Midreshet Amit


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Go For It!

By: Rabbi Aaron Rosenberg

“Did I choose my wife or did Gd choose her for me?” This was the question that Rav Amos Luban, one of my Rabbis, asked me before I got married.  A good question! On the one hand, we are all familiar with the idea of a soulmate or beshert, of the concept of a “match made in heaven”. Yet on the other hand, there are lectures, even books written on subjects such as “what to look for in a spouse”.  Surely free will must play a role here? Surely there is some sort of human decision making going on?
My Rabbi then pointed to a verse in this week’s parsha.Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cling to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Bereshit 2:24) The verse, he suggested, implies the decision is actually with us. Actively choosing to leave a home in order to start our own. But not so fast. He then showed me a story that happens later in the book of Bereshit. Avraham sends his slave, Eliezer, to find a wife for his son, Yitzchak. He travels far and wide and through a miraculous episode, it becomes clear that Rivka is the one. Eliezer appeals to Rivka's family and they respond...
 "...The matter has emanated from Gd..." (Bereshit 24:50) This verse, one the other hand, shows the decision comes from Gd, and not us!
 So what is it? Do we choose our spouse or does Gd make the decision for us?!
In reality, the answer is... both! Gd brings amazing opportunities to our lives - be it a spouse or you can assume all other big decisions. That is Gd’s role. But we have a part to play as well. He’ll bring the opportunity to us, but we need to take it! And this is something one should try and remember every day, with each big decision. On the one hand, “I” made this choice. And for good reason too. Be it positive qualities in a spouse, good opportunities in work - whatever the decision, there was thinking and reasoning behind it. And those very same reasons, are likely to still be true and relevant today. But then also, we must never forget, that ultimately, after all is said and done,  "...The matter has emanated from Gd...". This is what Gd brought to me, what He planned and what He wanted. 
As we begin this new year, may we be blessed with open eyes to see the countless blessings that Gd brings our way, and at the same time, may we also have the strength, clarity and conviction to go for it.