9 Rules of Successful Dating for Marriage

Aside from magnets and electrons – I don’t think opposites attract.

I don’t mean that a person will not be attracted to someone totally different. I mean that usually it won’t make for a productive relationship.

Common Sense Rules

Some Common Sense Rules for Dating from Torah are compiled Below:

  1. Common Goals

Common goals is a must. A common mentality also helps.

Three Levels of Interaction

“The River, the Kettle and the Bird” – a Book – talks about three levels of relationships. One is like a river – a conduit of commerce between two towns – a commerce kind of relationship – I’ll buy potatoes from you & You buy tomatoes from me. Each one is working for their own selfish interests.

The second is the kettle – a conduit of cooking. Marriage is used as a conduit to help one or the other progress – be it in a career, a business or an education.

The bird – is a single entity. The couple acts as one. They have similar goals and their goal include souring higher – through the spirituality and growth offered in the Torah.

2. Clarifying Goals & Intermarriage

To have a successful marriage it is important for a person to have their goals in life clear.

There are General goals and particular goals.

G-d gave the Jews the Torah in front of millions of witnesses for the Jews to have guidance on how to serve as a light to the nations. We are to build the spiritual world by bringing people closer to having a relationship with G-d. To do this we also are to be connected with G-d through doing His Mitzvot / commandments.

Gentiles also have a very respectful and important role in the world – which is to build the physical world.

Jews & Gentiles have different goals in the world. A sincere gentile that wants to take upon themselves the obligations and goals of Judaism can choose to convert to Judaism with a competent orthodox rabbi.

Intermarriage between Jews and Non-Jews is prohibited by Torah law.

Also it ends up mostly in Divorce. Apparently the reason why has to do with the different goals – expressed, unexpressed, conscious or unconscious goals – that each partner has. In an intermarriage the goals of partners clash from the beginning.

The point being is commonality is more important than diversity in a couple.

So when dating – it is best for a Jewish person to marry a Jewish person of similar values.

One of the goals of a Jewish couple should be that they bring up their children in an environment conducive to Torah observance.

A Gentile couple should have a goal that they bring up their children according to the 7 Noahide laws from the Torah.

Looking for the right marriage partner – here are some tips from a Torah perspective.

3. The Goal of Dating

The goal of dating is not to have a good time. The goal is to find a marriage partner that will help you reach your potential and purpose in life. Although one should have an enjoyable time on dates – the focus should be is this the person that will help me achieve my goals in life and goals for my future family. Does this person have the proper character traits and hashkafa / personal philosophy that I want them raising my future children. Do they have common values.

4. Celibacy

Celibacy before marriage is of utmost importance. A person who is physical before marriage throws objectivity – in finding a compatible mate with similar goals out the window.

5. The search for the right one in the place where people of good values are found

First is to find someone with similar values. Look in the place that you would think people would have good values – in the Beit HaKnesset / Synagogue, Beit Hamidrash / House of Torah Study,etc. Call orthodox rabbis in your community to find if they might know someone for you. Perhaps the rabbis can direct you to a shadchan / a matchmaker. Ask pointed questions before meeting the person. Is the person a giver or a taker. Does he or She do pronounced kindness. Are they respectful.

I suggest to people searching to get married to reinforce themselves in Torah and Mitzvot. Why? If a person is going to bars every night – he or she will meet a person going to bars every night. I don’t know if that is the best sort of person to bring children up in Torah Judaism.

If a person observes the Shabbat, Hash-m will help him find a mate that is also Shomer Shabbat / Shabbat observant. Shabbat observance is so important today – in the world where technology is big brother or an addiction. Shabbat compels us to put away our gadgets and to focus on people not on phones or computers or TV.

6. Do your Research Before the Date

First – before the date – find out as much as you can about the person. Is he or she a kind person. How do you know? Call his or her friends. ask for a Shidduch / Dating resume & call their references. nowadays this is common practice. A person should do their due diligence. If for hiring an employee they would do the research, even more so should they do research for a mate with whom they may be spending the rest of their life.

7. Be Yourself – Don’t Try to Impress

A person on a date – many times the man – wants to impress the partner. The effort to impress might just backfire. A woman wants a man that she can respect. A man that is responsible. A man that has his head on his shoulders. Doing things irresponsible or immature may cause a damper in the respect for him or her.

