Solving the Shidduch/Marriage Crisis!
Bashert Is Bashert
“[Avraham] said to the senior servant … ‘Go to my native land, to my birthplace, and obtain a wife for my son Isaac.’ ‘But what if the girl does not want to come back with me to this land?’ asked the servant” (Genesis 24:2-5).
Just in case some review is necessary, let’s start with this. Bashert is the Yiddish word for “destiny” or “destined.” For example, a newly-engaged couple is often told, “You two are so alike! He/she must be your bashert!” or, “The two of you are bashert!” When no matter what you’ve tried, something happens—or doesn’t—somebody is likely to tell you, “Bashert is bashert (it was just meant to be that way).”
As far as I know, the shidduch (marriage) crisis still exists. It’s worse than sad. It’s devastating and a theological problem no less challenging than the Holocaust, on a par with Pharaoh’s decree to kill Jewish babies, may God spare us. In lieu of a dvar Torah attempting to solve this challenge (because I’ve tried and could not), I offer some renditions of Reb Noson’s prayers to find one’s bashert. Because these are loose renditions, feel free to amend or modify as you like. If you wish to pray for someone in particular, the formula is: “___ (name), the son/daughter of ___ (mother’s name).”
May every Jew who needs to get married, soon marry his or her bashert, and may they build a bayit ne’eman b’Yisrael (a faithful house in Israel), and together raise their children l’Torah, l’chuppah u’l’maasim tovim (to Torah, to the wedding and to doing good deeds). Amen.
Dear God, please have pity on us and all Jews, and prepare for our sons and daughters proper matches, made in Heaven. Although we have sinned, let there be no mix-ups and no mismatches.
Instead, let each person marry the one Heaven made just for him, in particular [specify person(s) you are praying for]. Please, always lead us on the true path so that we merit making good and proper matches, honestly, in accordance with Your will (LT #2).
Dear God, please have compassion on every Jew who is having difficulty finding his/her marriage partner, in particular [specify person(s) you are praying for]. Help each and every one of them! Save each and every one of them, soon! Bless each to find his/her true perfect match, quickly, easily and soon! With no more delay or pain or suffering!
We don’t know what to do anymore! We’re totally out of suggestions and ideas on how to find a shidduch for the people we know, or how to pray for them. You know how hard it is for a person to find a proper match, a good fit. People are so different, sometimes so totally different it’s like trying to split the sea! The only way to do it is with great da’at, which we can only get from hearing the tzaddik who brings together words and concepts from all over the Torah to reveal new insights. But who is he?! Where can we find him?!
Our eyes look to You and You alone. Compassionate One Who makes matches, have pity on Your people and help all who need to get married, in particular [specify person(s) you are praying for]. Please, match each couple so they fully complement one another, a marriage made in Heaven, swiftly and speedily, for each and every one (LT #45).
One and only Lord, Who sees to the final generation of mankind, Who is full of compassion and runs the world with kindness—have mercy! Have pity on our Jewish young. Teach us how we are to find the true match for each of our dependents. In the merit of the great tzaddikim, give us the privilege and help we need to make the matches we need to make. May we marry off our children
soon. May they and their intended have a good mazel, a good, long life together. May they be truly in love with each other and live in peace and harmony, just as You want every couple to.
May each and every one of Your people, the Jews, succeed at guarding the foundation of Judaism, remaining modest when facing the greatest human temptation. May each Jewish couple have sons and daughters—generations of offspring, forever—all of whom will live good, long lives worshipping You (LT #45).
A gutn Shabbos!
(Based on Likutey Tefilot II, #2, 45)