For the week ending 30 July 2016 / 24 Tammuz 5776

Searching Soulmates

by Rabbi Yirmiyahu Ullman -
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From: Miriam

Dear Rabbi,

I am single, have never been married, and am searching for what I believe to be the man who is my soulmate. My question is, from a Jewish perspective, is there anything I can do to help make that happen and how would I know when he comes along?

Dear Miriam,

Kabalistic sources (Zohar, Lech Lecha 91b) describe that the souls of soulmates are actually comprised of male and female parts of one soul that were separated before being placed in bodies in this world. This parallels the way in which Mankind, the fusion of male and female, was initially created by G-d as one whole consisting of two parts, which were separated as Adam and Eve for the purpose of bringing about a greater union through re-union (Eruvin 18a).

The separated parts of the soul, which have been embodied, are nevertheless connected through the spiritual plane, and are thus drawn to each other. This explains the longing people have to find their soulmate, their missing part; and the feeling of emptiness and void people experience until they do.

Since these souls are connected in the spiritual realm, they not only pull on each other, but also affect one another. Therefore, the things that each person, in whom resides part of the shared soul, does separately, for good or for bad, toward progress or the opposite, can elevate or weigh down the other.

Being that the purpose of re-uniting these parts of soul is to enable each to attain perfection through their sharing and learning together on all levels — physical, emotional, verbal, intellectual and spiritual — which is the meaning of “opposing helpmates” (Yevamot 63b), the best way to catalyze this re-union is for each person to try their best to make themselves the most perfect part they can be.

For Jews, this means living the Torah in the greatest way possible. As each part is thereby perfected separately, it becomes more refined, and more prepared in G-d’s eyes to be joined. And this is the underlining idea of the teaching of our Sages (Yerushalmi, Kiddushin 3:12) that G-d brings together a man and a woman from distant parts of the earth in order to unite soulmates.

In contrast, moving in the opposite direction only distances the parts and makes it more difficult for them to be joined. However, because of the spiritual connection between soulmates, even if one part is perfecting itself and the other is not, the one still transfers beneficial influence to the other, can improve it, and draw the “wayward” part toward itself.

The more each person has perfected his or her part of their shared soul, the more these parts “fit” when they are brought together. This is kind of like a spiritual “his and her necklace”, where each wears half of a heart split in a special way, like grooves in a key, where his and her parts each uniquely fit with the other. When these perfected parts unite, each often “feels” the match, and this phenomenon is described by the Ramban (Emunah v’Bitachon ch. 24) as the special “click” soulmates sense when they are re-united.

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