8. Know the Goals of The First Dates

The Goal of the first two dates is – 1) to determine if you have common conversation together and 2) Whether you respect each other. For the woman that is of utmost importance. For the man – the attractiveness of the woman plays a greater role.

The rabbis recommend that a couple go out at least twice because on first dates people may react ways out of being nervous rather than being themselves.

The Third Date

If one feels comfortable about the two or three points of the first dates then on the third – one should reveal somewhat of a personal secret (not too personal) and see how the other reacts and how you feel about his or her reaction.

9. Are They Marriage Minded –

Some already in a Relationship end up getting older without anything to show except some good times without much building of the relationship.  The reason – because one of the mates has no intention of marriage. Some have cold feet and stall. Others aren’t in for building – they are in it for “Fish Love.” Fish Love is illustrated by a person who tells you they “Love Fish”. Yet when you give them a fish – they cut it up, cook it andeat it. They don’t love the fish – they love the pleasure they get from the Fish. Don’t be the other’s fish. You end up wasting time and lose opportunities of a productive, true love relationship. If a person who is a good person is pushing marriage off – clarify what are their marital intentions and give them a deadline.

Preventing Divorce

Divorce is prevented by having solid foundations of values  and good character traits. When one’s foundations, philosophy and character traits are solidly grounded in Torah values – it makes for a more stable relationship.

Meaningful Relationship

A couple is to grow together. When Torah is the foundation – they have common goals and share a proper pathway for growth. They share common values and – in the end it will ultimately help them to better reach their potential and purpose in life.

Awareness of Yourself – Thinking Outside Your Interests

you’re getting annoyed.

your child is knocking down things in your home office.

your office report is due.

people are relying on you for the report.

just then your child starts nagging and crying.

“i am justified in getting angry. let me belt out a yell and put things in order” – you think.

You lose it. You scream and scare the kid. then you realize he pulled your papers off the desk because he wanted to get his bottle.

he was thirsty. you got angry. you yelled at a hungry child.

poor child – no milk. no food. and he’s getting yelled at by his mother (or father).

let’s re-frame the situation.

the same happens –

on the verge screaming and scaring the kid. you realize he pulled your papers off the desk because he wanted to get his bottle. he was thirsty. you refrain from getting angry.

“What does this child want from me? Perhaps he is hungry.” Now your anger turns to mercy. This child didn’t eat all the time I was engrossed in my report.

you put the report on hold and feed the hungry child.

this happens frequently. One acts. We react. We react based upon – what is in my best interest.

The idea is to see the other person’s best interest as well.

both gain when we think for two.

Not just you.

You Stole the Cookie from The Cookie Jar – How do I Fix it?

Do Good.

Don’t do bad.

Got the warning too late?

You did the bad deed?

Now what?

Is it really bad?

First of all ask : Is what you did really bad in G-d’s “eyes”?

If you don’t know the answer to that question – ask a competent Orthodox Rabbi.

G-d told us what is good and bad in The Torah – the only divine law that was given by G-d before millions of witnesses.

A Jew learns what is right and wrong from the Shulchan Aruch  / the Set Table and 613 Commandments of the Torah (see Sefer Mitzvot Gedolot, Mitzvat Hinukh, Sefer HaMitzvot).

A gentile determines what is bad and good from the 7 Noahide commandments from the Torah / Sheva’ Mitzvot B’nai Noach.

The Torah Laws for Gentiles are 7. These 7 are major categories and have Mitzvot / commandments related to them. The accepted number of commandments that are “under” the category of 7 is 30. Dr. Aaron Lichtenstein in his book “The Laws of Noah” found sources for 66 commandments that non-Jews are to observe. (perhaps one day we will publish them)

Perhaps a non-Jew ate pork. For a gentile – this is not forbidden. No use for a gentile to feel guilty for something G-d does not consider bad. For a Jew it is forbidden. Why? That’s another story.

How Bad is it?

Stealing a nickel is not as bad as stealing a person’s life savings. OK one fell to temptation and took those new office supplies from work. (For your info these are the top stolen supplies : Post-It Notes, Paper Clips, Tape, Scissors, Toilet Paper, Copier Paper, USB Memory Sticks, Notepads, Pens, Pencils & Highlighters)

Yes it is bad that one did bad, but G-d doesn’t wants the person to be punished – He wants them to do teshuva and better their ways.

