Dear Matchmaker Rabbi:
My sister recently lost her husband of 45 years and was thinking of starting to talk to men online just two weeks after his death. Prior to that, they were happily married (according to her own account and everyone who knew them). This seems way, way too fast to me. What is your opinion?
― Concerned Sister
Menashe ben Israel (Manoel Dias Soeiro, 1604 -1657), whose family fled Portugal after the Lisbon auto-de-fe of 1603, was raised in Amsterdam where he received a full Jewish education and was recognized for his great abilities early in his life. (He accepted a rabbinic post before he was 20.) In addition to his rabbinic duties, Menashe ben Israel established the first Hebrew press in Amsterdam, which served the needs of a community that continued to grow as more conversos sought to escape the Inquisition.
One of the things that makes living a meaningful, transformative life difficult is that we live in an upside-down world. What does this mean? Let me give you an example: I recently watched a true crime show where a woman was found murdered in her home. The woman herself, a loving single mother, was completely blameless. The only clue of any suspicious activity was a neighbor who had seen a strange vehicle parked in an empty field behind the woman’s house the night she was killed.
The fourth of the Ten Commandments is the observance of Shabbat. In Exodus, the Jews are commanded: “Remember (zachor) the Sabbath day” because “in six days God created the heavens and the earth and on the seventh day He rested.” In Deuteronomy, on the other hand, Jews are instructed to “Guard (shamor) the Sabbath day” because “you were a slave in Egypt, and God brought you out of there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm.”
Receiving the phone number of someone you met online is always an exciting thing. The prospect of a new date tends to bring a new excitement into our lives as we imagine all the possibilities that may arise. However, with every blessing comes a price. We may be excited about that first date on the horizon, but we also need to think about what to do on that first date!
In Rio this week, politicians and activists from around the world are meeting at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The Torah has always been concerned with the environment and with the care of the physical world. And while Jewish society was mostly agrarian at the time, Jewish law also set certain standards to make crowded (urban) living more comfortable and healthy. Take, for instance, the Torah’s regulations on waste.
It’s easy to feel like there is all the time in the world when it comes to dating. And while no one actually runs out of time to fall in love and get married, you can become circumstantially depressed if you feel you are running out of time. So, please don’t even have another cup of coffee with someone if you know deep down they are wrong for you.
Today is the longest day of the year – the summer solstice. Technically, the summer solstice is an astronomical event that occurs when the sun reaches its most northern point in the sky.
Thank you for bringing us together, JDate!
If I didn’t know better, I’d assume Mark Zuckerberg was an evil genius that wanted to ruin dating forever. He claims he created Facebook so we could connect, but was his master plan to help us stalk significant others and poke our exes? If so, he has accomplished his (alleged) goal!