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Bechukotai(Leviticus 26:3-27:34)

Bechukotai 5760

GOOD MORNING!  What if you're single, Jewish and want to meet someone Jewish -- or, you have a child or grandchild who you want to meet and marry someone Jewish? What do you do? Where do you go? In this generation, it becomes harder and harder to meet someone Jewish. What if there was a program so exciting, so effective that it was attracting international press and television coverage*? Would you be interested? Would it be a God-send for the bubbies?

That program is Aish HaTorah's SpeedDating! The program began in LA with the lament of Jewish young professionals that "social events are a 'meat market' (as opposed to a 'meet market') and one can't meet very many high quality individuals." Pulling together a focus group, Rabbi Yakov Deyo created "SpeedDating." They even came up with a motto -- "It's about time!"

The idea is simple: People are serious about finding the right person. It will take time to know if s/he is the right person --however, one can know very quickly that someone doesn't even fall into the category of "a possibility." Thus, SpeedDating creates the ultimate in a 8 minute date!

How does it work? Aish takes over a coffee house -- or has the program in the Aish Center. There are 12 to 30 couples. (Though one only dates 7 people in one evening.) There are different nights for different age groups. A man and a woman sit at a table. They have name tags with only their first names and their number for the evening. They can ask any question except for the person's last name, telephone number, where the person is from and what he does for a living (we want people to get to know people, not to pre-judge people).

At the end of 8 minutes the bell rings and the man gets up, says, "Thank you" and goes to the next table. Both the man and the woman mark on their dating card: (a) if they are interested in seeing the other person again (b) if the person was polite and respectful. (If two people say that someone is not polite, that person is not invited back.) At the end of the evening they turn in the card. Within 24 hours everyone is contacted whether or not they have a match and for those who have matches, both the men and the women are given the phone numbers. There are about 40% new faces each program and generally 50% of the participants get at least one follow up date.

We provide 7 questions as a possible guide for an insightful conversation. There are 7 sets of 7 questions. For example:

  1. What is the secret of a good communicator?
  2. What are you living for?
  3. Is it necessary to be passionately in love with someone to marry them?
  4. Why do most people get divorced?
  5. What are the 3 most important qualities that you are looking for in a marriage partner?
  6. Do you read the Shabbat Shalom Weekly?
    (Just kidding!)

SpeedDating is being offered world-wide from LA to Kiev. Check your local Aish HaTorah branch (S. Florida: 954-989-2474) for the next SpeedDating event -- or go online to speeddating.com.

* press coverage includes: NY Times, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC News, Politically Incorrect (with Bill Maher), The London Times, LA Times, Jewish Journal, Time Magazine, NBC EXTRA!, Intermountain Jewish News, Chill 7 News (Jewish), German TV, Independent UK, GMTV (Great Britain), Ha'Aretz (Israel), M Magazine (UK), Spanish TV, Brazilian TV, Austrian TV, Italian TV, French Newswire, Canal Plus, The Sunday Times, Hadassa Magazine, Ma'Ariv (Israel), Voice of America, Discovery Channel, and CNN.


Torah Portion of the Week
Bechukotai

Many religions place their basis of faith in far away promises, i.e.. "Have faith in our religion and you will get Heaven." The Talmud teaches, "He who wishes to lie says his witnesses are far away." For example, "I paid back the money I owed you, but my witnesses happen to be visiting Europe" -- or "Have faith in our religion and you will get Heaven."

While Judaism believes in an Afterlife, a World to Come, the Torah makes no promises that are "far away." It makes definitive statements of consequences. This week's portion says, "If you will follow My decrees and observe My commandments and perform them; then I will provide your rains in their time, and the land will give its produce and the tree of the field will give its fruit. Your threshing will last until the vintage, and the vintage will last until the sowing; you will eat your bread to satiety and you will dwell securely in your land. I will provide peace in the land, and you will lie down with none to frighten you ... I will make you fruitful and increase you..."

This portion also contains the Tochachah, words of admonition, "If you will not listen to Me and will not perform all of these commandments..." There are seven series of seven punishments each. Understand that God does not punish for punishment's sake; He wants to get our attention so that we will introspect, recognize our errors and correct our ways. God does not wish to destroy us and will never annul His covenant with us. This is the Almighty's guarantee to the Jewish people: " ... I will not grow so disgusted with them nor so tired of them that I would destroy them and break My covenant with them, since I am the Lord their God." (Deut. 26:44-45) He wants to prevent us from becoming so assimilated that we disappear as a nation. I highly recommend reading Leviticus 26:14 - 45.

 

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states, "And they shall confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, in their treachery which they committed against me, and also they have walked contrary unto Me. I also will walk contrary unto them, and bring them into the land of their enemies." (Leviticus 26: 40-41) What is the continuity of these two verses? First, the Torah tells us that they will confess their sins (a good thing!) and then tells us that they will receive more retribution.

The Chofetz Chaim explains that the Torah is teaching us that just confessing one's wrongdoings without sincerely regretting it and without accepting upon oneself to improve in the future is not worth anything. The most important aspect of repentance is to improve oneself from now on. Only positive changes in one's actual behavior is true repentance.


My special thanks to the 105 people who have sent in $10 or more (so far!) for the Russin Appeal! We will have the drawing for the Polaroid Digital Camera at the end of May. You can still send in & win! Send your contribution to: Aish Shabbat, 3150 Sheridan Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140-3946.



CANDLE LIGHTING - May 26:

Jerusalem 6:57   Miami 7:48  New York 7:59
L.A. 7:37  Hong Kong 6:41  Singapore 6:49
Guatemala  6:08  Honolulu   6:48  J'Burg 5:06
Melbourne 4:55  Moscow 8:34  London 8:42
Atlanta 8:22  Toronto 8:30



QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

Want to be a wise man?
Think of something stupid ...
then don't say it!



Dedicated by...

In Loving Memory of
Avraham ben Natan Zemel
by his children

Published: May 20, 2000

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