Things have been a bit slow in the romance department of late, so for the first time ever I contacted a matchmaker. They asked me what I am looking for. I don't want to seem fussy, but I don't want to settle either. So what's the best way to go about defining who I want to date?
Here's what you should do:
Take a piece of paper and a pen, and write down everything you are looking for in a match.
Scrunch up the piece of paper
Throw it away
Take another piece of paper, and write down your three most important values and beliefs.
If you hear of a good person who shares your values, forget about all other prerequisites and date them
It is absurd to think that the way to find your soulmate is to first describe them in detail, and then seek someone who fits your description. How are you supposed to describe someone you never met? How are you supposed to know what you're looking for in the first place?
You say you're an outgoing type, so you need someone outgoing. Really? What difference will it make to your relationship? You love rock climbing so you need someone with a sense of adventure. Why? Can't you go climbing with your climbing friends?
Our personalities don't need to be the same. Our hobbies don't need to match up. Our values do. An outgoing rock climber who doesn't share your family values and beliefs about the world may be great company for holidays, but not a great partner for life. But an introverted chess player whose vision for their future and outlook on life matches yours just might click perfectly.
When you approach dating with a checklist, you are waiting to strike the other person out. That is not real openness. Rather come to the matchmaker with simple expectations: I know I am looking for a good, kind person who shares my values and beliefs. On this I am clear.
As for everything else - personality type, interests, intellectual leanings, how loud or soft they speak - I have no idea what I need. But I am open to find out. Surprise me.
Based on letters from the Rebbe. See Igros Kodesh, Vol. XXIII, p. 73, Vol. XVI, p. 101, Vol. XI, p. 52. Available in English at http://www.sie.org
The question I'd like to ask you has to do with preparing to die. Many of my friends who are in their 70's are making arrangements for their Jewish burials so that the burden won't fall on their children. Is this appropriate? Or are we to simply leave our final requests in writing for our family when we are no longer in this world?
You know the story of the charming husband who bought his wife a burial plot for her birthday. The next year he didn't buy her anything. When she asked why, he responded, "I bought you a gift last year and you didn't use it."
It's a horrible joke. But even bad jokes have some truth to them. The sages advised us to purchase a burial plot even while we are still alive and well. And it is commonly said that doing so will actually bless you with a long life. So this guy's wife should be blessed with good health for many years to come.
Although this blessing is not written in any classical Jewish source, it is possible to explain it psychologically. The fear of dying, like the fear of anything, saps our energy. Buying a burial plot may help normalize death, and thus allow us not to be preoccupied with it.
Another suggested explanation: It is ordained in heaven how much income each person makes in a year. This includes the burial society. A certain amount of money will come to them each year. Unfortunately, they make a living from people dying. So there needs to be a certain number of funerals each year. But if you pay your funeral costs in advance, then they get the money that is coming to them, and you can live on.
Death is an unpleasant topic, but we all have to face it. Our emphasis should always be on life, not its opposite. But on occasion, a gentle reminder of our mortality can motivate us to use our time wisely. May we all live for many years, and may those years be filled with meaningful days.
Wisdom of Tanya...................... Monday 8:00-9:00pm
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO
Finley Zev Hasofer.......................... 16 Tammuz/ 22 July
Ari Smaller...................................... 19 Tammuz/ 25 July
Rafael Deubler................................ 20 Tammuz/ 26 July
Deborah Bui..................................... 23 Tammuz/ 29 July
Carol Melman and family on the passing of her mother Miriam Shapiro in South Africa
LONG LIFE TO
Eric Melman for his late father George Melman,
Gershon ben Yosef......................................................17 Tammuz/ Saturday 22 July
Ronan Lutman for his late grandmother Meda Sofer,
Mesuda bat Farcha.......................................................18 Tammuz/Sunday 23 July
Marlene Franks for her late mother Cecily Wolman,
Tsovia bat Sabsa Welva.................................................. 22 Tammuz/ Thursday 28 July
Zelman Nissen for his late father Michael Judah Nissen,
Michael Judah ben Avrom............................................... 22 Tammuz/ Thursday 28 July
Judy Swaab for her late mother Adel Reves,
Sarah bat Avraham........................................................ 22 Tammuz / Thursday 28 July
Adele Glick for her late mother, Nachama Rieback............ 22 Tammuz /Thursday 28 July
Joseph Newman for his late uncle Cyril Moshe Shostak ...... 23 Tammuz/ Friday 29 July
Become part of an exciting and vibrant volunteer team: Shir Madness Jewish Music Festival is seeking volunteers. You get FREE FESTIVAL ENTRY in exchange for 4 hours of your time. Festival date: 18 September. Volunteer online: www.shirmadness.com/volunteer
Nefesh Shul, 54 Roscoe Street, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026 Australia
WARM UP WITH NEFESH - HOT SOUP AND WHISKY KIDDUSH TONIGHT AFTER 6PM SERVICE
Question of the Week
Do a husband and wife need to be together 24/7? Is it ok to have a life outside of marriage? I sometimes feel guilty if I spend time alone or with friends, as if I should always include my spouse in everything I do. But then sometimes I feel smothered and need some space. That also makes me feel guilty. I am happily married but not sure what's right here. Any help you can offer?
Love is like a fire. It can generate a lot of light and a lot of warmth. But to keep any flame alive, it needs to be fed. If you don't keep throwing logs on the fire, it will fizzle out and there will be nothing left.
The logs that fuel love are time spent together, shared experiences, and emotional bonding. Without this nourishment, even the strongest love can dissipate. If we become too distracted with other things, if we are too busy for each other, the love goes stale and we soon drift apart. Like a fire unfed, a love unattended eventually burns out.
But logs are not all a fire needs. A fire also needs air. All the wood in the world will not be enough to maintain a fire if the fire can't breathe. And the same goes for love. To be able to love, we need space for ourselves, we need some oxygen. Without it, we lose our individuality, we have nothing to bring to the relationship, and we become boring.
Allowing each other to explore interests, maintain friendships and have quiet time outside of marriage is not a threat to the relationship. On the contrary, it strengthens it, because a relationship means connecting to someone else, and to be someone else you need to have a life. For someone to love you, there has to be a you, independent of your partner.
Of course this has to be within reason. The fire needs air, but we don't want to blow out the flame by creating too much space. Most of the time we should want to be together with the one we love. And relationships or activities that our partner is uncomfortable with should be avoided. Our marriage always comes first. But if you truly love someone, you have to let them exist outside of you, and you need to nurture your own existence too.
Make it clear to your spouse that you are not running away, and The Talmud teaches, "If husband and wife are worthy, the divine presence rests between them." This means that for G-d to be there, you need some space between you for Him to rest.
Keep on fueling your flame, but give it some air to breathe. And don't feel guilty about being your own person. That's who your spouse fell in love with in the first place.
Jewish Bereaved Parents is an independent support group for Jewish parents who have suffered the devastating loss of a child of any age. We run monthly meetings, coffee nights, guest speakers and one-on-one chats in private and casual settings. After successfully launching in Melbourne, JBP is looking to reach out to parents in Sydney. If you or anyone you know could benefit from this support, or you want more info please contact Cynthia Pollak JBPsupport@optusnet.com.au and look at our website www.jbp.org.au