Because a person did bad in one area of life it does not mean that they are evil. They fell into the trap in one area of life. A person can be evil in one area of life but righteous in other areas. Because someone stole some paper clips it doesn’t make him into a high scale criminal. Even a person who does evil regularly – G-d does not want their death – he wants them to improve his or her ways. This is what we call teshuva. (Repentance). You can Start a New Page in Life. Repentance – according to the RAMBAM / Maimonides – is 4 different steps: 1. Regret the Misdeed, 2. Confession to Hash-m about it, 3. Stop Doing the Misdeed. 4. Commitment not to do the deed again.

Can You make amends?

Is it something repairable or replaceable? If you stole your friend’s cookie and ate it – buy him or her another one. Let them know and make amends – and make back your friends.

Be wise! Apologize. It’s Better than replaying the same guilt trip in your mind over and over.

Once a bag merchant cheated people by giving them less bags than said in the packaging. Instead of giving buyers 100 bags as said on the box – he would give 96. People wouldn’t pay attention. He felt badly for his misdeed and decided to start anew. He decided to make up for cheating people he would pack more than 100 bags in each box. After his Teshuva – A big company was looking for a bag distributor. They decided to check the number of bags packed by various bag manufacturers. They counted the bags he provided and he got the contract.

Intentional or Unintentional?

An unintentional misdeed is not as bad as an intentional one.

Ask: Was the deed done intentionally or unintentionally? Intentional is that one knows it is wrong but did it anyway. Unintentional can be that you thought it was permitted or you made a mistake – ie, you took a coat that you thought was yours.

Feeling Badly for Misdeed is a Good Sign

If you feel badly for what you did that is already a good sign – it shows that you are cognizant of good and bad. You already did one of the first steps of Teshuva – regret (see above).

Don’t Do Something Worse than what you did!

Unfortunately we hear in the news people who kill themselves because of their doing a misdeed or even being accused of a misdeed. The suicide is worse than the misdeed itself. One who did something bad should go see an orthodox rabbi and talk to him about how to go about Teshuva process.

Killing oneself is one of the worst deeds. Why? Because killing a person is forbidden. Killing a person who is close family is worse. Killing oneself is even worse.

So don’t do a deed that is worse than what you already did. Improve yourself. Commit not to do it again. Say sorry to the people you hurt. Make amends and say sorry to Hash-m and continue your life as a penitent person.

If a person does Teshuva from fear of punishment – G-d forgives their sins. A person who does teshuva because he or she loves Hash-m / G-d and is upset that they went against Him – their sins become mitzvot (merits).

Three People are Forgiven All of Their Sins

Aside from people who sincerely repent – three others receive forgiveness – one who reaches a new position of greatness (ie, they become a ruler), a person who gets married and a person who converts to Judaism. These three people take upon themselves new responsibilities in the world and G-d gives them a clean slate to start with.

Both Jew and Gentile receive a portion in Olam HaBa / The World to Come / or Heaven based upon their deeds in this world. This place is determined based upon their observance of their particular commandments as mentioned above and the good deeds they did in their lifetime. (See sources here.) Their place in the next world (ie, basement or top floor) will depend upon  their observance of these laws.

Every person who did transgress – Jew or Gentile – can Do Teshuva / Repent.

The challenges of life are to help a person to become better. Failed – by doing a misdeed? Do Teshuva. Improve and Try again. You’ll become person in the end.

Stop Taking Care of Business – Enjoy What You are Doing.

Want to be more productive?

One rule of personal effectiveness is start the day with the things you would rather not do.

Some do. Some Push these off. But pushing off challenges leads to mediocrity – in the aspect you push off. Push off your fund-raising – one usually ends up with mediocrity in donations. Push off your Job search – one usually ends up with mediocrity in income.

Ok. Now you choose to do the task you dislike in the morning. Cleaning the potatoes. Cleaning your room or the kitchen. Paying your bills. Cold calling. Getting your daughter ready for school.

So you can dread it. But you have already dedicated time for it. So instead of dreading it, enjoy it. You have to do it. So you might as well learn to enjoy it.

