Finding a Spouse

Over the years, I would give classes on dating, and what to look for in a spouse. I would tell my students that there were certain points that were “deal breakers” from the outset.

The suggestion was to see if the potential spouse had the right priorities necessary to build a solid marriage and a proper, Jewish home.

There needed to be an appreciation for Torah study. This needed to be the foundation and anchor of the home.

There needed to be agreement of the importance of self improvement. Our role is to work on ourselves to become better and better people. And we need to help one another grow in spirituality.

A third point is to stay away from people who demonstrate a jealous nature. This often comes with feelings of entitlement. If this character flaw is found in a potential mate, it will never be possible to make them happy.

This week’s Parsha emphasizes what might be the most important trait of all. This was what Eliezer was looking for in his task of finding a wife for Yitzchak. We are speaking of a person that loves doing acts of kindness. Rivka demonstrated this as she showed that her nature was one of absolute Chessed. She was kind, giving, and generous.

A potential spouse needs to show these traits as well. If the world is built on Chessed, then certainly a Jewish home, and the relationship between husband and wife must be built on Chessed and acts of kindness.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at