Derek Saker
Co-founder and CEO of

What Ever Happened to Good Feelings and Being a Good Person as Considerations in a Life Partner?

Amongst those Jewish singles seriously dating for marriage and especially those observant, criteria such degree of emunah, commitment to halacha, shared values,certain dress codes etc. are foremost on a dating singles mind.

This is understandable and rightly so.

Marriage naturally has its challenging times, where rough waters need to be navigated. But when husband and wife are on the same page, seeking the same destination, the sometimes different means and approaches of getting there – can be far easier overcome – than different desired end points.

Having said that, in a recent survey with some on JWed singles, what seems to be increasingly neglected in evaluating a date as a life partner, and worse, thrown out the window, is the value and importance of one’s feelings and whether the individual is simply speaking, a  “good, caring and sensitive person?”

Very often the technical (all be they important) elements of religious upbringing and outlook, shared commitment to etc. become the one and only elevated criteria in making far-reaching judgments while everything else, falls by the way-side. Discounted as inconsequential or worse, irrelevant.

To be clear one is not talking about Hollywood’s understanding of the “supremacy of what one feels,” where emotions are the sole guided and driving light in all life decisions.

As with most things in life, one is talking about a good healthy balance.

Maybe he does not dress exactly as I would want, or not wear the hat I foresaw, but he is such an honest and caring person.

Maybe her skirt is a bit too short for my liking, but I love the conversation with her, and her positive energy is simply contagious.

And so too, “maybe he or she fits ALL the technical criteria, but I just don’t feel this is someone I want to spend the rest of my life with.”

The story is told of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Scheerson who was approached by a single man (a rabbi) seeking guidance  on a girl he was dating.

He had been introduced to the young woman and they had dated several times and wanted to know if he should marry her. The Rebbe answered that “When it comes to marriage, not I can help you, not your father, not your mother can help you, not your seichel (intellectual faculties) can help you. The only thing that can help you is your heart. If you feel for her go ahead. If you don’t, do not.”

His heart told him yes, and the marriage took place shortly thereafter.

Take the story of another JWed match and marriage.

Peshkha from Florida and Shmuly from New Jersey. There certainly came from different backgrounds – and different states. And there were many bumps along the way. As in the words of Shmuly, “ I have a disability and she had some problems with that – even before meeting me and finding out the type of person I really am. We pushed and pushed, put strain and frustration on our relationship until a week later when we worked everything out and she gave the OK for the engagement.”

Today, Peshka adds, “He is everything I could have asked for and more!”



About the Author's Derek Saker, is an internationalist having lived and worked in South Africa, England, the U.S. and Israel. Most importantly he speaks fluent Afrikaans. He moved from New York to London, England in 2019 for the weather and because his wife is English. He is co-founder and CEO of Frumster/JWed the most successful online Jewish dating for marriage service. Between 2007 and 2019, he was privileged to serve as Director of Communications at Ohel Children's Home and Family Services - the largest Jewish social service agency outside Israel. Derek is an Advisory Board Member of the National Jewish Assembly. (NJA)