I have sifted through roughly 50,000 stories that have crossed my desk. I have noticed people wrestling with…[one] question…above all others. From the young: “How do I find love?” (From Daniel Jones, Editor, Modern Love, www.nytimes.com Jan. 31, 2014)
Hey rabbi, does it matter whether or not she’s Jewish…?
This series of four classes on Am I Ready to Find My Soul Mate affords an intuitive, rational and compelling understanding of “Why Marry Jewish” through a fresh approach – by discovering one’s soul mate. The shiurim enable students to think about their spiritual identity – their “Self,” or soul, and how awareness of their deeper essence affects how they choose a marriage partner. At the end of the series they should have a better idea of themselves, the parameters of love, what a soul mate is, and why their soul mate is Jewish.
Since intermarriage is a very emotive topic that often breeds defensiveness, the approach presented here is to gently open up the students to exploring the question of why it is important to marry Jewish in a way that avoids head-on confrontation. The series includes an overview Teacher’s Guide that explains the goals and content of each shiur. The series also contains a separate, independent Discussion Primer offered as background material for educators who would like to engage their students in informal, one-to-one discussions on intermarriage.
Each shiur in the series is being published biweekly over the next several weeks as follows:
Am I Ready to Find My Soul Mate I – Discovering Your Infinite Self – This class defines the “Self,” allowing the student to explore the concept of having a soul. The student might have an emotional or intellectual block against this premise. This class is not meant to prove the existence of the soul, rather to open students up to an idea that they may not have been aware of – that they have a spiritual dimension, and that this dimension has implications on their lives and marriage. We discuss how this gift of self-knowledge is the first step in choosing the right marriage partner.
Am I Ready to Find My Soul Mate II – Gratifying Your Deepest Desires – In this shiur, we explore some of the implications of the first class. While we cannot prove the existence of the soul, we offer examples of how the soul manifests itself through actions and character. Having clarity about the soul and its expressions and desires helps a person searching for a marriage partner to focus on looking for someone with whom they can build a soul connection.
Am I Ready to Find My Soul Mate III – The Search for Eternal Love – This shiur teaches that there are two types of love: One unites two individuals, intrinsically expanding their consciousness and identity, and the other is a counterfeit love, “ice cream love,” which may at first feel as if it is achieving these goals, but ultimately leaves us no bigger and does not lead to a true bond. We also discuss why we all want love, the soul-root of this drive, and how it can be satisfied within the parameters of a Jewish marriage.
Am I Ready to Find My Soul Mate IV – What’s the Jewish Connection? – As a natural progression of the previous shiurim, this class introduces students to the idea that they will find true love and satisfaction only in marriage with a soul mate, who must necessarily be Jewish. We explore the concept of soul mate, the different missions of the Jew and non-Jew, and the impact these ideas have on marriage. The conclusion of this series aims to show the students that through marrying another Jew they will attain a true feeling of oneness, a deep connection through marital intimacy, an empowering sense of self-expansion, and an ability to truly impact the world and leave a lasting legacy.
Click here to download the first class on: Am I Ready to Find My Soul Mate I – Discovering Your Infinite Self
See the Teacher’s Guide to the Am I Ready to Find My Soul Mate Series