Getting Organized – Tips for a More Productive You

Getting Organized –  tips for effectiveness

My office was in disorder. What can I do?

It being in this state was causing me to procrastinate. A clean room allows a person to better concentrate. I had to do something great. So I would not hand things in late. I didn’t want to be relegated to fate. So I had to start with a clean slate. (and desk for that matter)

Ever wonder where the quote of “cleanliness is next to godliness.”

In Mesilat Yesharim  / the Path of the Righteous – Rabbi Moshe Haim Luzatto teaches the path of how to achieve “cleanliness is next to godliness.” Here is the quote:

 

“From here Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair derived: Torah brings to watchfulness; Watchfulness brings to Zeal; Zeal brings to Cleanliness; Cleanliness brings to Separation; Separation brings to Purity; Purity brings to Piety; Piety brings to Humility; Humility brings to Fear of Sin; Fear of Sin brings to Holiness; Holiness brings to the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit brings to the Revival of the Dead.” … 

 

When i go to study in the Beit Midrash / House of study – the first thing I try to do is to clean and clear the desk. This way i can concentrate better.

Here are some tips to run a cleaner office or home.

One-time rule

Encountering things you don’t need constantly? Use the one time rule – deal with it and file it away or discard it.

Remove everything rule.

Decide on a corner or area to clean. Remove everything from one corner put it in a box and then put the things you need back. it’s easier than deciding whether to keep or throw away everything when everything is on your desk.

Remove distractions

Put a cap on internet, email, whatsapp, face book etc.

Get an online Dropbox account

Dropbox allows your files to be synchronized on all your computers, phone and/or tablets. it saves time from you updating every file every time.

Connect or un-connect

Should you have an attached (with cable) mouse or keyboard or unattached (bluetooth). it depends. are you someone who tends to lose things. it is better to have a cable. or several mice (in case one is lost)

Use things for their purpose.

I have a filing cabinet. For many years i used it to store tools. Then I figured it out. Perhaps it is better to use it to file folders. I had much paper lying around. I filed them away and made things less cluttered.

Don’t fall back into messiness

Make procedures that your clean desk does not become a mess again. Each thing should have its place. also clean desk once a day or week.

Electric notes.

Tons of little paper notes? File them on a note system – like Evernote or another cloud note system

Light.

Light can make you more efficient. One because you become more cheerful. Secondly you see things better. Add light to a room or desk.

Bigger monitor.

Get a bigger monitor if you work on a computer. You use a laptop? Get a monitor to attach it to when you are at home office or work.

Frequency of access

A common sense rule is – what you need frequently keep close and easily accessible. That you use infrequently can be put away farther.

Get shelves and plastic storage boxes – label each box

Delegate
Delegate to others the task of filing papers

Once you determined the categories of your files by putting initial clean-up files in your filing cabinet.

Label it

It is good to have a quick label printer to label things quickly. Make address labels or label folders or places where you put things. You might want to purchase a dymo 450 turbo label printer.

Definitely Keep – Definitely Throw – Definitely Give

Once you put everything in your drop box – take out the things that you definitely want to keep, throw or give. Make those three piles.

There will be little stuff left. Small things put in a ziplock bag to deal with later

Put ideas and other random notes on notepad program

Type them there – it might be easier to copy and paste to other programs afterward than to be distracted by other features of programs.

 

Depression – A Springboard to Happiness? Curing the Suffering of the Soul.

Depression.

A Dark Corridor in the Path of life. Can you bring the light back?

Yes – if you want to.

Everything can be viewed as good and be used for the good. Even Depression.

If it serves as a springboard for bettering oneself – it can be used for the good.

People feel depressed because of chemical imbalances or other reasons that they cannot pinpoint or perhaps they can pinpoint.

The first point to overcome depression is to find the cause. At times one would need a professional psychologist. I tend to shy away from that – because I feel many a time a person can get back on their feet themselves.

But if a person feels they may harm themselves or others – they should seek help from a relative or friend or a professional or a competent Orthodox rabbi.

The advantage in a competent Orthodox rabbi is that he has the viewpoint of the Torah that gives him a larger view of the problem and the solution.

Finding the Cause

The four steps of solving a problem are:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. What are the causes of the problem?
  3. What are solutions?
  4. what are the best possible solutions?

