• Jodi Samuels

Dating Math: The Big 5 & A Bunch Of Zeros

This week’s Torah portion is the dating parsha! We learn many life lessons and insights for the dating process from this.

After Sara died Avraham decided it was time to find a wife for his son Isaac sent his trusted aid Eliezar to find a woman with the right qualities. Eliezar is searching for a wife to an heir, one of the most eligible bachelors ever! Yet he prays to HaShem for signs to find the right one.

Interesting Avraham uses a trusted 3rd party to search for a wife. Sometimes others are objective when we are not! Eliezar praying teaches us about the power of prayer to ask HaShem for guidance and to choose the right direction and to be successful with the match.

Rivka arrives and offers Eliezar water. She remembers the camels too. She walks with purpose and is excited to give. Eliezar realized she lives a life of kindness and giving and that she had the character traits that would make her a good wife!

Another lesson we learn is how important character traits are in the selection process!


I am quoting a story from the legendary Rebbitzin Esther Jungreis who made hundreds of matches. It’s a great story about dating!

The Rebbetzin taught a weekly Chumash class, attended by hundreds. At one class, a TV news personality found her way to Hineni, looking for “Mr. Right”. After the class, she approached my mother and explained that she was Jewish, and looking for “a quality relationship”.

“What’s quality?” the Rebbetzin asked.

“The Big Five”, she replied.

1 Good looking – there must be chemistry 2 Bright – well educated and street smart 3 Wealthy – I like good things 4 Personality and sense of humor – I want someone to entertain me 5 Athletic – I hike, bike and play tennis

“Good luck to you,” my mother said with a chuckle. “But more importantly, your Big Five adds up to a bunch of zeroes.”

“Why”, she asked.

“Zeroes don’t add up to anything”, the Rebbetzin continued, “unless there is a digit in front of them.”

“I don’t get it, Rebbetzin. What digit?”

“A Torah digit” my mother explained. “The first letter of the Torah is a ב-beit. The last letter of the Torah is ל-lamed. Together, they spell לב-lev, heart. If someone doesn’t have a good heart, a lev tov, good looks become repulsive. A bright mind will be used against you. His wealth will be used to manipulate and control you. And his strong personality will suffocate you.”

“As for athletic, hire a trainer!”

The woman left, but the Rebbetzin’s words kept resonating within her again and again, and again.

She returned to the class the next week, this time telling the Rebbetzin “I am ready!”

A short time later, in the New York Times wedding announcement section, the beautiful bride credited the Rebbetzin with finding her a man with a good heart, and the added bonus of her Big Five!


We have 135 marriages through our events at JIC Israel and JICNY! We look forward to many more l’chaims.


Shabbat shalom Jodi


First published on October 29, 2021

Parshat Chayei Sarah