- Futile Prayers to Find a Mate?
- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- Reader: I have been praying to Hashem every day for about 18
years, to find a spouse. I don't see that I have ever met the right
person, and I have come to the conclusion that praying is irrelevant,
since G-d does not really answer. At the same time, I am expected to
live like a monk, which is is the opposite of Torah values. So isn't
this life entirely absurd, damned if you do, damned if you don't!
- Mesora: Because your situation
is not going as you wish, you wrongly find the system at fault, and
not yourself. Are you ignoring all of God's kindness to our patriarchs
and matriarchs? All is in God's control. He hears all peoples'
- Perhaps God wishes you to reflect and make internal changes. His
will might be that you should not find what you seek, as it is not the
best thing for you. The Talmud asks, (Yevamos 64a) "Why were our
forefathers barren?" The answer, "God desires the prayers of
the righteous." This means that God desires righteous people be
placed in situations where they can further perfect themselves via
prayer. God does not need their prayer, but He wishes they pray, as
prayer allows one to verbalize their needs, and reflect on why they
may not have received those needs. Such reflection has the potential
that the person will observe a negative character trait, and work on
himself to remove such a defect. Even for those like us, not on the
patriarch's level, the Talmud says we should examine our ways when
things are not well.
- God's goal for man includes not only intellectual pursuits, but the
follow-through, the perfection of his nature, his emotions, and his
ethics. All these must follow his wisdom. At times we find intelligent
persons with horrible traits. This dichotomy displays an imperfection
in his convictions. It is natural that when one sees an idea clearly,
he acts on it. Only one who has conviction of his ideas will follow
through in action. But one who does not have clear ideas, lacks
conviction in his values and his knowledge, and will not abide by the
Torah's code of morality and interpersonal laws. When our matriarchs
wished for children,they required perfection prior to taking on the
vital role of mothers, so to raise children, important children, as
best they could.
- But without placing ourselves on their level, our approach to our
goals may also be improper, destructive and even self defeating.
Advice and counsel from one knowledgeable is essential at this point
in your life. Speak to wise men dedicated to Talmud. They can, with a
little discussion, detect where you can improve yourself. Listen
without defensiveness, and see if their observations about your
personality and actions are correct. Be objective if you wish success.
- At times, desperation finds its way into our hearts. You must not
let this occur. Desperation was not displayed by King David, even
though he suffered many troubling times: (Psalms 91:7-9)
- "A thousand fall at your side, and ten thousand on your
right, but to you they will not approach. Only with your eyes will
you stare, and the retribution of the wicked will you see. Because
You Hashem are my refuge..."
- While tragedies surrounded David, he did not despair.
- You must reflect on our Torah, learning that God created the ear, so
He hears. He created man with the faculty of happiness, so He wishes
our happiness. He can and constantly does interact with us. But we
must be following His plan for us so that He assists us to His goal.
If our goal is not His, He will not assist. But if our goal is His, be
confident that he has so many methods to help you. False notion of a
divine response sometime feed the desperation. But realize that God's
method may be silence, as this affords you the opportunity to ask
yourself, "Why hasn't He responded?" God creates these
opportunities, as His wish is that we engage our minds in all areas,
reflecting how we can better align ourselves with His Torah system. We
each have the capabilities within us to rise to the task, and conquer
our troubles. We need to realize that potential exists in each of us,
and exert ourselves. I honestly feel when we exert our will to
accomplish what is good for us, there is a way, and we will be
assisted by God. Be convinced.
- Engage your mind, review what I wrote, and take matters into your
hands. Don't despair. Rather, look at this as an opportunity to
finally get what you wish, a good mate. Locate an intelligent adviser
who can help you discuss your behavior in this area, one who can
correct your false views, who can show you errors in as many areas as
possible, be it your personality, your values, your Torah adherence,
or your approach to dating. The goal here is honesty about yourself so
you may correct areas preventing you from reaching your goal of
marriage. I wish you success, and you will find it if you follow the
Torah's guidance. Be honest. Be courageous. Be intelligent. Be
relentless. Be confident in God's abilities. Be successful.