I am seeing this guy very seriously, but one thing bothers me. How do in know if he is my soulmate? How can I be sure that he is the other half of my soul? I am terrified to make a decision without being certain. I have heard of a clairvoyant who can tell you if you are soulmates based on your birthdays and past lives. Should I go to her, just to be sure?
Everything has its time. There are times when we should think about who our soulmate is. And there are times when we shouldn't. The problem is most of us get the timing the wrong way around.
When you are alone and single, and it seems that there are no prospects for love on the horizon, it is vital to remember that you have a soulmate. Someone out there was made for you, and you for them. They are waiting to meet you. Maybe it will be tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe you already met them and you just have to open your eyes. It is a matter of time before you meet your other half. It will happen.
Without this belief, despair may be a logical conclusion. Maybe I was made to be single, maybe my in-laws decided not to have any children. Who's to say that I will ever get married? The answer: There's someone for everyone. There's always hope. Keep the faith.
The other time in life when the soulmate belief is beneficial is after you are married. Every marriage faces challenges, and every good relationship goes through rough patches. It is at those moments that it is essential to remember that you are married to the other half of your soul. While you think that you chose your spouse, really G-d chose your spouse, He made you for each other, and He led you to meet and fall in love. The decision to marry was divinely inspired, out of your hands, beyond your control. This is what was meant to be, this is the one.
Otherwise we can spend our lives thinking what would have been. What if I would have married the other guy, what if I would have left her and found someone else? We need to have the conviction that marriage is divinely ordained. This person beside me is my soulmate, the missing half of my soul, and we belong together, it could be no other way, so we had better work things out.
So when we are alone and losing hope, or when we are married and losing faith, we need to remember that we have a soulmate. But there is a time when the belief in a soulmate can be distracting and unproductive. And that is when we are dating.
When you are in a relationship already, but you haven't made the big step of commitment, at that point, the whole soulmate thing can confuse you. You shouldn't be looking for a soulmate then. You need to look at the actual person in front of you. You need to get to know their personality, their character, their values and their aspirations. You can't see their soul. You don't even know what your own soul looks like, let alone your soulmate.
So forget about it. Don't ask yourself, is this my soulmate? Rather ask whether the human being you are seeing is a good person, do they share your beliefs, can you communicate, are you going in the same direction, do you want similar things out of life. Who cares when their birthday is, or which star sign they are, or whether they are a reincarnation of your favourite opera singer? None of that will help you in your future together.
Stop looking for signs from heaven. The signs are here on earth. If you have found a connection with someone good for you, go for it, and leave the connection of your souls to G-d.
SERVICES AT NEFESH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shabbos Service 6:00pm followed by Kiddush sponsored by Tom Moss, Ron Moss & Kathy Penn in honour of the yarzeit of their dear mother Magda- Long Life
Morning Service 10am -12:20pm followed by Kiddush sponsored by Adee Moses and Moshe Hai Moses in honour of the first yarzeit of their late father Sasson Hai Ben Mazal z'l- Long Life, and by Adam Pisk on occasion of his Barmitzvah anniversary- Mazel Tov!
Mincha 4:35pm followed by Seuda Shlishis and Maariv
Shabbos ends 5:37pm
8am Shachris followed by breakfast and beginners' Talmud 9:00-9:45am
The one Jewish ideal that I can't get my head around is Moshiach - the belief in the coming of the Messiah. What good is achieved by waiting for some future utopia? Shouldn't we focus on the present, rather than dreaming about the future? Why is the belief in the coming of the Messiah so central to Judaism?
Some of the deepest truths I ever learnt were from my cricket coach. He was a sharp guy, with a keen eye for detail. He would observe my batting style and point out what I needed to work on. From him I gained more than just cricket advice.
One consistent flaw in my batting was my follow through. The coach noticed that as soon as my bat hits the ball my arms lock and the bat stops. No good, he said. You need a full follow through. After hitting the ball you must keep swinging, making a complete semi-circle in the air.
This made no sense to me. What difference does it make what I do with the bat after I have hit the ball? Contact has been made between bat and ball, and whatever power I have put into the shot is there already. Will the ball travel further if I follow through? I can understand why backswing is important - the more I pull the bat back, the more momentum the swing has. But once the ball is hit, who cares what I do with the bat? Whether I keep swinging or stop, throw the bat away or eat it should make no difference to the ball that has already been hit. Why follow through?
My coach gave me the answer. The follow through doesn't begin after you hit the ball, it begins as soon as you lift the bat. A swing that will end in a full follow through is a different swing entirely. What will be effects what is. The destination influences the whole journey. Where you are going defines where you are.
