What If I Missed My Bashert
The first step is to realize that there are second chances. We’ve all heard our share of dating stories where the couple went out and decided it wasn’t a match. They each went their separate ways, dated other people, and finally six years later, they went out again and got married.
But that’s not always the case. Sometimes there is a bigger perspective involved.
The Rest of the Story
I was at a shivah house, and an intriguing story emerged. The man who had passed away grew up in Iran and didn’t get married until he was forty-five. Not that he wasn’t looking—he just couldn’t find the right one. Finally, after many years, he married his wife, the woman sitting shivah. When he died, he was ninety-three, and they had been married for forty-eight years. The interesting part was that she was only seventy-two; there had been a twenty-one year difference in age between them. And then I got to hear the “rest of the story.”
The niftar (deceased) had been a successful businessman, and in the course of his life owned close to fifty businesses. Not every one of them did well, but over time he succeeded and prospered. Eventually, his children joined him in business, and he remained active late into his life. When he was eighty-eight years old, he was still going to work every day. At around ninety, he slowed down and would only go in three days a week. Until almost the end, he kept a hand in the business.
As I started thinking about his life, the pieces came together.
Imagine this man as a young person living in Iran, when he turns to Hashem and asks for help: “Hashem, please help me find the right one.”
When he’s in his late twenties, he’s still praying: “Hashem, it’s very difficult. Why won’t You help me?”
Then he’s in his thirties. “Hashem, please! I am trying to do your will. Why can’t I find the right one?”
He’s already forty. “Hashem, if not now—when?”
Finally, at forty-five he finds her. For the life of him, he can’t figure out what took so long, but he’s thankful that at last he’s married.
What Took So Long?
Of course, we will never know the real reason, but let’s imagine that when this man first started praying, we were in Heaven and got to hear Hashem’s response.
“Yingele, you don’t understand. You have a long life ahead of you. If I match you up with a woman your age, what’s going to happen? When she’s in her sixties, she’ll be slowing down. But not you—you’ll still be going strong. When she hits seventy, she’s going to want to rest and take it easy. But you’ll be active, moving, doing. Then shortly after that, she’ll need a walker, then a nursing home, and before you know it, she’ll be gone. And then you’ll be alone—with many more years to go. It’s so hard to be alone when you’re old. You’re young now—you have friends, things to keep you busy. I know it’s hard to wait, but please be patient. The one that’s right for you is still in diapers!”
Naturally, we mortals aren’t privy to conversations held Above, but sometimes, many years after the events, we are able to see the big picture and we see how Hashem was carefully orchestrating our lives.
The point though is that we don’t know. We don’t know what we need, we don’t know how things will turn out, and we don’t know what is for our best. But we can have bitachon.
Bitachon is knowing that Hashem is looking out for my best interests. It is recognizing that Hashem knows better than I do what is for my best. In certain areas it’s difficult to see this—I feel I know better. But some things are clearly better left to Hashem. And finding one’s spouse is in this category.
When I come to this recognition, I can then turn to Hashem and say, “Master of the Universe, you have chosen the one that’s right, the one who’s perfect for me. I understand that I have to do my part, that I have to go and look. But please guide me, not to the one I think I need, not to the one that I think I want, but to the one that You know is best for me—my bashert.”
Courtesy of TheShmuz.com