By M’nucha Bialik – Dating & Realationship Coach
Host: We are so honored to have with us today, THE expert on dating in our times. This person, who wishes to remain anonymous, has written an encyclopedia so thick, that one needs an elephant to lug it around. So, welcome, Rabbi/Dr./Mr. Dating Guru and thank you for being with us on our show today. Can you please tell us about yourself and your encyclopedic book?
Dating Guru (DG): Why certainly. To start with, let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a voracious reader and an avid learner. There are books teaching you how to juggle, how to hitchhike across Europe, and how to learn how to play the guitar, but I have not yet found THE book on topic of shidduchim – what is called “dating” in the secular world. I have studied dating all over the world. I have conducted anthropological research by pretending I was someone looking for a spouse and have immersed myself in different worlds. My extensive research leads me to conclude that almost everyone is looking for one thing –– they really want to get married and they want to marry someone who they really like and who likes them. There is a deep longing for a connection which my sources show stems from the fact that men and women were actually one single entity, way back at the beginning of Creation. Due to reasons that we won’t address here, this integrated being was then split into two separate beings, a male and a female. Since that time, there is a magnetic pull that draws them to find their other half. For those who need written proof of this phenomenon, please refer to The Book, authored by G-d, which says that “it is not good for man to be alone”.
Host: Okay, so now that we know that it is normal human nature to look for one’s spouse – for that missing piece – how do we go about doing that?
DG: Well, yes, that is why I wrote this book of 5, 757 pages. It tells you how to dress, depending on your culture, and the sub-culture within your culture. It tells you how to smile, how to talk, what to talk about, where to sit, how to sit… I can’t really go through the whole book right now. You’ll have to read it yourself.
Host: Umm, Dating Guru, is one actually supposed to read this book? 5,757 sounds like a lot.
DG: Well, yes, it certainly is a lot. But it has the latest research on dating, plus the old-fashioned experts on dating, plus it is constantly being updated based on the latest trends. So, yes, you certainly should read it if you want to learn everything there is to know about dating. But, for those who might find it a bit difficult, there is a shortcut.
Host: Yes, yes, what is it?
DG: On the cover, I have a smiley face with the words, “Don’t Panic!”
DG: That’s it! That sums up everything one needs to know! The rest is just commentary.
Host: Can you explain a bit more for some of our listeners who need a tad more explanation?
DG: Yes, of course. You see, according to my research, the biggest thing that throws dater off-course is panic. It’s like someone swimming in the ocean. If they’re swimming or floating, they’re fine. But if they panic, they start struggling, and then it’s very, very dangerous and they start to drown. Panicking when dating causes one to struggle and is a big risk factor for those who drown in the dating ocean.
Host: So what do you recommend?
DG: Besides reading 5,757 pages? Well, I recommend to your audience (and everyone else in the world who has never even heard of your show) to just relax. When people relax and trust the Creator of the World to do His stuff, couples gravitate towards each other at the right time. You see, sometimes, one side or the other isn’t quite yet ready. Then, if the two date, they don’t recognize each other and the two halves don’t connect properly. However, if the two people stay focused on their desire to get married, daven for themselves and for success in finding their missing half while staying relaxed about it, they don’t struggle, they don’t panic, and the two end up finding each other at the perfect time.
Host: Why do they have to stay focused on dating?
DG: Because some people have a tendency to stifle their longings for marriage because it’s uncomfortable to feel sad or hurt. They busy themselves with their jobs, with intellectual and/or emotional pursuits and with having fun. They are actually drowning, and don’t even realize it. Instead of remembering their goal and looking calmly for their missing piece, they are struggling to numb themselves so they will not feel. And, as it says on page 3,652 in the book, “in order to date properly, the dater needs to allow him/herself to honestly ’feel‘ his/her emotions – even the sad ones…. If the dater is numb; if he/she doesn’t really believe that the missing piece is out there – they are struggling in the water and may, chas v’shalom, drown. The opposite extreme is also true: if they are running frantically from one shadchan to another or constantly trying the latest gimmicks to get married – they are also acting out of panic. So, they need to NOT PANIC!
Host: That’s it? That’s really it?