Sorting the causes, symptoms

One might think a symptom is actually a cause or a cause is a symptom.

For instance perhaps a person feels that the fact that they are not married leads them to depression. Perhaps it is the depression that is causing them not to be married. They can’t show a cheery disposition to potential mates – so the potential suitors or mates may become turned off. It might be a catch-22 situation.

Perhaps they feel that their dead end job is causing them to be depressed. Perhaps it is not their job – but that they are not performing to acceptable levels of efficiency or effectiveness.

Perhaps their cause is really a reason that is linked to something more deep.

The Evil & Good Inclination

Really – the bottom line is that one chooses to be depressed or not. There is a concept in Judaism called the evil inclination & the good inclination. The evil inclination causes a person negative thoughts. The good inclination causes a person positive thoughts.

You Choose Happiness

The evil inclination wants a person to be depressed. Why? It wants the destruction of man in this world and the next. So he places negative thoughts in your mind that you can choose to listen to or to disregard or contradict.

It might tell you in your mind “You are a nobody!’

so you can fall into the trap and think “I am a nobody”

or you can counter and say “I am a great person!”

It might cast into your mind “You can’t!’

so you can mistakenly think “I can’t!”

or you can counter and say “Yes I Can!”

It might cast into your mind “Your doing such a bad job!’

so you can mistakenly think “I’m doing badly!”

or you can counter and say “I’m doing great!”

One Simple mind technique – counter the negative thoughts with the positive.

The Real You – Is the cause a Material cause or a Spiritual cause

One of the first question a person should ask is “who am I?” Am I just a body or do I also have a soul?

Judaism knows a person has a soul. Logic also concurs with this point of view – for what animates a person? It must be a soul – otherwise there is no reason for a person to be inanimate as a chair – unless there is an “engine” animating him or her.

So really a person is a soul. There are various parts of the soul. The Nefesh, Ru-ah’, Neshama, Chaya, Yehida.

The Nefesh animates a person or animals. It is the lowest part of the soul. The Ruach – apparently allows a person to speak. The Neshama has a higher spiritual calling – to cling to G-d.

Why should you know this?

Because since you are a soul – if a person is depressed – it emanates from one of these souls.

Thus at times a sadness or depression can be caused by a suffering of the soul. Thus Repentance can help the depressed soul. By a person starting over & wiping the slate clean – it can help them remove their depression. Sometimes transgressions sully the soul and make it more difficult to feel a connection to G-d. The soul’s greatest desire is to make be connected with Hash-m. How does one Wipe the slate clean? Start by learning Torah that applies to you as Jew or the Torah’s Noahide laws – if you are a Gentile.

Obviously the material causes should also be dealt with. For example, If one sees they are not finding the right mate for getting married – perhaps one has to spend more time on the phone trying to find a suitable mate from matchmakers.

The soul’s connection to Spirituality.

A person feels a lacking. They want spirituality. They may either know this – that they need spirituality or they may think “I feel sad but I can’t pinpoint the reason”. Or they pinpoint the reason but they attribute it to a material cause – when it is really a spiritual cause that is causing their suffering.

Dealing with that spiritual suffering may also not only remove the suffering but also solve the problem. We’ll give an example.

A person is sad that they are not married. It is understandable from a material standpoint – in the fact that a person wants a productive, sharing & loving relationship. From a spiritual standpoint – it is understandable for a person to be depressed – because the soul wants to fulfill Mitzvot to help them be closer to G-d. One mitzvah of the Torah – for Jews and Non-Jews is to be fruitful & multiply. To have children that will populate the world.

So we can learn from this a person in a dead end relationship where the man or woman does not want to commit to marriage – or perhaps one does not want to have children – might cause depression because they are not fulfilling the commandment of being fruitful & multiplying – which causes the soul to be sad.

The solution – strengthen one’s commitment to observing the Torah’s commandments for Jews or Gentiles. This will in essence 1. make the soul happier. 2. make a person more deserving to find a worthy soul mate and thus help you attract higher quality prospective mates. If you do the commandments – G-d will match you with someone on your level. My advice to Jewish singles thus is to reinforce themselves in Torah Study & Mitzvot and make an effort to find a worthy mate. Apparently this also Gentiles – if they reinforce themselves in observing the Seven Noahide Laws from the Torah – G-d will help them find a more worthy mate.