This principle is true in cricket, baseball, tennis and golf. And it's true in life too. What you believe about tomorrow shapes how you view today. Where your life is headed determines how your life is lived.
If the world is randomly hurtling through space, bound to eventually collide with an asteroid and return to vapour, if human history is a directionless romp through time, then we are going nowhere, and my life certainly has no significance. Why work, why build, why love, why do anything if it all ends in nothingness?
But if the world is heading toward a purpose for which it was created, if human history is a long journey with a clear and wonderful destination, then my today matters. My efforts today can bring the world a little closer to its purpose. My lifetime builds on the lifetimes that came before me, and gives a better world to those who will come after me, edging ever closer to the times of Moshiach.
We are not just propelled by our past, we are beckoned by our future. Believing in a messianic future, a world of peace and spiritual clarity, inspires me to make today a step further in the journey. Waiting for Moshiach makes the world better now. It may even improve my batting average.
Does G-d pick on some people? I think he is picking on me because I have suffered one loss after another for much of my life. It seems that as soon as I have survived one tragedy, another one comes crashing down on me. I always bounce back but I am starting to take it personally...
There was once a tow-truck driver who lived near a muddy old country road. Every day he would jump into his truck and drive a mile or so to a particularly sludgy bend in the road, and every day his truck would get stuck in the mud. But it was a trusty old truck, and its chunky tires and growling engine would always be able to beat the mud and climb up onto solid ground.
Most days, as he drove along he would encounter other motorists who had unknowingly ventured onto the muddy road and got stuck in the bog. Some of them had been trapped there for hours, haplessly revving their engines and watching their wheels spin aimlessly in the muck. The truck driver would appear like a savior and offer them a tow, drag them out and set them back on the road.
The truck driver's son once asked him, "Why do you always drive down this muddy road. You always get stuck in it. Why don't you take your truck somewhere smoother, where the road is clear and dry?"
"That's the whole point," said the truckie to his son. "My tow-truck has the power to get through that mud. The only reason I go pass by there every day is to find others who are stuck and can't get out themselves. That's what a tow truck is for."
Some souls are like tow-trucks. They somehow have the strength to burst through the thickest and muddiest roads of life. No matter what life throws at these people, they muster the inner fortitude to get through. And so they keep getting thrown into the abyss, over and over again.
What these souls probably don't even realize is that they are helping others. When you face a tough time and beat it, you bring light into that dark place, which can shine a path for others who are stuck in their own darkness. It could even be that the only reason you had to pass through that dark roadway is to help drag other souls out of their darkness.
Sometimes we help others directly, by sharing our experiences and teaching a new way to those who can't see a way out. Or it may happen indirectly. The mere fact that you went through it and survived blazes a pathway, opens a door, and other suffering souls whom you may never meet suddenly find a way out of their quagmire and are set free.
So perhaps you are a tow-truck soul. Perhaps sometimes you are being towed. We all experience both. But if we would realize that every time we conquer our own darkness we may be helping someone who can't help themselves, we would be inspired to keep on trucking.
I understand the uplifting value of tzedakah, giving charity, and I try to donate often to honour the memory of those I've loved, who lived lives that have inspired me. Lately, however, I've given tzedakah donations to worthy causes in the hope of achieving something I yearn for and dream about - I want my daughter to get married. Is this still charity, or am I bribing G-d?
There is a fascinating line in the Talmud:
'One who gives charity and says "on condition that my child is healed from sickness" or "that I earn a reward in the afterlife" - that person is completely righteous.'
This means that giving charity in the hope of selfish gain is perfectly fine. But why? Surely one should give with more altruistic motives. Is the donation not tainted when it is done for your own benefit?
Actually no. When it comes to giving charity, your intentions matter little. The main thing is that the needy person or worthy cause is helped. Your good intentions or otherwise make no difference to those who receive your charity.
A philanthropist once came to Rabbi Schneur Zalman, the author of the Tanya, to complain that he felt he was giving charity for the wrong reasons. The man lamented before his Rebbe, "I am indeed generous toward the poor, but it is without any sincerity."
"Without sincerity? Nonsense!" replied the Rebbe. "There is plenty of sincerity. Perhaps you are not sincere in giving charity. But the poor are very sincere in receiving your charity. Even if you don't mean it, they do!"
Don't get too preoccupied with intentions. Actions count more. If you are doing good, even for selfish reasons, it is still good. And if selfish motives are what it takes to keep you doing good, so be it.
Can G-d be bribed? I don't think so. Whether you will receive the particular blessing you seek is up to Him. But one thing is for sure, G-d does not remain indebted. Any good deed, whatever the motive, generates blessing and will be rewarded. Sometimes we see the results, sometimes we don't. But it is our good deeds, not good intentions, that make the world better.