DG: Well, look, if one really and truly knows that their other half is out there and if they don’t panic, they will instinctively know what they have to do. They will work on their middos (not for the purpose of finding their bashert, but because it’s what they have to do) —- and they will work on the middos that truly need improvement, and not on random advice from their friends or the latest middos fad; they will prepare themselves for wifehood and motherhood in whatever way they need to prepare. Chapter 153 has lists of various middos that some have found useful to work on. But really, just take an honest look at yourself, introspect, and be open to the candid feedback from your friends and family. For example, if numerous people tell you that you’re insensitive and a poor listener, then you know what you should be working on.
Host: So, if we’re not panicking, we’ll know what middos we need to work on?
DG: Yes, and you’ll also have more clarity in knowing what you should be doing. You’ll be looking for your missing piece – so you’ll start thinking about what your piece looks like. You’ll have an inner knowledge of what is a true need and what is merely a “want.” You’ll be sociable (which is good for you and helps you swim properly and not drown). You’ll develop and work on creating healthy relationships. You will not waste time with trivialities (or even important things) which have nothing to do with your actual missing piece. You will take responsibility for your actions, thoughts and feelings and do the things that help you live successfully in this world. You will take pleasure in the sights, relationships and people of this world, and you will grow and develop spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally. You will relish your life (even if you are temporarily without your missing half) and you will not panic!!!!! And if you find it difficult to do this on your own, on pages 10, 98, 1016, 1075, 2031, and a few other places, I recommend a shidduch mentor who gives a great dating workshop – but I won’t reveal who she is in this interview. 😉
Host: Thank you, Dating Guru, for your words of wisdom! We appreciate your joining us today and giving us your valuable time and advice. And thank you for summarizing your approach so concisely, so that we can start implementing it immediately. You hear that, folks? In a nutshell – ”Don’t Panic!”
“Don’t fear because I am with you! Don’t panic (actually Rashi’s explanation of the word used – “Al Tishta” is “don’t let your heart melt” – to me, that’s “don’t panic” ) because I am your Hashem.” I will strengthen you. I will help you. And I will support you with one hand while fighting your enemies with the other hand.”
Metzudas David explains “Al Tishta” to mean “don’t leave Me, because you think that I have already left you.”
Yeshaya, Chapter 41, Possuk 10
So, please don’t panic and don’t leave Hashem thinking that He has already left you. He’s there and He’s supporting you. He is the One who said that it’s not good for a person to be alone; He will make sure that you will find your missing half. Turn to Him because He is there and He loves you!
A Tale of Two Seeds
By M’nucha Bialik – Dating & Realationship Coach
Two seeds are in a box, on the ground.
Come, let’s listen closely and hear what they are saying…
“My dear brother, it’s almost Tu B’shvat – it’s time to roll out of this box and bury ourselves deep
into the ground!”
“You know, my brother, I’m comfortable here. This box protects us from the rain, the cold – I
really don’t want to go out and make myself so vulnerable to the world. Besides, it would be
admitting to everyone that I’m not happy with the way I am. I really don’t like making myself so
vulnerable to others. I think I’ll stay.”
“But I don’t understand – how can you possibly grow into the most amazing beautiful tree that
you’re supposed to grow into? How will you produce other seeds? You can’t stay in this box!”
"My dear brother, Hashem can do anything. You know as well as I do that there are some
seeds who stayed in their boxes and Hashem let dirt slip into the boxes. The boxes opened
from the rain and they grew into beautiful trees! If Hashem wants that to happen to me, He can
do it. And if not, I just have to accept the life that Hashem has given me. Maybe not everyone is
meant to become a tree and have seeds of their own.”
“But, brother dear, doesn’t Hashem expect us to do hishtadlus? Of course, we know that it’s not
necessary; but since Adam sinned, we have to do what is considered “normal” hishtadlus –
that’s the way Hashem made the world, you know that. Sure, Hashem might have made a nes
niglah for some seeds, but it’s our responsibility to do that which is considered “typical”
hishtadlus. We have to go out, get muddy, and let the rain pour on us or someone water us.
B’derech tevah, that’s the hishtadlus that we must do.”
“Listen, sweet brother, you know as well as I do that the statistics are just not in our favor.
You’ve been reading the same magazines as I. And even if you haven’t – just look around.