Or perhaps a person is sad because of their dead end job. Jews & Gentiles have a commandment to build the world. If a person is not producing and they are sad about it, it might mean they (and their soul) are sad because they are not fulfilling the commandment to build the world. The person might think they are sad because they are in a dead end-job. But really they are sad is because they are not fulfilling the commandment of building the world.

Time will Heal

A person who was a manic depressive went to King Solomon. He asked for a ring that would make him happy when sad and calm when happy. Solomon made a ring that said “Also this will pass.”

Time heals wounds. It also takes time to return to happiness. If one works on oneself regularly and follows good advice it can take shorter. But usually depression does not change over night. It takes time – so be patient with yourself and others.

The Error of Searching For Spirituality in Exotic Places

A big error that people make is to search for spirituality in places that make them feel spiritual. Feeling spiritual does not mean a person is actually spiritual. It means that they feel spiritual. Whatever that means.

The Real Spirituality

Real spirituality is feeling close to the One and Only Creator of the Universe – G-d. The Jews call Him Hash-m. That is the definition of spirituality – being close to G-d.

to really be spiritual one must determine two things:

1. One must be able to find the real G-d

2. One must be able to find the real path to G-d.

This is rather easy to determine through logic.

(See our article: What G-d wants From You)

Here is a brief way to find out both – The real G-d is the only G-d that appeared to millions of people at Mount Sinai. All other human conceptions of “god” were never followed by a national revelation. Thus the G-d of the Jews is the real G-d.

The path to find G-d is to follow the Rules that G-d gave when he appeared to millions of people at Mount Sinai. The Torah. The Torah has laws for Jews and Gentiles (Non-Jews). Gentiles follow their laws – the Seven Noahide laws – to gain a place in heaven. They do not have to convert to Judaism to gain a place in heaven. They just have to follows the Noahide laws because the Torah says so. If a Gentile so wishes – they can decide to convert to becoming Jewish.

So all following of the other cults and paths is like shooting an arrow in the wind. Why take a circuitous route – when the path is simple and clear?

The reason I say this, is not because I was born as a religious Jew. I investigated, had good experiences and bad, did Mitzvot and transgressed, did good and bad, did right and wrong – was correct and made errors. With Hash-m’s help – my beacon – Logic, reasoning and common sense helped me to come to these conclusions.

And G-d Said “let there be Light”

In Parashat (Torah Reading) of Noach (Noah) we read G-d commanding Noah to make an Ark to save himself from the flood. He says make a skylight for the ark. (In Hebrew – Tzhohar Ta’aseh LaTeva). Tzohar means illumination. Teva in Hebrew means Ark. Teva also means words.

צהר תעשה לתבה ואל־אמה תכלנה מלמעלה ופתח התבה בצדה תשים תחתים שנים ושלשים תעשה

Make an opening for daylight in the ark, and terminate it within a cubit of the top. Put the entrance to the ark in its side; make it with bottom, second, and third decks. (Genesis / Bereshit 6:16)

Rav Nachman of Breslev in Likutei Mo’hran (112:1) Says the main point in making light to your words – means to search for truth. Because the seal of G-d is truth. Truth is like light. If a person is stuck in a dark room – and he finds not the door – he needs light. Light will illuminate the dark room to allow himself a way out of the darkness. If one follows truth – they can also find a way out of their own personal darkness.

In Tehillim / Proverbs (6:23) it says

A Mitzvah is a Candle and The Torah is Light. Some read Tehillim / Psalms to get out of darkness. Some learn Torah. Torah is one light that can help you out of the darkness.

 

Suffering Singles – Ending the Endless Dating Game

I usually have answers to problems.

Through dealing with my own personal sufferings, I learned techniques to solve personal problems.

Apparently because of the effect of my father’s jewelry business that experienced hard times, I also learned to solve business problems.

My mind goes to problem solving mode when I hear of a problem.

The first step in solving a problem is to define the problem.

Ask – “what is the problem?”

One problem in today’s society is many singles stay single and don’t get married.

Some may say that it is not a problem – but according to Torah Jews and gentiles have a Mitzvah to have children.

