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CLERGY CORNER: The miracle of matchmaking

Posted on 21 January 2016 by LeslieM

This week’s Torah portion Beshalach (Exodus 14:26 – 15:26) relates that dramatic moment when at the brink of being captured by the mighty Egyptian forces, the Red Sea parted before the Hebrews. The newly-born nation of Israel crossed to the other side and embarked on its journey to freedom.

Do we have anything in our lives today that could even remotely reflect that unparalleled and stupendous miracle? Yes, says the Talmud, and it is the miracle of a marriage that works. “To match couples together is as difficult as the splitting of the sea,” states this ancient Jewish text written around 1700 years ago. What is the meaning behind these words? Everybody knows that the process of finding a life’s partner and maintaining the relationship may at times be excruciatingly difficult. But why, from all extraordinary miracles described in the Bible, does the Talmud choose specifically the miracle of the splitting of the sea to depict marriage?

Do you remember your groom?

Before each of us was born, say the Kabbalists, we were shown, in heaven, the souls of our respective grooms and brides. Now, when you saw the soul of your future husband in the spiritual realms, you were ecstatic. You were witness to an extraordinary spirit, a towering beacon of light, a great personality. You thought to yourself: “For such a husband, I will do anything. I will be there for him in the deepest possible way. I am ready to ‘split’ for him any day.”

Similarly, when you encountered your future bride there in the sublime plane, you were just blown away. What a profound heart! Will I truly have the privilege of building a home with this human being? How will I ever be able to show enough gratitude for the joy of having a relationship with this woman?

Then, you were born. Twenty, 25, 30, 35, 45 years later, you feel an attraction to your spouse, to that soul that once so overwhelmed you. You take a look … But you do not recognize him or her.

Him? You want me to respect him?” many a woman says. “He is an obnoxious, egotistical, self-centered man.”

Her?” many a man exclaims. “You expect me to appreciate and honor her? A world-renowned needy and insecure kvetch?”

Many of us fail to recognize in the face and personality of our spouses what we once-upon-a-time saw in their souls. Marriage is the ability to recognize your true spouse, beneath the layers of “rubble” that may eclipse his or her true dignity and beauty. A good relationship stems from the understanding that life is a battlefield in which we often stumble and fail and that the beauty and profundity of human life consists not of a continuous stream of light and perfection, but rather of the light that emerges from amidst darkness, of the serenity that emerges from turmoil, and of the harmony that sprouts forth from strife.

Rabbi Tzvi Dechter is the Director of Chabad of North Broward Beaches located at

4081 N. Federal Hwy., #100A, Pompano Beach, FL 33064. For all upcoming events please visit www.JewishLHP.com.

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