See all those nice seeds – this one can grow to be a beautiful peach tree, and this one into an
almond tree, and this one into a fig tree – they’re all just as amazing and capable as I am – you
know that the chances for seeds to grow into beautiful trees are not that great and that it just
gets worst over time! And, not only that – here, I am safe. It’s true that it might be less likely for
me to grow into a tree, but it still is possible. And if Hashem wants it to happen, it will. I daven
to Hashem all the time. “
“And, if I go out”, he continued, whispering, “I’ll most certainly get hurt. I may not develop
properly and I’ll be making myself vulnerable to so many people! I’ll have to let them know what
kind of tree I’m growing into so I can be planted in the right place. People will criticize me and
tell me that there are already too much of that kind of tree or else they’ll say, that the kind of tree
I am doesn’t usually survive, or someone will just step on me (purposely or accidentally). I’ll
have to get dirty and be uncomfortable. I’ll get rained on. Some people might just pull me out
and play with me and then I’ll die. My brother, if I go out, I may die from the pain, the
humiliation, and from the exposure. Obviously, that’s not what Hashem wants from me.”
“My dear brother, I know that it’s scary, but now is the time – it’s almost Tu B’shvat. You know
as well as I do that this is the time for us to go out. I am going to do the hishtadlus I have to do.
I will tell the world what kind of seed I am. I will daven to Hashem that I will grow strong, and I
am going out. I want to become a beautiful tree and this is the hishtadlus that I must do. I must
be going now.”
"And I, my brother, am staying here – maybe in a year or two or ten if nothing happens to me
while I’m in this box, I’ll leave one day. Bye, my brother – you’re very brave. I wish you luck.”
“Good luck to you too. You can still join me.”
: Interval of beautiful, sad music:
…..10 years later.
The little seed, a little more wrinkled, a bit more experienced, a bit more hardened in some
places and softer in others, looks out of his box and sees a beautiful tree – it looks a bit familiar.
“Hey, is that you my brother? Wow! You’ve grown! And what’s that I see? I see that you have
seeds of your own.”
“Hi! Is that you, my brother? How are you – I’ve been thinking of you all these years and
wondering how and where you are. I see that you’ve learned so much about growing and
bitachon – you look like you’ve accomplished so much. But, my dear brother, you’re still in the
The tree continued talking to the seed, “Look, my brother, it was very, very hard being out of the
box. I didn’t develop into a tree right away; I did get hurt, but I didn’t let myself lose my way
when I had feelings of despair. I just kept having bitachon and davening, and now look what
Hashem has done for me. It’s not too late for you. You’re the type of seed that would grow
splendidly right now! Come, please, it might hurt a bit, but it’s worth it. And besides, you know
that this is what you have to do – this is what Hashem wants from you."
The seed thinks and thinks – should he go or should he stay?
Well, what would you do?
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they
The End of the Story…
I just couldn’t leave the story like that 🙂
Don’t worry, the story has a good ending. That little seed decided that this year was THE year.
He was going to roll out of that box. He had more experience now – he could handle the foolish
things people would say to him. Sure, he might get hurt, but this year he was going to go out
into the mud and the dirt. He was going to get rained on and he would daven, daven, daven to
grow so strong. He would tell everyone what kind of tree that he was going to grow into so that
he would be placed in the right place and given the right amount of water. He knew that this is
what he had to do, and he would do it.
:10 years later, beautiful and happy music:
Two trees stood looking at each other.
The older tree looked at the newer tree and said, “Is that you, my brother?”
“Yup. It sure is.”
“Wow! You are positively beautiful. You are breathtaking. And what’s that I see? Wow. Such
cute little seeds of your own you have. Incredible!”
“Thank you”, the newer tree replied. “Thank you for encouraging me to grow. Thank you for
giving me the strength to take the risk.”
Today is Tu B’shvat – the birthday of the trees. We are celebrating their potential. They are not
yet fully grown. They are just being born.
You too are full of potential. You too, will one day be trees of your own. So, celebrate this Tu
B’shvat. Eat some fruits and seeds. And decide that it’s time to grow.
You can do it!
“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long
P.S. This does not mean that you have not grown until now! Chas v’shalom! You have!!!! And
you have grown well, my friends! You have made yourself stronger. You have made yourself
beautiful. It could very well be that before now, you would have been too weak or you would
have tried to grow into a type of tree that is not good for you. But now, if you have worked on
yourself these years (even if you’re not perfect yet – and you won’t be, I guarantee it ☺), it is
time to take that risk and grow. Tell everyone what kind of tree you want to be – don’t be afraid.
Or be afraid, but do it anyways. You can do it!
Open Your Mind
The letter below was not written by me, as you will see, but I, along with many others, feel that it is a very important one. This letter paints an accurate picture of much of what’s going on regarding shidduchim and why there are so many singles still looking. Maybe, if enough people see this, it will make more of an impression.