Also – for the ultimate good of society – it is a necessary good for people to help populate the world. If people did not have children, after one generation, theoretically the population would go to zero. No more new generations – One of the problems of  homosexuality and complete celibacy.

Nowadays, even among religious Jews – many find themselves single.

It baffles me what the basic cause of the problem. The cause of the large single population eludes me. Once the cause of the problem is found it is easier to find the solution. Below are questions for person in the non-married state may ask to help them tie the knot with a worthwhile mate.

Apparently being single is a source of suffering among many singles. Apparently, people want to settle down and found a family. I remember once my cousin mentioned that she went on many dates. Before I started dating seriously – with the intention of getting married – I thought that was a good thing. But then when I was in the dating scene I found that being in a state of doubt is a source of suffering.

So here are some of my thoughts for singles – based upon experience, logic and Torah.

What questions should you ask yourself?

What am I looking for?

These are the qualities that I find to be most important.

  1. Torah Values – someone that has a mentality that wants to bring up a family with Torah values. One that will put their children in a Torah day school.
  2. Good Middot / Character Traits – kind, positive, understanding, calm
  3. Good heart – one that is giving and not stingy.
  4. Responsible – that will
  5. Mentally stable – one that has no psychological issues
  6. Good family – the apple falls not far from the tree.
  7. Put together – dresses, acts and looks clean
  8. Attractive – but not attracting. She or he should be attractive to the the other party. The person should not be repulsive in the eyes of the other.

Why is 1 number one.Torah values of the mates is extremely important – because it sets up a common mentality between the couple. Also it is the best way to have respectful children, that will value being kind and also give you grandchildren. Jews marry Jews because it is a Torah law to have children that are Jewish that will uphold the values of the Torah and not serve idols or other gods.

Gentiles marry gentiles to commonly uphold the Torah’s seven noahide laws for all humanity with the family.

Sorting out the priorities – what is primary and secondary?

I heard many different requirements for a mate – a good singer, fun to be with, one who likes to go out. Apparently – many of the things singles demand are secondary. What good is finding a mate that loves to do outdoor activities  but is a tyrant, or is controlling or doesn’t want to have children.

What does G-d want?

If you  want to know what G-d wants – he wants you to raise a family that will follow the laws of the Torah. Simple. When one follows what G-d wants – one gains because it also turns out the best for the person and the family. Children enrolled in Torah day schools will likely be more respectful to parents  and will likely get married and give you grandchildren and help the continuity of Jewish nation – for they will likely marry Jewish.

What is your fear?

A person I know was turned off by marriage because out of 15 of his friends that married a great majority got divorced. That’s one fear.

I have another friend whose parents don’t get along. Is that the source of his fear?

Another fear is commitment.

Another is the fear of the partner’s spending habits. Some don’t want their partner to spend their money away.

OK. That’s your fear? Is it worth it to stay alone the rest of your life for any of the above? to me, no.

So deal with your fear – get out of your preconceived notions – pray to Hash-m that you will find a mate that will not realize your fears.

Also put stack the cards towards your advantage – look for someone that is reasonable, stable, non-temperamental and not controlling.

Is it you or them?

I asked someone – when they date is it usually you or the partner that breaks the relationship?

If you see yourself rejecting many people – perhaps you have to re-frame your priorities.

If others are rejecting you – perhaps you need to improve your look or your attitude. Some people are overly critical. Some Always think they are right. Some Lack self-esteem. Listen and look at yourself from an outside perspective. Try to determine what is turning people off and change for the better.

Are you making your effort?

Some people wait for Mr. or Mrs. Right to knock on their door. A person is expected to make a concerted effort to get married – like they would for finding a job. Every day – at least 10 minutes should be dedicated to finding a mate. Call the matchmakers.

Are you improving?

G-d wants you to improve. G-d will match you to a mate that is on your level. If a person is hanging out at cheap bars – G-d will allow them to meet a potential mate that hangs out in bars. If a person is careful about Torah and Mitzvot – like being Shomer Shabbat / a Shabbat observer – G-d will allow them to meet a potential mate that is also shomer shabbat.

A mate that is Shomer Shabbat is one of the basic things for a Jewish person to look for. Why? Simple – being Shomer Shabbat keeps the family together for 2 or three meals on Friday night to Saturday night. The family interacts and has a family life. As opposed  to each one involved with their own little activities – like sports, shopping and the like. Those activities can be done on Sunday. Shabbat is family day.

