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As this issue hits the newsstands (in the New York area), our Hebrew calendar reveals the date to be the 15th of Av. Once upon a time, this was no ordinary day. In fact, the Mishnah describes Chamisha Assar b’Av as having been a joyous holiday like none other. Various reasons are listed for having marked it so – the most captivating detail, being the portrayal of the dancing maidens in the fields.
This enticing ritual actually took place twice a year – on Tu b’Av and on Yom Kippur afternoon. The young maidens of Jerusalem would don white dresses – all of them borrowed in order not to bring indignity upon anyone who could afford less – and they would sing and dance in a circle, beckoning the single males to choose mates from among them. The refrain would vary according to what each young woman had to offer. “Lift up your eyes and choose thoughtfully”
Those who could not lay claim to physical beauty appealed to be chosen for their aristocratic lineage, while the ones who could boast of neither would assert that “…charm is deceitful and beauty is vain; a woman who fears G-d shall be praised”
In light of the significance of Tu b’Av and the very nature of Chronicles (of Crisis), we dedicate this week’s column to the crucial cause of singles in search of their zivugim – and take pleasure in transforming this space into a “vineyard.” It is the least we can do, and hopefully others will take cue and awaken to heed this very real crisis in our midst. For each and every one of us is capable of playing a vital part in alleviating the burden of aloneness and in eternalizing the flame of our people.
The “dancers” in our small circle have been handpicked for their atypical distinctiveness (not your average 18-28 year olds in search of Mr. Right).
G.G. is an intelligent, vivacious young lady who seeks a “totally normal” young man who will “step up to the plate” in frumkeit and Yiddishkeit. She is a 5’2″ 31-year-old single who bills herself as Modern Orthodox machmir and has a lofty goal in mind: to be a devoted aishes chayil and mom par excellence.
R.P. is soft-spoken, bright and serious – albeit with a healthy sense of humor . . . and submits to seeking the self-confident, take-charge type for a mate. He needn’t be typically Yeshivish or Modern Orthodox or Chassidish – so long as he is genuinely frum and fine. This generous-natured 44-year-old single stands tall – in midos – at 5’1″.
A.A., a 29-year-old easygoing, lovely and lively accomplished young mom of two, sets her heart’s desire on no less than a “warm, caring and loving” spouse (not exceeding the age of 38). She stands at a graceful 5’6″, is divorced (amicably), and prefers a Sefardi, working/learning kind. Single/divorced/widowed/with children okay.
E.N. is a striking 5’7″ 28-year-old of Yemenite origin, whose brief (six weeks) so-called marriage was annulled. This fine-as-silk exemplar of a polished young woman is looking for her match in sensitivity and sincerity. Her zivug, she articulately contends, is a thinker and doer who is emotionally and financially stable, one who will share her joie de vivre and is able to laugh at himself. Single or divorced w/o children okay; age 28-35.
T.S. is a charismatic, single 55-year-young BT male. At 5’10”, this distinguished gentleman soars in kind-heartedness and above-average intelligence. Outgoing and engaging to boot, he is certain to offer his lucky lady “never a dull moment.” Of primary concern: that she be “a goodhearted soul and on the ball.” Widowed/divorced/with children okay.
Y.S., a 43-year-old single, serious-minded professional, will recognize his true zivug by her warmth and finesse. This dignified gent with a fun-loving side towers at 6’1″ and has both feet planted firmly on the ground. His virtuous ambition: to build a Torah-imbued loving home with a caring and affectionate life partner. Single/divorcee (to 38) who values earnestness and reliability has a chance at capturing the heart of this mentch.
Each individual – as our reading audience has just had the privilege of ascertaining – is unique in her/his own way, and yet they share a common trait: All are radiant Yiddishe neshamos. Should any of our girls/boys trigger a blip on your radar screen (if you think you may possibly know of a suitable match), please do not hesitate to write or e-mail Rachel@JewishPress.com for further information. (Serious inquiries only, please!)
Yes, you dear reader can make a huge difference. Please take some moments today to reflect upon the singles you are acquainted with and in the satisfaction (and great mitzvah) you will reap in bringing two soul mates together.
As the summer season winds down and daylight hours wane, we approach the time for introspection. It is no coincidence that Kesiva v’Chasima Tova is equal in numerical value (gematria) to Chamisha Assar b’Av. By being instrumental in effecting a shidduch – a highly meritorious deed – one is assured a good year indeed.
May our noble efforts lead to fruition!