This coming weekend is Shavuot, the Jewish holiday that commemorates The Jews’ receipt of the Torah on Mount Sinai. This year, the holiday happens to start on a Saturday night, so I can think of no better way to celebrate than to bring a date to your local synagogue’s traditional all-night learning session. I mean, late night festivities, liquor, Torah? Whats not to love? Another way to celebrate is to think about what it means to be a member of the tribe that accepted the responsibility of the Torah, and in particular, because you’re a JBlog reader, how this responsibility relates to dating and relationships. Therefore, in honor of Shavuot, I present the Ten Commandments as they correspond to the laws of dating.
1) To thine own self be true.
The actual first commandment is about recognizing G-d’s role of Creator of the World and savior of the enslaved Jews. This is always true wherever you are in the world, and it may help you remember that YOU are not a god! But in the context of dating, it’s also important to remember that “I am my own person who takes responsibility for my behavior and feelings.” In other words, stay true to yourself, don’t be someone you aren’t, and own your actions.
2) Thou shalt have no other distractions before me.
While I totally condone seeing more than one person at a time during the early stages of dating, keep your focus on your present date! Don’t text, scan the room, or talk about other people when you’re on a date.
3) Thou shalt not take the name of anyone in vain.
Especially on the first few dates with someone new, be yourself, but try to avoid profanity or gossip. You don’t want to accidentally offend your date!
4) Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
I won’t tell the rabbi if you want to plan a date for Friday night. But, this commandment is about taking time to step away from constant communication and social media. Take a break from texting every other minute. Don’t stalk your new boyfriend’s Instagram pics. Get some rest and relaxation without your date, whether it’s on Shabbat or not, and nurture your other hobbies and friendships.
5) Honor thy father and thy mother.
This is applicable at any age or situation.
6) Thou shalt not murder.
Um, don’t murder your date. Or anyone. Or rather, thou shalt not be mean, spiteful, or overly negative – this will murder your reputation!
7) Thou shalt not commit adultery or cheat.
This is pretty self-explanatory – once you have established your exclusivity with someone, remain faithful.
8) Thou shalt not steal.
Don’t steal things, like money from your date’s purse when she’s in the bathroom, obviously. But also, don’t steal time. If you know someone definitely isn’t for you, don’t lead him or her on.
9) Thou shalt not lie.
Bearing false witness, the actual ninth commandment, is related to dishonesty. Lying is very unbecoming and hard to forgive – don’t do it! This includes false advertising on your profile, using deceitful photos, or otherwise misrepresenting yourself online.
10) Thou shalt not covet.
Someone else might look appealing to you, but remember that the grass is always greener on the other side, whichever side you’re on. If you can’t stop noticing other people, try to focus on your own insecurities. If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.