Oy vey, what would Yente say Marriages made in cyber-heaven

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Need more help finding your match? Fran Greene is willing to lend some advice. Greene is a singles and relationship counselor at www.jcn18.com/scripts/jcn18/ paper/Index.asp?ColumnID=117. Her online articles include "How to Get a Date," "Flirting Tips from the Expert" and "The Myths and Realities of Personal Ads." She believes that if you are shy or busy, a properly worded personal ad can work for you.

Do these ads kindle a flame in you? The following personal ads have apparently appeared in Israeli and Jewish papersmembers.rotfl.com/cookie4/cabana.html:

*Couch potato latke, in search of the right applesauce. Let's try it for eight days. Who knows?

*Sincere rabbinical student, 27. Enjoys Yom Kippur, Tisha B'Av, Taanis Esther, Tzom Gedaliah. Seeks companion for living life in the "fast" lane.

*Desperately seeking shmoozing! Retired senior citizen desires female companion, 70, for kvetching, kvelling and krechtzing.

It's impossible to talk about Jewish dating without eventually stumbling upon the word beshert. Translated as "fated," it is often used to mean the predestined soul mate. According to tradition, 40 days before the creation of the embryo, God has already decided one's beshert (see www.countryyossi.com/nov98/torah.htm).

You can listen to Rookie Billet analyze some very basic questions at www.613.org/subject.html#love, such as, "Why do I meet people who are unworthy of my love, yet fall in love with them?" and "Is it better to be married and miserable or single and miserable?"

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin at www.ohrtorah.org.il/ parsha/5758/besh.htm says that just because your soulmate is predestined doesn't mean you don't have to get moving.

Larry and Sherrie Klein of Walnut Creek at www.jcn18.com/scripts/jcn18/paper/article.asp?ArticleID=575 didn't sit back when they were looking for a beshert. They even sought out some high-tech help in their quest.

It all began with a poem Larry posted at Keyword: Jewish singles at America Online. "Witty and smart may be his best traits/ Women have a good time when he takes them on dates." That caught Sherrie's eye and after a lot of correspondence (and even some online investigation by Sherrie), the two finally met and eventually married.

Of course, at the ceremony, their rabbi couldn't help but make reference to the couple's high-tech beginnings when he wished them "May all your software be shareware."

Now it's time to look at Jewish dating and the Internet with advice from the real experts — the daters themselves.

Setting out on a date requires a great deal of fortitude. Something that Martin Bodek has analyzed in fine detail at members.aol.com/thebodie/#narc. From "The Call" to "The Breath Test" to "The Conversation," Bodek's been there and offers up his experience.

Here's Bodek on "The Time Check": Checking your watch is sometimes necessary but always subliminally insulting to your date. There are several methods you can employ to ensure she won't notice. The first method is to wear a digital watch since the swiftest glance will give you the exact time. The second trick is to point behind her, and yelp, "Look! Tom Cruise!" and sneak a peak while she searches in vain. Method number three is to glance at her watch while her eyes are on her food.

You really have to admire the dedication of Yaron Engelstein, the guy who put together the "Dating Assistance for the Jewish Male" page at www.angelfire. com/ny3/yaron2.

Engelstein has culled links from all over the Internet to tell men how to put their best foot forward on the night of the date.

There's the "Male Guide to Selecting an Outfit" (This should help take the strain out of guessing. Now she won't say, "What was he thinking?"); the "Virtual Exercise" (It's 30 minutes until date time and you just realized that you haven't worked out in months…not to fret there's still hope. Visit this site for the five-minute biceps you always wanted!). And if your date is taking place in New York, Engelstein has provided links to practically every attraction, museum and comedy club in the Big Apple.

You can find many other Jewish singles' site including Maven at www.maven.co.il/ subjects.asp?S=207, Zipple at www.zipple.com/ singles/links.html and Hareshima at www.hareshima.co.il/Organizations/dating.asp.