The wording and descriptions that people use in their resumes are analyzed, and ideas are vetoed even before checking things out. If there is a picture, the shidduch is often passed up because “it’s not my look,” without even giving it a first thought. Whether it is parents or mentors or singles themselves, a change in mindset from intolerant to tolerant and unrealistic to realistic is greatly needed.
It Took 6 Years for Me to Say Yes to Meeting My Bashert!
Interview with Dina
Written by Sholom & Sarah Leah Blatter
Edited by Rachel Segal
Growing up in a family of nine with several married siblings, I couldn’t wait to start my own shidduch journey. But my journey was delayed until I was 25 years old, because I had an older, unmarried sister still in shidduchim and I was waiting for her to get married before I started.
To be honest, in those early years out of seminary, I was okay with being single. I kept busy, running programs as a madricha and counselor, going to shiurim, seizing chesed opportunities, and learning about marriage and parenting in anticipation of the next chapter.
They were years of spiritual and personal growth.
When I finally did start dating at 25, I felt ready. I had worked on developing myself and knew who I was.
I immediately got to work, doing my hishtadlus to show Hakadosh Boruch Hu I was certain that I was committed to finding my basherte:
I networked and met shadchanim in the US and in Israel, and dated bochurim in both countries.
I went to the Kosel and kevorim in Israel to daven.
I pushed myself to join a shidduch site, even though I felt a little uneasy about putting myself – and my photo – “out there.” I was grateful that I did, as the networking and dating I did on that site ultimately motivated me to go out with my husband.
I wore out the pages in my siddur and joined Tehillim groups.
Although I went out, and went out some more, I couldn’t find what I was looking for: someone I both respected and had chemistry with.
On top of that, I wanted my future husband to be a kind, worldly man who learned regularly but was a professional with some financial security and came from a similar type of family as mine.
Friends and shadchanim who redd him to me insisted that it could be a match, but I thought they were clueless.
I was certain Dovid was in a very particular box that couldn’t possibly mesh with mine. There was nothing to talk about.
So, I kept searching… and the years passed.
When I turned 31, I reached a point where I was so determined to get married, I even considered adding a name to my own name, which some people struggling in shidduchim do as a segulah for marriage. Ultimately, I decided against it.
So, when a friend called me up to redd – you guessed it – Dovid, I finally relented.
“After all,” I told myself, “what have you got to lose?”
I knew from my experience on the dating website I had joined how limited the pool of great guys was. If everyone kept insisting on how great Dovid was, it was time to see for myself.
Meeting Dovid changed everything. By the end of our first date, it was obvious: I had totally misread him.
While Dovid dressed differently and came from a different family background, he was the very definition of worldly. He was incredibly well read, articulate, had varied interests, followed the news, etc.
Clearly, Dovid didn’t have a narrow, closed-minded worldview. I was the one who had been closed-minded.
More importantly, Dovid was a mentch who shared my core values.
I respected Dovid – and I liked him.
Though there was still more to learn about him, I felt comfortable enough to move forward.
We got engaged after six weeks of dating.
Having been married to Dovid for eight years now, I can tell you that he has surpassed every expectation. He is a fantastic human being.
Had I not finally listened to this idea that people had been redding me for six years, I never would have had the privilege of being his wife. He’s my anchor, grounding me and always being there for me.
So, what’s the takeaway here?
Don’t be so quick to rule someone out based on an impression. Challenge yourself to be open-minded.
If a suggestion keeps coming up, consider the possibility that there may be something there worth exploring, even if you feel fairly certain that it’s not for you.
Try to be open to the possibility that someone may be different than you perceive them to be.
Ask yourself: “How well do I really know this person?” Could you be misreading them? Maybe they aren’t so different from what you’ve been searching for, after all.
And even if a person is a little different than you, those differences tend to matter very little if you discover that you share important values and have a meaningful connection.
I learned firsthand that sometimes the person you’re absolutely certain isn’t for you turns out to be exactly what you want and need in a spouse.
Had I not finally been open to meeting Dovid, I wouldn’t have found my anchor. So, have a little courage and be open to a date. At worst, you’ll part ways after a few hours. And at best, you’ll find your basherte.
*Names have been changed for anonymity.
A Shadchan Who Cares (Excerpted from the Yated Ne’eman, February 15, 778, Maggid, pages 38-40).