How Eliezer met Sararose

BY LEAH HAKIMIAN, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT

“He has joy in his eyes. He has a sweet soul; he’s kind-hearted; he loves the earth; and he loves G-d. ” That’s what attracted Sararose Goldstein to Eliezer Zinn.

The two met in Israel in the fall of 2006 though both were American-born.

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Eliezer made aliya the previous year. Until then, he was called Eli, the son of St. Louisans, Caren Zinn and Bernie Zinn. He had attended Jewish day school, Block Yeshiva High, and spent six months at the Diaspora Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Then he went back to St. Louis for a degree in information management from St. Louis University.

“During those years, I went back and forth along the religious spectrum, ” recalls Eliezer. “I was searching for something that eluded me in St. Louis. So, I returned to Israel in 2003. I explored different options until I found the yeshiva in Bat Ayin. ” The yeshiva is about 20 minutes south of Jerusalem in the Judaean hills. “Within a natural setting, I could experience the combination of Chasidic tradition, Torah texts, and spirituality, ” says Eliezer. “I had found the place I was looking for. “

In the summer of 2006, Sararose Goldstein, daughter of Jay and Marleen Goldstein of Seattle Washington, went to Israel on the Birthright program and thought about staying.

Sararose recalls: “Though I started out at the Chabad Day School in Portland, Oregon, I gradually moved over on the religious spectrum, and by the time I was at the U. of Washington in Seattle, I was part of the secular world. Yet I still felt a connection to the State of Israel. “

On her father’s side, Sararose is related to Naftali Herz Imber, a Galician Jew who in the early 1880s wrote the words of the Israeli national anthem, “Hatikva, ” which says: “In the Jewish heart, a Jewish spirit still sings… “

And the Jewish spirit was still with Sararose.

On her last Shabbat in Israel, her friend, Chaviva Lanton, suggested she check out a midrasha, an institution of Torah study for women, in Bat Ayin. Its website offered academic Torah learning with workshops in spirituality, the arts, and agricultural cultivation.

“I had found the place I was looking for, ” says Sararose.

And she began to study. When her class visited Kever Dan, the grave of Dan, the son of Jacob the Patriarch, Sararose received a blessing: “I bless you that you should fix your eyes. “

“And sure enough, at the age of 27, ” she says, “I began to see things that I had overlooked before. I had been focusing too much on the external. I needed to change. I needed to fix my eyes on the internal.

“That was my mind-set on Rosh Chodesh Kislev, 2006, the first day of the Hebrew month of Kislev. “

The first day of a new month on the Hebrew calendar marks the appearance of the new moon and is considered a minor holiday. For Eliezer and Sararose, it turned out to be major. They were on a bus taking residents of Bat Ayin to a wedding in Jerusalem. Sararose caught his eye. In accordance with the norms of his yeshiva, he would not initiate a conversation with her. Instead he asked a friend to act on his behalf.

Sararose did not remember Eliezer from the bus, but the friend emailed her Eliezer’s photo. “All I could see was the light and joy in Eliezer’s eyes. I knew that I could be interested in such a guy. But first I wanted to check with the matchmaker of the midrasha, Rabbanit Batya Kohn. “

Rabbanit Kohn gave him a sterling character reference. “Eliezer is a real mensch. He’s the best, ” she said.

With the green light from Rabbanit Kohn, Eliezer and Sararose began to go out.

“Soon we realized that it wasn’t by chance that we both ended up at Bat Ayin. It was meant to be. And we were meant to be, ” says Eliezer. “We perfectly complemented each other. “

Eliezer is a follower of Reb Nachman of Breslov, who wrote a story called “The Lost Princess. ” It is a favorite of Eliezer’s. He particularly relates to the passage “you must yearn, seek, and look forward. “

The couple wanted to marry in a style that reflects their beliefs. Both vegans, they planned a vegan celebration where they tilled the ground, at Bat Ayin. And they took as their family name not Zinn, but Tzion. As in the words of the Hatikva – “the eyes look east toward Tzion. “

On the first day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz (Rosh Chodesh Tammuz), 2007, Eliezer and Sararose were married. Mazal tov!

Read past installments of Leah Hakimian’s column, ‘Godsend’

How Larry met Shelley

How David met Luba

How Aaron met Cynthia

How Zali met Michal

How Hadi met Rosa

How Richard met Talia

How Yuvi met Rachel

How Shai met Liora

How Dov met Miriam

How Aaron met Jennifer

How Simon met Rhea

How Dan met Simone

How Phil met Julie

How Michael met Amy

How Zvi met Daphna

How George met Leora

How Marty met Ila

How Gary met Lindsey

How Uri met Michal

How Etan met Marcel

How Lloyd met Shira

How Ronen met Amy