My question is about praying to find one’s soul-mate. What I’m wondering is, if it’s the soul-mate why should we pray for it? Since it’s Divinely ordained it should happen whether we pray or not. And if it’s something that we should pray for, wouldn’t that imply that it might not happen otherwise? But how can that be since it’s already determined from before birth?
This is a very engaging question!
It is true that the Talmud (Sota 2a) teaches that forty days before the formation of the fetus (i.e., at conception) a Heavenly voice proclaims, “The daughter of so-and-so is designated for so-and-so”.
The Zohar (Lech Lecha 91b) explains that this couple-to-be is actually two halves of one soul that is separated by a specific angel appointed for this purpose, and whose reunification is the match referred to as zivug or soul-mates.
This would seem to indicate that the union between soul-mates is Divinely ordained and therefore not subject to change.
However, many sources nevertheless discuss the role prayer in finding one’s zivug.
One such source (Mo’ed Katan 18b) permits getting engaged during a festival in order to avoid someone else preceding him. The Talmud raises a challenge that since the zivug is from
This implies that the union between pre-ordained souls does not necessarily occur, and that prayer can affect the whether the zivug is realized or not.
There are several resolutions to this seeming contradiction in the sources, but one commonly accepted explanation is that while soul-mates are Divinely-ordained, factors involving free-will can override the pre-arranged zivug.
This would be akin to
It would be for reasons such as these that a person is encouraged to pray to find the soul-mate – either for extra Divine providence to help lead him to make the right choice, or to ask for Divine forgiveness from sin or to ask for guidance in gaining merit, in order to find the soul-mate.
Of course, another way prayer is relevant to otherwise pre-ordained soul-mates involves asking