Are you praying to Hash-m?

Part of the effort is to pray to Hash-m to achieve one’s goals. at times G-d puts a person in a difficult situation to get them to appeal to Him. He want’s a relationship with you like a parent wants a relationship with their child.

Are you in lala land?

People think that there is nothing wrong with watching movies or reading the romance novels. The problem is is that these media tend to show people a fantasy life. Thus they unconsciously hope to find the person that will sweep them off their feet. Dream on. Obviously, you want someone that you are compatible with – but if he or she is not a model or a smooth talker – don’t reject them because of that.

Are you and your partner marriage minded?

Some people have no interest in getting married. At times one partner wants marriage – and the other partner is in it for the good times. Make sure your partner is not wasting your time.

But He / She is my friend!

A person’s spouse is supposed to be their best friend. At times people reject a good match because “I can’t marry them- they are my friend!” It’s good to marry a friend. For the ideal ate should be your best friend.

Where is your mate’s mind?

If your date is constantly talking about shopping – that’s where their mind is. If they speak about sports – that’s where their mind it. There is a difference between having a casual interest and being totally engrossed with anything – including sports, being thrifty, shopping.

If you have to – write the answers to the questions above. Write down your priorities and show them to someone who can give you honest Daat Torah / the opinion of the Torah.

Focus on Getting Married not the Secondary

I have a friend – a very good person – his mind is focused on converting others to becoming a vegetarian. I have another friend – he does much kindness with his friend – to the point that he neglected his personal life. There is nothing wrong with that – provided they are doing so with the right intentions – and with the guidance of the Torah. But if these things remove a person from the goal of getting married – they are tricking themselves. A person is responsible for himself to follow the Torah laws before other kindnesses he can do for others.

Get married. Have a family and enjoy life already!

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I ran a series of lectures on getting married. Included here is some of the advice from the lectures.

Serenity in Life & the Sukkah

The Torah says: ‘In Sukkot you shall dwell for seven days… so that your generations shall know, that I hosted the children of Israel in Sukkot when I brought them forth from the land of Egypt… [Vayikra / Leviticus 23]

One of the reasons why we build and live in the Sukkah is to remember the clouds of glory with which Hashem protected us when we were traveling in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. Living with this idea ,believing in G-d’s constant protection, allows us to live a more serene life.

The Purpose of a Birthday & the New Year

The kids sing “Happy Birthday to You…”

What is the origin of a Birthday?

To know the source, look in the Torah. In the Book of Bereshit / Genesis the Butler and Baker had dreams. They went to Yosef / Joseph and asked him to interpret the dreams. He did so. To one – the Butler / Cup-bearer he said – In three days  he would be restored to his position. To the other – the baker – he said in three days he would be killed.

The interpretation came true. Three days later it was the Birthday of Pharaoh. Rashi Explains he was celebrating the day of his birth.

At that celebration Pharaoh forgave the cup-bearer and condemned the baker.

So what is there to celebrate?

Here are Several reasons

  • that you are alive
  • that you survived the entire year
  • that you are you
  • to get gifts
  • to start the new year to be a sign for the rest of the year

We all have reasons to be thankful.

Observation of our surrounding, situations and a positive eye will help us to recognize we have more for which to be thankful than the contrary

Rejoicing for the Good

In Parasha / Torah Reading Ki tavo, in the first aliya – (Devarim / Deut. 26:11)  we read “And you shall rejoice for all the good that G-d gave you,  your household and the Levi and the convert who is among you. ” Why do we have a commandment to be happy for the good we receive? It is natural to be happy for good.

One reason is many have the attitude of ‘It’s my right.. I deserve it” Thus when they do receive good, they are not so appreciative. G-d is telling us to have the attitude that everything we receive is not a given. It is a gift from G-d. If we think thus, we will not take things for granted and be happy and thankful to Hashem for each thing we receive.

Having appreciation to G.d leads us to a more fulfilling life.  Thus we say the blessing of Shehechiyanu (Blessed are You, Our G-d … that He made us live, established us and that allowed us to arrived to this time.) on Jewish holidays to appreciate our arriving in good health to this time.