We surround the base of Sinai, to re-receive what has been given and regiven, year-to-year.In the span of a year, most of us haven’t changed that much.Or at least, that is what we think, when confronting these texts, ideas, people we may not have considered much in the past few months.But the truth is that perspective isn’t often the big bang, a paradigm shift, a tectonic movement of earth under feet, that rattles assumptions and forces a review of priorities.Sometimes it starts with reconsidering a word, or a person, or a word from a person. They look at a person differently, or see a new meaning in a text, or suddenly claim a path as destiny with a passion that no one could have foreseen.A once-and-perhaps-future friend once told me that you can’t change people. Some people object to the cycle of holidays, to the annual repetition of the same rituals, often with no change perceived from one year to the next.Maybe not at their essence; maybe there’s a part of us that exists before we’re aware of existence itself, and this element is immutable, ingrained. But I try to take the opportunity to move in some way, to extrapolate a theme from the biblical or the talmudic meaning of the day and let it inform my life, words and actions.It’s a difficult exercise, this receiving, this accepting.
But this time on the calendar comes annually, whether I’m single or not, to remind me that relationship is a value, is possible, is important.So I think about my words, about how the use of them binds me to others in this world and to those who are beyond, how they aid me in connecting to relationships that nourish me, and how they nurture my innermost self and soul.This year, those words are different than they were in tone and register, but still serve to adhere me to history and to humanity.I hear voices in the texts, sacred and profane, past, present and future.I have hope that they will steer me toward an enhanced ability to recognize and welcome goodness, should I be lucky enough to find it.We are constantly in the process of receiving, whether it is Torah, or meaning, or love.But it takes an open mind, and the willingness to say, “my perception is not set in stone tablets.” I might fear restrictive laws and tremble at the foot of the mountain, but when it comes to the opportunity to accept relationship, I am certain that I will.Initially considered to be the realm of the desperate and the serial killers, scam artists and losers waiting to meet them, Internet dating is now a mostly socially accepted way of meeting potential partners, especially by 20- and 30-year-olds who grew up with the technology.Honestly, they had me at “serial killers.” I do have to say that there’s not much of a transition from that rogues’ gallery of what internet dating used to be to it being “socially accepted.” From a research and world trends perspective, I think the jury may still be out. But according to experts like online dating coach Laurie Davis, “the over-50 crowd is the largest growing segment” of singles looking for love in cyber space on sites like Of course, this is probably known by women who are internet dating in their 30s.(Men in their 30s and 40s are typically chillin’ with the 20-something ladies, whilst the 50-something gents are all up for some hot 30s action.But here’s a piece of advice for those 50-somethings who may want to jump start a reality television career: Kate Gosselin, of Jon Minus Kate and We’re Not Really Sure What Happened to the Eight, is apparently on internet dating sites like JDate. (Still no word on “the Eight.”) If there’s any sign you’ve made it as a Christian rock act, it’s when your song “Bring Me to Life” is parodied by Ben Klein, the “Hassidic Weird Al.” (I know it’s April Fool’s Day, but this is no joke.) “Should you Google-stalk your dates?