How Does One Find One’s Match?
Are you looking for a soulmate for yourself or a child? Read Rabbi Arush's sound advice for a successful match!
Translated from Rabbi Arush’s feature article in the weekly Chut shel Chessed newsletter. The articles focus on his main message: “Loving others as yourself”.
A Woman is Not a Sheep
“Imma?” came the voice over the phone. Little Batya was calling her mother from the grocery store. “There is no 5% cheese. Should I get 9% cheese instead?” “Yes, sweety. Buy the 9%,” Imma replied. “And don’t forget the loaf of bread. Oh, and one more thing: If you see in the store or in the street a suitable bride for your elder brother who is looking for his shidduch (match), bring her, too…”
Tell me, dear readers: would you also marry off your son that way? Trust the judgment of a little girl, without checking and getting information? Okay, so Eliezer, Avraham’s servant, is not a little girl, but still, who sends a servant to find a shidduch? Did Avraham Avinu require a cow or a sheep that he was sending his servant?! A bride is a very delicate issue – we’re talking about the first Jewish home. To find a good wife in a world of idol worship and spiritual darkness is a task we would expect Avraham Avinu to perform by himself.
Particularly for That Reason
But the Torah has a critical message for us. We do not assign marks to the stories from the holy Torah, all of which are part and parcel of the Torah and contain moral lessons that set us on the straight path. But it is not for nothing that Chazal were particularly impressed by this story, saying, “The conversation of the Patriarchs’ servants is superior to that of their descendants.” In this wonderful story there is an amazing message of emuna (faith) and bitachon (trust) intended for any person, especially those who suffer from this generation’s epidemic – extended bachelorhood and spinsterhood.
If you take note, you will see that the holy shidduch of Yitzchak and Rivka is enveloped in prayer. Even before sending Eliezer on the mission, Avraham prays: “Hashem, G-d of the Heavens, he will send His angel…” Eliezer himself, upon reaching Charan, stands next to the well and prays. And the first meeting between Rivka and Yitzchak was when Yitzchak was praying in the field.
And the message here is extremely profound: True, a shidduch is a very delicate and complex thing, and precisely for that reason, the most important things in a shidduch are the emuna and bitachon that are expressed in limiting one’s own efforts and doing much praying.
There are Hidden Things
You have to understand that a person barely knows what size shoes he wears; so how can he know which soul is suitable for him to set up a home with? A person sees with his eyes, and eyes can lie and be very misleading. The truth is that a person knows nothing and has no way in the world to choose the right mate for him/her and his/her children. Rabbi Natan writes in a letter to his son: “There is nothing more hidden and veiled from a person’s eyes than this issue of shidduchim.”
Sometimes everything looks good, but it is really not suitable. And sometimes what you see as the greatest fault turns out to be the greatest advantage. We don’t know anything. We don’t understand about souls and reincarnations and all the deep and infinite details according to which Hashem runs the world.
And if with everything in life one needs emuna and bitachon, even things that we think that we know and understand, how much more so in the issue of shidduchim, where it is clear to any thinking person using his common sense that we don’t understand anything; and even more than that – common sense dictates that there is no effort that will help here except much prayer and complete trust in Hashem yitbarach, for only from him can come the right mate, and only He settles a person with the right spouse, according to the merits of the bride and the groom, and according to the souls involved.
Don’t Indulge in Superfluous Investigations
And therefore, Avraham Avinu sends Eliezer to find the shidduch, to show that the finding of a shidduch does not depend on one’s da’at (knowledge and understanding). If it depended on da’at, there was no greater possessor of da’at in the generation than Avraham Avinu. But a shidduch is in the hands of Hashem. It is emuna that goes beyond da’at, and it doesn’t matter whether Avraham or Eliezer go. The main point is that “Hashem, the G-d of the Heavens… will send His angel in front of you and will make your way successful.” Avraham has no doubt that there will be help from Above in this case, because it is a home that is supposed to reveal Hashem’s honor and kingship, and because Avraham is certain that his prayers will be accepted in Heaven, and because of the merit of the holy groom, whose tremendous stature Avraham Avinu is well aware of.
Avraham is sure that it is not him and it is not Eliezer. It is the Creator of the World Himself who will send the angels and perform miracles in order to establish the first holy home in the world. And indeed, the whole story is full of miracles and clear cases Divine Providence. “And the man was astonished”. We just have to stand and be impressed by this awesome story.
Avraham Avinu teaches us the highest level of emuna, because the complete believer knows that finding the right match is only in the hands of Hashem. Any hishtadlut (effort) on his part is only extra-long praying every day, and he doesn’t indulge in all kinds of silly, endless investigations and is not going into all kinds of superfluous details and being unnecessarily picky. If he gets to know a good girl for himself or for his son, a girl who has fear of Heaven and willingness to devote herself, and a desire to serve Hashem, and he basically likes her – he agrees immediately, because he knows the truth that he has no way to know what is right for him. And that is true as well, of course, for the dear Bnot Yisrael (daughters of Israel).
Man and Wife – Construction Workers
You might ask, what if there will be problems? So, I want to set your mind at rest. There will be problems. And even if you make all the investigations in the world, there will be problems, because shalom bayit (peace in the home) is always something to work on, in any situation, for everyone. The investigations and being picky won’t help and will not prevent the problems, and certainly won’t solve them.
And therefore, along with the prayers and beseeching Hashem, the main task is to work on yourself, to learn your obligations as a man and your obligations as a woman. Setting up a home in Israel means the wish and the willingness to embark on some deep inner work. A house means building, and building means work. Do not think about what your spouse should do; think only what you must do. That is why I wrote separate books for men (Garden of Peace) and women (Women’s Wisdom) and forbade people to read their spouse’s book, so that both will know their separate tasks and will not confuse themselves with thoughts about their life partner’s role.
Rabbi Nachman says about this that all shidduchim are from the da’at! We wrote above that finding the right shidduch does not depend on da’at, but, rather, is above da’at! So what does that mean? It means that the fusion of the souls depends on work. True da’at is the knowledge that we have come into this world to labor, and that each and every one has to do his specific work.
Here one needs to study, one needs to make an effort, to do hishtadlut, to work, and one needs a goodly amount of da’at!
This is Not a Segula; This is Cause and Effect
If you are looking for a real and reliable hishtadlut (endeavor) for success in marriage, it is only this: to learn well and in depth the books The Garden of Peace for men, and Women’s Wisdom for women, long before one starts dating, and even more so while one is dating and preparing for the wedding, and even more than that after the wedding, and to accompany the study with much prayer. If you have this foundation and this simple understanding and the willingness to work and make an effort – you have no problem at all; pray and get married easily, without involving yourself in meaningless details.
This is tried and true, and I’ve heard from a great many students of mine who learned the books and got married immediately. This is not a segula, but rather a simple way of preparing for life. And the moment you are ready, your match will not be delayed even for one minute.
The Torah tells us these stories for a reason. The Torah wants us to learn from them and implement these lessons in our lives. This is the way of emuna and the way of common sense. The situation we have today among Jews, of getting married at advanced ages, is so painful; may at least one of the readers consider the issues properly and get married thanks to this article. If even one couple marries as a result of this, the whole article is worth it.
Wishing everyone success!