25 Kislev 5778 / Wednesday, December 13, 2017 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
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If You Really Want It    

If You Really Want It

Are you serious about finding a match? Then why don't you post a decent picture of yourself on the online dating site that you listed yourself in?


You know when your little kids are being impossible? Happens a lot… My daughter wanted to go in the bath. Her brother was ready to go in and she wouldn't let him. She blocked the door. She wouldn't get undressed all the while crying that she wants to go in. So it made me realize that many times we want something, or we say we want something, but we don't want to do what it takes to get there. But Hashem does everything, right? We are simply putting in our effort so it doesn't look like a miracle…


I used to be more involved in matchmaking. Sometimes people would post pictures that were really not flattering. And they knew it. And they didn't care. They would say "This is me". They minimally filled out the profile and left out optional questions. “After all, I fulfilled the minimum requirements, right?” And they'll maybe think about taking a new picture when they get around to it. Meanwhile people are seeing this really lousy picture of them and assuming that's what they look like on a good day! Once one of them said something like, “Well, I'm posting on this matchmaking site and it's just hishtadlut – my effort - anyway.”


Does it not make a difference whether your hishtadlut is real or not? Sure it does. But that’s just to show Hashem that you are serious. If you are serious about looking for a match you will only put up a decent picture. If you don't put up any picture they will find whatever they can that's already out there. If your friends posted a terrible one of you on social media, then guess what, that's what they will assume you look like!


Actually I have a personal anecdote about this. When I myself was single, I had a lousy picture at one point. Apparently, I was also unaware of the above issues. Then a friend felt bad for me and took new ones. The old picture was not helping me find anyone and likely doing the opposite! So guess what, soon after that my husband-to-be discovered me on a matchmaking site! It’s not comfortable when I have to tell people to get a better picture. But I understand the reality of matchmaking today and it’s important to have a good one.


Sometimes rabbis use the example of business to make a point. Once I heard a great analogy. If a person was going to work would he say, “Well, I’m never going to be Bill Gates so why should I go to work?” He would still do it because he needs to make a living even if it’s not millions in a day. In looking for our soulmate would we say, “If I can’t get exactly the person I have in mind or whatever imaginary person I dreamed up then why should I bother?”  We still have to make an effort to try to succeed.


“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.” If we are allowed to take advice from such a song, and you are single and old enough to get that reference; one, you are not alone and two, this applies to you too!  Hang in there! Pray to Hashem and He will help you!


Rav Avigdor Miller, OBM said in his book, Asking Hashem, that in Ashrei (Psalm 145) it says “Hashem is close to those who call Him, to those who call Him in truth”. If we really are truthful in asking Hashem for something, we also have to be doing what it takes in normal human effort to get it.


The point I think Rav Miller was trying to make is that if you really want something, be it a job, your soulmate, or anything else, you have to know it's Hashem who really makes it happen. But if you are asking Him, you also have to show him that you really mean it. So take that professional picture instead of an awful selfie, write awesome essays about yourself and be ecstatically happy when your destined one comes from some other place completely!

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