Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bashert In Other Religions

I found this very interesting post on CNN.com which addresses the concept of having a "soul mate" from the perspective of several different religions, including Judaism.

The launching point for the article is a discussion of a Christian dating website that claims they can find G-d's match for its users. It seems there are indeed a lot of Christians out there that put a lot of stock in hoping to find their soul mate, which can keep them optimistic, or mire them in holding out forever, or even lead to divorce when they "discover" that the person they married wasn't the soul mate they had once envisioned.

The debate among Christians is intriguing. Some are very adamant that soul mates exist, yet others refuse to think that there is one specific person out there for every individual.

I was a bit surprised to learn that Muslims don't believe in the notion whatsoever. Apparently, it places the "fault" of divorce in G-d's Hands if He is also the one who makes matches. After thinking about it a bit, it makes some sense, especially with the belief of multi-virgin reward in the great hereafter and continued practice of polygamy in many areas.

I'm not such a fan of Christian author Dannah Gresh's attempt to understand the Hebrew word "Yada" - which she elaborated on in a separate blog on eHarmony (yes, the lone comment is me).

The conclusion seems pretty moderate, and reflects some values that many Jews also hold onto. Namely, your soul mate/bashert is who you make out of your spouse. Certainly once married, it is appropriate to take this stance, and thereby put all of your mental and emotional energy into espousing that concept for the health of the relationship. Pining after a unknown, other soul mate can only get someone in trouble, as we have seen with former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

For prior posts about soul mates, see here and here.


  1. It's interesting. Yes, we believe in soulmates, but not to the degree that if a couple gets divorced then God messed up somehow.

    There is bashert, but then it can't be there is only one guy for you on the entire planet, but then there is the idea that depending on what level one is on the bashert changes. It gets confusing.

    I think that after one has made a choice, then we can say it is bashert. Yes, we have free will, but destiny does not necessarily contradict with that.

  2. Agreed. As I've mentioned a couple of times in my blog, you make your spouse your besheret by marrying them. Once you make that commitment, there are not "what ifs".

  3. I agree with both of your sentiments, but the question that bugs me is what do you say when someone gets divorced?

    1) They could have made a mistake via free will, ignoring or being unaware of red flags, etc. This is a legitimate divorce.

    2) As in common in the world today, people simply don't try hard enough and get divorced too early without really trying, giving into the desire to find that "what if" person. In reality, if they had worked together, done proper counseling, etc.

    If a person gets divorced in like case 2, didn't they "mess up" their bashert? It seems to me that there would be some element of the Divinely ordained bashert that brought the two people together in the first place - and of their own free will, they ruined their gift. I think I recall reading about this idea somewhere...

    Namely that:

    1) It IS possible to meet your bashert and turn him/her down - like the famous story with the GRA or whoever and the guy that thought his bashert's nose was too long.

    2) It IS possible to marry the individual who is, or has the capacity to be, your bashert - and then foul things up.

    I'm not sure if I'm being clear enough, but I'm sort of positing a synthesis of the two ideas - completely Divinely ordained along with free will/choice

    1. thanks for posting this video! I was looking for a social psychology research paper topic, and I think the subject of platonic relationships and whether or not men and women can be "just friends" will be interesting... Although the minimal amount of recent peer-reviewed scholarly articles on the subject is pathetic


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