio messages and video, text anyone worldwide free of charge and knowing when someone is online to grab their attention.

At some stage throughout the dating process, when all seems to be compatible, comfortable and positive,, the 2 dating will begin texting each other to arrange their own dates, time, location etc. Not to exclude the shadchan or go-between, but to have more direct contact and build the chemistry. Usually it indicates both feel there is great potential for marriage. read more

Committed to Dating


This may be directed more tCommitment to datingo middle age daters. Individuals set in their ways. Comfortable with their lifestyles. Set with their daily routines and weekly schedules. Hopefully well established in their careers and jobs. Enjoying the community and city where they live.  Attached to the shul and social crowd where the daven. But on reflection, this really applies to anyone in the dating scene – novice to the experienced.

Too many people are being pressured by shadchanim, parents, siblings, mentors, and acquaintances to “just go out and see”. Their interest and pro-activeness to see their relative or friend married is commendable. For often, people are so consumed with their own family life, they haven’t the time or the focus to assist singles in their pursuit of marriage. read more